Characters

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Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 153

Christa Wolf's Cassandra has many characters. Some of the main characters are Cassandra, Priam, Hecuba, Aaneus, and Agamemnon.

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Cassandra is the narrator of this story. She is the daughter of Priam and is being held captive by the Greeks under King Agamemnon. Cassandra is a princess of Troy who believed that Troy would be defeated.

Priam is Cassandra's father and King of Troy. Priam does not believe his daughter's prophesy and forces her to prison. Priam is eventually overthrown.

Hecuba is Priam's wife and Cassandra's mother.

Aaneus is Cassandra's lover. Aaneus disappears during the war while fighting for the Trojans.

Agamemnon is the Greek King of Argos. His wife, Helen, was abducted. This event causes Agamemnon to seek revenge against the people of Troy and results in the enslaving and killing of many people.

Other characters include Hector (Cassandra's brother), Achilles (a Greek warrior), Anchises (the father of Aaneus), and Panthous (a priestess).

Characters Discussed

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Last Updated on May 5, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 582

Cassandra

Cassandra, the story’s narrator, a princess of Troy in Anatolia, a seer, and a priestess of the god Apollo. According to myth, Apollo granted her the gift of prophecy so that she would agree to sleep with him; when she refused, he left her with the gift but added that no one would believe her prophecies. Captured by Mycenaean Greeks under King Agamemnon, Cassandra meditates about her life in the now-ruined citadel of Troy as well as about the terrible future her captors face. Cassandra proudly recalls having been the beloved favorite of King Priam of Troy. Painfully, however, she also recalls how he cast her into prison because she dared to prophesy Troy’s imminent doom. She dies rather than go with Aeneus to found a new society.

Priam

Priam (PRI-uhm), the proud king of Troy, who chooses not to heed the counsel of seers prophesying Troy’s downfall, the chief of whom is his own daughter Cassandra. Noble, wise in many ways, yet stubborn and unyielding, Priam hopes to stave off fate. With his overthrow, he becomes one more Trojan leader to endure defeat in war.

Hecuba

Hecuba (HEH-kyuh-buh), the wife of King Priam. Along with Cassandra and others in the inner court of Troy, Hecuba hates Troy’s arrogance while, at the same time, wishing for its success in battle against the Greeks. The bearer of many children, including Cassandra, Hector, Paris, and Troilus, she saves her youngest son from the wrath of the Mycenaeans by sending him abroad to Thrace, where he is subsequently murdered by the Thracian king. Wise to the world’s cruel and capricious ways because of the many tragedies she has endured, Hecuba is a thoroughgoing skeptic.

Aeneus

Aeneus (ah-NEE-uhs), a Trojan warrior and lover of Cassandra who, after having taught her about love, vanishes. Cassandra, still dazzled by the intensity of their brief tryst, sees his disappearance as one more legacy of the war between Troy and the Greeks. Aeneus is emblematic of the young heroes who died for a lost cause. He is the son of Anchises.

Hector

Hector, a son of Priam and Hecuba. He is a large, rather sluggish young man of few words, admired by his sister Cassandra for engaging in warfare though it goes against his torpid nature to do so. Hector’s misfortune is to be chased down and killed by the vengeful Greek warrior Achilles.

Anchises

Anchises (ahn-CHIH-zees), a Trojan shepherd. From his legendary union with Aphrodite came a son, Aeneus.

Agamemnon

Agamemnon (a-guh-MEHM -non), the great, powerful king of the Greek city-state Argos and leader of the Mycenaean forces in the Trojan War. Cruel, resourceful, and cunning, Agamemnon, cuckolded by Paris—who abducted his wife, Helen, to Troy—takes his revenge on the city, razing it and killing or enslaving all of...

(The entire section contains 1268 words.)

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