Richard Brome

THE QUEEN AND CONCUBINE

1635–1639

a synoptic, alphabetical character list

ALINDA

Daughter to General Sforza. She is ambitious to become King Gonzago's mistress and Queen. She is presented as the King's betrothed after Queen Eulalia's trial, and interprets Eulalia's meekness and patience as a manipulative attempt to win the sympathy of the courtiers. She conspires against the banished Eulalia in a number of ways, sending Flavello to see to her death, and grows steadily more frenzied in her demands that the King execute all who might be loyal to Eulalia, including the King's own son, Prince Gonzago. Offstage suffering a fit of rage when King Gonzago reconciles with Petruccio and Sforza, she then travels to Palermo with the King and there heaps spite on Eulalia. Ordered by King Gonzago to make her three ritual requests there rather than in Nicosia, she demands the deaths of Horatio and Lodovico, the disinheritance of Prince Gonzago, and the blinding and banishment of Eulalia. She is punished with banishment herself, and seems near death until Eulalia cures her; Alinda then begs pardon of her father and everyone else, promising to enter a nunnery. (Also spelled Elinda in the play text.)

ALPHONSO

The alias Flavello uses when he attempts to entrap and murder Eulalia.

ANDREA

Eulalia's fool. He follows her into banishment even though the new Queen, Alinda, wishes to retain him. Lodovico accompanies Andrea, disguised, into the wilderness to search for Eulalia. Finding her, Andrea volunteers to precede her into plague-ravaged Palermo, returns infected, and is cured by Eulalia. In Palermo, he banters with and gently mocks the pretensions of the countrymen.

CAPTAIN

Sforza's disguise when he enters Gonzago's throne room to warn him that his rebellious soldiers seek Petruccio's death for the "murder" of Sforza.

CAPTAIN, FIRST and SECOND

Soldiers who threaten to kill Petruccio for the supposed murder of Sforza. When Petruccio informs them that Sforza is not dead, they arrest him for treason.

COUNTRYMAN

He spreads the word that a saintly woman has arrived in Palermo to save the countryside from plague and poverty. He brings the news to the Palermians that their beloved Holy Woman is in fact Queen Eulalia.

COUNTRYMEN

They spread the word that a saintly woman has arrived in Palermo to save the countryside from plague and poverty. Upon learning that their beloved Holy Woman is in fact their Queen, they swear allegiance to her in spite of the King's proclamation (and against her wishes). They also participate in the attempted lynchings of Fabio and Strozzo, the Midwife and Doctor, and Flavello.

CRIER

Town crier, also spelled cryer, of Palermo; among the men who prevent Eulalia's assassination. He reads the King's proclamation that anyone caught aiding Queen Eulalia will be guilty of treason.

CURATE

A priest of Palermo and a Latin pedant. When Fabio and Strozzo arrive to assassinate Eulalia, he convinces the Cryer, Lollio, and Poggio to arrest the assassins. After learning that she is actually Queen Eulalia, he vows to serve her faithfully and conceal her identity while the warrant for her death is in effect. He frequently banters in Latin with Eulalia's fool, Andrea. He presents the celebratory dances at the end of the play.

DOCTOR

One of the false witnesses called to testify at Eulalia's trial that she had an adulterous affair. He is hired (with the Midwife) by Flavello to approach Eulalia in the guise of a suffering pilgrim and murder her, but is prevented when Eulalia instantly recognizes him. At Eulalia's request, he is pardoned by King Gonzago at the end of the play.

