Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

Megalo Velisarios Character Analysis

Velisarios is the strongman in Pelagia's village. Despite his massive size and impressive strength, he's kind and gentle. However, he's also prone to abusing his power for laughs, as when he lifts Father Arsenios onto the wall, embarrassing the priest. During the occupation, Velisarios commits petty crimes against the Italians and becomes friendly with Carlo, another massive man in the Italian army. They share cigarettes with each other and curse the war. By the time the Italians are slaughtered by the Germans, Velisarios, like many of the Greeks, has become friends with the Italians and helps them fight the Germans. When he finds Carlo dead, Velisarios feels as though it's improper to leave the body of such a kind man and in moving Carlo's body, he discovers Corelli alive underneath. He rushes Corelli to Dr. Iannis for medical attention and helps bury Carlo under Dr. Iannis's olive tree. At the end of the novel, the reader learns that Velisarios returns to the grave every year at the anniversary of the massacre to leave a rose on Carlo's grave. After the earthquake in 1953, Velisarios becomes a leader in his village and helps organize the villagers until relief workers arrive. He shuts down dangerous rumors before they can spread and encourages Pelagia to help by healing others.

Megalo Velisarios Quotes in Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

The Captain Corelli’s Mandolin quotes below are all either spoken by Megalo Velisarios or refer to Megalo Velisarios. 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 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:
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Megalo Velisarios Character Timeline in Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

The timeline below shows where the character Megalo Velisarios appears in Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 3. The Strongman
Power, Reality, and Absurdity Theme Icon
...this, the narrator says that everyone, including Pelagia, admires strength. She hears that the strongman, Velisarios, is performing in the square and she joins the crowd. He hops on one foot,... (full context)
War: Horror, Beauty, and Humanity Theme Icon
Pelagia scolds Velisarios for his cruelty. He considers lifting her into a tree but decides to end the... (full context)
Chapter 7. Extreme Remedies
Power, Reality, and Absurdity Theme Icon
Politics and Friendship Theme Icon
Velisarios arrives at the church to apologize to Father Arsenios, but Arsenios refuses to come out... (full context)
Power, Reality, and Absurdity Theme Icon
History and Storytelling Theme Icon
Politics and Friendship Theme Icon
...help. Dr. Iannis attempts to help the priest up, but Father Arsenios is too heavy. Velisarios carries the priest to Dr. Iannis's house. It's the hardest thing Velisarios has ever done.... (full context)
Chapter 12. All the Saint's Miracles
War: Horror, Beauty, and Humanity Theme Icon
History and Storytelling Theme Icon
...feast days per year. Alekos makes his way down the mountain for the feast, and Velisarios hopes that he'll win the feast day race with the bull he borrowed from a... (full context)
Power, Reality, and Absurdity Theme Icon
Family, Opportunity, and Gender Dynamics Theme Icon
...to a young epileptic man whose convulsions stopped. The crowd rejoices and the carnival begins. Velisarios shoots his cannon and musicians play. Fishermen sing as nuns arrange wine and food. Pelagia... (full context)
War: Horror, Beauty, and Humanity Theme Icon
History and Storytelling Theme Icon
...prepares for the race. Little boys ride goats, drunks sit on donkeys and horses, and Velisarios sits primly on his bull. The bull is the only creature to plod in the... (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
...Pelagia finds herself smiling at Carlo, who is as big and looks as gentle as Velisarios. Corelli suggests he introduce Pelagia to Antonia as Dr. Iannis comes outside and curtly asks... (full context)
Chapter 26. Sharp Edges
Power, Reality, and Absurdity Theme Icon
Politics and Friendship Theme Icon
...up. Carlo's jeep, however, is broken. Carlo begins to walk towards the village and passes Velisarios on his way. The two giant men gawk at each other, share a cigarette, curse... (full context)
Chapter 29. Etiquette
Power, Reality, and Absurdity Theme Icon
Politics and Friendship Theme Icon
...feminine version. Corelli says "good morning" to Pelagia and then uses the obscenity to greet Velisarios, Kokolios, and Stamatis. When they all scowl at him, he thinks he shouldn't try to... (full context)
Chapter 55. Victory
Politics and Friendship Theme Icon
...knock on the door. They ask for Dr. Iannis's blessing to go shoot Germans with Velisarios and ask that he take care of their wives if they die. (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... (full context)
Chapter 58. Surgery and Obsequy
Politics and Friendship Theme Icon
Family, Opportunity, and Gender Dynamics Theme Icon
When Velisarios kicks Dr. Iannis's door open, Pelagia thinks it's the Germans. She's shocked to see Velisarios.... (full context)
History and Storytelling Theme Icon
Politics and Friendship Theme Icon
...first bullet and 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... (full context)
History and Storytelling Theme Icon
Politics and Friendship Theme Icon
...silver coins on Carlo's eyes and puts a bottle of wine in the grave, while Velisarios gives Carlo a cigarette. Dr. Iannis delivers a eulogy praising Carlo's goodness, strength, and kindness. (full context)
Chapter 60. The Beginning of her Sorrows
History and Storytelling Theme Icon
Family, Opportunity, and Gender Dynamics Theme Icon
...thin and weak and passes her extra food on to Corelli. Once Corelli can walk, Velisarios moves him to Casa Nostra. Pelagia sits in the trapdoor and crochets, Corelli's ring in... (full context)
Chapter 66. Rescue
Power, Reality, and Absurdity Theme Icon
...blowing up unsafe buildings and scaring the islanders. Helicopter crews drop supplies for remote villages. Velisarios emerges as a leader. Now 42, he feels as though the earthquake has given him... (full context)
Chapter 67. Pelagia's Lament
Politics and Friendship Theme Icon
Family, Opportunity, and Gender Dynamics Theme Icon
...her life could've been different had Corelli lived. Pelagia mourns her father's death and remembers Velisarios digging him out. In that moment, she'd realized that Dr. Iannis was the only man... (full context)
Chapter 70. Excavation
Power, Reality, and Absurdity Theme Icon
Family, Opportunity, and Gender Dynamics Theme Icon
...to open the trapdoor but it won't budge. He realizes he'll need a crowbar when Velisarios, now 78, catches them. Iannis tells Velisarios what they're doing and notices that the old... (full context)