Francis Beaumont
John Fletcher

CUPID'S REVENGE

1607–1612

a synoptic, alphabetical character list

AGENOR

Agenor is a lord at the court of duke Leontius . With his fellow lords Nisus and Dorialus he speculates about Leontius' birthday gift to his daughter Hidaspes . Leontius has promised to grant Hidaspes any request she cares to make; the lords are doubtful about the wisdom of this decision. On hearing her demand that the cult of Cupid be suppressed in Licia they are even more doubtful: although they agree that the Licians have lived wickedly, they fear the revenge of Cupid and regret that they are unlikely to retain their sexual freedom. The three lords attend Leontius and witness his refusal to grant Hidaspes' request to be allowed to marry the dwarf Zoylus . They later comment cynically on the execution of Zoylus, the dispatch of Leontius' son and heir Leucippus to the wars, and the marriage of Bacha and Leontius. Having roused Leontius' suspicions about his son, Bacha sends Agenor, Nisus and Dorialus to Leontius to defend Leucippus, knowing that this will make him even more suspicious. The lords later discuss the prince's coming execution. Dorialus refuses to watch, and Agenor and Nisus witness Leucippus' rescue by the citizens. Ismenus , Agenor, Dorialus and Nisus bring the news that Leontius is dead. They take Bacha to Leucippus, where the lords witness her murder of Leucippus and subsequent suicide. They will accompany the new duke, Ismenus, and the body of Leucippus back to the court.

BACHA

Bacha is a young widow and the mother of Urania. She has a secret affair with Leucippus, son of the duke Leontius motivated by his money and status. Leucippus is discovered at Bacha's house by Leontius, Ismenus and Timantus . Trying to protect her, Leucippus swears that he came to her with lustful thoughts but that she refused him and even refused marriage. Leontius is persuaded by Leucippus' speech; he decides to send Leucippus away and woo Bacha himself. Bacha marries Leontius, but tries to maintain her sexual relationship with Leucippus. When Leucippus refuses her, Bacha decides to take revenge, using Timantus as a tool, and to make her daughter heir to the throne. Bacha and Timantus make Leontius resentful towards Leucippus by praising him extravagantly; Bacha then sends the lords Agenor , Nisus and Dorialus to Leontius to defend Leucippus, knowing that this will make him even more suspicious. She eventually tells Leontius that Leucippus has propositioned her, and the duke orders that his son be taken to prison. After Leucippus' escape, Bacha is informed by Timantus that Urania has fled. She sends Timantus to assassinate Leucippus, and raises an army. Ismenus, Agenor, Dorialus and Nisus bring the news that Leontius is dead. They take Bacha to Leucippus. Leucippus refuses to stain his hands with her blood, and Bacha stabs him with a concealed knife, before stabbing herself. The new duke Ismenus declines to bury Bacha, and instead orders that she be thrown in a ditch.

BOY

The Boy serves the First Citizen.

CITIZEN, FIRST, SECOND, THIRD and FOURTH

The First Citizen, the Second Citizen, the Third Citizen and the Fourth Citizen hear that Leucippus has been condemned to die, and decide to take action to save him. The lords Agenor and Nisus witness Leucippus' rescue by the citizens.

CLEOPHILA

Cleophila and Hero are attendants on Hidaspes. Cleophila is sent by Hidaspes to send a page to bring the dwarf Zoylus to her. She is appalled by the way that Hidaspes dotes upon him, but realises that this is Cupid's revenge, and begs Venus to persuade her son to be merciful. When Hidaspes lies on her deathbed, dying of grief after the execution of Zoylus, Hero attends to her while Cleophila prays frantically to Cupid. On Hidaspes' death, Cleophila goes to inform Leontius.

CUPID

Cupid is the god of love, worshipped in Licia. When his cult is suppressed at the request of Hidaspes to her father, duke Leontius, supported by her brother Leucippus, Cupid decides to take revenge on all those responsible. He first makes Hidaspes fall in love with her father's court dwarf, Zolus, then turns his attention to Leucippus and Leontius, taking his revenge via their love for the venal widow Bacha.

