The Scarlet Pimpernel

what were chauvelins character traits?

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Percy's evolution into the swashbuckling hero, courtesy of a new focus on him as the protagonist, finds assistance in Chauvelin's gross incompetence. Indeed, Chauvelin becomes increasingly idiotic with each new scene. For instance, when Percy arrives and sits down to a calm supper, despite Chauveline's presence, it is Chauvelin's fear that we feel through the subtext, rather than Percy's. Maguerite may be afraid for Percy, but he displays such command that we do not doubt for an instant his impending escape. Chauvelin's 'hard-hearted, vengeful' nature contrasts with the dashing Pimpernel.