Read an in-depth analysis of Candide.
Read an in-depth analysis of Pangloss.
Read an in-depth analysis of Martin.
Cunégonde - Cunégonde is the daughter of a German baron who acts as Candide’s benefactor until he discovers Candide’s love for his daughter. Throughout much of the novel, Cunégonde is young and beautiful. After her father’s castle is destroyed in war, a number of exploitative men enslave her or use her as a mistress. Cunégonde returns Candide’s love but is willing to betray him for the sake of her own interests. Like him, she is neither intelligent nor complex. Her very blandness casts a satiric light on Candide’s mad romantic passion for her.
Read an in-depth analysis of Cacambo.
The old woman - The old woman was born the daughter of a Pope. She has experienced the death of a fiancé, rape by pirates, slavery, and cannibalism in wartime. She becomes Cunégonde’s servant. Her misfortunes have made her cynical about human nature, but she does not give in to self-pity. She is wise, practical, and loyal to her mistress. Though she has often been close to suicide, she always finds a reason to live.
Jacques (the Anabaptist) - Jacques is a humane Dutch Anabaptist. He cares for the itinerant Candide and Pangloss. Despite his kindness, Jacques is pessimistic about human nature. He drowns in the Bay of Lisbon while trying to save the life of an ungrateful sailor.
The farmer - The farmer has a modest farm outside Constantinople. Candide and his friends are impressed with his lifestyle of hard work and simple pleasures, and adopt it for themselves.
Count Pococurante - The count is a wealthy Venetian. He has a marvelous collection of art and literature, but he is bored with and critical of everything.
Paquette - At the beginning of the novel, Paquette is the chambermaid of Cunégonde’s mother. She has an affair with Pangloss and gives him syphilis. She eventually turns to prostitution to support herself. Brother Giroflée is one of her clients. In Venice, Candide is moved by Paquette’s misery and gives her a large sum of money, which she quickly squanders.
Brother Giroflée - Brother Giroflée is a dissatisfied monk. His parents forced him into a monastery to enlarge his brother’s fortune. He pays for Paquette’s services. Like her, he is miserable and does not get any happier after Candide gives him a large sum of money.
The Grand Inquisitor - The Grand Inquisitor is an important figure in the Portuguese Catholic Church and represents the hypocrisy of religious leaders. He uses the threat of religious oppression to force the Jew Don Issachar to share Cunégonde with him. Meanwhile, he orders that suspected heretics be burned alive. Candide kills the Inquisitor when the Inquisitor discovers him with Cunégonde.
Don Issachar - Don Issachar is a wealthy Jew. He purchases Cunégonde and makes her his mistress. The Grand Inquisitor forces him to share Cunégonde by threatening to burn him alive as a heretic. Candide kills Don Issachar when he interrupts Candide and Cunégonde.
Don Fernando d’Ibaraa y Figueora y Mascarenes y Lampourdos y Souza - Don Fernando is the governor of Buenos Aires. He becomes infatuated with Cunégonde and makes her his mistress despite her engagement to Candide.
Vanderdendur - Vanderdendur is a cruel slave owner and an unscrupulous merchant. After he steals one of Candide’s jewel-laden sheep, his ship is sunk in a battle. Candide sees his death as a sign that retributive justice is at work in the world.
The Abbé of Perigord - The abbé (abbot) is a Paris socialite who cheats Candide out of his money.
The Marquise of Parolignac - The Marquise is a cunning, sexually licentious Paris socialite. She seduces Candide and steals some of his jeweled rings.
Candide Chapter 25
"Visit to the Noble Venetian, Lord Pococurante"
Candide and Martin go to the lavish and ornate palace of Lord Pococurante. He is polite but not friendly. Two young girls serve Candide and Martin chocolate drinks. Pococurante enjoys the sexual favors of the two girls because he finds Venetian women tiresome, but the young girls are starting to bore him as well. In fact, many things bore Lord Pococurante. He finds no pleasure in his art collection, which includes two Raphaels he bought in order to impress people. He thinks music and the opera are tiresome, and he delivers scathing reviews of Homer's Iliad and Virgil's Aeneid. He finds little merit in the works of Horace. He only reads for pleasure. Martin agrees with Pococurante. Candide is shocked.
"Candide, who had been taught never to judge everything for himself, was greatly surprised by what he heard[.]" Chapter 25, pg. 122
Pococurante is equally disgusted with the theatre and the sciences. He qualifies his praise of the English and their love for liberty, saying they are too politically passionate. He condemns Milton's Paradise Lost. Candide fears that Pococurante will talk nastily about the German poets. Martin wryly tells Candide this would not be a bad idea.
Though Candide is unnerved by this attack on the classics, he is secretly impressed with Pococurante's cynicism. He thinks Pococurante is a happy man. Martin thinks Pococurante's bored hedonism is a far cry from happiness. Candide thinks happiness can be gained from fault-finding. Martin says this is contradictory.
"'[I]s there not pleasure in criticizing, in finding faults where other men think they see beauty?' 'That is to say,' answered Martin, 'that there is pleasure in not being pleased.'" Chapter 25, pg. 125
Candide and Martin go back to their hotel. After some weeks, and no news from Cunégonde or Cacambo, Candide grows more depressed.