THE CID, or
THE VALIANT CID
a synoptic, alphabetical character list
A courtier. He brings the king news that Roderigo has killed Count Gormas in the duel. He enters later, while Roderigo is recounting his battle with the Moors, to announce that Cimena has arrived to renew her plea for justice.
A courtier. He advises Gormas to beg the king’s pardon for the offense to Diego, but his words fall on deaf ears. He reports the insult to the king. He also brings news that the Moors are anchored off the coast and mean to attack.
Beloved of Roderigo and Sancho. She is pleased to learn that her father prefers Roderigo, but her heart misgives. When Roderigo kills Gormas in the duel, she goes to the king and begs for justice and revenge. She admits to Elvira that she loves Roderigo and is resolved to first see vengeance for her father and, after Roderigo is dead, kill herself. Roderigo steps forth, having heard her, and offers her his sword to kill him, but she will not. Despite Roderigo’s victory in vanquishing the invading Moors, she resolves to remain true to her honor and duty to see her father’s death avenged. When Cimena calls upon the ancient law that whosoever kills Roderigo may marry her, the king modifies it by allowing her only one champion and whoever wins Cimena must marry. She accepts Sancho as her champion. When Roderigo comes to her to say he intends to die at Sancho’s hands and so deliver himself into the punishment she wishes, she begs him to defend himself because she loves him. During the contest, she realizes that if Roderigo wins her father’s honor will not be avenged and she fears she can never be a bride to her father’s murderer. When Sancho appears before her, she upbraids him and scolds him for murdering her love and will not let him speak. She begs the king to give Sancho all she owns but to allow her to pine away for her lost love in a cloister. Having betrayed her love for Roderigo, she can scarcely refuse to marry him when she discovers he has won but refused to spill the blood that fought for her. Instead, she accepts the king’s decree that her father’s honor has been satisfied and agrees to marry Roderigo after she has mourned her father for one year.
Roderigo’s father. Against Gormas’ expectation, Diego is named governor of the Prince of Castile. He views it as a reward for his past services. When Gormas insults his age, Diego enlists Roderigo to avenge his honor. When Roderigo kills Gormas in the duel, he goes to the king and answers Cimena’s plea for justice by saying that if any should be punished it should be himself, for he sent Roderigo into the duel. Upon meeting Roderigo, he convinces his son to fight the Moors and earn honor in death or victory and so regain Cimena. Diego leads Roderigo’s captive Moorish kings to Fernando with the plea that he see the hero in Court again. When Cimena calls upon the ancient law that whosoever kills Roderigo may marry her, Diego refuses to let the king deny her right because it will cast Roderigo into dishonor to hide behind the king’s munificence.
Cimena’s servant. She sees that Cimena likes Roderigo and Sancho equally. The count asks her to discover if she prefer one over the other. When Roderigo goes to Cimena’s house after killing Gormas to await her judgment, Elvira convinces him to hide if only to save her honor from the rumor of harboring her father’s killer. Later, she reports to Cimena how the Moors land but were repulsed after a three hour fight that saw two of their kings captured. Growing tired of Cimena’s vacillations, she warns Cimena that heaven has provided her an honorable, desirable man in Roderigo. If she continues to hold onto “this strange pride” the heavens may well take him from her and see that Cimena is married to the loathsome Sancho instead.
The first king of Castile. He has defeated the Moors in Andalusia and set up his throne in Seville to keep his land secure. He is incensed by the news of Count Gormas’ insult to Diego and means to punish the count. When Roderigo kills Gormas in the duel, the king hears the pleas of Cimena and Diego and decides to put the matter before the full counsel. After the Moors are vanquished and name Roderigo their CID, Fernando decrees that all of his kingdom should know him by that title. The king asks Roderigo to recount the battle. When Cimena arrives, he sends Roderigo away and, testing her, reports that he has died of his wounds. Her reaction convinces the king that she loves Roderigo. When Cimena calls upon the ancient law that whosoever kills Roderigo may marry her, the king modifies it by allowing her only one champion and whoever wins Cimena must marry. He commands that no one of his court may witness the duel but the victor must come to him and be married immediately to Cimena. He tells the distressed Cimena, who has asked to go to a cloister rather than marry the apparently victorious Sanco, that Roderigo is alive. He decrees that Cimena’s honor is satisfied and Gormas’ death avenged (for heaven has willed it thus). He allows Cimena a year to mourn her father before she marries Roderigo and commissions Roderigo to spend that year in leading his armies against the Moors.
“Ghost characters.” They convinced Roderigo to fight the Moors without leave from the king and seconded him in battle. They were at first a band of five hundred but grew to three thousand by the time Roderigo had reached the coast.