DORIALUS

Dorialus is a lord at the court of the duke Leontius. With his fellow lords Nisus and Agenor he speculates about Leontius' birthday gift to his daughter Hidaspes. Leontius has promised to grant Hidaspes any request she cares to make; the lords are doubtful about the wisdom of this decision. On hearing her demand that the cult of Cupid be suppressed in Licia they are even more doubtful: although they agree that the Licians have lived wickedly, they fear the revenge of Cupid and regret that they are unlikely to retain their sexual freedom. The three lords attend Leontius and witness his refusal to grant Hidaspes' request to be allowed to marry the dwarf Zoylus. They later comment cynically on the execution of Zoylus, the dispatch of Leontius' son and heir Leucippus to the wars, and the marriage of Bacha and Leontius. Having roused Leontius' suspicions about his son, Bacha sends Agenor, Nisus and Dorialus to Leontius to defend Leucippus, knowing that this will make him even more suspicious. The lords later discuss the prince's coming execution. Dorialus refuses to watch, and Agenor and Nisus witness Leucippus' rescue by the citizens. Ismenus, Agenor, Dorialus and Nisus bring the news that Leontius is dead. They take Bacha to Leucippus, where the lords witness her murder of Leucippus and subsequent suicide. They will accompany the new duke, Ismenus, and the body of Leucippus back to the court.

GENTLEMAN

The Gentleman accompanies Nilo in the desecration of the temples of Cupid.

HERO

Hero and Cleophila are attendants on Hidaspes. When Hidaspes lies on her deathbed, dying of grief after the execution of Zoylus, Hero attends to her while Cleophila prays frantically to Cupid.

HIDASPES

Hidaspes is the daughter of duke Leontius, the sister of Leucippus and the cousin of Ismenus. As a gift for her twentieth birthday, he agrees to grant Hidaspes anything she might request. From the gossip of the lords Agenor, Dorialus and Nisus we learn that she has already turned down a number of proposals of marriage from "great Princes." With the support of Leucippus, Hidaspes asks that Leontius suppress the cult of the god Cupid in Licia. Leontius is nervous, fearing that if Cupid is a god he will take revenge, but agrees to carry out her demand. He then offers to grant Hidaspes any other request she might have, and when she declines to make any, tells her to come to him again in six days' time, when he will deny her nothing. Cupid decides to take revenge, and makes Hidaspes fall in love with Zoylus , her brother's court dwarf. She begs her father to be allowed to marry him; when he refuses and orders Zoylus' execution, Hidaspes is confined to her chamber and dies of grief.

ISMENUS

Ismenus is the plain-spoken nephew of duke Leontius and the cousin of Leucippus and Hidaspes. When Leontius decides (on Hidaspes' request) to suppress the cult of Cupid in Licia, he orders Ismenus to smash the statues of Cupid in the palace, to command the city to do the same and to send out proclamations to the rest of the country. Ismenus refuses to destroy the statues himself, though he agrees to deliver Leontius' command. He is about to leave for the wars when he is told by Leontius that he is not needed there; Leontius later changes his mind and send Ismenus and Leucippus away from the court to suppress a supposed rebellion. On their return, Ismenus and Leucippus discuss the death of Hidaspes and the marriage of Leontius and Bacha . Witnessing the exchange between Leontius and Leucippus, and realising that Bacha is scheming against Leucippus, Ismenus attacks Bacha to her face. He advises Leucippus to take revenge against Bacha by killing her daughter Urania, but Leucippus refuses. Ismenus remains faithful to Leucippus as he is condemned and exiled, but Leucippus consistently refuses to take his advice. Ismenus eventually agrees to help Urania to reach Leucippus, having been persuaded that she is not like her mother. After he is stabbed by Bacha, Leucippus names Ismenus as his heir, and asks him to reinstate the cult of Cupid. He dies mid-sentence just as he is asking Ismenus to give Bacha a decent burial. Ismenus declines to bury Bacha, and instead orders that she be thrown in a ditch.

