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Character Role Analysis

Shelly Levene

Almost every role is a solid one in this show, but Levene snags the title of protagonist. He's the one guy who has a clear-cut journey from beginning to end—he's off the board, and he desperately needs to get back on it:

LEVENE: Do I want charity? Do I want pity? I want sits. I want leads don't come right out of a phone book. (1.1.174-175)

This is where Levene starts in the play. He's a man who needs help, and a man who wants to reclaim the glory of his past.

We find out later that Levene is willing to do whatever it takes to make this happen, including stealing and selling leads. Right before his fall, though, we get a glimpse of Levene at the top of his game. He's made a huge sale and he's feeling that old mojo. Things promptly fall apart, of course, and when Williamson pegs him as a thief, Leven is beaten by a man he barely even consider to be a man.