Character Analysis Gulbeyaz


Like Donna Julia, the Sultana Gulbeyaz is a frustrated wife. She has to share her husband with three other wives and fifteen hundred concubines. Moreover, she is twenty-six and he is fifty-nine. Like Donna Julia she wants love and cannot get it. She has little self-control and is a creature of whims. When she sees the handsome Juan on his way to the slave market, she recklessly decides to buy him, even though by doing so she runs the risk of losing her own life. She lives in a culture in which life is cheap and is bought and sold. The punishment for infidelity is a quick death. That fact does not deter her. As the favorite wife of the sultan, she is accustomed to getting her way. When crossed or displeased her instinct is to punish and punish harshly. When she learns that Juan, as "Juanna," has shared the bed of the concubine Dudù, she resolves to destroy both of them, even though by doing so she is eliminating the one who might give her the love she so passionately desires.