Princess Elise is the main character in this play. On her Father's wedding day, this naive but beautiful young lady is sold into slavery by the Wicked Queen. It isn't until years later when Elise is returned to the Wicked Queen that she is confronted by the fact that her father thinks she is dead and her brother's have gone missing. Elise's journey into the dark forest to find her beloved brothers demonstrates to the audience her strong will power and the urge to never give up. This character shows the audience the sacrifices and lengths that people go to for someone they love.
The Six Princes
The close relationship between Elise and the Princes is evident from the beginning of the play as they represent protective, loyal and kind behaviour toward their sister. When the Wicked Queen sells Elise into slavery, the Princes try and stop her however are unsuccessful in their attempt. They try the next best thing which is confronting the Wicked Queen in front of their Father, the King. Unfortunately this only sparks arguments and does not accomplish anything. The Princes unruly fate has a twist which occurs only at sunrise and sunset.
The Wicked Queen
The Wicked Queen is the villain in this story. Her manipulative, controlling and over powering characteristics are obvious to the audience which will assist them in identifying her part in the play. In the Wicked Queen's attempts to take over the kingdom, she casts evil spells on the King's children and announces to them that the kingdom is hers and they are not welcome!
The King seems to be a very one minded character as he believes his new wife's word over his own children's. Unfortunately, the King does not realise that the Wicked Queen is manipulating him to get what she wants which is taking over the kingdom. Over the years, the King becomes very sad over Elise's disappearance coming to the conclusion that she is dead after leaving him such a long time ago. This explains his reaction of disbelief as Elise returns to the palace.
The Young King is the prince charming of this play. He finds Elise after she has begun the silence curse to save her brother's and it is love at first sight. Attracted by her beauty, the Young King takes her back to his palace to be his wife. Through their journey together with Elise's silent curse, doubts form in the Young King's heart in regards to claims from the Prime Minister that Elise is a witch.
There are many other characters in Wild Swans such as Bird, Apple Tree, Fairy, Three Toads,Three Witches, the Three Huntsmen, servants, townspeople, Prime Minister, Old Woman, Tree, Butterfly and Sparrow. All these characters play a vital part in Elise's journey in lifting the curse put upon her brother's by the Wicked Queen. These characters which represent both good and bad behaviours show the audience typical life struggles that shape and mould the sort of people we become in the world.