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Rudolf Rassendyll - Character of The Novel (The Prisoner of Zenda)



The novel “Prisnor of Zinda” written by “Anthony Hope” has verities in it. A novel is for amusement and entertainment with creative and imaginative thought. There are ambitions and loves, friendships and sacrifices, rivalries and conspiracies; suspense, action and thrill.


“Rudolf Rassendyll”, a carefree, young, Englishman of twenty nine, is the most magnificent, admirable character of novel. He Is a strong and attractive character. He is the symbol of bravery, kind-heartedness and supreme sacrifice. Rassendyll is the man of upright character who is against evil forces, keen to eliminate them.

“Fame is vapor, popularity and accident, riches take wings, only one thing endures and that is character.”



Rassendyll belongs to a noble family. He possesses lands, estates and boundless wealth. He is six feet two baring dark red hair, a pointed long nose, a fair complexion, hairy moustache, resembles with the features of Elphberg. He enjoys travelling here and there.


Rassendyll is a man of great courage and bravery. He is well versed in the art of fighting. He agrees to impersonate the real king at the risk of his own life. At Summer House and at the Jacob’s ladder, he shows great bravery. His worst enemies, Michael and Rupert also praise his bravery. He rescues Elphberg from Duke’s prison. He never tries to leave Ruritania despite the fact that he knows Michael wants to kill him.

Marshall praises him as:

“I have seen many Elphbergs and you, but you have been yourself a brave man”

Fritz acknowledges his courage saying:
“Thanks to the most gallant gentleman that lives, the king is alive…!


Rassendyll is a sincere man who does not want to keep the throne for him. He faces every danger to rescue the real king. He is sincere to all his friends.

Read these words of his own:
“I’ve been an imposter for the profit of another, but I will not be one for my own” 

AN INTELLIGENT MAN: Rassendyll is an intelligent and a cool-headed man. At the Summer House, he selects a table for his escape. He wins over Johann and gets valuable information about the castle. He behaves intelligently with Flavia. He faces all difficulties and overcomes all the obstacles quite wisely, which come his way and finally accomplishes his mission.


Rudolf Ressendyll has striking resemblance with Elphberg, except for the beard. When he impersonates as king, he acts more impressively than the real king does. He carries out his duties as king majestically and tactfully without revealing his identity. People love him more than Elphberg. He himself says about his task:

“A real king’s life is perhaps a hard one, but a pretended king’s life is much harder”


Rassendyll is a humble person who has full control over his emotions. During the whole course of novel, he never shows off his feelings. He behaves kind- heartedly and humbly towards everyone. In the end, Elphberg praises him for this.

Yes, it is done, as no man but you could have done it.


Rassendyll has unique and exceptional qualities of leadership. He keeps other considerations above his own safety. He does not shirk dangers in hours of difficulty and is always found in the think of battle and needs.


 Rassendyll is an honest man. After liberation of Elphberg from prison of zinda, he goes away from Ruritania. Even after his departure, his acquaintances remember his noble qualities and admire him with praise.


Rassendyll is a man with determined, quick mind. After reading the news, he quickly decides to go to occasion. When he receives letter from de Mauban, he immediately decides to go the Summer House. He says to slapt:

“I either go to the Summer House or back to England”


 Rassendyll’s dedication to his mission confirms that he is a man of honor. He continues efforts for the rescue of king Elphberg, he does no crime bring blame to honour. He has no greed for the throne, never thinks of betraying the king. He remains loyal to his duties, so gains respects and regards from Col. Sapt, Fritz and all else.


Roduld Ressendyll’s love for Flavia is free from selfishness. He loves her from the depth and

core of his heart and soul. Once he says:

“I can thank God that I loved the noblest lady in the world, the most gracious and beautiful.”

He utters to the Princess:

“It is true that I love you more than life or truth or honor “

Finally, he sacrifices his love for the sake of king and betterment of the people of Ruritnia. He says:

“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”

The following words uttered by Princess Flavia are unforgettable for him:

“Your ring will always be on my finger, your heart in my heart but you must go and I must stay. Perhaps I must do what it kills me to think of doing”


Rudolf Rassendyll is in fact the “HERO” of the novel. He is the man of high polished character and principles. He is a brave soldier, a great friend, active, adventurous, charming, sacrificing

and dutiful person.

“His life was gentle and the element so mixed in him that nature might stand up, and say to all the world: this was the ‘Man’!” (Mark Antony's tribute to Brutus)


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