THE REVENGE OF BUSSY D'AMBOIS
a synoptic, alphabetical character list
A captain, charged by order of the King (with Maillard and Chalon) to capture Clermont D'Ambois at Cambrai. He also serves as a messenger to the Countess of Cambrai, informing her of Clermont's capture and, later, of his release, and he carries Guise's final message of love to Clermont.
Lord-lieutenant of Cambrai, and brother-in-law of Clermont D'Ambois; he is married to Clermont's sister Charlotte, who made him vow to avenge the death of her other brother, Bussy D'Ambois, before she agreed to marry him. He is relieved of that task when Clermont vows to avenge his brother's death. Baligny, however, betrays Clermont's plan to King Henry, who considers this an indirect assault upon himself (due to Clermont's friendship with Guise, whom the King considers a threat). He is indirectly involved in the murder of Guise at the hands of Henry's guards.
BUSSY D'AMBOIS (GHOST OF)
The ghost of the dead brother of Clermont and Charlotte appears in the first scene of act five, in the home of Guise, where Clermont sees him (though Guise does not) urging revenge for his murder. He appears again following Clermont's murder of Montsurry with the ghosts of Guise, Cardinal Guise, Chatillon, and Monsieur.
CARDINAL GUISE (GHOST OF)
The ghost of the Cardinal (murdered by Henry's guards) appears in a dramatic tableau in act five with the ghosts of his brother Guise, Bussy D'Ambois, Monsieur (the King's brother and designated heir), and Chatillon (the Huguenot leader Coligny), following Clermont's murder of Montsurry.
A captain, charged by order of the King (with Aumale and Maillard) to capture Clermont D'Ambois at Cambrai. He orders two soldiers to invite Clermont to view the staged battle, then to make the actual capture with himself as backup. He is one of the group accompanying the captive when Baligny arrives with orders for his release.
Sister of the late Bussy D'Ambois and Clermont D'Ambois. A fierce woman, she chides Clermont for his delay in revenging their brother, and in the final act disguises herself as a man to effect the revenge herself. Clermont's arrival at the home of Montsurry prevents this. After Clermont's suicide, she vows to lead a cloistered life.
CHATILLON (GHOST OF)
The ghost of Chatillon (the Huguenot leader Coligny) appears in a dramatic tableau in act five with the ghosts of Guise, Cardinal Guise, Bussy D'Ambois, and Monsieur (the King's brother and designated heir), following Clermont's murder of Montsurry.
Brother of the murdered Bussy D'Ambois, and friend of Guise. He has sworn to revenge his brother's murder. Guise describes him as noble and valorous, exceeding his brother in all parts. Indeed, he is so perfect a hero that even those who betray him (like the various captains) feel guilty about it. He fights fiercely before being captured; his captivity is short-lived, since Guise persuades the King to release him. He is in love with the Countess of Cambrai. Despite some qualms about the appropriateness of revenge, he finally kills Montsurry. Then, upon learning of the death of Guise at the hands of the King's guards, he asks to be left alone and commits suicide.
COUNTESS OF CAMBRAI
The Countess is in love with the noble Clermont D'Ambois. When informed of his capture, she weeps until she is blind. She arrives at the home of Montsurry with Renel after Clermont has revenged his brother's death, but too late to prevent his suicide. The Countess vows to join a cloistered community.
A captain. He appears with Monsieur at the beginning of the play and implies that Guise and Clermont D'Ambois are contemptuous of the King and his court. He appears in later scenes, but has no lines.
A Duke. Friend of Clermont D'Ambois, and leader of a political faction within the court that the King considers a threat. He supports Clermont's plan to revenge his brother's death, and persuades the King to release Clermont after the King's guards capture him. He meets Clermont after the release. During their conversation, Clermont sees his brother's ghost urging revenge. Guise sends Clermont off to pursue his revenge and returns to court to find what employment the King has for him. A messenger in the palace leads him to his death at the hands of the King's guards and by the King's order.
HENRY, KING OF FRANCE
Henry is the most obvious villain of the piece. He has placed the treacherous Baligny in Guise's faction to spy on their activities, and he surrounds himself with supporters who will do his bidding. He commands the capture of Clermont, but then releases him at Guise's urging. He then arranges the murder of Guise, which precipitates Clermont's suicide, thus decimating the court faction that opposed the King's excesses.
A captain who is part of the conspiracy to capture Clermont. He lures him from his sister's home to view Baligny's troops, which ultimately leads to his capture. He is one of the group accompanying the captive when Baligny arrives with orders for his release.
Brother to King Henry. He disparages Clermont in an early court scene. Clermont tolerates his insults for a time, but then begins to respond in kind, at which point Monsieur leaves. He vanishes from the play only to reappear in act five as a ghost in a dramatic tableau with the ghosts of Guise, Cardinal Guise, Bussy D'Ambois, and Chatillon.
An Earl, husband to Tamyra, who was the lover of Bussy D'Ambois. He plotted Bussy's death, and is now the object of Clermont's revenge, which is achieved in the final act. He forgives both Clermont and his wife before he dies.
Usher to Guise. He appears only in the scene in which Guise persuades the King to release Clermont. He has no lines.
A servant in the house of the Countess of Cambrai. She appears only in IV.iii and has no lines.
A marquess. Renel interacts with most of the major characters; his primary role is as a true friend to Clermont (contrasting the treacherous Baligny). He weaves in and out of the play, and his final entrance is with the blind Countess of Cambrai at Montsurry's home, where they observe Clermont's revenge and then discover his suicide.
A captain and strong supporter of the King. He appears in two scenes (with Epernon) but has no assigned lines.
Wife to Montsurry, and former lover of Bussy D'Ambois. She continues to mourn Bussy's death. She is willing to consider the disguised Charlotte as a means of revenge, but Clermont's appearance precludes that. She states that her husband's forgiveness as he is dying "breaks her heart." After Clermont's suicide, she vows to lead a cloistered life.