Les Miserables: Character Descriptions
By this time, everyone may have seen the film version of one of the most popular Broadway musicals today. Otherwise, you will not understand much why there is so much negative feedback surrounding Russell Crowe’s performance.
Based on the best-selling novel by Victor Hugo, “Les Miserables” tells the story of Jean Valjean, from his parole to his redemption when a Catholic bishop spared him from returning to jail for violating his parole. As a fugitive, he ended up caring for Cosette as his penance for inadvertently causing Fantine’s fall from grace. He is also trying to elude Javert for violating his parole.
Now let’s discuss the characters at length.
A convict incarcerated for stealing a loaf of bread, Jean Valjean tried to rebuild his life with the help of his newfound treasure given by a generous cleric. In the new life that he built for himself, he changed his name to Monsieur Madeleine. Upon realizing how his past will keep on haunting him, he eventually lived the life of a fugitive in an effort to protect his adopted ward, Cosette. Taking care of Cosette was his idea of repaying whatever shortcoming that he indirectly caused to the poor girl’s mother, Fantine.
Bishop of Digne
The cleric that spared Valjean another punishment for violating his parole, he then gave some silver coins for Valjean to start life anew.
A jail guard who considered himself responsible for Valjean, he eventually got obsessed with the idea of capturing him. For him, this is his only way of upholding the law by excusing no one from its implementation. His character blurred the line with obsession with a captive that just keeps getting away and his concept of right and wrong. The moral dilemma that he faced one day after seeing Valjean save him pushed him to the boundaries of his sanity.
The Factory Foreman
The man directly responsible for Fantine getting fired, it’s more of him getting insulted because Fantine keeps turning him down. Unknown to him, it was a scheme for one of the factory girls to fire Fantine so that she can keep the foreman to herself.
The Factory Girl
A worker who sleeps with the foreman to keep her job, she managed to intercept the Thenardiers’ letter to Fantine. She then used the letter to plot a scheme to get Fantine fired and keep the foreman to herself. She sensed that the foreman likes Fantine too and would not let herself get replaced in the foreman’s favor.
A single mother who lost her job at Valjean’s factory after an altercation with fellow workers, Fantine ended up prostituting herself just so she can send money to her daughter, Cosette, whom she entrusted to her relatives. It was her death that aggravated the guilt that Valjean felt, pushing him to adopt the daughter as Fantine requested.
The poor woman scared Fantine into selling her hair. Fantine ended up selling her hair to raise enough funds for her daughter
The woman bought Fantine’s locket way beneath its actual price. It’s the other sale from which Fantine raised money to send home.
A rude customer to the prostitutes perhaps, his crude behavior caused Fantine to turn him down. After Fantine slapped him hard enough to cause some minor scarring, Javert tried to arrest Fantine. (Some dick move right there)
Initially left to some relatives only to end up getting enslaved, Cosette ended up getting adopted by Valjean by virtue of his promise to Fantine before dying. Upon reaching adulthood, she fell in love with a young revolutionary named Marius.
A young student belonging to a group of revolutionaries, Marius fell in love with Cosette much to the concern of his colleagues like Enjolras in the underground moment and much to the heartbreak of Eponine.
Marius’s closest pal, Eponine became the classic case of “friendzoned” in musicals. Her song “On My Own” eventually became the unofficial anthem for friendzoned girls everywhere.
One of the figureheads of the revolutionary movement among young students, Enjolras represented a part of French history when the French revolution was more of a concept than a reality.
The little kid early awoken into revolutionary ideas, Gavroche served as the underground movement’s messenger and spy.
Monsieur and Madame Thenardier
A couple who owned an inn that charged more than what it can offer, they ended up enslaving Cosette and exhorting money from Fantine by faking the kidnapping of Cosette. Much later in the story, they almost thwarted the underground movement. Their existence served more as a comic relief to the heavy drama although some versions presented a sinister Monsieur Thenardier.
Monsieur Thenarider’s gang of thugs, they consisted of Brujon, Babet, Claquesous and Montparnasse.
Friends of the ABC
Members of the underground revolutionary movement, it is led by Enrolras and has members consisted of Marius, Combeferre, Feuilly, Courfeyrac, Joly, Grantaire, Jean Prouvaire and Lesgles.
“Les Miserables” had revival runs in Broadway and in Australia, proof that after all these years, there is still power in the music that was played. With songs that helped push the story forward, it is safe to say that the generations to come (including our own grandchildren) would still end up enjoying revivals from productions like these.