Personal LJ: fanfictionming
Contact Info: firstname.lastname@example.org
Other Characters Played: prpl_assistant, hardhat_truckie
Preferred Housing: N/A
Character Name: Figaro / Emmanuel de Verte-Allure
Character Series: The Barber of Seville
Character Age: 31
Background: Biography and plot of The Barber of Seville.
Figaro is based on a certain play stereotype known as the Zanni, the servant who doubles as a trickster.
Therefore, he's a witty and sharp person. With his smarts he was able to get Count Almaviva and Rosina together, eventhough Bartelo did his best to keep the two apart just so that he could marry Rosina himself. His tricks usually involve a lot of dressing up and acting, but they tend to be able to get the job done. He's also really good at improvising on the spot; when Bartello nearly discovers the plot, Figaro was able to distract him long enough and in such sneaky ways that the older man was completely fooled. He is very resourceful, and very helpful to those who ask for it.
Another thing to point out about Figaro; he's super loyal. Even if that loyalty is cemented by the promise of more gold, once he's dedicated himself to helping you, he will go to all lengths to achieve just that. Eventhough Count Almaviva is no longer his employer, he still does his best to cook up scheme after scheme to ensure that the Count gets together with the girl he loves. There were times where he could've bailed, but he never did. This is more prevalent in the later operas, especially in "The Guilty Mother", where he's still loyally serving the Count even after the man tried to seduce his wife-to-be. Figaro is also loyal and faithful to those he loves. In "The Marriage of Figaro", he is fully in love with his wife-to-be, Susanna. As shown in "The Guilty Mother", the two are also still together, despite their respective master/mistress cheating on each other.
Eventhough Figaro uses lies and deceit as his means to the end, this does not make him a bad character. Rather, he is surprisingly one of the more moral characters in the entire Figaro trilogy as he knows clearly what is wrong and what is right. However, he is also very practical, and if he can do something while getting something out of it, then he has even better motivation to get to it! For example, in "The Marriage of Figaro", he decides to help the unhappy Countess win back her husband, not solely out of the kindness of his heart, but also because the Count was trying to seduce his wife-to-be. For an example from "The Barber of Seville", he gets richly paid for his advice to help the Count win over the heart of Rosina.
Figaro is also a very passionate person. This is both a good and bad thing, because while it does fire him to achieve his goals, it can also backfire on him and cause him to act before thinking things through. This only happens though when it's something close to heart for him. For example, in "The Marriage of Figaro" he actually scolded the Count face-to-face after he suspects that his wife had actually been seduced by the man. This could've earned him a beheading or an execution, but by that time he's so angry that he did not think things through properly. If he had also bothered to take time to look through the facts, he should've also realised that there was no way Susanna would've agreed to the Count's proposition. This earns him a giant scolding from her later, when it is revealed that it had all been a trick to humiliate the Count in front of the Countess.
Figaro also has a bit of an ego. He sings an entire song (largo al factotum) dedicated to himself at the beginning of the opera, telling the audience how important and how wanted he is in Seville. He is quite proud of his work and how good he is, and with good reason. He will blow his horn occasionally, especially if he's feeling good about himself.
Therefore, Figaro is not infallible. However, when he is wrong, he knows to admit it and apologise for it. When his wife reprimands him for having so little faith in her, he's humble enough to ask for forgiveness from her. Given that this is the olden days where a women's opinion and worth was often downgraded, the fact that Figaro was willing to do so shows volumes for his respect and love to Susanna. I interpret this as Figaro being a man who sees a person for what they're worth, and not simply who they are. This might've also been a factor in why he decided to help the Count in "The Barber of Seville"; the Count wanted Rosina to love him for himself, not for his money.
A final point about Figaro: vengeance. Figaro is not the type to go charging in with a sword demanding a gentleman's duel for insulting his honor. Nope, that's what silly nobles do. Figaro is a man of wits, and wits he WILL use to get back at you. It IS difficult to get him angry, but if you do, be prepared for all the tricks and humiliation as he seeks to inflict equal harm on you as you've done to him.
Figaro is The Barber of Seville. Back in the day, a barber wasn't just someone who cut hair; they were also the local surgeons in town. Therefore, apart from mad hair-cutting skills, Figaro is also a qualified surgeon who can operate on people and knows some medical knowledge. Granted, this is medical knowledge from the late 1700s, but he WILL know how to set a bone, sew a wound, and treat a cut.
Figaro also has his wits to help him worm out of tough situations. However, other than that he has probably no fighting skills whatsoever, happy to merely be the jester of the court, instead of the knight.
He is also quite good with writing, as he had some success as a playwright before he went to Seville.
I'm also going to give him the ability to sing, as he's from an opera. There's no real canon for this, nor is there any canon that says this can't be possible, but I think it enriches his status as an opera character.
Sample Entry: First day at work as The Barber of Mayfield.
Signora, welcome! Today is your lucky day, for you will have Seville's finest to help you look your best. Sit here, sit here and let Figaro work his magic for you, eh? Is there a lucky cabaliero who's caught your eye? Or have you caught his instead? Indeed, a pretty face such as yours deserves an equally beautiful haircut to go with it. (winks at said girl.)
Ah ha ha, there is no need to be shy. Youth is indeed a wonderful thing, where it is always spring and the flowers are always blooming. But if you need a little extra, ah hem, "help", I am always willing to provide my services for a small fee. No, no, you don't have to accept my offer just yet. Think about it carefully signora, and let me know if you are interested. You can always find El Barbero de Mayfield here, or at my humble abode at *insert address here*.
Now, just sit here, lie back and think of the one you love. I will do my best to provide but the best haircut for you, as the humble servant of the town!