Characters Discussed

(Great Characters in Literature)

Someone in gray

Someone in gray, called He, a figure who serves onstage as a narrator. He introduces the work during the prologue and at intervals provides commentary on the stages of the man’s life. During his appearances, this character remains apart from the others, who do not seem aware of his presence. He is taller than an ordinary man and is dressed in a hat and broad gray smock that shroud him in gloomy darkness except for his massive, weighty chin, nose, and cheekbones. His lips are often tightly pursed, and his eyes remain hidden. He speaks in a cold but solemn voice, uninflected by compassion or human concern; he is described as resembling one who is paid to read from the book of fate on an hourly basis.

The man’s father

The man’s father, a character who appears briefly during the first act. He seems affected by extreme weariness, which set in during his wife’s prolonged struggle to give birth to their son. Remorse for the suffering she has endured is offset by the father’s delight in their son’s clear physical resemblance to him. During this time, the father evidently is prone to conflicting and wildly oscillating feelings; in reflecting on some of his own shortcomings, he resolves to provide moral guidance by preventing his son from torturing animals or associating with unworthy friends.

The man

The man, who is shown during five periods of his life. By the second act, he has married; he has become an architect, but he is chronically out of work, and he lives in grinding...

(The entire section is 644 words.)