Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

Carlo Piero Guercio Character Analysis

Carlo is a huge and secretly gay man in the Italian army. He joins because he reads writing by Plato that suggests lovers make he best soldiers, and Carlo believes he'll be able to find someone to love in the army. This proves correct and Carlo falls in love with a married man named Francisco. He believes his love for Francisco makes him a better soldier and for a time, it makes Carlo feel better about being in the army in the first place. He admits that he doesn't believe in fascism and is uneasy about rebuilding the Roman Empire, but his disillusionment becomes complete when Colonel Rivolta sends him on a secret mission. Carlo and Francisco discover that they weren't supposed to survive the mission, which was intended to frame the Greeks for "border incidents." Not long after, Carlo's division is sent to invade Greece in the winter. Carlo comes to hate his uniform, which abrades his body, cuts off circulation, and can't keep him warm, and he watches Francisco become gradually madder. Carlo gets to the point where he believes that Greece should win if it will stop the carnage. When Francisco allows himself to be shot, Carlo brings him back to the trench and holds him until he dies. He then shoots himself in the thigh to get himself out of Greece. Months later, Carlo joins Corelli's division in Cephalonia. Though he arrives disillusioned and grieving, he soon falls in love with Corelli. Especially once Corelli "drafts" Carlo into the singing group La Scala, life begins to look up for Carlo. He collaborates with the local man Kokolios to print an anti-Mussolini pamphlet that they distribute across the island and is thrilled about his work. As it becomes clear that the Italians will lose the war, Carlo records his story and leaves a letter for Corelli with Pelagia and Dr. Iannis. When the division is executed by firing squad, Carlo places himself in front of Corelli in a final act of love. Velisarios buries Carlo under the olive tree in Dr. Iannis's courtyard.

Carlo Piero Guercio Quotes in Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

The Captain Corelli’s Mandolin quotes below are all either spoken by Carlo Piero Guercio or refer to Carlo Piero Guercio. 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: Horror, Beauty, and Humanity Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Vintage edition of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin published in 1994.
Chapter 6 Quotes

We were new and beautiful, we loved each other more than brothers, that's for sure. What spoiled it always was that none of us knew why we were in Albania, none of us had an easy conscience about this rebuilding of the Roman Empire.

Related Characters: Carlo Piero Guercio (speaker), Francisco, Mussolini
Page Number: 32
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation long mobile

Unlock explanations and citation info for this and every other Captain Corelli’s Mandolin quote.

Plus so much more...

Get LitCharts A+
Already a LitCharts A+ member? Sign in!

I know that the Duce has made it clear that the Greek campaign was a resounding victory for Italy. But he was not there. He does not know what happened. He does not know that the ultimate truth is that history ought to consist only of the anecdotes of the little people who are caught up in it.

Related Characters: Carlo Piero Guercio (speaker), Francisco, Mussolini
Page Number: 33
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Chapter 19 Quotes

(We lost the war and were saved only when the Germans invaded from Bulgaria and opened a second front that the Greeks had no resources to defend. We fought and froze and died for the sake of an empire that has no purpose...)

Related Characters: Carlo Piero Guercio (speaker), Francisco, Mussolini
Page Number: 127
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Chapter 30 Quotes

Weber was still a virgin, his father was a Lutheran pastor, and he had grown up in the Austrian mountains, capable of hating Jews and gypsies only because he had never met one.

Related Characters: Captain Antonio Corelli (speaker), Carlo Piero Guercio (speaker), Günter Weber
Page Number: 201
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Chapter 35 Quotes

We have lost one-third of our merchant marine because He forgot to order them home before declaring war, we have been persuaded that halving the size of a division means that we have double the number of divisions, we have been made to invade Greece from the north in the rainy season, without winter clothing...All of our Albanian soldiers immediately deserted, and we only know what is happening to us by listening to the BBC.

Related Characters: Carlo Piero Guercio, Mussolini , Kokolios
Page Number: 227
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Chapter 37 Quotes

"I should have brought her up stupid," said the doctor at last. "When women acquire powers of deduction there's no knowing where trouble can end."

