Characters Discussed

(Great Characters in Literature)

The Marquise de Merteuil

The Marquise de Merteuil (mehr-TYOO-ee), a fashionable and unscrupulous matron. Abandoned by the Comte de Gercourt, she seeks vengeance for her wounded vanity by a series of manipulations that bring disaster or death to all who become involved with this dangerous acquaintance.

The Comte de Gercourt

The Comte de Gercourt (zhehr-KEWR), betrothed to Cécile de Volanges. After he deserts the Marquise de Merteuil in favor of Madame de Tourvel, his humiliation becomes the object of the malicious marquise’s ruinous machinations.

Cécile de Volanges

Cécile de Volanges (say-SEEL duh voh-LAHNZH), a young woman betrothed by her mother to the Comte de Gercourt. She becomes a pawn in the Marquise de Merteuil’s scheme of revenge on Gercourt.

The Vicomte de Valmont

The Vicomte de Valmont (val-MOH[N]), an unscrupulous libertine and ally of the Marquise de Merteuil in her scheme to humiliate the Comte de Gercourt.

The Chevalier Danceny

The Chevalier Danceny (dahns-NEE), a tool of the Marquise de Merteuil and the Vicomte de Valmont. Encouraged by them to form a liaison with Cécile de Volanges, Danceny is to make a laughingstock of the Comte de Gercourt.

Madame de Tourvel

Madame de Tourvel (tewr-VEHL), a judge’s wife for whom the Comte de Gercourt deserts the Marquise de Merteuil. She becomes the mistress of the Vicomte de Valmont.

Madame de Volanges

Madame de Volanges, the mother of Cécile de Volanges.

Madame de Rosemonde

Madame de Rosemonde (rohz-MOHND), the aunt of the Vicomte de Valmont.

Sophie Carnay

Sophie Carnay (soh-FEE kahr-NEH), Cécile de Volanges’ friend and confidante.