Beneath a Scarlet Sky


Mark Sullivan

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Benito Mussolini Character Analysis

Benito Mussolini was the real-life dictator of Italy during World War II. Several times throughout the novel, Leyers and Pino visit Mussolini’s villa, and Leyers uses Pino to translate. Over the course of their several meetings, Mussolini becomes increasingly desperate and delusional about the state of the war and his own power. At the end of the novel, Mussolini is executed, and his body is brought to Milan, where it is desecrated by an angry Milanese mob.

Benito Mussolini Quotes in Beneath a Scarlet Sky

The Beneath a Scarlet Sky quotes below are all either spoken by Benito Mussolini or refer to Benito Mussolini. 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:
War and Morality Theme Icon
Chapter 1 Quotes

Like all the pharaohs, emperors, and tyrants before him, Il Duce had seen his empire rise only to crumble. Indeed, by that late-spring afternoon, power was bleeding from Benito Mussolini’s grasp like joy from a young widowed heart.

Page Number: 7
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 32 Quotes

Someone put a toy scepter in Mussolini’s hand. Then a woman old enough to have been the crone in Dolly’s apartment building waddled out. She squatted over Il Duce’s mistress and pissed on her face.

Pino was repulsed, but the crowd went feral, sinister, and depraved. People were laughing hysterically, cheering, and feeding on the anarchy. Others began shouting for more desecrations while ropes and chains were being rigged. A woman darted forward with a pistol and put five rounds in Mussolini’s skull, which provoked another round of jeers and catcalls to beat the bodies, to tear the flesh from their bones.

Page Number: 456-457
Explanation and Analysis:
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Benito Mussolini Character Timeline in Beneath a Scarlet Sky

The timeline below shows where the character Benito Mussolini appears in Beneath a Scarlet Sky. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
War and Morality Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Love and Death Theme Icon
It is June 9th, 1943, in Milan, Italy. Benito Mussolini is losing power as Allied forces begin to close in on Italy. Adolf Hitler sends... (full context)
Chapter 16
War and Morality Theme Icon
...again, Leyers asks Pino to come with him. They enter a sprawling villa where Benito Mussolini lives. Leyers uses Pino as his interpreter to converse with Mussolini. Mussolini is angry because... (full context)
Chapter 21
War and Morality Theme Icon
In late October, Pino once again drives Leyers to Mussolini’s villa. Again, Leyers uses Pino to translate. Mussolini asks Leyers whether there is any truth... (full context)
Chapter 25
War and Morality Theme Icon
...but Pino rejects the idea. Soon afterwards, Pino and Leyers make one last trip to Mussolini’s villa. Mussolini talks to Leyers about Hitler’s secret bomb, which he plans to use to... (full context)
Chapter 27
War and Morality Theme Icon
...return to Milan where they meet with a number of important figures including Cardinal Schuster, Mussolini, higher-ups in the SS, and resistance leaders. Cardinal Schuster calls the meeting to strategize the... (full context)
Chapter 32
War and Morality Theme Icon
...conversation can progress any further, a young man enters the hotel and tells everyone that Mussolini’s body is being put on display at Piazzale Loreto. Pino and Knebel follow the young... (full context)