Related Characters: Dr. Iannis (speaker), Pelagia, Carlo Piero Guercio
Page Number: 236
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Chapter 43 Quotes

No one could recognize anybody else, and Italian and Greek peered into one another's faces, denationalized by coughing, by grime, and by mutual amazement.

Related Symbols: The Mine
Page Number: 260
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Chapter 48 Quotes

"I don't have your advantages, Günter."

"Advantages?"

"Yes. I don't have the advantage of thinking that other races are inferior to mine. I don't feel entitled, that's all."

Related Characters: Captain Antonio Corelli (speaker), Günter Weber (speaker), Pelagia, Carlo Piero Guercio
Page Number: 285
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Chapter 54 Quotes

"I wish that you will have children together, and I wish that once or twice you will tell them about their Uncle Carlo that they never saw."

Related Characters: Carlo Piero Guercio (speaker), Pelagia, Captain Antonio Corelli
Page Number: 313
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Chapter 58 Quotes

He did not know it, but he buried Carlo in the soil of Odysseus' time, as though he had belonged there from the first.

Related Characters: Carlo Piero Guercio (speaker), Megalo Velisarios (speaker)
Page Number: 337
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Get the entire Captain Corelli’s Mandolin LitChart as a printable PDF.
Captain corelli s mandolin.pdf.medium

Carlo Piero Guercio Character Timeline in Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

