Pale Fire


Vladimir Nabokov

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Iris Acht Character Analysis

Iris Acht was a famous Zemblan actress and the mistress of King Charles’s grandfather. To facilitate their affair, the King had a secret passage constructed between his dressing room and her dressing room at the Zemblan theater. Iris Acht supposedly killed herself in 1888, but it’s common knowledge that Iris was strangled in her dressing room by another actor who was a member of the Shadows, Zembla’s extremist group. In childhood, King Charles discovers the secret passage in the back of a closet, and this passage later helps him flee the palace after the Zemblan revolution.
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Iris Acht Character Timeline in Pale Fire

The timeline below shows where the character Iris Acht appears in Pale Fire. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Commentary: Lines 101-143
Death, Mystery, and the Afterlife Theme Icon
...dusty place with only one window and a faded portrait of his grandfather’s former mistress, Iris Acht . As the King got into bed, he saw a key in the lock on... (full context)
Death, Mystery, and the Afterlife Theme Icon
...reminded him of a theater curtain—instantly, he understood where the passage had led him: to Iris Acht ’s old dressing room at the Royal Theater. Now, the room was filled with old... (full context)