Arms and the Man


George Bernard Shaw

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Arms and the Man Characters

Raina Petkoff

Raina is the play’s protagonist, a 23-year-old Bulgarian woman who is betrothed to the “heroic” Sergius, and who speaks in a dramatic, affected manner and (for much of the play) sing Sergius’s praises. The… read analysis of Raina Petkoff

Captain Bluntschli

Bluntschli is a Swedish professional soldier who fights with the Servians during the war. He has none of Raina or Sergius’s romantic notions about war. He thinks courage is overrated and that war is… read analysis of Captain Bluntschli

Major Sergius Saranoff

Sergius is a typical “Byronic Hero” according to the stage directions, and everything about him seems perfectly suited to a kind of romantic ideal. He is tall, handsome, wealthy, well-spoken, and seems to be deeply… read analysis of Major Sergius Saranoff


Louka is an opinionated, beautiful young servant working for the Petkoffs . She is expected to settle down with and marry Nicola, the family’s head servant. However, she rejects the idea that her being… read analysis of Louka

Catherine Petkoff

Catherine is Raina’s mother, an older wealthy woman who is delighted at the prospect of a marriage between her daughter and the wealthy, seemingly heroic Sergius. She cannot see through Sergius’s act… read analysis of Catherine Petkoff
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Major Paul Petkoff

Major Petkoff, though wealthy in Bulgaria, is a somewhat bumbling and inept man who, despite his rank, doesn’t seem to be good at or interested in dealing with military affairs. Though he is immensely proud… read analysis of Major Paul Petkoff
Minor Characters
Nicola is the family’s longtime servant. He is mistreated by the Petkoffs but never talks back or objects. He believes he was born to be a servant and does not question the class system of social norms.