The timeline below shows where the character Carlo Piero Guercio appears in Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 4. L'Omosessuale (1)
Family, Opportunity, and Gender Dynamics Theme Icon
Carlo Piero Guercio introduces his tale; it's meant to be read after his death so his... (full context)
History and Storytelling Theme Icon
Carlo notes that according to Dante, gay men live in the Seventh Circle of Nether Hell--yet,... (full context)
War: Horror, Beauty, and Humanity Theme Icon
History and Storytelling Theme Icon
Carlo admits that he joined the army because the men are beautiful and because of Plato.... (full context)
Chapter 6. L'Omosessuale (2)
War: Horror, Beauty, and Humanity Theme Icon
History and Storytelling Theme Icon
Politics and Friendship Theme Icon
Carlo says he found his family in the army. There, he was immersed in a male-dominated... (full context)
Power, Reality, and Absurdity Theme Icon
History and Storytelling Theme Icon
Carlo explains that Socrates said that the genius of tragedy is the same as in comedy,... (full context)
History and Storytelling Theme Icon
Carlo admits that the soldiers knew nothing about what was going on at the top; all... (full context)
Chapter 10. L'Omosessuale (3)
Power, Reality, and Absurdity Theme Icon
Carlo explains that he's a secretly guilty man. He says that he was chosen for the... (full context)
War: Horror, Beauty, and Humanity Theme Icon
Power, Reality, and Absurdity Theme Icon
History and Storytelling Theme Icon
...including a machine gun with no instructions. At 10pm, they creep out of their camp. Carlo explains that they were extremely nervous, and implores the reader to understand that the atrocities... (full context)
War: Horror, Beauty, and Humanity Theme Icon
Power, Reality, and Absurdity Theme Icon
Carlo and Francisco lie in the scrub near the tower. Near midnight, a freezing wind picks... (full context)
Chapter 15. L'Omosessuale (4)
War: Horror, Beauty, and Humanity Theme Icon
Power, Reality, and Absurdity Theme Icon
Carlo and Francisco don't report back to Colonel Rivolta after destroying the watchtower. They often talk... (full context)
War: Horror, Beauty, and Humanity Theme Icon
Power, Reality, and Absurdity Theme Icon
History and Storytelling Theme Icon
After Francisco and Carlo return to the Julia Division, several other things happen that Carlo recognizes now were Italian... (full context)
Power, Reality, and Absurdity Theme Icon
History and Storytelling Theme Icon
...the guns rust, but the Italian troops remain hopeful since the Greeks haven't attacked yet. Carlo notes that he hates puttees; they hold onto mud and his feet become soft and... (full context)
War: Horror, Beauty, and Humanity Theme Icon
Power, Reality, and Absurdity Theme Icon
History and Storytelling Theme Icon
...warmth. The Greeks continue to kill Italians and Francisco seems on the verge of madness. Carlo notes that war is a wonderful thing, but only in movies and books. (full context)
Chapter 17. L'Omosessuale (5)
War: Horror, Beauty, and Humanity Theme Icon
Politics and Friendship Theme Icon
...Finally, on November 14, the Greeks corner the Italians. A chaplain picks shrapnel out of Carlo's arm without anesthetic and then sends him right back out. Carlo's hate for puttees has... (full context)
War: Horror, Beauty, and Humanity Theme Icon
Power, Reality, and Absurdity Theme Icon
History and Storytelling Theme Icon
...to help the Greeks, and Francisco talks only to Mario. Men die of gangrene, and Carlo thinks that Greece should win if it will end this war. The snow makes it... (full context)
History and Storytelling Theme Icon
Francisco writes a letter to his mother and gives it to Carlo to deliver to her if he dies. He tells her that Carlo is a good... (full context)
Chapter 19. L'Omosessuale (6)
War: Horror, Beauty, and Humanity Theme Icon
History and Storytelling Theme Icon
Carlo visits Francisco's mother in April. She asks if he died on a good day, and... (full context)
War: Horror, Beauty, and Humanity Theme Icon
History and Storytelling Theme Icon
Francisco's mother asks if he died quickly and painlessly. Carlo says he died of a bullet through the heart. In truth, Carlo climbed out of... (full context)
War: Horror, Beauty, and Humanity Theme Icon
Power, Reality, and Absurdity Theme Icon
History and Storytelling Theme Icon
Francisco's mother asks where he's buried. Carlo tells her he's on a beautiful mountain, but he actually buried Francisco in their trench... (full context)
Chapter 24. A Most Ungracious Surrender
War: Horror, Beauty, and Humanity Theme Icon
Politics and Friendship Theme Icon
Carlo arrives in Cephalonia in the middle of May to join the Acqui Division. He's disillusioned,... (full context)
War: Horror, Beauty, and Humanity Theme Icon
