Arms and the Man

Major Sergius Saranoff Character Analysis

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 in love with Raina. However, though Catherine and Raina believe him to be a heroic soldier, he is in fact a foolish, reckless fighter and his only success so far has come from luck. Sergius eventually also reveals that he is not so genteel as he seems, lusting passionately after Raina’s servant, Louka, to whom is betrothed by the end of the play.

Major Sergius Saranoff Quotes in Arms and the Man

The Arms and the Man quotes below are all either spoken by Major Sergius Saranoff or refer to Major Sergius Saranoff. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Identity, Authenticity, and Self-Expression Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Dover Publications edition of Arms and the Man published in 1990.
Act 1 Quotes

I am so happy—so proud! It proves all our ideas were real after all.

Related Characters: Raina Petkoff (speaker), Major Sergius Saranoff, Catherine Petkoff
Page Number: 2
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Unlock explanations and citation info for this and every other Arms and the Man quote.

Plus so much more...

Get LitCharts A+
Already a LitCharts A+ member? Sign in!
Act 2 Quotes

Sergius Saranoff…is a tall, romantically handsome man…the result is precisely what the advent of the nineteenth century thought first produced in England: to wit, Byronism…it is clear that here is Raina’s ideal hero

Related Characters: Raina Petkoff (speaker), Major Sergius Saranoff (speaker)
Page Number: 21
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu f

Dearest, all my deeds have been yours. You inspired me. I have gone through the war like a knight in a tournament with his lady looking down on him!

Related Characters: Major Sergius Saranoff (speaker), Raina Petkoff
Page Number: 25
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident,

I think we two have found the higher love. When I think of you, I feel that I could never do a base deed, or think an ignoble thought.

Related Characters: Raina Petkoff (speaker), Major Sergius Saranoff
Page Number: 25
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Which of the six of me is the real man? That’s the question that torments me. One of them is a hero, another a buffoon, another a humbug, another perhaps a bit of a blackguard. And one, at least, is a coward—jealous, like all cowards.

Related Characters: Major Sergius Saranoff (speaker)
Page Number: 27
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Act 3 Quotes

I want to be quite perfect with Sergius—no meanness, no smallness, no deceit. My relation to him is the one really beautiful and noble part of my life.

Related Characters: Raina Petkoff (speaker), Captain Bluntschli, Major Sergius Saranoff
Page Number: 39
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, s

How easy it is to talk! Men never seem to me to grow up: they all have schoolboy’s ideas. You don’t know what true courage is…I would marry the man I loved, which no other queen in Europe has the courage to do...You dare not: you would marry a rich man’s daughter because you would be afraid of what other people would say of you.

Related Characters: Louka (speaker), Major Sergius Saranoff
Page Number: 45
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

I could no more fight with you than I could make love to an ugly woman. You’ve no magnetism: you’re not a man, you’re a machine.

Related Characters: Major Sergius Saranoff (speaker), Captain Bluntschli
Page Number: 48
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

The world is not such an innocent place as we used to think.

Related Characters: Major Sergius Saranoff (speaker), Raina Petkoff, Louka
Page Number: 51
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Get the entire Arms and the Man LitChart as a printable PDF.
Arms and the man.pdf.medium

