Character Sketch Rudolf Rassendyll

by • 23/05/2012 • 2nd Year EnglishComments (0)2482

Q. Rudolf Resendyll is a perfect hero. Discuss.



Rudolf Ressendyll is the hero of the novel, “The Prisoner Of Zenda”, written by Anthony Hope. He determinates the novel from the beginning to the end. Indeed, he had the qualities of a romantic hero. He is blessed with great talent and all these qualities, come to light, when he accidentally becomes King of Ruritania(an imaginary country).


He is young English man, having red hair, blue eyes and a long sharp straight nose. He is about 29 years of age, very well educated and can speak five continental languages including German, Spanish, French, Italian and English. He is bold and courageous and has the touch of the devil about him.



Rudolf Ressendyll is kind and warm-hearted, very helpful and sincere in all his actions. This quality comes to the fore, when he puts his own life into danger and tries to rescue, King Rudolf, as well as his throne, from the clutches of the villain, Black Micheal. He is even helpful and kind to lady Mauban, the beloved of his archenemy.



Because of his features (red hair, blue eyes, long sharp-straight nose), he is disliked and hated by Lady Rose, his sister-in-law, who is reminded of the humiliation and disgrace which the Burlesdon family suffered, way back in 1773, during the reign of King George II of England. In order to avoid his sister-in-law rebukes and criticism, he secretly leaves of Ruritania, to see the coronation of Prince Rudolf, his ancestor.



Rudolf Ressendyll had inborn qualities of leadership, which help him, when, circumstances make him King of Ruritania. As King, he reveals his great qualities of leadership and diplomacy. After the coronation ceremony, he proved himself than Elphberg. His dignified qualifities are very much admired. His veracity and sincerity is outstanding as he declares:

“If I’m found out, I’ll make a clean breast of it, and fight it out with the Duke”



Rudolf Rassendyll is very fond of adventures and loves to roam about instead of sticking to a job. He is also a good mastermind who handles difficult situations seeming effortless. The desire to participate in sensational events is always there in his heart. This desire was fulfilled by his play-acting of King Rudolf Elphberg, who was very identical to him. His likeness with the king of Ruritania helped him to make his mission a success. He pledges in strong and unequivocal terms:

“I have been an imposter for the profit of another, but I will not be one for my own; and if the king is not alive and on his throne before the day of betrothal comes I will tell the truth, come what may.”



The romantic aspect of Rassendyll’s personality shows that his heart throbs for Princess Flavia but the sense of duty and devotion to the throne is far stronger in him. The circumstances urge him to express love to Princess Flavia but both to feel it. Being deeply conscious of his responsibility and dedication, he declares:

“I had to keep the princess devoted to me and yet indifferent to me; I had to show affection for her and not feel it.”




His reliability is doubtless. He is a selfless and devoted person. His personality is inspiring.

After assuming the role as King, he acts in a very forceful manner and it is due to his initiative and boldness that King Rudolf is saved, from the evil designs of Black Micheal. He not only saves the throne for him. Ressendyll frustrates Micheal’s plans and does not allow him to fulfill his dreams of becoming the King of Ruritania.



In the earlier of the novel, Ressendyll is presented as a happy go lucky, carefree and with a devil-may-care attitude, towards life. As King, in the beginning, Col Sapt guides him. However, he learns fast and mature and grains in confidence, as the novel progresses. Infact, towards the end of the novel, a stage arrives, when he depends on his own wisdom and diplomacy and does not require Col Sapt assistance or guidance, any longer.




The Summer House Episode, brings out his presence of mind, gallantly confidence here, he is very serious, and his sense of duty has over come all his previous carelessness. In addition, he emerges, as a great hero. Even Col. Sapt praises by saying:

“Before God, you are the final Elphberg (Royal family of Ruritania) of them all”


This is indeed very high compliment.

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