Last Updated on May 5, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 632
The Bride, a rich man’s daughter who was engaged to Leonardo some years ago, when she was fifteen years old. She does not truly love the Bridegroom, but the families consider theirs a good match. She will marry him and try to make the best of it because she can never be with Leonardo. She would like to forget Leonardo and live honorably with her husband, but she is helpless when she hears Leonardo’s voice. At the wedding reception, she tells the Bridegroom that she would like to rest a little before they dance. Instead, she rides away with Leonardo on his horse. Fleeing with him, she realizes her mistake and begs Leonardo to run away from her so that she will die alone. Instead, the two men kill each other, and she returns to the church hoping that the Bridegroom’s Mother will kill her. The two women reflect on the men they have lost to knives.
The Bridegroom, a rich young man who has bought a valuable vineyard and is now ready to marry a woman he has known for three years. As the wedding approaches, he is happy and eager; he loves the Bride and looks forward to his future as husband, father, and landowner. He dismisses all talk about the Bride’s former engagement because it was so long ago and cannot possibly matter now. At the wedding, he is both tender and demanding; the last thing he says to his wife is that she had better be ready to satisfy him sexually that night. When he learns that his wife has run away, he immediately gets on a horse and chases her. In the ensuing fight, he and Leonardo kill each other.
Leonardo Félix, who has been married to a cousin of the Bride for two years. He has never stopped loving the Bride, to whom he was once engaged. They were not permitted to marry because Leonardo is not wealthy; he and his wife barely have enough money to get by. As the Bride’s wedding approaches, he rides by her home more frequently, even in the middle of the night, and one morning he goes to tell her how her marriage will hurt him. As a member of the Bride’s extended family, he attends the wedding. He convinces the Bride to run away with him. When the Bridegroom overtakes them, he and Leonardo kill each other with their knives.
Leonardo’s Wife, the mother of his baby child. Although she has been married to Leonardo for two years, she is jealous of the feelings she suspects he still has for the Bride. She tells Leonardo that the neighbors have seen him riding far across the plains when he was supposedly out working; the wife suspects, correctly, that he was trying to see the Bride. She is the first to notice Leonardo’s disappearance from the wedding. When she next sees him, he has run away with the Bride and been killed.
The Bridegroom’s Mother
The Bridegroom’s Mother, a widow whose husband and older son were both murdered by members of the Félix family. She has reservations about the upcoming wedding, for reasons she does not fully understand; part of her worry is that when the Bridegroom leaves home, she will be alone. She also fears knives and other weapons. She carries out her role as mother of the groom, advising the Bridegroom on presents to buy for his bride and working out the wedding arrangements. She carries a sense of foreboding throughout. In the end, her remaining son is indeed killed, with a knife, by a member of the Félix family, just as she has always feared.
Last Updated on May 5, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 2025
See Death, Old Woman
The Bride is the last of the major protagonists to be introduced in the play's first act. The order in which the major characters are introduced—first the Bridegroom and Mother, then Leonardo, and then the Bride—could indicate their degree of social power...
(The entire section contains 2657 words.)
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