Major Sergius Saranoff Character Timeline in Arms and the Man

The timeline below shows where the character Major Sergius Saranoff appears in Arms and the Man. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1
Identity, Authenticity, and Self-Expression Theme Icon
Romanticism / Idealism vs. Realism Theme Icon
Heroism Theme Icon
...battle, and Raina is visibly excited. When Catherine says the battle has been won by Sergius, Raina is ecstatic. Catherine says that Raina’s father has sent news that Sergius, against orders... (full context)
Identity, Authenticity, and Self-Expression Theme Icon
Romanticism / Idealism vs. Realism Theme Icon
Youth vs. Maturity Theme Icon
Heroism Theme Icon
Raina is rapturously happy to hear of Sergius’s success. She remarks that it “proves our ideas were real after all.” Her mother indignantly... (full context)
Identity, Authenticity, and Self-Expression Theme Icon
Romanticism / Idealism vs. Realism Theme Icon
Heroism Theme Icon
Raina dismisses her worries as the result of cowardice, and affirms that Sergius is as splendid and noble as he looks. She happily muses that “the world really... (full context)
Identity, Authenticity, and Self-Expression Theme Icon
Romanticism / Idealism vs. Realism Theme Icon
Heroism Theme Icon
Raina speaks to the portrait of Sergius, telling him she shall never be unworthy of him anymore, and calling him her “soul’s... (full context)
Identity, Authenticity, and Self-Expression Theme Icon
Romanticism / Idealism vs. Realism Theme Icon
Heroism Theme Icon
Raina is disheartened by this, but remains steadfastly loyal to Sergius. She points out his portrait to the man, who recognizes him as the leader of... (full context)
Act 2
Identity, Authenticity, and Self-Expression Theme Icon
Class Divisions Theme Icon
...secrets too, mentioning he knows about something that would end the engagement of Raina and Sergius if it ever got out. Louka is incredulous and asks Nicola how he knows about... (full context)
Identity, Authenticity, and Self-Expression Theme Icon
Class Divisions Theme Icon
Heroism Theme Icon
...the servant and Catherine’s habit of hanging laundry out where everyone can see it. Soon Sergius knocks at the door, and Nicola goes to let him in. Major Petkoff mentions to... (full context)
Identity, Authenticity, and Self-Expression Theme Icon
Romanticism / Idealism vs. Realism Theme Icon
Youth vs. Maturity Theme Icon
Heroism Theme Icon
Sergius enters, a tall and “romantically handsome” man. He is, according to the stage directions, the... (full context)
Identity, Authenticity, and Self-Expression Theme Icon
Romanticism / Idealism vs. Realism Theme Icon
Sergius announces he has submitted his resignation to the army, because he has won the war... (full context)
Identity, Authenticity, and Self-Expression Theme Icon
Romanticism / Idealism vs. Realism Theme Icon
Heroism Theme Icon
Sergius greets Raina with “splendid gallantry” as if she were a queen. Raina greets her father,... (full context)
Identity, Authenticity, and Self-Expression Theme Icon
Raina and Catherine act horribly offended by this story, and Raina wishes Sergius had refrained from telling her about such horrible women. Sergius launches into an elaborate speech... (full context)
Identity, Authenticity, and Self-Expression Theme Icon
Romanticism / Idealism vs. Realism Theme Icon
Heroism Theme Icon
Sergius and Raina exchange romantic words. Sergius tells Raina all his heroic deeds have been for... (full context)
Identity, Authenticity, and Self-Expression Theme Icon
Romanticism / Idealism vs. Realism Theme Icon
Louka comes outside, and Sergius’s demeanor changes instantly—he becomes mischievous and twirls his mustache. He asks Louka if she knows... (full context)
Identity, Authenticity, and Self-Expression Theme Icon
Romanticism / Idealism vs. Realism Theme Icon
Sergius agrees. He tries to kiss Louka, and Louka tells him she doesn’t want his affection—he... (full context)
Identity, Authenticity, and Self-Expression Theme Icon
Romanticism / Idealism vs. Realism Theme Icon
Class Divisions Theme Icon
...manner you and she put on before one another and the real manner.” This hurts Sergius, and he grabs her again. She tells him he is hurting her, and he tells... (full context)
Identity, Authenticity, and Self-Expression Theme Icon
Romanticism / Idealism vs. Realism Theme Icon
Class Divisions Theme Icon
Louka defiantly responds that she and Sergius are made of the same “clay” and that she is worth six of Raina, who... (full context)
Identity, Authenticity, and Self-Expression Theme Icon
