The characters in the Greek shadow theatre as performed by Brachalis were: Karagiozis, Hadziavatis, two Pashas, two Beys, Velighekas, the Pasha’s daughter, a lady of the harem and some Turkish soldiers.
But now you need at least a thousand figures for Karagiozis plays, to include all the characters that various Karagiozis players have added by degrees and which have now become a traditional part of the show. Mimaros added Signor Dionysius (Nionios) the Zakinthian and Kollitiris – that is, Karagiozis junior.
KARAGIOZIS: The ideal model ofthe poor Greek man, so poor that he
has renounced of every private careand responsibility and prefers to
enjoy only the happy moments oflife. He is clever, simple and funny.Heis also caustic and hard but he hasa good heart. Full of indolence and optimism but he is ready to doanything promptly. He is alsoready and quick in reply andhe is joking without being ridiculous. He has a very big
arm for beating or gesticulating and faces every misfortune with the same sarcastic good humour. He is easily impressed by the richness, the
grandeur but the charm mockery always dominates.Karagiozis has a hunchback because he is carrying allGreek people’s problems and his big arm isthe symbol of his cleverness. He has beenconsidered as the symbol of theoppressed Greek people for manyyears. Another characteristic of Karagiozis is that he has a deep feeling of patriotism.
AGLAIA: Karagiozis’ wife. The character ofa poor Greek housekeeper who tries to earn some money working for well-off families.
VEZIROPOULA: Pasha’s daughter. A young girlaccustomed to easy life who respects herfather and seems to obey him but she cansucceed anything successfully because she is cunning.
HADZIAVATIS:The character or “rajah” who keeps living under the shadow of the Turkish rule. On the one side he is sly, flattener, weak, coward, but foxy. On the other, he represents the type of the typical breadwinner, he is kind and trust-worthy. His profession is town crier o mediator and he works for Pasha or Bey.
BEY: He represents the rich citizen and generally the character of the high society.He is moral and a good head of his family.
DIONYSIUS: He is from Zante and he is dressed like a count, in top hat and tails. He is a short man but brave and independent. He is civilized, dignified, pure and talks very fast as everybody in the island. His song is a “cantada” from Zante. Sior Dionysius or Nionios satirizes the type of fallen aristocrat from Zante who thinks that comes from a
rich and noble family.
THE JEW:The character of the Jew and his songs were an invention of Giannis Prevezanos. He is sly and he represents the rich and stingy
business man from Thessaloniki. The Jew is a pleasing figure, for he is pivoted in two places and when he dances and sings he sways his waist and his head as though he has no bones, to the great amusement of the spectators. His name is Solomon Danelias.
MORFONIOS: (Omorfonios=”Pretty boy”). His real name is Zacharias, he has big head and nose too, that’s why he speaks
through it. After every word he says “Whit” and Karagiozis explains to the audience that this is his fullstop! Morfonios was introduced
BARBA-GIORGOS: He is Karagiozis’ uncle born in Roumeli. He
represents the original Greek man of the mountains whose characterremained incorrupt. He is strong, honest and pure. When Roulias, the shadow player, introduced Barba-Giorgos the audience welcomed his figure because he was beating Velighekas, the scourge of the Greeks.
STAVRAKAS:The figure was introduced by Giannis Moros from Piraeus. Dressed a little outlandishly, he has quite a dashing appearance but is always in trouble and gets beaten black and blue. His name is Stavrakis Jimmies, he comes from Syros Island but he is a real Piraeus lad. He represents the “guy” who is pride of himself but he is not so brave.
THE PASHA: He represents the Turkish authority and the power.
Dressed as a rich commander, he is serious, severe and imposing.
VELIGHEKAS: He has the role of the bodyguard in the seraglio and executes the pasha’s commands. He is stupid, uncivilized and he speaks a little Greek using Turkish and Albanian words. His duty is to maintain the public order.
ALEXANDER THE GREAT: A traditional figure created by
Mimaros. As King of Macedonia he is brave, handsome, noble and gentleman. He’s been considered as the symbol of Hellenism.
KOLLITIRIA: The three sons of Karagiozis, Kollitiris, Kopritis and
Mirikogos. Kolllitiris, Mimaro’s creation, appears more often on the screen, he has exactly his father’s character and he is very charming and amusing.