Cimena’ father. He likes both Roderigo and Sancho for Cimena but prefers Roderigo because of his noble family, but he wants Elvira to discover which way the girl’s affections tend. His hopes are disappointed when Diego is named governor for the prince when Gormas had expected and deserved the honor. He sees it as a slight for his present services. He declines Diego’s offer of marriage between Roderigo and Cimena and insults the old man with a box on the ear, earning his wrath. He privately repents his rash act, but he is too proud and refuses to beg pardon of the king. He further insults Diego’s family by refusing to duel with Roderigo. Though he admires the boy’s courage, he despairs of his rashness and will not fight so green a youth as it will bring him no glory to kill an untried boy. At Roderigo’s insistence, he goes to fight. Roderigo kills Gormas in the duel.
KINGS, TWO MOORISH
“Ghost characters.” Roderigo is the hero of the day when he vanquishes the Moorish invasion and takes two of their kings captive. He sends the kings as a present to his own king. They name Roderigo their CID, which means Lord.
Urraca’s governess. She reminds Urraca that Roderigo is below her in birth and yet sympathizes with the girl for her love of him. She later brings news that Roderigo and Sancho are to duel. Whether Roderigo wins or dies, he is to be safely delivered away from the Infanta, for his victory means immediate marriage to Cimena. She also notices that Cimena has chosen in Sancho a champion who is untried and likely to die in the contest, which indicates Cimena’s desire to be forced to forgive and marry Roderigo.
“Ghost characters.” They are at anchor off the coast and mean to attack the Spaniards. They land but are repulsed after a three hour fight that sees two of their kings captured.
The Infanta sends him to inquire what keeps Cimena so long from her presence, and he announces her arrival. He later tells both women that Roderigo and Gormas have gone out together to duel.
PRINCE of CASTILE
A “ghost character.” Fernando’s son. Though Gormas believes he is in line to be named the young prince’s governor, the honor goes to Diego. This disappointment causes Gormas to strike Diego, and this is the insult that is at the heart of the play’s action.
Cimena’s lover. He is caught between his love for Cimena and desire to avenge his father’s dishonor by fighting Cimena’s father. He chooses, reluctantly, to lose his love and retain his honor. He challenges Gormas but is affronted when the Count refuses to fight so green a youth. Roderigo insists, and they go to fight. Roderigo kills Gormas in the duel. He goes to Cimena’s house to await her judgment, but Elvira convinces him to hide if only to save her honor from the rumor of harboring her father’s killer. Upon hearing her confess that she loves him still, he offers her his sword to kill him, but she will not. Upon meeting his father, he tells Diego he plans to die. Diego convinces him to fight the Moors and come back valiantly dead or alive in victory and win Cimena again. The Moors land but are repulsed after a three hour fight that sees two of their kings captured. Roderigo is the hero of the day and sends his captive kings to Fernando as a gift. The Moorish kings name Roderigo their CID. At the king’s request, he recounts the incidents of the battle. He goes to Cimena to tell her that he intends to die at Sancho’s hands and so deliver himself into the punishment she desires, but when she begs him to defend himself and swears her love he is resolute to fight valiantly. He disarms and defeats Sancho but refuses to spill blood that fights on the side of Cimena. When Cimena is given a year to mourn her father before marrying Roderigo, he loyally accepts the king’s commission to take the war to the Moors and return to marry Cimena.
He is in love with Cimena. He speaks for Gormas before the king, reminding the king that soldiers are quick to temper and Gormas should be valued for his anger, but the king will not hear of it. When Roderigo kills Gormas in the duel, the king send Sancho to wait upon Cimena at her home while the council deliberates whether Roderigo is to be punished. Sancho offers to avenge Cimena with his sword if she asks it. When Cimena calls upon the ancient law that whosoever kills Roderigo may marry her, the king modifies it by allowing her only one champion and whoever wins Cimena must marry. Sancho volunteers and is accepted as Cimena’s champion. When Sancho appears before Cimena, offering her his sword, she upbraids him and scolds him for murdering her love and will not let him speak. In fact, Roderigo disarmed and defeated him but refused to spill blood that fought on the side of Cimena.
The Infanta of Castile. Although she has played matchmaker to bring Roderigo together with Cimena, her friend, she is herself in love with Roderigo. She knows that he is below her in birth and hopes that seeing him married will rid her of loving him. After Roderigo vanquishes the Moors, she goes again to Cimena and asks her in her country’s name to set aside her desire for Roderigo’s death. She bids Cimena to cease loving him and that will be punishment enough. She confesses to Leonora, now that Roderigo has become The Cid, that he is worthy to marry a princess. Nevertheless, she resolves to remain true to her original design and see him marry Cimena.