Five characters for literary tea
The Everyman: Maqroll. His optimistic fatalism, his steady course through the ceaseless tides of fate, his nobility, his scoundrel heart.
The Genius: Don Quixote. To inhabit his world, to turn literature into a haze of absurdities, or perhaps to escape from literature, which can be a haze of absurdities, takes nothing short of genius.
The Muse: Ophelia. Hamlet was a fool. His salvation was there all along.
The Classical: Achilles. Honor, glory, pride, the joy of battle, all the old crap that just keeps coming back.
The Modern: the fleeing warrior in the shield poem of Archilocus who has no illusions about life and who, if needed and to borrow a phrase, knew how to run as only the truly wise and the truly cowardly can run. He has his reasoning:
Ἀσπίδι μὲν Σαΐων τις ἀγάλλεται, ἥν παρὰ θάμνῳ
ἔντος ἀμώμητον κάλλιπον οὐκ ἐθέλων·
αὐτὸν δ' ἔκ μ' ἐσάωσα· τί μοι μέλει ἀσπὶς ἐκείνη;
Ἐρρέτω· ἐξαῦτις κτήσομαι οὐ κακίω