EULALIA

Gonzago's faithful queen. She is falsely accused of adultery with Sforza when the King desires to replace her with Alinda. Put on trial, she sets an example of meekness and obedience that excites sympathy in many of the courtiers and suspicion in Alinda. Alone in the wilderness, she bears her banishment stoically and lives in harmony with nature. Falling asleep, she is given a vision of the recent court events by her Genius, who also confers upon her the gifts of prophecy, healing, and poetry. She meets and recognizes Lodovico and Andrea in spite of their disguises, chides them for disobeying the King, and refuses the food they offer her. Upon learning from some refugees that her idyllic ancestral homeland, Palermo, is said by priests to be cursed by a plague because of the Queen's supposed sin, she resolves to go there and do what she can to help its inhabitants, curing the refugees first. When Fabio and Strozzo arrive to assassinate her and the Cryer publishes the King's proclamation ordering her death, she admits to the Cryer and Curate that she is the Queen. Touched by her honesty, they order the assassins arrested, promising to conceal her identity. After curing all of Palermo of the plague, she then proposes to work for a living, so that no one can be found guilty of aiding her. When the Palermians attempt to execute Fabio and Strozzo, she prevents them and wins the loyalty of the two attempted assassins. After the rest of the Palermian countrymen discover her true identity, she urges them for their safety to forget her former title and then turns her attention to instructing the local girls in needlework, reading, writing, and music. Approached by the Doctor and Midwife in the guise of suffering pilgrims, she instantly recognizes them as her false accusers and prevents their attempt to murder her. When Flavello, disguised as "Alphonso," delivers a forged letter that tells of a conspiracy to murder Alinda and restore Eulalia, she sees through the ruse and orders him held along with the other conspirators from court. Loath to allow a possible attempt on Alinda's life in her name, she proposes to go to court to warn her, but her friends in Palermo urge her not to go. She is joyously reunited with her son, Prince Gonzago, spirited back to her by Pedro. At the news of the King and Alinda's approach, she prays to be able to cure Alinda of her madness, warns Alinda of the plot against her, and admonishes her to make her three requests of King Gonzago wisely. After Alinda's treachery is exposed, Eulalia is re-embraced by King Gonzago as his Queen, and quickly pardons Flavello and the other conspirators against her. She begs Gonzago to pardon Alinda as well, promising that she's been cured of her frenzy, and, after securing Gonzago's promise to pardon Petruccio, reveals that their son, Prince Gonzago, is alive.

FABIO

One of the murderers, with Strozzo, sent to Palermo to assassinate Eulalia. When the Palermians attempt to lynch him and Eulalia prevents it, he begs forgiveness for bearing false witness and attempted murder, and swears allegiance to her. At Eulalia's request, he is pardoned by King Gonzago at the end of the play.

FLAVELLO

A sycophantic courtier loyal to Alinda. He boasts of his success in training her to be a consummate courtier, fit for the King's bed. When Alinda asks him to murder Eulalia, he agrees readily, and sends the Doctor and Midwife to murder her. Alinda orders him to see to the job himself and, disguised as "Alphonso," he delivers a forged letter to Eulalia that tells of a conspiracy to murder Alinda and restore Eulalia. She sees through the ruse and orders him held along with the other conspirators from court. He is nearly lynched by the Palermians, but confesses all to Eulalia and at her request is pardoned by King Gonzago at the end of the play.

GENIUS

The guardian spirit. He appears to Eulalia in the wilderness and gives her the gifts of prophecy, healing, and teaching.

GIRLS

A group of country maidens who study with Eulalia; they perform several songs and dances.

