Characters Discussed

(Great Characters in Literature)

Père Ubu

Père Ubu (par EW-bew), the former king of Aragon, captain of the Dragoons, count of Sandomir, and, later, king of Poland. He is an obese, smelly grub, with an enormous paunch, who carries a walking stick in his right-hand pocket and uses a toilet brush as his scepter. As a grotesque parody of a petty official who usurps a position of power, he is vulgar, gluttonous, rapacious, untrustworthy, greedy, sadistic, cowardly, and stupid. His actions are impulsive, and his speech is a mixture of vulgar expressions, oaths, and repetitive phrases. He ruthlessly obtains the Polish throne, then recklessly abuses his power by killing off the nobility, usurping the power of the judiciary, and overtaxing the peasants. Unsuccessful in defending his kingdom against the Russians, he escapes to France.

Mère Ubu

Mère Ubu (mar), Ubu’s wife, a repulsive, unattractive, foulmouthed woman who cooks her food in excrement. She goads Ubu into assassinating the Polish king and usurping the throne. Although just as vicious as Ubu, she knows the limits to which power can be wielded and is more practical than he in matters of politics. She tries to act independently of Ubu in stealing the royal gold, but her scheme is thwarted by Boggerlas.

Captain Macnure

Captain Macnure, an officer in the Polish army who agrees to assassinate the king. He is a parody of the honorable...

(The entire section is 502 words.)


(Drama for Students)

An Example of Jarry's Absurdity Published by Gale Cengage

Captain Bordure
Bourdure kills King Venceslas of Poland, paving the way for Pere Ubu to become the king. Later,...

(The entire section is 550 words.)