2 February 1614
a synoptic, alphabetical character list
The young Acadian Alexis was engaged to Silvia, in a union arranged by her father, Medorus. Two years after her disappearance and apparent death, he is engaged to marry Galatea. On the day of his marriage, the disguised Silvia tells him the story Sulia and Syrtis, which is actually that of Silvia and Thyrsis. He does not get the point, and recognizes her only after the jealous Montanus has stabbed her, thinking that she is Clorindo.
A "ghost character." When Cloris sends her Clorindo to make plead her suit with Thyrsis, she tells Clorindo she has heard a rumour that Thysis is now in love in Amaryllis. When Clorindo returns, he assures Cloris that there is no Amaryllis.
Charminus is surprised to find that his son Thyrsis remains grief-stricken two years after the apparent death of Silvia. He tells this to Silvia's father, Medorus, who then regrets having insisted on her engagement to Alexis.
On returning to Arcadia after her apparent death, Silvia disguises herself as a boy named Clarindo. She retains the disguise until Montanus stabs her and Thyrsis discovers her true identity. However, she hints at the truth when she tells Thyrsis the thinly disguised story of Sulia.
The shepherdess Cloris employs Clorindo, the disguised Silvia, to tend her sheep. She also sends Clorindo as her emissary to Thyrsis, with whom she is hopelessly in love. She alone recognizes that Clorindo looks remarkably like Thyrsis' lost love, Silvia. After learning that Silvia and Thyrsis are to be married, she agrees that all has happened for the best.
A "ghost character." An older shepherd who once felt the fires of love, Damon is cited as an authority on love and life when Thyrsis tells Palaemon about his own sufferings.
Dorcas is a forester and a companion of Montanus. On learning that Montanus is suffering because Phillis has spurned his offer of love, and has given her affections to Clorindo, Dorcas urges him to scorn Phillis and punish Clorindo.
Galatea is engaged to marry Alexis during the shepherd's festival, two years after the disappearance of his former fiancée, Silvia.
Lamia, a wise woman, uses folk medicine to heal the wound of Clorindo, the disguised Silvia.
The older companion and former nurse of Phillis, Lidia advises her not to reject the suit of Montanus outright but to make use of his service. Because Montanus is jealous of Clorindo, with whom Phillis is in love, Lidia persuades him to frighten the Clorindo into reciprocating Phillis's love.
The widowed father of Silvia regrets having engaged his daughter to marry Alexis, apparently for his property, when she was in love with the worthy Thyrsis. On learning that Thyrsis remains faithful to her memory, he tells Thyrsis' father, Medorus, he would not again keep the young lovers apart.
The Acadian woodsman Montanus has fallen in love with the beautiful Phillis. Powerfully built, he is hurt and insulted when he sees her chasing after a mere boy, Clorindo. However, he accepts her excuse - that she was trying to recover a garland he had stolen from her - and agrees to confront the youth. Although Phillis asks him to control his violent temper, Montanus stabs Clorindo, who is then revealed to be the disguised Silvia.
A "ghost character." Thyrsis tells his friend Palaemon that he consulted an oracle after hearing the news of Silvia's death. The oracle told him that he would be happy again. When further queried, the oracle specified that his happiness would occur on the anniversary of Silvia's death.
Thyrsis' best friend, Palaemon, tries to revive him from the melancholy state he has entered while mourning the loss of Silvia. Failing this, he helps Thyrsis' father, Charimus, understand why the youth is so sad and how sincerely he loved Silvia.
Only mentioned. Pan is the god of shepherds. Montanus says he is devoted to Pan when trying to persuade Phillis that he is a civilized man and worthy of her attention. Shepherds also revere Apollo and Cynthia, the sun and the moon.
Phillis is a beautiful nymph who falls in love with Clorindo, the disguised Silvia. Her love is unrequited, but provokes the jealous Montanus to stab Clorindo with a knife. When Clorindo is revived, and is revealed to be a woman, Phillis is deeply humiliated. However, she is consoled by her nurse, Lidia, and Thyrsis' former suitor, Cloris.
A fictitious character. In Clorindo's story (a thinly veiled version of Silvia's own history), Sulia is captured by pirates, who plan to see her in Egypt, but is released when the captain takes pity on her.
PIRATE CAPTAIN'S INFANT
A fictitious character. In Clarindo's story (a thinly veiled version of Silvia's own history), the pirate captain's infant begins to weep when it sees the unfortunate Sulia.
PIRATE CAPTAIN'S WIFE
A fictitious character. In Clarindo's story (a thinly veiled version of Silvia's own history), the pirate captain's wife feels a natural sympathy for Sulia and pleads with her husband to release the young woman on Greek soil.
When Silvia is brought back to life, and reunited with Thyrsis, Palaemon bids the young shepherd Pollio to take the news to all the other shepherds.
The shepherds of Arcadia form the chorus of voices that provides songs between acts and that recognizes the worthiness of Thyrsis and Silvia at the time of their union. The shepherd's festival is the pagan analogy of the Christmas season.
A woodsman and a companion of Montanus, Silvanus voices the pastoral ideal. Whereas Dorcas urges Montanus to take revenge, Silvanus calls for valiant but worthy conduct.
The beautiful shepherdess Silvia disappears on the eve of her arranged marriage to Alexis, whom she does not love. Her beloved Thyrsis finds a scrap of her gown and a lock of her hair, concludes that she has been devoured by a wild beast, but remains faithful to her memory. She has in fact been captured by pirates, and then released, and has returned to Arcadia disguised as a boy named Clorindo. She plans to maintain the disguise until Alexis has married his new fiancée, Galatea. However, she welcomes the opportunity to visit Thyrsis as the emissary of her new employer, Cloris. Thyrsis is too lost in tears to recognize her through the disguise. But on the day of Alexis' marriage, she tells him the story Sulia and Syrtis, which is actually that of Silvia and Thyrsis. He does not get the point, and recognizes her only after the jealous Montanus has stabbed her, thinking that she is Clorindo. When revived by Lamia, she is formally engaged to marry Thyrsis.
A fictitious character. Clorindo tries to comfort Thyrsis by telling the story of Sulia. She was in love with Syrtis, her father would not accept the match. Wandering sadly by the sea, she was abducted by pirates. When the captain's wife and child felt natural sympathy for her, they persuaded the captain to release her. Once back in Arcadia, she disguises herself as a boy and goes to work for a shepherdess.
A fictitious character. In Clarindo's story, Syrtis is a worthy shepherd in love with Sulia but rejected by her father. His name resembles that of Thyrsis, as Sulia's resembles that of Silvia.
The Acadian shepherd Thyrsis mourns the loss of his childhood sweetheart, Silvia, even though she was engaged to marry Alexis. Unable to think about other women, he rejects the advances of Cloris. However, he enjoys the company of her serving boy, Clorindo, perhaps because she reminds him of Silvia. Just as Clorindo is about to remove the disguise, and reveal that he is actually Silvia, he is dangerously wounded by Montanus. Restored to life by Lamia, she is formally engaged to marry Thyrsis.