GONZAGO

The King of Sicily. At the play's beginning, he has been rescued from near-defeat in battle by his general, Sforza, and resents his former favorite's popularity. He also desires Sforza's daughter, Alinda, and manufactures an accusation of adultery against Sforza and his queen, Eulalia. He orders her banished, and announces his betrothal to Alinda. He accuses his son, Prince Gonzago, of disloyalty for attempting to visit Sforza in prison, and has him arrested. To placate Alinda, orders another general, Petruccio, to assassinate Sforza, and also agrees in theory to seek the deaths of Eulalia and Prince Gonzago. Petruccio brings him news that Prince Gonzago has died of grief after blessing his father and affirming his loyalty, and the King begins to feel remorse. However, he orders the army to prepare to attack Palermo, where Eulalia lives in exile. Frightened by news that his soldiers are seeking the head of Petruccio for the murder of Sforza, he welcomes the protection of a "Captain" (actually Sforza in disguise), and, when Sforza reveals himself as still loyal, Gonzago becomes confused. He begins to believe Sforza's insistence that Alinda is to blame for everything, and is further heartened to receive a letter from Lodovico delivered by Pedro. He resolves to travel to Palermo to reconcile with Eulalia and seek Alinda's cure. In Palermo, he observes Eulalia's piety and Alinda's spite, and instructs Alinda to make her three ritual requests there rather than in Nicosia. Hearing the cruel nature of Alinda's desires, he banishes her and re-embraces Eulalia as his lawful Queen. At her request, he pardons Fabio, Strozzo, the Doctor, the Midwife, and Flavello. He is overjoyed when Eulalia reveals that their son, Prince Gonzago, is alive, and even agrees to pardon Alinda after she is cured by Eulalia and begs her father's pardon.

GONZAGO

King Gonzago's son. He is loyal to his mother, Eulalia, and appalled by her false trial and banishment. Although his mother counsels Gonzago to profess loyalty to his father and Alinda, the King views him with suspicion and imprisons him for attempting to visit Sforza. After Petruccio falsely reports his death to King Gonzago, the Prince is spirited away to Palermo where he is reunited with his mother. Disguised as "Queen of the Girls," he dances in the celebratory procession at the end of the play, and is unmasked before his father after Eulalia gets the King's promise to pardon Petruccio.

HORATIO

King Gonzago's chief courtier and sycophant, a long-winded pedant. He presides over Eulalia's trial, even though he admits to his friend Lodovico that he believes her innocent. Lodovico tries to talk him into conspiring with him to murder Alinda, for the good of the state, but Horatio is too frightened to do anything but endorse all the King's actions, even the arrest of his son, Prince Gonzago. Alinda's furious ranting frightens him further and he reports to the king that Alinda is distracted and claims to be haunted by her father's ghost. Learning that the living Sforza and Petruccio have returned to the King's good graces, he offers to seek out the absent Flavello and get to the bottom of Alinda's conspiracy. Reunited with Lodovico, he shares in the general pardons at the end of the play.

IAGO

Eulalia's servant. He is banished from court when his mistress is banished.

KEEPER

A jailer. Does not reveal the situation at court to Sforza even when begged to do so.

LODOVICO

A courtier loyal to Queen Eulalia. At her trial, he expresses the disgust for the King and sympathy for the Queen that many of the courtiers feel. His friendship with Horatio is strained by the latter's sycophancy. Disguised, he accompanies Eulalia's fool, Andrea, into the wilderness in search of her. On witnessing her curing of the Palermian refugees, he venerates her as a saint and offers to help her do the good work of rescuing her native land. He informs the Curate of Eulalia's true identity and guards her constantly, sending a letter of entreaty to the King. When King Gonzago and Alinda visit, Lodovico finds it impossible to resist voicing his hatred of Alinda, and is arrested at the King's order, but released when the King pardons Eulalia.

LOLLIO

One of the plague-ravaged refugees from Palermo that Eulalia meets. He is among the men who prevent Eulalia's assassination and who help her arrange her new life in Palermo. They attempt to lynch Fabio and Strozzo, Eulalia's attempted assassins, but are prevented by her and are impressed when she wins their confession and allegiance. Upon learning that their beloved Holy Woman is in fact their Queen, they swear allegiance to her in spite of the King's proclamation (and against her wishes). He and Poggio resolve to be her bodyguards without her consent, and conduct a ludicrous trial of Flavello (disguised as "Alphonso"), but are prevented from lynching him by Eulalia.

