Some of My Favorite Characters From Musicals and the Lines From Their Songs that I Think Depict Them So Perfectly

Sometimes I’ll be rewatching / relistening to a musical and I’ll hear a single phrase that the character sings that I think just explains their character as a whole. Today I’m going to share a few of my favorites of these.

  • Éponine Thenardier (LES MISÉRABLES)
    • “Look what’s become of me…” – The Robbery
      • This just really shows the switch that Éponine and Cosette’s characters do when they go from childhood to adulthood. I think that this switch is really key in Éponine’s life and it really adds to the texture of the story.
    • “Ja, ich weiß, er hat mich übersehen, Ganz egal, ich muss zu ihm stehen.” (“Yes, I know he overlooked me, no matter, I must stand beside him.”) – Nur Für Mich (On My Own)
      • I just feel like this line really just shows how much Éponine loves Marius. She knows that he doesn’t love her back but it doesn’t change how she feels about him. She doesn’t even feel determined to change these feelings but rather to stand beside him.
  • Jasmine (ALADDIN)
    • “Why shouldn’t I fly so far from here? I know the girl I might become here…” – These Palace Walls
      • At the beginning of ALADDIN, Jasmine doesn’t just want to marry someone of her own choosing but she also wants to go and see the world. I feel like this line and this song in general is so perfect for her character.
  • Raoul de Chagny (THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA)
    • “Christine, forgive me, please forgive me. I did it all for you and all for nothing…” – Final Lair
    • “I fought so hard to free you…” – Final Lair
      • Raoul really just does everything for Christine in PHANTOM and I think that these lines just really demonstrate that so clearly. He’s apologizing for doing his best and for putting his life on the line. To me that strikes me as so very Raoul and I love him for that.
  • Claudia (LESTAT)
    • “This frame remains a prison cell.” – I’ll Never Have That Chance
    • “Sunlight laying on my skin… I’ll never have that chance.” – I’ll Never Have That Chance
      • These lines are really heartbreaking. Claudia really hates the fact that she is a vampire but at the same time you feel like she doesn’t understand that if Lestat hadn’t made her a vampire, she would have succumbed to her illness and died. But then, on the other hand, if she had died she wouldn’t have had to live whilst yearning that she could have all of the things that she so desires. I think that as a fan of the books as well, this song just really screams book Claudia as well as musical Claudia and that’s wonderful.
  • The Witch (INTO THE WOODS)
    • “Who out there could love you more than I? What out there that I cannot supply? Stay with me… Stay with me, the world is dark and wild… stay a child while you can be a child…” – Stay With Me 
      • This song shows how much the witch loves Rapunzel but also shows that she doesn’t really understand how love works. That she doesn’t understand how growing up works. And I think that this song just completely defines the Witch for me.
  • Sydney Carton (A TALE OF TWO CITIES)
    • “And yet, dolls can be beautiful… so easy on the eyes… but careful not to touch. It wouldn’t do for you to touch or come too close at all…” – Reflection
      • Sydney has this “I’m not good enough” complex. And really, it’s one of the most heartbreaking things about his character. This line in and of itself is heartbreaking but really, it describes him perfectly.
    • “If life was ever quite this sweet, I can’t recall.” – Finale / I Can’t Recall (Reprise)
      • Again with the whole situation of Sydney not feeling good enough for well… anything. He feels like his death is the best moment of his life and that’s just really telling of his character.
  • Pippin (PIPPIN)
    •  “Gotta find my corner of the sky…” – Corner of the Sky
      • This song in and of itself really just makes Pippin a character that people can understand and like. He doesn’t really know what he wants other than the fact that he wants to be where he belongs and well… he doesn’t really know where he belongs either (at least at this point in the musical).
  • The Beast (BEAUTY AND THE BEAST)
    • “No pain could be deeper, no life could be cheaper, no point anymore if I can’t love her. No spirit could win me. No hope left within me. Hope I could have loved her and that she’d set me free. But it’s not to be… if I can’t love her… let the world be done with me.” – If I Can’t Love Her
      • I don’t know that I really have to explain this one. But really, I think that it’s this sort of insight to the Beast’s character that we’re missing from the movie version of the musical. It really shows his deep want to be free of this spell that binds him.
  • Nancy (OLIVER!)
    • “But not for me, the happy home. Happy husband… happy wife. But it sometimes touches me for the likes of such as me… mine’s a fine, fine life!” – Fine Life
