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Last Updated September 5, 2023.


Lorenzo, while he is ultimately a heroic figure embodying several tropes of the dashing and chivalrous young knight, is not afraid of manipulate others to get what he wants. This can be seen by his taking a leading role in the attempt to deceive Don Abbondio into marrying him and Lucia against his will. He is a fiery young man, not only in his love for Lucia but in his willingness to get involved in the unrest in Milan, his love of consuming alcohol, and his multiple flights from the law. His resilience and determination to achieve his aim in marrying Lucia is born out by his returning to plague-ridden Milan in order to look for her, and by his own overcoming of the sickness. He is not a cruel man and is ultimately convinced to forgive the man who caused him and his betrothed all their troubles.


Lucia embodies the medieval feminine ideal perfectly. While she is physically very attractive, she is also described by “The Unnamed” as radiating innocence and virtue. Her religious faith and observance is so strong that she is ready to forego her life married to Lorenzo so as to honor a promise she made in prayer.

Don Rodrigo

An arrogant and cruel nobleman, this character holds the snobbish views characteristic of his class, by which he justifies his pursuit of Lucia. (As a peasant, she is no more than an object.)

The looming threat he constitutes throughout the novel vanishes when he dies of the plague.

Don Abbondio

Despite his cowardliness in not opposing Rodrego’s men and marrying Lucia to Lorenzo, this priest is overall portrayed as a good character. He risks his life by ringing the church bells to save Lucia from kidnap and is ultimately the agent who, at the end of the novel marries the young couple.

Fra Cristoforo

This virtuous individual risked the fury of Rodrego in sheltering Lucia from him. Not fearing for his own life, he returned to Milan so as to help those afflicted by the plague, where he demonstrated his forgiving nature in convincing Lorenzo to pardon the dying Rodrigo.

A Nun

A headstrong aristocratic woman, betrayed by her family to a life in the Convent. She shows herself to lack moral fiber when “The Unnamed” is able to blackmail her into making Lucia leave her sanctuary in the Convent.

“The Unnamed”

A nobleman who, while being more powerful than Don Rodrego, is indebted to him, and is at first complicit in his plans to kidnap Lucia. However on seeing her, he has a change of heart and repents his life of excess and tyrannical evil. He is instrumental in helping Lucia reach the safety that she finds in the noblewoman’s house.

Cardinal Federigo

Another upstanding clergyman, the cardinal is an influential and well-connected man who takes pity on Lucia’s situation and finds her a place of refuge out of Rodrigo’s reach.

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