Robert Davenport


licensed 14 October 1624

a synoptic, alphabetical character list


Abstemia is Lorenzo's wife and sister to the Duke of Venice. In spite of her husband's jealousy, she has turned out to be virtuous, modest, and chaste. In Act One, she comes to Lorenzo to tell him that Lodovico, Strosmo, Spinoso and Pandulpho are to meet the Duke of Verona, who comes from Venice. When she is left alone with Philippo, she is told to try her husband's faithfulness, but she rejects such an idea because in society it is not the same that a husband suspects his wife than the other way round. Such is the state of suspicion in which Abstemia has been placed that Lorenzo takes her in front of the Duke of Verona accusing Abstemia of adultery. Lorenzo divorces her and she has to flee. Abstemia goes to Milan where she takes the disguise of a bawd called Millicent until she reconciles with Lorenzo.


Antonio is the Duke of Milan's son. In Act Four, he shows up at the bawd house with his Turk, where Antonio has gone at night looking for pleasure. Such a behavior is not well considered by Millicent, with whom he has fallen in love. She will teach him a lesson on true love that will make him leave his lecherous life.


Silent character who takes part in the masque in Act Four.


Dorothea is Lodovico's wanton Lady. In Act One, when she is left with her servant Francisco, Dorothea tells him that the verses that he is reading to her should be an example of the Christian doctrine. However, something is fishy in her guardian. Thus, when Francisco asks her for sexual favors, Dorothea delays her marital treason until the sun is set. She will give a drugged drink to Lodovico, who will fall sound sleep and she will send Pambo to bring Antonio to her at eleven. However, Dorothea takes advantage of such an opportunity to keep herself loyal to her husband by betraying her lover, who gets away with the offence. She needs to talk to her confessor, but in Act Three she is informed that Father Jacomo has passed away. Thus, she accepts Father Anthony as her new confessor. In the confession, she admits to have sinned three times. Her first sin is to have ordered a gown with short sleeves. Her second fault is that her chamber maid has almost broken her crown. And finally she confesses that she has lain in bed with another man. She is given a penance to be suffered during a masque. There, Dorothea tells her husband that she has dreamt of Francisco, and she is sent to a nunnery.


A "ghost character." She is referred by Dorothea in her second sin because Dorothea thinks that the chamber maid has almost gotten injured because of her.


A "ghost character." He is mentioned by Dorothea in her confession. He has made a gown for her with the sleeves too short.


In Act Five, the Duke of Milan is worried about his son's reputation and so he follows Antonio to take care of him. In his journey, with Sanchio and Sebastiano, he discovers the corpse of Antonio's Turk wearing his owner's garments so they think that his son has been murdered.


The Duke of Venice is brother to Abstemia. When he hears about Abstemia's punishment, he asks his troops in Bergamo to march towards Verona to avenge his sister's dishonor. Abstemia's stain dirties his family's name. Therefore, there is to be another trial to administer justice with the same witnesses. Then, he restores Abstemia's name and punishes Lorenzo.


The Duke of Verona is the highest representative of justice in his kingdom, and to him Abstemia is to be taken accused with the charges of adultery. He will punish Abstemia by grating Lorenzo a divorce, and Philippo by banishing him from the dukedom. Later, in Act Three, he will change his judgment when it is found out that there were false witnesses.


A "ghost character." In Act One, he is invited to Lodovico's as he is interested in buying one of his houses.


Disguise that in Act Three Lodovico takes to find out whether his wife has been unfaithful to him or not. He is thought to be supported by Madona Lussuriosa. In the confession with his wife, he is informed about her sins. However, it is the third one which annoys him the most, as he finds out that he is a cuckold. He decides to take his revenge in a masque by making his wife say to her husband that he is not the father of a son and to unmask her lover. It is the perfect occasion because masques are thought to be the place where women are dishonored.


A "ghost character." Father Jacomo used to be Dorothea's confessor, but he passes away. He used receive twice weekly visits. Now, he is to be replaced by Father Anthony.


Francisco is a servant to Lodovico. He is in charge of entertaining his wife Dorothea for whom he plays music, and reads poetry for forty crowns per annum. However, when he is left alone with her in Act One, he discovers that he is a gentleman of Milan, who had heard of her chastity and beauty, and who had fallen in love with her. Thus, Francisco has the intention of sleeping with her. In Act Two, he is invited to Dorothea's chamber thinking that Lodovico is asleep, but he is not and Francisco is betrayed by the faithful wife. Nevertheless, Francisco manages to convince Lodovico that nothing has happened and he is appointed Steward at Lodovico's.


Silent character who takes part in the masque in Act Four.


