Thady Quirk, known as Honest Thady, Old Thady, and finally Poor Thady, the narrator of the story and a lifelong attendant to a procession of masters of Rackrent Castle in Ireland. Loyal and steadfast, he embodies all the qualities of the true Irish servant. Clothed in his heavy great cloak, he observes the world as he experiences it in terms of the differing characters of his several masters.
Sir Patrick Rackrent
Sir Patrick Rackrent, a lusty, generous landowner whose original family name was O’Shaughlin. He is convivial to a fault and friendly to all, and he dies singing while Thady himself is still a lad.
Sir Murtagh Rackrent
Sir Murtagh Rackrent, the heir. He is a close-fisted lawyer married to a widow of the Skinflint family. The two live on the tenants’ “duty” fowls and services so that the castle is almost free of expense on the part of Sir Murtagh. As Thady notes, it is lamentable that knowledge of the law permits Sir Murtagh to take land and property from other people. Sir Murtagh dies fittingly after hearing the cry of a banshee; actually, his death is a result of overstraining his voice in the law courts and in arguments with his wife, who strips the house after the death of her husband.
Sir Kit, Sir Murtagh’s younger brother. A warm and friendly person, he is kind to the tenants, yet he turns all Rackrent affairs over to an agent, an Irish “middleman” who is all servility to his master and tyrannical to every wretch beneath him. Sir Kit orders the castle...
(The entire section is 658 words.)