A Tale of Two Cities


Cast of Characters

Charles Darnay – Charles Darnay is the protagonist of the novel. He is the son and nephew of two French aristocrats who have abused their position to harm peasants with impunity. Darnay leaves France in an attempt to distance himself from his family’s legacy. Once in London, he is tried for treason, but defeats those charges with the help of a member of his defense team, Sydney Carton, because of a physical resemblance between the two men. Darnay marries Lucie, and they begin a family. However, when Darnay returns to France after the Revolution to help out a friend who has been unjustly imprisoned, his aristocratic heritage becomes a hindrance, and he is arrested. Dr. Manette is able to secure Darnay’s temporary freedom, but Darnay is rearrested and sentenced to death. Darnay is not executed; Carton assumes Darnay’s identity and is executed instead of him.

Sydney Carton – Sydney Carton is a lawyer who defends Darnay when he is tried for treason in London. Carton is part of a defense team headed by Mr. Stryver, who is known as the lion. Carton is referred to as the jackal, indicating that his reputation is not as good as Stryver’s. Carton is a complicated character. In many ways, the novel discusses him as if he has no positive possibilities. He tends to be drunk, depressed, and somewhat crude in his behavior. However, Carton is in love with Lucie, and despite having no expectations that she would have a relationship with him, he tries to do things to improve her life. Carton even uses his physical resemblance to Darnay to replace him at the guillotine, in order to return Lucie’s husband to her family.

Doctor Manette – Doctor Manette is the wrongfully imprisoned father of Lucie Manette. He begins the novel as a man on the brink of insanity, after 18 years of being held in the Bastille because of the Marquis Evrémonde and his brother. Dr. Manette makes shoes in the early part of the novel, a skill that he learned in prison, which seems to be therapeutic to...

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