The Italian Characters
by Ann Radcliffe

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The Italian Characters

  • Vincentio di Vivaldi: The main protagonist of the story is a lovestruck nobleman of Naples. Despite his parents' objections, Vincentio is determined to do whatever it takes to be with the woman he loves.
  • Ellena di Rosalba: The young woman who is the love interest of Vincentio. Due to an abduction and sinister plot by Vincentio's mother, her marriage to Vincentio gets delayed until the end of the story.
  • The marchesa di Vivaldi: The mother of Vincentio—she plots with a monk to stop the wedding by murdering Ellena.
  • The marchese di Vivaldi: This is the father of Vincentio. Although he is against Vincentio's decision to marry Ellena, he does care deeply for his son and would not go to such extremes as his wife to prevent the marriage from happening.
  • Schedoni: This is a former count who murdered his brother. He takes the guise of a monk and serves as the marchesa di Vivaldi's confessor.
  • Sister Olivia: This is a nun who befriends Ellena when she is brought to a convent. She is later revealed to be the former countess di Bruno, Ellena's long-lost mother.
  • Signora Bianchi: Ellena's elderly guardian and aunt.
  • Paulo Mendrico: Vincentio's loyal servant who helps his master on his journey.
  • Bonorma: Vincentio's friend who accompanies him when Vincentio is visited by a ghostly figure.
  • Beatrice: The servant of Signora and Ellena that resides at Villa Altieri.
  • Ansaldo di Rovalli: The grand penitentiary of the Black Penitents.
  • Brother Jeronimo: A monk bribed by Vincentio to help him rescue Ellena.
  • Spalatro: The assassin hired by Schedoni to kill his brother.
  • Father Nicola: A monk who gathers evidence against Schedoni for the Inquisition.

Characters Discussed

(Great Characters in Literature)

Vincentio di Vivaldi

Vincentio di Vivaldi (veen-chehn-TEE-oh dee vee-VAHL-dee), a young nobleman of Naples. Impressed by the grace and voice of the veiled Ellena di Rosalba, he is warned by a ghostly stranger not to seek her identity. Disregarding the warning, he succeeds in learning the young woman’s name, falls in love with her, and determines to marry her in spite of his parents’ strenuous objections because of her apparent lowly station. His mother’s plottings to prevent the alliance set up a train of sinister events through which the young man passes before he is finally united with his beloved.

Ellena di Rosalba

Ellena di Rosalba (roh-SAHL-bah), a young woman of supposed humble origin who is loved by Vincentio di Vivaldi. Before her wedding, she is abducted and carried off to a strange religious establishment, the first of a series of violent and sinister adventures that end in the revelation of her identity as the daughter of Sister Olivia and the dead Count di Bruno, and at last in her marriage to Vincentio.

(The entire section is 670 words.)