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Zampano is a vagabond strong man who comes to purchase Gelsomina as his traveling assistant after her sister, Rosa has mysteriously died. He is the embodiment of brutality throughout the film and is more animal than man. His nature leads to him killing The Fool and abandoning Gelsomina on the road.
Gelsomina is a soulful young girl who is brought on by Zampano to be his traveling assistant. She becomes a clown in his road show, and though he brutalizes her she stays by his side throughout all of it. She dies after Zampano abandons her on the side of the road after he has killed The Fool and she cannot forget what she has seen.
The Fool is a high wire walker whom we first see in the small city outside of Rome. He is flawed by egotism and selfishness, but delivers an important message to Gelsomina at the circus, telling her that she has a purpose on this Earth; that everything has a purpose. He is killed by Zampano on the road after taunting the strong man and evoking the rage of the man upon himself.
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