An Ideal Husband

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Baron Arnheim Character Analysis

A mysterious figure from Robert Chiltern’s youth, and a former attachment of Mrs. Cheveley’s. In his lifetime, he preached the utter importance of power. He exists in the play not as a person but as an idea: he is the abstract version of Mrs. Cheveley’s corruption, the amoral root of all Robert’s troubles.
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Baron Arnheim Character Timeline in An Ideal Husband

The timeline below shows where the character Baron Arnheim appears in An Ideal Husband. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1, Part 2
The Natural and the Artificial Theme Icon
Love, Morality, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
...come to ask Sir Robert for a favor. They discuss a deceased mutual friend named Baron Arnheim , whose name seems to cause Sir Robert some anxiety. (full context)
Act 1, Part 3
Love, Morality, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
...be fraudulent. Mrs. Cheveley explains that she invested very seriously in the Argentine Canal, on Baron Arnheim ’s advice. (full context)
Love, Morality, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
...young, and a secretary to an important official, he sold a government secret: he advised Baron Arnheim to buy shares in the Suez Canal, knowing that the English government would invest heavily... (full context)
Act 2, Part 1
The Natural and the Artificial Theme Icon
Love, Morality, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Robert reveals that it was Baron Arnheim that put the idea in his head. He describes an evening he spent with Baron... (full context)
Act 3, Part 1
Love, Morality, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
...He has also learned that Mrs. Cheveley is more or less untouchable in Vienna, because Baron Arnheim left her most of his fortune. Lord Goring takes Phipps aside and tells him that... (full context)