Life is Beautiful Characters
Guido OreficeA Jewish-Italian bookstore owner and the protagonist of the film. After he marries Dora, they have a son, Giosue. He has a way of making seemingly magical things happen by manipulating his surroundings. When he is taken to a concentration camp with Dora and Giosue, he tries to encourage them with his antics and machinations, and he eventually sacrifices his life to save his son.
Dora OreficeGuido's wife. She leaves her boorish fiancÃ© for Guido because she is charmed by the enchanted situations that seem to find him wherever he goes. When Guido and Giosue are taken to a concentration camp, she insists on going, too, even though she is not Jewish. She survives the ordeal and is ultimately reunited with her son.
Giosue OreficeGuido and Dora's son. After Guido and Giosue are taken to the concentration camp, Guido convinces Giosue that they are both participants in a giant game and that the winner will receive a real tank. Giosue is occasionally skeptical of his father's fantastic ideas, but he generally takes great joy in the magical world that Guido creates for him.
Eliseo OreficeGuido's uncle. Eliseo finds Guido a job as a waiter when he first arrives in the city. He is the target of Nazi aggression throughout the film, and he eventually is gassed in the concentration camp.
Ferruccio PapiniGuido's friend. Ferruccio moves to the city with Guido, teaches him the Schopenhauer Method, and accompanies Guido on many of his adventures.
Dora's MotherA staid woman, Dora's mother does not want her to marry Guido, and the two fall out of touch for many years. Finally, Dora's mother approaches Giosue in the bookstore, and mother and daughter are reunited.
Doctor LessingOne of Guido's regular patrons at the restaurant. Doctor Lessing is a lover of riddles, and he finds Guido's particular facility with them astonishing. He becomes a doctor in the concentration camp but does not help Guido's family escape despite his longstanding friendship with Guido.
School PrincipalAn uptight woman who is shocked when Guido arrives to lecture her charges on the superiority of the Aryan race. She later reveals her racism at Dora's engagement dinner.
Amico RodolfoDora's fiancÃ© when she first meets Guido. He is insensitive and caught up in Italian high society, and he makes Dora unhappy. He also denies Guido a loan to open a bookstore.
BartolomeoOne of Guido's bunkmates in the concentration camp.
VittorinoA fellow prisoner at the concentration camp.
Orestethe man who employs Ferruccio as an upholsterer.
Life is Beautiful Essays and Related Content
- Life is Beautiful: Major Themes
- Life is Beautiful: Questions
- Life is Beautiful: Purchase the Novel and Related Material
- Roberto Benigni: Biography
- Life is Beautiful Summary
- About Life is Beautiful
- Character List
- Glossary of Terms
- Major Themes
- Summary and Analysis of Part I
- Summary and Analysis of Part II
- Summary and Analysis of Part III
- Summary and Analysis of Part IV
- Summary and Analysis of Part V
- Summary and Analysis of Part VI
- Summary and Analysis of Part VII
- The Great Dictator: Benigni, Chaplin, and the Holocaust
- Related Links on Life is Beautiful
- Suggested Essay Questions
- Test Yourself! - Quiz 1
- Test Yourself! - Quiz 2
- Test Yourself! - Quiz 3
- Test Yourself! - Quiz 4
- Author of ClassicNote and Sources