What is the role of Captain Fritz in The Prisoner of Zenda?

Expert Answers

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

In Anthony Hope's The Prisoner of Zenda , Captain Fritz is one of the king's royal attendants who helps to hatch the plan to replace the missing king with his lookalike cousin, Rudolf Rassendyll, until the true king can be discovered. This deception is necessary because if the true king...

Unlock
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

In Anthony Hope's The Prisoner of Zenda, Captain Fritz is one of the king's royal attendants who helps to hatch the plan to replace the missing king with his lookalike cousin, Rudolf Rassendyll, until the true king can be discovered. This deception is necessary because if the true king is not found in time for his coronation then his wicked and ambitious half-brother Michael (who drugged and kidnapped the king in the first place) will be able to seize the throne for himself.

So, Captain Fritz's function is essentially to help set the plot in motion. While he is not the protagonist, he motivates the hero Rudolf into going along with their plan to save Ruritania from a tyrant. He helps provide what Joseph Campbell would term the "call to adventure" to the protagonist, inspiring him to step out of his comfort zone and go on an adventure.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team