There is a guard in Act Two who attends the trial, but who keeps silent.


Jaspro is a lord of Verona who attends the trial in Act Two.


Jovani is a lord of Verona who attends the trial in act Two.


Lodovico is husband to Dorothea. In Act One, being asked about his wife, he says that she stays at home with his servant. On this respect, he says that he invited an English gentleman to his house the other day and that she had shown him very modest and proper respect at home. However, when Lodovico finds Francisco in his chamber, he is confused and does not know what to do. Instead of punishing the offender, he appoints him his Steward. But, to find out the truth, he decides to take the disguise of Father Anthony to hear his wife in confession. Also, he has a project: he wants to write down his wife's virtues and send a letter to the Duke of Verona to advise him to choose the right wife. Later, in Act Four, his wife tells him about her dream and so Lodovico sends her to the Monastery of the Matrons, where she is going to spend the rest of her life.


Lorenzo is a gentleman of Verona, husband to Abstemia. He asks his friend Philippo to court Abstemia one more time to know if she is truly virtuous. Lorenzo thinks that, as any other woman, she is a smooth flatterer and a cunning injurer. Thus, despite not having any evidence, Lorenzo believes that Abstemia has slept with Philippo as Lorenzo is the best representative of the proverb Crede quod habes et habes, which governs the development of the events in the play. So, Lorenzo plans to take her to the Duke of Verona to administer justice. He is to bring two slaves to him, who will bear witness against his wife at a trial in front of the Duke of Verona and other lords and authorities. They are to say that they saw Abstemia having sex with Philippo. He is granted divorce from his wife. But, in Act Three, when the Duke of Venice comes to avenge his sister, Lorenzo is founded guilty and expelled from the two dukedoms and his own family. He will go to Milan, where he finds his wife, who has not forgotten him, and he makes up with her.


A "ghost character". Madona Lussuriosa is a lady that is thought to have supported the appointment of Father Anthony as Dorothea's confessor.


Disguise that Abstemia takes in Milan while she stays at the bawd house. Under the disguise, she rejects the Duke's son, whom she criticizes for his lecherous behavior. She still loves her husband Lorenzo, about whom she thinks. That love will change the Duke's son heart, and he will leave his lustful life.


Morbo is a Pander and a silent character.


Pambo is a clown. In Act Two, he takes Francisco to Abstemia's chamber as it has been agreed between them two. Later, when his lord forgives Francisco, he remains silent.


A "ghost character." In Act Two, Pambo's ancestor is remembered by his son, who says that his father had been a costermonger.


Pandulpho is a lord of Verona. In Act Three, with Spinoso, he comes to Verona to announce that the Duke of Venice is sending his troops to march toward Verona.


In Act Four, he meets Antonio at the bawd house. He is a gentleman of Milan and then he goes with the Duke of Milan seeking for Antonio.


Philippo is a gentleman of Verona, and Lorenzo's friend. He has wooed his friend's wife twice and he has not found any sign of weakness. But, Lorenzo is not still happy with the reply and asks him to try her for the third time. In those attempts, however, Philippo has fallen in love with the chaste wife. Talking to Abstemia in Act One, he suggests her trying her husband with ballet dancers, but she rejects such an idea. In Act Two, Philippo appears at court to swear that Lorenzo has made him try Abstemia, and that failing to prove her adultery, he has brought false witnesses. However, Philippo is punished by banishment from Verona. He goes to Milan, where he visits a bawd house, from where he is kicked out by Antonio's slave. However, later, he will avenge his offence by shooting to kill the Turk.


Silent character who takes part in the masque in Act Four.


Sanchio is a lord of Milan. In Act Five, he accompanies his lord in search of Antonio.


Two slaves figure in the play.
  • In Act Two, the First Slave testifies at a trial where he says that together with his partner he has seen Abstemia having sex with Philippo. Later, in Act Three, he has to appear again and there he repeats his confession. However, he is betrayed by his accomplice.
  • Together with the First Slave, the Second Slaave accuses Abstemia of adultery at the first trial. However, when the Duke of Venice has recourse to law in Act Three, he changes his testimony and confesses that Lorenzo has paid them with promises and gifts.


Spinoso is a lord of Verona. In act Three, he comes with Pandulpho to announce the arrival of the Duke of Venice.


Silent character who takes part in the masque in Act Four.


Strosmo is a lord of Verona that goes to receive the Duke of Verona in Act One.


Timpanina is a bawd at whose house Abstemia dwells in Act Four.


This Turk is servant to Antonio. In Act Four, he kicks Philippo out of the bawd house. Later, he comes back to see him again and the slave is killed by Philippo.