This is a continuation of when I first listed some of my favorite musical characters. This time I want to talk about them more in detail about how different they are all. I love the fact that each of the characters have different personalities and different lives. They all are loved for different reasons and there things that make each of those characters quite special. These characters are a mixture of dramatic, comic, tragicomic, and tragic characters. On top of that, some of the characters are romantic as well because romance is very common in musicals.
(Be careful of spoilers)
Obviously, Elphaba is my favorite musical theatre character. That is mainly due to the fact that I can relate to her so much. A character is special when you are able to connect to a character a such a deep level. Just like her, I am talkative, big-hearted, “different”, smart, determined girl who wants to feel accepted, but sometimes feel misunderstand and believes in equality and staying true to myself. There are parts of Elphaba that I cannot relate to such as the unrequited love she has for Fiyero or the amount of discrimination she faces. She has a tough life, but she is very strong. The unrequited love situation with Elphaba is in some ways ironic. The last time I saw “Wicked”, it appeared that Fiyero fell in love with Elphaba right before she started singing “I’m Not That Girl”, a song about unrequited love, which makes the song even sadder than it appears.
Glinda is my favorite comic musical character. She is a very funny, outgoing girl who is best friends with Elphaba. She does not just stay comic through the show. She also goes through some pain in the second act. The unrequited love situation switches to her and she realizes that Fiyero has never loved her, but instead loves her best friend, which makes her feel like Fiyero and Elphaba betrayed her. She also dislikes hearing about all the hate that she hears about her best friend.
I love Fiyero even though it is very hard to understand who he is.He is the romantic love interest of Elphaba and Glinda. When Fiyero first arrived at Shiz University, he did not care about school and thought you could easily get through life. He did not care much about anything. At the school dance, he and Glinda went together and became boyfriend and girlfriend. But after the scene with the lion, he started to fall in love with Elphaba. It happened right before “I’m Not That Girl”. The two of them started flirting before Elphaba reflected on her unrequited love situation. In the second act, you can actually tell that Fiyero is in love with Elphaba especially when he hears of the rumors spread about Elphaba.
I have a special love for Eponine. It seems as if I almost love her just as much as I love Elphaba, but there is a still a large difference of the love between them. Eponine is a tragic heroine, who is the daughter of the Thenardiers. The Thenardiers are terrible parents because they are greedy, mean, and abusive. They grow up to be criminals and even though Eponine gets involved her parent’s schemes, she still has a good heart and does not want to get involved, but she does it anyways if it is what she has to do to survive. The special thing about Eponine is her love for Marius because even though the love is unrequited, she still shows true love for him and he is the main reason why she does not develop her parent’s wicked ways. Eponine has a tragic ending, but it still is very touching. After she delivered the letter from Marius to Cosette, she decided to go back to the barricades to say she delivered the note. However on the way back, she got shot and the wound was fatal. Despite dying from a painful wound, she was comforted knowing that Marius is there with her. It was in fact the happiest moment of her life because she finally got to be with Marius
This sounds quite odd, but I find something in common between Enjolras and Fiyero. I do not know what that is. Enjorlas is the leader of the student uprising of 1832 and is the most passionate about the cause. Enjolras is my favorite barricade boy, but I still love the other students as well. I love how all of them are close and are like brothers to each other. The students all bring something different to the rebellion. They stay passionate no matter what toward their cause..
Another favorite character is Jean Valjean. He is the protagonist of Les Mis and he has this incredible arc. He starts out as a man filled with so much harsheness, hate, and anger, and turns into a saintly and compassionate man. He may always be labeled as an ex-convict, but he does not let his past define him. He is always does what it is right even if he has reveal his identity. I love how he promised to Fantine that he would adopt Cosette and raise her like she is her own and later would save Marius’ life even if it puts his life at risk.
Another character I love is Fantine, another tragic heroine who shows unconditional love towards her daughter. She does not like the life she lives, but she does it anyways. Fantine was abandoned by her lover and was left with an illegitimate child named Cosette. She gets hired to work at Valjean’s factory. However she gets fired by the foreman after he found out about her eight year old daughter. In order to provide for her child, she had to turn to prostitution and she sold her hair and her locket. An abusive customer eventually harassed and attacked her. Javert witnessed all of this and wanted to lock her up in jail, but Valjean did intervene and stop her from being arrested. On her deathbed, she was at peace because Valjean promised that he would raise her daughter.
Now there are all the favorite child characters that I love. My favorite child character is Annie and she will always be the favorite one. That is because “Annie” was my favorite musical when I was a kid. I love the optimism that she has and how she hopes for a better life. In a lot of ways, young Cosette is very similar to Annie.
Both hope for a better life because they both were raised in abusive situations. Before Annie got to stay with Daddy Warbucks, she lived in an abusive orphanage. Miss Hannigin would neglect the orphans and make them clean the orphanage all day and sometimes wake them in the middle of the night. Sometimes Annie would sneak out and explore New York. I love the special love she has for Molly and her relationship with Sandy. Once Annie gets taken away by Daddy Warbucks, her life gets better.
Young Cosette starts out living with the Thenardiers who horribly abuse her by making her work as a servant in their inn while spoiling their daughter. Than Cosette gets adopted by Jean Valjean and her life gets better. Another favorite child character is Gavroche, the street urchin who is like the mascot of the rebellion. He is very heroic, streetwise, and is important to note that he is Eponine’s brother. I also love the Von Trapp children especially Gretl. There is just something special about seeing children perform on stage especially because they are so young and are still able to perform so well and are able to handle the discipline of theatre.
The characters I have described in more detail are not the only characters that I love. I also happen to love Pippin, Maria (Sound of Music), Beast, Belle and others. I made sure it was important to note that Maria was from Sound of Music because there are two Marias’ in musicals. I think it is important to love all sorts of musical characters because it allows you to develop more empathy and gives you a bigger appreciation of characters. Also it allows you to explore different emotions. Some of these are quite simple such as Annie and the Von Trapp Children and some are more three-dimensional such as Eponine and Elphaba.
The thing I love about the more layered characters is that they are much more fun to discover and are more vulnerable. The multi-layered characters are more prone to the negative emotions. However the simple characters can go through negative emotions as well, but not as likely. They may have different lives, but they still are connected especially because all musicals are connected. I do not relate to all of these characters, but at least I am still able to connect to them. I think connecting to a character is feeling empathy and relating means you can see a piece of yourself in the character.