Characters

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King Basilius
King Basilius is the father of Sigismund. Because he heard a prophesy that predicted his son would rise up against him in rebellion, the king had Sigismund locked away in a tower until he was twenty-one years old. After Julian, the governor of the tower, convinces him to take Sigismund back into his good graces, the king arranges for his son to become his successor. However, as soon as he does, Sigismund attacks his father—but he is overpowered by the king’s attendants before he injures the king. The king then sentences his son to death, but, on the day of the execution, a rebellion breaks out. The king is dethroned, and Sigismund is made the new king. Sigismund then sentences the king to be locked up in the tower. The king is later assassinated by the rebels who follow Oliver.

Julian
Julian is the governor of the tower in which Sigismund has been locked until the age of twentyone. Julian is influenced by the physician to convince the king that Sigismund be restored to his rightful place as heir to the throne. When the king sentences Sigismund to death for attempting to rise up against him, Julian plots a rebellion on Sigismund’s behalf. The rebellion succeeds, and Sigismund replaces his father as king. But Julian is killed by the rebels who have risen against Sigismund under the leadership of Oliver.

Oliver
Oliver takes command of the peasant rebellion that rises up after King Basilius is ousted by supporters of Sigismund. Oliver has King Basilius killed and then has Sigismund killed.

Physician
The physician is first brought to the tower to examine Sigismund, the prince who has been locked up like an animal until the age of twenty-one. The physician immediately perceives that Sigismund is of royal descent. He provides Julian, the governor of the tower, with a potion to put Sigismund to sleep while he is transported to a monastery for protec tion. After Sigismund is brought to the castle and sentenced to death for attempting to rise up against his father, the physician aids Julian in planning a rebellion. With the help of the physician, the rebellion succeeds, and Sigismund replaces his father as king. The physician remains loyal to Sigismund, even after Oliver has taken command of the rebellion. After Sigismund is assassinated by Oliver’s men, he dies in the arms of the physician.

Sigismund
Sigismund is the son of King Basilius. King Basilius was warned by a prophecy that one day his son would rise up against him in rebellion, and so he had the child locked up in a tower. At the age of twelve, Sigismund was accused of murder, and without a trial he was sentenced to death. Julian, the governor of the tower, however, placed him in the care of a peasant family until the age of sixteen, when he brought him to the tower to protect him from attempts on his life. As the play opens, Sigismund is twenty-one years old, and has been kept in a cage like an animal throughout his life. Julian convinces the king to take Sigismund back as his successor. As soon as the king grants Sigismund royal power, Sigismund attacks him—but is soon overpowered by the king’s attendants. The king then sentences Sigismund to death. On the day of the execution, a planned rebellion succeeds in dethroning the king, and placing Sigismund in power. Sigismund gains the loyalty of the peasants, as well as the nobility, but he is assassinated by Oliver, who has taken control of the rebellion.

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