Download Cligés Study Guide

Subscribe Now

Characters Discussed

(Great Characters in Literature)


Alexander, a prince of Greece. Ardently desiring knighthood in King Arthur’s court, he goes to Britain. After performing many brave deeds in Arthur’s service, he is knighted by the king. He marries Soredamors, and they become the parents of Cligès.


Cligès, the son of Alexander and Soredamors. He fulfills his father’s wish that he be knighted by King Arthur. In love with Fenice, he engages, with her, in an elaborate scheme to deceive her husband, Alis. On Alis’ death, the lovers succeed, as husband and wife, to the throne of Greece.


Soredamors, Alexander’s wife and the mother of Cligès. She is the sister of Sir Gawain and the niece of King Arthur.


Fenice, Alis’ wife. With her lover Cligès, she deceives her husband. On Alis’ death, she marries Cligès and becomes empress of Greece.


Alis, Alexander’s brother and the regent for Cligès. He breaks his vow never to marry, weds Fenice, and is deceived by her and her lover Cligès, who assumes the throne on his uncle’s death.


Thessala, a sorceress whose potions assist Fenice in deceiving her husband.


John, a stonecutter who provides a trysting place for the lovers Cligès and Fenice.


Arthur, the king of Britain.


Guinevere, King Arthur’s queen.

Sir Gawain

Sir Gawain, a knight of the Round Table and Cligès’ uncle.

Count Angreè

Count Angreè, a traitor to King Arthur.



Lancelot of the Lake

Lancelot of the Lake, and

Perceval of Wales

Perceval of Wales, knights of the Round Table who are defeated in tournaments by Cligès.

The duke of Saxony

The duke of Saxony, a contender for the hand of Fenice.