The Adventure of the Greek Interpreter Characters

Instructor: Jennifer Carnevale

Jennifer has a dual master's in English literature/teaching and is currently a high school English teacher. She teaches college classes on the side.

What would you do if you were forced into a business deal, and if you refused, you could be killed? In this lesson, we will discuss the characters in the short story 'The Adventure of the Greek Interpreter' by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, where an interpreter was given the same ultimatum.

The Greek Interpreter

In the short story, 'The Adventure of the Greek Interpreter' by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the infamous Sherlock Holmes and partner in crime, Dr. Watson, solve the mystery of the Greek interpreter and save him from his fate with death. Along the journey, several characters are introduced that add to the depth and mystery of this tale. Read on to learn about each of the characters and their contributions to this story.


In the story, Holmes and Watson find out about a seemingly sinister encounter from Homles's brother Mycroft. The encounter is between an interpreter named Mr. Melas that Mycroft knows personally and a man named Mr. Latimer. After some detective work, the men realize Latimer is holding a woman named Sophy's brother prisoner until he signs over her inheritance. Holmes and crew rush to the rescue, but could not save her brother. They do save Mr. Melas, and Sophy eventually seeks revenge on the men to avenge her brother's death.

Character List

Now that we have an overview of the tale, let's look at the character list for clarification.

Sherlock Holmes: The Main Character

Holmes is a highly intelligent detective that is known for his lack of social skills and precise observation. His intellect drives his passion for mystery, all of which work together in this story to help find the kidnapped Paul Kratides and the men behind the job. However, Holmes is not known as an empathetic person, Watson describes Holmes as unemotional. But what he lacks in his relationships, he makes up for with his knowledge of the world and ability to make logical connections, thus bringing justice to those that seek his help.

Dr. Watson: The Narrator of the Story

Dr. Watson is Holmes' business associate and friend who helps him solve the many mysteries they encounter. It seems Watson is the emotional balance of Holmes' logical brain, both of whom intelligently work together to solve the many mysteries that are brought to their attention.

Mycroft Holmes: Sherlock Homles' Brother

In this story, Mycroft is introduced for the first time in the Sherlock Holmes series. He is described as being sharper than Holmes, but lacks the motivation and energy to pursue the mysteries he encounters. Mycroft is the first to hear of the Greek interpreter's troubles, and tells Holmes about the case so that he can solve the mystery.

Mr. Melas: The Greek Interpreter

Mr. Melas is a short, stout interpreter who knows many languages. One night he is forced into a business deal between Mr. Latimer, Mr. Kemp and the kidnapped Paul Kratides. Due to his involvement, Melas was almost killed in the process. He originally goes to Mycroft for help because they both frequented the same social club.

Mr. Harold Latimer: Villain

Latimer forcefully encourages Melas from his home and brings him to a secret location to translate for a business deal. Politely threatening Melas in the process, he is simply looking to make money off of the kidnapped Paul Kratides. Latimer and his business associate, Kemp, torture Paul with the hope that he will sign over his sister's inheritance. He is later killed at the end of the story by Paul's sister Sophy.

Wilson Kemp: Villain

Kemp is described as a 'small, mean-looking, middle-aged man' who wears glasses. While his words are filled with harsh threats, his tone and demeanor seem pleasant, always adding a nervous laugh between his words. This man is working with Latimer to get the Kratides' money, helping Latimer hold Paul hostage. He is also killed at the end of the tale by Sophy Kratides.

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