Romanticism / Idealism vs. Realism Theme Icon
...hospitality around, and tells Raina that if the story ever gets out, her engagement to Sergius will be over. Raina offhandedly suggests that her mother marry Sergius instead of her—for she... (full context)
Identity, Authenticity, and Self-Expression Theme Icon
...startled and tells Louka to bring him to the garden without letting Major Petkoff or Sergius see him. (full context)
Romanticism / Idealism vs. Realism Theme Icon
Heroism Theme Icon
...Bluntschli by name and shaking his hand. He does not notice how nervous Catherine is. Sergius joins them and Petkoff apologizes that the servants have brought him to the garden instead... (full context)
Act 3
Identity, Authenticity, and Self-Expression Theme Icon
Romanticism / Idealism vs. Realism Theme Icon
Heroism Theme Icon
...and the furnishings are less than impressive. Bluntschli is hard at work at the desk. Sergius sits with him, and is also supposed to be working, but is instead watching Bluntschli... (full context)
Youth vs. Maturity Theme Icon
Heroism Theme Icon
...tells him he is managing on his own, but thanks him for the kind offer. Sergius petulantly notes that the only work he is doing is signing Bluntschli’s orders, like a... (full context)
Class Divisions Theme Icon
...Bluntschli’s bag) leaves. Petkoff playfully bets Catherine some jewelry the coat will not be found. Sergius says he will give an Arabian Mare to Raina if the jacket is found. Petkoff... (full context)
Identity, Authenticity, and Self-Expression Theme Icon
Romanticism / Idealism vs. Realism Theme Icon
Youth vs. Maturity Theme Icon
Heroism Theme Icon
...that he thought he could rely on his friend’s discretion. She tells him that if Sergius found out, he would kill Bluntschli in a duel. Bluntschli feigns terror, clearly finding the... (full context)
Identity, Authenticity, and Self-Expression Theme Icon
Class Divisions Theme Icon
Heroism Theme Icon
...romantic sensibilities. Raina bitterly suggests that soldiers cannot feel grief. Louka answers by saying that Sergius is a soldier but still seems full of heart. Raina haughtily leaves the room. (full context)
Class Divisions Theme Icon
...be affectionate with Louka. She refuses him, and he offers her some of the money Sergius has just given him. She tells him, “keep your money, you were born to be... (full context)
Romanticism / Idealism vs. Realism Theme Icon
Class Divisions Theme Icon
Heroism Theme Icon
Sergius examines the bruise that remains on Louka’s arm and asks her if he can cure... (full context)
Identity, Authenticity, and Self-Expression Theme Icon
Romanticism / Idealism vs. Realism Theme Icon
Class Divisions Theme Icon
Sergius denies this, saying that if he loved her he would do everything in his power... (full context)
Identity, Authenticity, and Self-Expression Theme Icon
Sergius berates himself, calling himself a coward a liar and a fool. Louka goes to leave,... (full context)
Identity, Authenticity, and Self-Expression Theme Icon
Romanticism / Idealism vs. Realism Theme Icon
Bluntschli enters as Louka leaves. Sergius confronts him, and challenges him to a duel. Bluntschli amusedly accepts, knowing his skill far... (full context)
Identity, Authenticity, and Self-Expression Theme Icon
Youth vs. Maturity Theme Icon
Sergius despairs, and tells Bluntschli he cannot fight him, for Bluntschli is not a man so... (full context)
Identity, Authenticity, and Self-Expression Theme Icon
Romanticism / Idealism vs. Realism Theme Icon
Class Divisions Theme Icon
Heroism Theme Icon
Sergius hears this and in a rage throws the door open and pulls Louka inside. Bluntschli... (full context)
Identity, Authenticity, and Self-Expression Theme Icon
Romanticism / Idealism vs. Realism Theme Icon
...run his hotels, for he seems a very capable man. Louka demands an apology from Sergius—he finally agrees, taking her hand and apologizing. She reminds him he promised that should he... (full context)
Identity, Authenticity, and Self-Expression Theme Icon
Romanticism / Idealism vs. Realism Theme Icon
Youth vs. Maturity Theme Icon
Catherine enters and sees Sergius and Louka. She asks to know the meaning of this. Sergius says he will marry... (full context)
Identity, Authenticity, and Self-Expression Theme Icon
Romanticism / Idealism vs. Realism Theme Icon
Class Divisions Theme Icon
...chocolate cream soldier.” Bluntschli laughs delightedly, gets up, and makes a military bow, and exits. Sergius has the last line of the play: “What a man!” (full context)