Characters Discussed

(Great Characters in Literature)

Lucius Aelius Sejanus

Lucius Aelius Sejanus (LEW-shee-uhs EE-lee-uhs seh-JAY-nuhs), the corrupt favorite of Emperor Tiberius. Willing to use bribery, seduction, unnatural vice, and murder to gain power, he overreaches himself by underestimating the sinister emperor and receives his death at the hands of an enraged mob manipulated by the emperor’s damnable tool, Macro.


Tiberius (ti-BIH-ree-uhs), the devious and ruthless emperor of Rome. Given to self-indulgence and many vices, he allows Sejanus to assume his duties and much of his power. His suspicion aroused by Sejanus’ proposal to marry Livia, he sends the Senate a letter that undermines Sejanus and leaves him helpless before Macro’s machinations.

Lucius Arruntius

Lucius Arruntius (a-RUHN-shee-uhs), a righteous and indignant Roman citizen. Throughout the play, he delivers a running satirical and moral commentary on people and events. Although he despises Sejanus and his parasites, he sees no hope for better things after the overthrow of Sejanus.

Marcus Lepidus

Marcus Lepidus (MAHR-kuhs LEH-pih-duhs), a grave and honest Roman admired by Arruntius. These two and Terentius, at the end of the play, comment on the downfall of Sejanus and the survival of Rome’s evils.

Marcus Terentius

Marcus Terentius (teh-REHN-shee-uhs), another noble Roman. He delivers the final exemplary warning to all those greedy for power and insolent in its use.

Drusus Senior

Drusus Senior (DREW-suhs), the son of Tiberius. A blunt, angry, and immature man, he strikes Sejanus in public for his...

(The entire section is 803 words.)