      • Here Nancy says that she has a good life. But as the musical goes on it becomes very clear that Nancy does not have a good life. But this sort of optimism and loyalty is key to Nancy’s character and is so true to her.
    • “I won’t betray his trust though people say I must. I’ve got to stay true just as long as he needs me…” – As Long as He Needs Me
      • Yet another defining line for Nancy. She loves Bill Sykes even though, to be honest, it’s probably not even safe for her to do so. He’s threatened to kill her (and later does) but promptly after this, she sings these lines, taking his former scene to mean that he just needs her. And so she’s going to stick with him.
  • Inspector Javert (LES MISÉRABLES)
    • “Honest work, just reward. That’s the way to please the Lord.” – Fantine’s Arrest
      • I think that this just really displays Javert’s “code” so to speak and I think that it really makes good demonstration of his character and why he does the things that he does.
    • “It is either Valjean or Javert.” – Javert’s Soliloquy / Suicide
      • To me, this just really tells why Javert decided to take his own life at the end of the musical. And really, it comes down to the fact that he cannot live with the fact that if Valjean is right and people can change then he has been wrong and that everything he has stood for in life has been well… wrong.
  • Fantine (LES MISÉRABLES)
    • “Tell Cosette I love her…” – Come To Me / Fantine’s Death
      • Fantine does everything for Cosette and even in death, Cosette is her first thought.
  • Enjolras (LES MISÉRABLES)
    • “Who cares about your lonely soul? We strive towards a higher goal. Our little lives don’t count at all.” – Red and Black / ABC Café
      • Here we see Enjolras as the fearless leader. The leader who will do and give anything for the sake of seeing France free. I think that the fact that he sees his individual life as insignificant but the welfare and reformation of France as a country as his purpose and cause in life is so very true to his character.
    • “Let others rise to take our place until the earth is free.” – Final Battle
      • Even as the barricades are falling, Enjolras remains hopeful that France and the rest of the world will see the sacrifice made by himself and the rest of the people at the barricades and try to change things in remembrance of them and everything that they sought to remedy.
  • The Bishop (LES MISÉRABLES)
    • “What we have we have to share…” – Prologue
      • The bishop is a character whom we don’t get to see much of in the musical but from this line we know that he is a caring, good person. And I think that that is key to him as a character.
  • Elisabeth (Sisi) (ELISABETH)
    • “Sie hielten mich an Drähten fest als Puppe, die man tanzen lässt. Doch ich werd’ keine Marionette sein!” (“Like a puppet to be controlled they tied me up with strings. But I won’t be their marionette!”) – Wenn Ich Tanzen Will (If I Want to Dance)
      • Sisi is one of the most headstrong, independent characters I know of. And these lines just really prove that. Becoming the empress of Austria has never been easy for Sisi but for the most part she’d just do as she was told so that she might avoid conflict. But here she shows that she will no longer do that and will do as she sees fit and fight back when her mother in-law tries to bully her into obedience.
    • “Und willst du mich binden, verlass’ ich dein Nest und tauch’ wie ein Vogel ins Meer.”  (“And if you try to tie me, I’ll fly from your nest and dive like a bird in the sea.”) – Ich Gehör Nur Mir (I Belong To Me)
      • This song is Sisi’s big song and it’s really easy to see why. It’s because everything she says reflects perfectly who she is and sets the grounds for everything else that she does throughout the musical.
    • “Die Welt sucht vergebens den Sinn meines Lebens. Denn Ich gehör nur mir…” (“The world will search in vain for the meaning of my life. For I belong to me.”) – Der Schleier Fällt (The Veil Descends)
      • As a history geek I really feel this one. As someone who is doing research on someone who no one really knows about, I understand this one even more. But this rings so true in the story of Sisi. People like to make speculations about her but really, we can never know.

***

I’ll probably do a part two for this later because there are so many more that I want to talk about but I feel like this has been a long enough blog post as it is and I have to do homework.

What are some of your favorite phrases or lines that you think just really define a character?

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3 thoughts on “Some of My Favorite Characters From Musicals and the Lines From Their Songs that I Think Depict Them So Perfectly

    1. It’s kind of a thing that I started thinking of recently. One of my favorite musicals, Elisabeth, is full of such lines and I started to go through my C.D. collection, listening to them and realized that there were so many that would work for other characters.

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