History and Storytelling Theme Icon
Politics and Friendship Theme Icon
Carlo is struck by the clarity of the light, the ancient olive trees, and the dignity... (full context)
Chapter 25. Resistance
War: Horror, Beauty, and Humanity Theme Icon
Power, Reality, and Absurdity Theme Icon
Family, Opportunity, and Gender Dynamics Theme Icon
...and Pelagia vow to be horrible to their officer. Corelli arrives that evening, driven by Carlo. Both men are entranced by the massive olive tree and the quiet domestic scene. Pelagia... (full context)
War: Horror, Beauty, and Humanity Theme Icon
History and Storytelling Theme Icon
Politics and Friendship Theme Icon
...horrible if he leaves. Dr. Iannis insists Corelli stay and cowed, Corelli agrees. He and Carlo stay for an uncomfortable supper and then Carlo drives away. At dinnertime, Dr. Iannis tells... (full context)
Chapter 26. Sharp Edges
Power, Reality, and Absurdity Theme Icon
Politics and Friendship Theme Icon
In the morning, Corelli waits anxiously for Carlo to pick him up. Carlo's jeep, however, is broken. Carlo begins to walk towards the... (full context)
Chapter 30. The Good Nazi (1)
War: Horror, Beauty, and Humanity Theme Icon
...and desperately wants to see the naked women, so he stiffly goes to introduce himself. Carlo and Corelli introduce themselves and Carlo makes jokes about ogling the women, though he's privately... (full context)
Chapter 37. An Episode Confirming Pelagia's Belief that Men do not Know the Difference Between Bravery and a Lack of Common Sense
History and Storytelling Theme Icon
...Corelli's polite greeting, prophetically recites some Bible verses, and walks away. Dr. Iannis, Pelagia, and Carlo interrupt Corelli again a few minutes later. Carlo is in a fantastic mood and Dr.... (full context)
War: Horror, Beauty, and Humanity Theme Icon
History and Storytelling Theme Icon
Politics and Friendship Theme Icon
Carlo apologizes for Corelli's rudeness. Pelagia suggests the pamphlet could've been written by conspiring Greeks and... (full context)
Chapter 38. The Origin of Pelagia's March
Power, Reality, and Absurdity Theme Icon
Politics and Friendship Theme Icon
...to die. Pelagia enters with a pitcher of water and tells him that last night, Carlo brought him back at two in the morning, drunk and singing out of tune, and... (full context)
Chapter 43. The Great Big Spiky Rustball
War: Horror, Beauty, and Humanity Theme Icon
Politics and Friendship Theme Icon
...spiky rustball" on the beach and climbed on it. Pelagia translates and both Corelli and Carlo go pale: Lemoni found a mine. (full context)
War: Horror, Beauty, and Humanity Theme Icon
Power, Reality, and Absurdity Theme Icon
The entire village goes with Corelli and Carlo to look at the mine. Carlo discovers that it's Turkish from the Great War, which... (full context)
Power, Reality, and Absurdity Theme Icon
Politics and Friendship Theme Icon
Carlo returns with dynamite and a truckload of troops ready to enjoy the explosion. Corelli is... (full context)
War: Horror, Beauty, and Humanity Theme Icon
Politics and Friendship Theme Icon
...of metal decapitated the engineer and only then do they start to look for Corelli. Carlo runs down to the beach and finds Corelli lying in the bottom of his trench,... (full context)
Chapter 48. La Scala
War: Horror, Beauty, and Humanity Theme Icon
Power, Reality, and Absurdity Theme Icon
Politics and Friendship Theme Icon
...a jerk and doesn't think he's better than everyone else, as the Nazis do. Weber, Carlo, and Corelli argue about whether the Nazi beliefs are scientific and if science makes them... (full context)
Chapter 51. Paralysis
War: Horror, Beauty, and Humanity Theme Icon
History and Storytelling Theme Icon
Politics and Friendship Theme Icon
Then, on September 8, Carlo fiddles with the radio and hears that the Italians will stop fighting the British and... (full context)
Chapter 52. Developments
Power, Reality, and Absurdity Theme Icon
Carlo tells the reader he's full of rage and tired of being a pawn in a... (full context)
Power, Reality, and Absurdity Theme Icon
Politics and Friendship Theme Icon
...take care of Antonia. They put the mandolin in their trapdoor, along with writings from Carlo. Pelagia is worried and has been trying to contact partisans. At the same time, Weber... (full context)
War: Horror, Beauty, and Humanity Theme Icon
Power, Reality, and Absurdity Theme Icon
History and Storytelling Theme Icon
Politics and Friendship Theme Icon
...has enough guns to destroy them. Not long after, the chaplains speak to the boys. Carlo runs in with news that the Germans killed an Italian officer and he suggests they... (full context)
Chapter 54. Carlo's Farewell
History and Storytelling Theme Icon
Family, Opportunity, and Gender Dynamics Theme Icon
