Pale Fire


Vladimir Nabokov

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The Countess Character Analysis

The Countess is Fleur’s mother and Queen Blenda’s favorite lady in waiting. After Queen Blenda dies, the Countess moves in to the anteroom of King Charles’s bedroom, presumably to keep an eye on him and ensure that he does not bring any men into his room. She also cruelly manipulates King Charles to try to get him to marry her daughter, although she doesn’t succeed.
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The Countess Character Timeline in Pale Fire

The timeline below shows where the character The Countess appears in Pale Fire. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Commentary: Lines 49-98
Identity, Delusion, and Loneliness Theme Icon
Death, Mystery, and the Afterlife Theme Icon
Patterns, Fate, and Coincidence Theme Icon
...through some trees outside the palace gates—something strange struck them then, and just afterwards the Countess ran out of the palace and gave them the bad news. (full context)
Identity, Delusion, and Loneliness Theme Icon
Line 80: my bedroom. Charles the Beloved thought of Fleur—the daughter of his mother’s favorite Countess—only as a sister, although other men found her intensely sexual. She didn’t seem to mind... (full context)
Death, Mystery, and the Afterlife Theme Icon
Loss and Longing Theme Icon
...coronation, he suffered—he didn’t love his mother, and he felt terrified of her ghost. The Countess made him do séances in which the Queen’s spirit would use a planchette to instruct... (full context)