MIDWIFE

One of the false witnesses called to testify at Eulalia's trial that she had an adulterous affair. She is hired (with the Doctor) by Flavello to approach Eulalia in the guise of a suffering pilgrim and murder her, but is prevented when Eulalia instantly recognizes her. At Eulalia's request, she is pardoned by King Gonzago at the end of the play.

PEDRO

One of the afflicted inhabitants of Palermo, Queen Eulalia's native land. She meets him as he flees the plague-ravaged country hoping to petition King Gonzago to kill the Queen whose supposed sin is said by priests to have caused the plague. She convinces him, by curing his illness, that the fault lies with the injustice, not the Queen, and he returns joyfully to Palermo to spread the news that a healer has come to save the country. Later, he is among the men who prevent Eulalia's assassination, and reveals to her that he had some time ago been banished from Gonzago's court for striking Horatio, and was only saved from execution by Eulalia's plea for his life. He vows to serve her faithfully and conceal her identity while the warrant for her death is in effect. He delivers a letter to King Gonzago begging the King not to attack Palermo, luckily arriving after the King has learned that Alinda is the only real traitor. He returns to Eulalia with her son, Prince Gonzago, and the news that the King is on his way to Palermo.

PETRUCCIO

Sforza's rival general. He is recalled to court when Sforza falls from favor. He is ordered to preside over the imprisoned Sforza's beheading, but is uncomfortable with the job because he feels sympathy towards Sforza and, convinced of his innocence, spirits Sforza out of prison. Summoned by King Gonzago to report Sforza's death to his daughter, Alinda, Petruccio presents a jewel to prove her father is dead. He later brings the King a touching tale of Prince Gonzago's death in prison from a broken heart, and insists that the Prince died blessing his father. When two soldiers threaten to kill him for the supposed murder of Sforza, Petruccio informs them that Sforza is not dead, but they arrest him for treason and bring him before the King. Sforza reveals himself and saves Petruccio's life. He accompanies the King to Palermo and shares in the general pardon.

POGGIO

One of the plague-ravaged refugees from Palermo that Eulalia meets. He is among the men who prevent Eulalia's assassination, and who help her arrange her new life in Palermo. They attempt to lynch Fabio and Strozzo, Eulalia's attempted assassins, but are prevented by her and are impressed when she wins their confession and allegiance. Upon learning that their beloved Holy Woman is in fact their Queen, they swear allegiance to her in spite of the King's proclamation (and against her wishes). He and Lollio resolve to be her bodyguards without her consent, and conduct a ludicrous trial of Flavello (disguised as "Alphonso"), but are prevented from lynching him by Eulalia.

RUGIO

Eulalia's servant. He is banished from court when his mistress is banished.

SFORZA

A seasoned general and Queen Eulalia's champion. Having saved King Gonzago's life in battle prior to the play's beginning, he returns with Gonzago heaped with honors. He is appalled to find his daughter, Alinda, has become a wily courtier in his absence and desires the King. He is imprisoned without being told of the Queen's trial and Alinda's preferment. His life is spared by his former rival, Petruccio. Disguised as a Captain, he warns King Gonzago that his rebellious soldiers seek Petruccio's death for the supposed murder of Sforza. When Petruccio is brought before the King for treason, Sforza reveals himself and insists on his loyalty. He accompanies the King to Palermo and, after Alinda's treachery is exposed, agrees to pardon her after she is cured by Eulalia, confesses her wrongs, and promises to enter a nunnery.

SOLDIER, FIRST and SECOND

The First and Second Soldiers threaten to kill Petruccio for the supposed murder of Sforza, but Petruccio informs them that Sforza is not dead. Disbelieving, they arrest him for treason and bring him before the King.

STROZZO

One of the murderers, with Fabio, sent to Palermo to assassinate Eulalia. When the Palermians attempt to lynch him and Eulalia prevents it, he begs forgiveness for bearing false witness and attempted murder, and swears allegiance to her. At Eulalia's request, he is pardoned by King Gonzago at the end of the play.