(Great Characters in Literature)

Characters Discussed

Duchess Margarete

Duchess Margarete (mahr-gah-RAY-teh), Heinrich’s daughter, fat, shrewd-eyed, and apelike but intelligent and learned. She attempts to compensate for her ugliness by ruling her lands with strength and skill. She romantically idealizes the double-dealing Chrétien. Discovering his perfidy, she has him killed, as she later arranges the death of Karl Ludwig and Aldrigeto. Long rivaled by Agnes, she is defeated at last. Margarete, despoiled of her power and most of her possessions, abdicates and lives in self-imposed poverty.

Prince Johann

Prince Johann (YOH-hahn), her tall, strong, cowardly, and ill-humored husband, who sulkily avoids his ugly wife until the strong-minded Margarete has the marriage annulled.

Chrétien de Laferte

Chrétien de Laferte (kreh-TYAY[N] deh lah-FEHRT), a lean, brown-faced aide to Prince Johann. A close friend of Margarete but a treacherous one, he plans to marry Agnes. Margarete’s discovery of this leads to his death.

Margrave Karl Ludwig

Margrave Karl Ludwig (LEWT-vihkh), the widowed son of Ludwig. Acceding to his father’s will, he becomes Margarete’s second husband. He is poisoned.

Prince Meinhard

Prince Meinhard (

(The entire section is 551 words.)