LEONTIUS

Leontius is duke of Licia, the father of Leucippus and Hidaspes, and the uncle of Ismenus. As a gift for her twentieth birthday, he agrees to grant Hidaspes anything she might request. With the support of Leucippus, Hidaspes asks that Leontius suppress the cult of the god Cupid in Licia. Leontius is apprehensive, but agrees to carry out her demand and orders Ismenus to smash the statues of Cupid in the palace, to command the city to do the same and to send out proclamations to the rest of the country. He then offers to grant Hidaspes any other request she might have, and when she declines to make any, tells her to come to him again in six days' time, when he will deny her nothing. She asks to be allowed to marry Zoylus, Leucippus' court dwarf. Leontius refuses her request and has Zoylus executed; Hidaspes is confined to her chamber, where she dies of grief. Leontius discovers Leucippus at the house of the young widow Bacha. Trying to protect Bacha, Leucippus swears that he came to her with lustful thoughts but that she refused him and even refused marriage. Leontius is persuaded by Leucippus' speech; he decides to send Leucippus away and woo Bacha himself. He tells Ismenus and Leucippus that they must leave the court to suppress a rebellion. In Leucippus' absence Leontius dresses himself up and goes to court Bacha, blind to how ridiculous he looks. They are married. Bacha and the courtier Timantus make Leontius resentful towards Leucippus by praising him extravagantly; Bacha then sends the lords Agenor, Nisus and Dorialus to Leontius to defend Leucippus, knowing that this will make him even more suspicious. Leucippus defends himself to Leontius, but is unsuccessful in the face of Bacha's schemes. Timantus tricks Leucippus and brings him before Leontious. The duke orders that his son be taken to prison. After Leucippus' rescue by the citizens and his subsequent exilement, Leontius sickens and dies; the news of his death is brought to Bacha by Ismenus, Antenor, Dorialus and Nisus.

LEUCIPPUS

Leucippus is the son of duke Leontius, the brother of Hidaspes and the cousin of Ismenus. He supports Hidaspes' demand that the cult of Cupid be suppressed in Licia. Around the time when Hidaspes falls in love with Leucippus' court dwarf Zoylus, Leucippus is absent from court. It turns out that Leucippus has an secret relationship with a widow, Bacha . When he is discovered with her, Leucippus swears that Bacha is chaste. His father, believing his story, falls in love with Bacha himself and marries her. Bacha tries to maintain her sexual relationship with Leucippus. When Leucippus refuses her, Bacha decides to take revenge, using the ambitious courtier Timantus as a tool, and plotting to make her daughter Urania heir to the dukedom. Bacha and Timantus make Leontius resentful towards Leucippus by praising him extravagantly; Bacha then sends the lords Agenor , Nisus and Dorialus to Leontius to defend Leucippus, knowing that this will make the duke even more suspicious. Leucippus defends himself to Leontius, but is unsuccessful in the face of Bacha's schemes. Ismenus advises Leucippus to take revenge against Bacha by killing her daughter Urania, but Leucippus refuses. Timantus urges Leucippus to flee, telling him that his apprehension is about to be ordered, and offers to take him to a safe house; Ismenus tells Leucippus not to trust Timantus, but Leucippus goes with him nonetheless and is brought before Leontius. The duke orders that his son be taken to prison and Leucippus is condemned to die. He is about to be executed when, as Agenor and Nisus report, he is rescued by the citizens. Against the advice of Ismenus, Leucippus refuses to use the citizen-army and instead goes into exile. Urania goes to Leucippus disguised as a boy, and when Timantus tries to assassinate Leucippus she takes the blow for him. Leucippus accuses Timantus and fights a duel with him; mortally wounded, Timantus reveals Urania's true identity. Leucippus does not believe him, but Urania herself confirms her identity before her death. Ismenus brings Bacha before Leucippus, and he refuses to stain his hands with her blood; she then stabs him with a concealed knife, before stabbing herself. Leucippus names Ismenus as his heir, asking that he reinstate the cult of Cupid. . He dies mid-sentence just as he is asking Ismenus to give Bacha a decent burial (which Ismenus refuses to do). Ismenus and the lords are to accompany Leucippus' body back to the court.

