Who are the important characters in the novel, Rebecca and what are their characteristics?

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jamesk8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The most important characters in this novel would be Maxim de Winter, Mrs. de Winter, Rebecca de Winter, Mrs. Danvers, and Frank Crawley.

Maximilian (Maxim) de Winter is the owner of Manderley.  He is moody, mysterious, friendly, sometimes detached, and at times he is gracious.

Mrs. de Winter, Maxim's young wife, is the narrator.  She is shy, sensitive, insecure, and deeply in love with Maxim.  Puzzled by Maxim's strange shifts of mood and by Mrs. Danver's obvious dislike of her, she considers herself unwelcome, an inferior successor to Rebecca at Manderly.

Rebecca de Winter, Maxim's dead wife, is a very beautiful woman who charmed many people, but who tortured her husband with her infidelities.  When she knew that she was dying of cancer, she taunted her husband with a false story of her unborn child by another man, until she drove him to murder her. 

Mrs. Danvers, the housekeeper at Manderley, is cold, formal, and resentful of the new Mrs. de Winter, who has replaced the Rebecca she adored.  She reveals to Mrs. de Winter what Rebecca was really like with men.  After the closing of the inquiry into Rebecca's death, Mrs. Danvers apparently sets fire to Manderley and disappears.

Frank Crawley, the estate manager at Manderley, is a thin colorless bachelor, who is devoted to his friend, Maxim.