Carlo leaves a letter with his story for Corelli. He says he knows he's going to... (full context)
Chapter 56. The Good Nazi (2)
War: Horror, Beauty, and Humanity Theme Icon
Power, Reality, and Absurdity Theme Icon
Politics and Friendship Theme Icon
Family, Opportunity, and Gender Dynamics Theme Icon
Corelli sits in a truck with his boys and encourages them to sing. Carlo begins to sing "Ave Maria" and then another La Scala member begins a song from... (full context)
War: Horror, Beauty, and Humanity Theme Icon
Politics and Friendship Theme Icon
...Croatian aims to kill and Weber watches his friends flail and die. He doesn't see Carlo step in front of Corelli and hold Corelli's wrists so that the bullets don't hit... (full context)
Chapter 57. Fire
War: Horror, Beauty, and Humanity Theme Icon
Politics and Friendship Theme Icon
That evening, Velisarios stops when he notices Carlo's body. He thinks it's improper to leave Carlo there and so picks him up. He... (full context)
Chapter 58. Surgery and Obsequy
History and Storytelling Theme Icon
Politics and Friendship Theme Icon
...notices how flat it is, he asks rhetorically how Corelli is alive. Velisarios explains that Carlo stood in front of Corelli. Pelagia and the doctor cry, and Velisarios decides to go... (full context)
History and Storytelling Theme Icon
Politics and Friendship Theme Icon
Just before dawn, Dr. Iannis and Pelagia bury Carlo. Dr. Iannis puts silver coins on Carlo's eyes and puts a bottle of wine in... (full context)
Chapter 59. The Historical Cachette
War: Horror, Beauty, and Humanity Theme Icon
History and Storytelling Theme Icon
Politics and Friendship Theme Icon
...him and apologizes for stealing two mandolin strings to bind his broken ribs. They discuss Carlo's death and Dr. Iannis tells him that he needs to grow a beard and learn... (full context)
Chapter 60. The Beginning of her Sorrows
History and Storytelling Theme Icon
Family, Opportunity, and Gender Dynamics Theme Icon
...that if they have a daughter they'll call her Lemoni and they'll call a son Carlo. Corelli promises to leave Antonia with Pelagia as a hostage and then creeps back out... (full context)
Chapter 61. Every Parting is a Foretaste of Death
War: Horror, Beauty, and Humanity Theme Icon
Power, Reality, and Absurdity Theme Icon
History and Storytelling Theme Icon
Family, Opportunity, and Gender Dynamics Theme Icon
...at the table with Dr. Iannis and Pelagia and admits he feels guilty for leaving Carlo. Dr. Iannis encourages him to live on Carlo's behalf and enjoy music for the La... (full context)
History and Storytelling Theme Icon
Family, Opportunity, and Gender Dynamics Theme Icon
...They hold each other and Corelli again promises to come back. They decide to read Carlo's papers when Corelli returns. Bunnios fetches them at eleven. He gives them instructions as to... (full context)
Chapter 64. Antonia
Family, Opportunity, and Gender Dynamics Theme Icon
Pelagia rediscovers Carlo's papers when she fetches the History out of the trapdoor and reads them in an... (full context)
Family, Opportunity, and Gender Dynamics Theme Icon
...calls for him but can't find him. The next day, there's a red rose on Carlo's grave. She sees the ghost every year at about the same time and every year,... (full context)
Chapter 66. Rescue
War: Horror, Beauty, and Humanity Theme Icon
Family, Opportunity, and Gender Dynamics Theme Icon
...inspects the house and notices a fissure in the earth. He looks down and sees Carlo's skeleton. Moments after the fireman begins to rebury Carlo, the earth moves again and closes... (full context)
Chapter 70. Excavation
Power, Reality, and Absurdity Theme Icon
Family, Opportunity, and Gender Dynamics Theme Icon
...Iannis is exhilarated and secretly wants to dig up the skeleton, but Velisarios insists that Carlo deserves his rest. Spiridon expresses doubt that Velisarios can open the trapdoor, but Velisarios lifts... (full context)
Chapter 71. Antonia Sings Again
History and Storytelling Theme Icon
...He patiently looks on as she flips through the photo album pointing out Weber, Mandras, Carlo, Kokolios and Stamatis, and Corelli. Iannis is struck by the realization that the present captured... (full context)
Chapter 72. An Unexpected Lesson
History and Storytelling Theme Icon
Politics and Friendship Theme Icon
...that the strings are in his ribs. He says too that the buried skeleton is Carlo, who saved him from a firing squad. Iannis is deeply impressed. Corelli asks after Pelagia... (full context)
Chapter 73. Restitution
War: Horror, Beauty, and Humanity Theme Icon
History and Storytelling Theme Icon
Politics and Friendship Theme Icon
They head back to the taverna and Pelagia gives Carlo's papers to Corelli to read. Corelli says he wishes that he hadn't read them and... (full context)