MAID

The Maid serves Bacha and announces the arrival of Leontius at her house.

MAIDS

"Ghost characters." The four maids are reported to take part in the ceremony of Cupid, which is led by the Priest of Cupid.

NILO

Nilo is an officer. He orders the desecration of the temple of Cupid.

NISUS

Nisus is a lord at the court of the duke Leontius. With his fellow lords Dorialus and Agenor he speculates about Leontius' birthday gift to his daughter Hidaspes. Leontius has promised to grant Hidaspes any request she cares to make; the lords are doubtful about the wisdom of this decision. On hearing her demand that the cult of Cupid be suppressed in Licia they are even more doubtful: although they agree that the Licians have lived wickedly, they fear the revenge of Cupid and regret that they are unlikely to retain their sexual freedom. The three lords attend Leontius and witness his refusal to grant Hidaspes' request to be allowed to marry the dwarf Zoylus . They later comment cynically on the execution of Zoylus, the dispatch of Leontius' son and heir Leucippus to the wars, and the marriage of Bacha and Leontius. Having roused Leontius' suspicions about his son, Bacha sends Agenor, Nisus and Dorialus to Leontius to defend Leucippus, knowing that this will make him even more suspicious. The lords later discuss the prince's coming execution. Dorialus refuses to watch, and Agenor and Nisus witness Leucippus' rescue by the citizens. Ismenus, Agenor, Dorialus and Nisus bring the news that Leontius is dead. They take Bacha to Leucippus, where the lords witness her murder of Leucippus and subsequent suicide. They will accompany the new duke, Ismenus, and the body of Leucippus back to the court.

PRIEST OF CUPID

The Priest of Cupid serves the god Cupid and performs the ceremony in his honour. The ceremony is interrupted by Nilo, who has been ordered to desecrate the temples of Cupid by the Duke Leontius.

TELAMON

Telamon is a servant to the duke Leontius. He and Timantus discuss Leontius' efforts to dress himself up in order to woo Bacha. As the duke deteriorates physically, Telamon has to carry him around.

TIMANTUS

Timantus is a courtier of the duke Leontius. He is ambitious and amoral, flattering Leontius and conspiring with Bacha against Leucippus. Timantus urges Leucippus to flee from Leontius, telling him that his apprehension is about to be ordered, and offers to take him to a safe house; Ismenus tells Leucippus not to trust Timantus, but Leucippus goes with him nonetheless and is brought before Leontius. Timantus reveals to Bacha that Urania has fled, and is sent by Bacha to assassinate Leucippus. He reaches Leucippus and runs at him, but Urania takes the blow and is mortally wounded. Leucippus accuses Timantus and fights a duel with him; wounded, Timantus reveals Urania's true identity.

URANIA

Urania is the daughter of Bacha by her first marriage. She has been brought up away from court by an uncle and has a rustic accent and an almost total innocence about court politics. She is in love with Leucippus, and promises to help him. After Leucippus is rescued from execution by the citizens, a proclamation announces that Leucippus is a traitor and that Urania is now the heir to the dukedom. Urania resists being married off by her mother, and decides to go to Leucippus disguised as a boy. She asks Ismenus for assistance in finding Leucippus, and Ismenus eventually agrees to help her. She decides not to reveal her identity to Leucippus, afraid that he will hate her because of her mother's behaviour. Urania finds Leucippus and serves him faithfully. When Timantus tries to assassinate Leucippus, Urania takes the blow. Leucippus accuses Timantus and fights a duel with him; mortally wounded, Timantus reveals Urania's true identity. Leucippus does not believe him, but Urania herself confirms her identity before her death.

WOMAN

The Woman serves Urania.

YOUNG MEN

"Ghost characters." The four young men are reported to take part in the ceremony of Cupid, which is led by the Priest of Cupid .

ZOYLUS

Zoylus is a court dwarf to Leucippus, described as 'the most deformed fellow i'the Land'. Cupid makes Hidaspes fall in love with Zoylus, and she asks permission of her father, Leontius, to be allowed to marry him. Leontius refuses, and orders that Zoylus be executed despite his protestations of his innocence.