Last Updated on September 5, 2023, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 386
Don Carlos, Infante of Spain is Friedrich Schiller's historical play based on the life of the King of Spain. There are five main characters and eight minor.
Don Carlos is the young adult heir to the throne of Spain. He fights with his father and wants to leave Madrid and become an emissary to Flanders, in present-day Belgium. He is in love with his stepmother, the Queen, whom he courted previous to her marriage to the King.
Philip the Second
Philip the Second is the King of Spain, the most powerful monarch in Europe. He has no love, only self-interest, and he is jealous, insecure, and easily fooled.
The Marquis de Posa, or Roderigo, is a friend of Don Carlos's. He swore loyalty to Carlos and is a superb soldier, confidant, thoughtful, and secretly a member of a religious order.
The Duke of Alva
The Duke of Alva is an agent of Philip, working with others in the court against Don Carlos.
Elizabeth de Valois
Elizabeth de Valois is the Queen of Spain, Philip’s second wife. She loves her stepson and hates the king, working to put Carlos on the throne.
The Princess de Eboli
The Princess de Eboli is an attendant for the Queen. She has an affair with Philip and is conspiring against Don Carlos.
The Grand Inquisitor
The Grand Inquisitor of Spain is a blind cardinal who identifies Posa as a member of a secret religious order. Philip gives Don Carlos to the Inquisitor to take the place of Posa.
Domingo is the confessor to the King, working with Alva and against Don Carlos becoming king.
Count Lerma is the colonel of the royal bodyguard. He reports both facts and rumors to Don Carlos.
The Marchioness de Mondecar
The Marchioness de Mondecar is also an attendant to the queen. She is fired because she was in the garden with Don Carlos.
Don Raimond de Taxis
Don Raimond de Taxis is the postmaster general, who reveals Posa’s letters that prove Don Carlos was not at fault.
Don Luis Mercado
Don Louis Mercado is physician to the Queen and aids Don Carlos in escaping.
The Duke of Medina Sidonia
The Duke of Medina Sidonia is Admiral of the King’s fleet, forgiven by the King for negligence.