Exit the King Characters
Eugène Ionesco’s Exit the King (le roi se muert), written in 1962, is an absurdist play. The play takes place entirely in one scene and includes various dialogues between the king and other characters.
Bérenger the First
Bérenger the First, the king. Costumed in a deep crimson coat and a crown, and carrying a scepter, Bérenger is both a human and a mythic figure. He stole fire from the gods, invented gunpowder, and split the atom. He built Rome, New York, Moscow, and Geneva and wrote tragedies and comedies under the name of Shakespeare. On this day, however, he is dying, and his kingdom and all nature are likewise coming to an end. Bérenger struggles mightily against death, passes through many stages, and finally fades into the mist.
Queen Marguerite, Bérenger’s first wife. Queen Marguerite’s cloak is a bit shabby and her expression is severe, for she is the older wife, no longer loved. She constantly forces the reality of death on Bérenger and assumes some of his power as she leads him to his death. She disappears into nothingness at the play’s end.
Queen Marie, Bérenger’s second wife, who is first in his affection....
(The entire section is 671 words.)