Last Updated on May 6, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 506
God, who is on the side of the Christians.
The archangel Gabriel
The archangel Gabriel, sent by God in the seventh year of the Crusade to encourage the Crusaders in beginning their march on Jerusalem.
The archangel Michael
The archangel Michael, sent by God to inspire the Christians during the final stages of the capture of the city.
Satan, who is on the side of the Pagans.
Godfrey de Bouillon
Godfrey de Bouillon, the leader of the Crusaders, victorious after many setbacks.
King Aladine, the pagan king from whom the Crusaders finally take Jerusalem.
Clorinda, a beautiful pagan warrior who scorns female dress. She is instrumental in preventing pagan tyrannies as well as in holding off the Christians for a time. She is killed in combat.
Tancred, a mighty Christian noble in love with Clorinda. He wounds her mortally in combat, then realizes who she is. He has time to ask her pardon and to baptize her before her death.
Erminia of Antioch
Erminia of Antioch, who is in love with Tancred. She goes in Clorinda’s armor to Tancred’s camp when he is wounded, but she is frightened at the last minute and takes refuge with a shepherd.
Argantes, who is sent by the king of Egypt to parley with Godfrey, who haughtily rejects his overtures. He and his army aid Jerusalem, and Argantes is killed in single combat by Tancred.
Rinaldo, an Italian Crusader and the most valorous of all. Banished temporarily after a jousting duel, he is later summoned back and is with the Crusaders when Jerusalem is taken.
Armida, an enchantress in Satan’s employ. She treacherously lures fifty Christians to her castle and changes them into fishes; later, she imprisons Tancred. All are liberated by Rinaldo, who then dallies with Armida until summoned back to duty. At last, the pagans defeated, she surrenders herself to Rinaldo.
Hugh, the former commander of the French forces. He appears to Godfrey in a vision and orders him to recall Rinaldo.
Otho, Tancred’s companion, who is defeated by Argantes and taken prisoner.
Gernando, a rival of Rinaldo for a certain post. They quarrel, and in the resultant joust, Gernando is killed.
Peter the Hermit
Peter the Hermit, who adds his exhortations to Godfrey’s in reminding the Crusaders of their vows to take Jerusalem.
Ismeno, a sorcerer. He advises King Aladine to steal a statue of the Virgin Mary, which later disappears.
Sophronia, a beautiful Christian subject of King Aladine. To save the rest of the Christians from massacre, she confesses to the theft of the statue and is condemned to be burned.
Olindo, who is in love with Sophronia. He hopes to save her by confessing to the theft but is only condemned as well. Clorinda rescues both.
Sweno, the prince of Denmark. He is killed with his followers during his occupation of Palestine. The Crusaders are spurred on by thoughts of vengeance for this deed.