(Great Characters in Literature)

Characters Discussed

Fernando de Azevida

Fernando de Azevida (fehr-NAHN-doh deh ah-zeh-VEE-dah), corregidor of Madrid. A good man, strict in his morality, he is horrified to learn that his son has violated a noble virgin. Feeling that his son is worthy of death, he labors to right the wrong; however, he is able to bring about a happy marriage between the reclaimed son and the forgiving girl. He is also rewarded by the recovery of his daughter, long believed lost at sea.


Roderigo (rroh-deh-RREE-goh), Fernando’s wild son. Borrowed from a novel by Cervantes and much like that author’s Ferdinand in Don Quixote de la Mancha, he is pitiless when he captures and ravishes Clara, but he is eaten by remorse and love afterward. He disguises himself and joins the Gypsies, but his father recognizes him. His vicious behavior modified by repentance, he gains a true and lovely wife in Clara.


Clara (KLAH-rah), the beautiful daughter of Pedro and María. Kidnapped and violated by Roderigo, she pleads piteously with him to marry her and save her good name. Failing in this entreaty, she does succeed in gaining his promise to conceal his act. She takes a crucifix from the room and notes other objects in it before leaving. Later, when she faints and is carried into the corregidor’s house, she recognizes the room. She tells Fernando of his son’s crime and bears out her story with the crucifix. She refuses her suitor Louis, forgives the repentant Roderigo, and marries him.

Pedro de Cortés

Pedro de Cortés (PEH-droh deh kohr-TEHS), an old don, the father of Clara. Deeply grieved by his daughter’s wrong, he tries to comfort her, meanwhile encouraging her to marry Louis. At Fernando’s pleading, he gives his consent to the marriage of Roderigo and Clara.


María, the wife of Pedro and mother of Clara. She is a counterpart to her...

(The entire section is 874 words.)