The Prisoner of Zenda

by Anthony Hope Hawkins
Start Free Trial

Compare and contrast any two characters in The Prisoner of Zenda. Give evidence from the text.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Princess Flavia and Antoinette de Mauban are compared and contrasted, though on a smaller scale than the example in the previous answer. Both characters are in love with a man who cannot be theirs due to social and political complications. However, the way they approach these obstacles diverges.

In Flavia's case, she truly loves Rassendyl but chooses to marry her original betrothed, for the sake of political duty over personal desire. She sends Rassendyl a rose every year after the events of the story, but that is as far as she is willing to allow their love to go. She is too noble to have an affair or leave her intended.

Antoinette is more inclined towards following her heart. Her lover Michael wants to marry Flavia so he can become king, but Antoinette wants him to be hers alone. She conspires to thwart his plans, mainly motivated by what she wants rather than out of any sense of nobility or patriotism.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team