Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

Mussolini Character Analysis

Benito Mussolini is the Fascist dictator of Italy during World War Two. He was once a businessman and a journalist, but with war on the horizon, Mussolini seeks to distance himself from these associations--he wants to be seen instead as the embodiment of the Italian ideal and the supreme leader of the Fascist party. He's very aware of how to manipulate the press into creating the illusion that Italy is winning and doing the right thing, and he rejects critique from anyone who tries to tell him otherwise. He's somewhat exasperated with the Italian men he has in his service, as he finds them too emotional to be proper fascists. Mussolini is instrumental in arranging attacks on ships and people that make it look as though the Greeks and the British are attacking each other and attacking Italy, which allows him to justify invading Greece. Despite his alliance with Hitler, Mussolini despises him. Though Mussolini thinks highly of himself, he's one of only a few people who do: all the Italian soldiers in Cephalonia mock Mussolini incessantly, and Carlo even conspires with Kokolios to print and distribute a satirical "Italian" pamphlet making fun of Mussolini. The Fascist government finally removes Mussolini from office in the summer of 1943, after which he's not mentioned again in the novel.

Mussolini Quotes in Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

The Captain Corelli’s Mandolin quotes below are all either spoken by Mussolini or refer to 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: 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 2 Quotes

Do you think I don't understand economics? How many times do I have to explain, you dolt, that Fascist economics are immune from the cyclic disturbances of capitalism? How dare you contradict me and say it appears the opposite is true?

Related Characters: Mussolini (speaker)
Page Number: 10
Explanation and Analysis:
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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:
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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:
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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:
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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:
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Mussolini Character Timeline in Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

The timeline below shows where the character Mussolini appears in Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2. The Duce
Power, Reality, and Absurdity Theme Icon
Politics and Friendship Theme Icon
Mussolini summons an underling and asks him which is his good side. The underling agrees with... (full context)
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History and Storytelling Theme Icon
Politics and Friendship Theme Icon
Mussolini continues his tirade; he says that Italian Jews must decide whether they're Italian or Jewish... (full context)
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Power, Reality, and Absurdity Theme Icon
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When Mussolini learns that a group of artists and intellectuals waiting outside wants to present him with... (full context)
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Mussolini tells Ciano to fabricate attacks against Italy. He suggests they blame the assassination of an... (full context)
Chapter 5. The Man who Said 'No'
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Family, Opportunity, and Gender Dynamics Theme Icon
Metaxas slumps in his chair and wonders what he's going to do about Mussolini and his daughter Lulu. He writes about Lulu in his journal and thinks that he's... (full context)
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...he created a fascist regime in Greece that mimics Hitler's in Germany. He wonders why Mussolini is fabricating border incidents. He thinks that the only difference between him and the others... (full context)
Chapter 6. L'Omosessuale (2)
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...by the sneaking suspicion that his cause is pointless, especially when Count Ciano golfs and Mussolini shoots cats. Carlo insists he's not a cynic, but he does know that whomever wins... (full context)
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...Francisco was gorgeous and smiled constantly. Francisco wasn't secretive about the fact that he despised Mussolini and mocked him incessantly. He adopted a mouse named Mario who lived in his pocket. (full context)
Chapter 9. August 15th, 1940
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...may be strange, but reasons it's at least constructive unlike the obsessions of Hitler or Mussolini. Lemoni declares that the pine marten should be called Psipsina, and won't listen that that's... (full context)
Chapter 14. Grazzi
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...the poor quality of furniture betrayed that he didn't siphon funds to furnish his house. Mussolini's ultimatum asked Greece to allow the Italians to occupy Greece in order to fight Great... (full context)
Chapter 15. L'Omosessuale (4)
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...sow discord between Greece and Albania. After the Governor-General has his own offices blown up, Mussolini declares war. By this time, the Italian forces have few troops, not enough weapons, and... (full context)
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...two weeks. Then, it starts to rain. The heavy guns sink into the mud and Mussolini refuses to send winter clothing. The Albanian troops disappear and the guns rust, but the... (full context)
Chapter 16. Letters to Mandras at the Front
Family, Opportunity, and Gender Dynamics Theme Icon
...picking out her bedcover. News from the front says that the Greeks are taking down Mussolini, but Metaxas apparently isn't well. She again asks him to write to Drosoula. (full context)
Chapter 17. L'Omosessuale (5)
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...so they don't recognize landmarks, but their maps don't match anything on the ground anyway. Mussolini comes to visit, but Francisco and Carlo don't stand when he walks by. (full context)
Chapter 35. A Pamphlet Distributed on the Island, Entitled with the Fascist Slogan 'Believe, Fight, and Obey"
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An unnamed Italian pamphleteer calls readers to celebrate the achievements of Mussolini. The pamphleteer writes that Mussolini was a cruel child who tortured animals, stabbed a boy,... (full context)
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...out that the Duce believes his own propaganda, so of course his subjects do too. Mussolini came up with a political ideology that insists one must act and think up reasons... (full context)
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In 1915, Mussolini again avoided joining the war effort. He claimed that the Austrians bombed a hospital just... (full context)
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Mussolini has made it illegal to do many of the things he's done. He sends troops... (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
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...do the same thing, which is why the entire island knows the same jokes about Mussolini. Carlo and Dr. Iannis worry that someone else will also figure it out, and, catching... (full context)
Chapter 49. The Doctor Advises the Captain
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...country, though the Hellene will fight humanely against threats and the Romoi is more like Mussolini. Corelli insists he doesn't believe that Pelagia has this horrible other side. Dr. Iannis says... (full context)
Chapter 51. Paralysis
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...In July, the U.S. had bombed Rome and a week later, the Italian king imprisoned Mussolini and appointed Badoglio in his place. Badoglio asked the Allies for terms, abolished the Fascist... (full context)
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Family, Opportunity, and Gender Dynamics Theme Icon
...He feels he has no home: his family was forced to move to Libya by Mussolini and they all died of dysentery. Cephalonia feels more like home now. He feels pained... (full context)