John Fletcher

THE FAITHFUL SHEPHERDESS

1608–1609

a synoptic, alphabetical character list

ALEXIS

Alexis is a shepherd. In the past he had wooed Amoret, sending her lambs and doves, but now he is the ardent wooer of CloŽ. He goes to the wood to meet her and is injured by the Sullen Shepherd who challenges him for CloŽ's love. The Satyr rescues Alexis and takes him to Clorin to be healed. He cannot, however, be healed until his thoughts are chaste, and his wounds reopen when CloŽ is present. Alexis finally conquers his desire and is healed. He returns to the village with the other shepherds.

AMARILLIS

Amarillis is a shepherdess. She is in love with Perigot, and when he rejects her she determines to break up his relationship with Amoret. She teams up with the Sullen Shepherd, who agrees to help her in return for sex. The Sullen Shepherd dips her in the enchanted well, using a magic charm, and Amarillis takes on the form of Amoret. Pretending to be Amoret, she makes sexual advances towards Perigot. Perigot is appalled to find his lover unchaste and pursues her with his sword drawn. The Sullen Shepherd rescues Amarillis and removes her enchantment. She later finds Perigot contemplating suicide and confesses her trickery, vowing to return in Amoret's shape to prove that she is telling the truth. Coming across Amoret, she instead directs her to Perigot, resulting in Perigot wounding Amoret for a second time because he thinks that she is Amarillis. Meanwhile, Amarillis rejects the Sullen Shepherd's advances and seeks protection from the Priest of Pan. She repents her degenerate behavior and passes the chastity test imposed by Clorin. Amarillis then returns to the village with the other shepherds.

AMORET

Amoret is the faithful shepherdess. She loves Perigot and is loved by him. They agree to meet in the wood at night to make vows to one another. However, Amoret meets Perigot after he has already come across Amarillis in Amoret's shape, and he stabs his beloved because he believes her to be lustful and unchaste. The Sullen Shepherd throws Amoret into the well, but she is rescued by the River God, who is able to heal her because she is a chaste virgin. The River God woos her, but she rejects him because she is still in love with Perigot. Amoret is directed to Perigot by Amarillis, but he stabs her for a second time because Perigot now believes her to be the disguised Amarillis. The Satyr finds Amoret and takes her to Clorin to be healed. After a false alarm when the presence of the unchaste CloŽ inhibits the healing process, Amoret is restored to health. She is reconciled with Perigot, and they renew their vows to one another before returning to the village.

CLOň

CloŽ is a shepherdess. Desperate to lose her virginity, she first woos Thenot, who rejects her because he is in love with Clorin, then Daphnis, and then Alexis. She agrees to meet both Daphnis and Alexis in the wood. Rejecting Daphnis as being too cold, she rids herself of him by telling him that they should meditate apart and meet later in a hollow oak. She then pursues Alexis, who returns her fervor. Before they can consummate their attraction, however, the Sullen Shepherd sets them upon and wounds Alexis. Resigned, CloŽ keeps her appointment with Daphnis in the hollow tree, where the Satyr finds them. CloŽ at first fails Clorin's chastity test, and her presence reopens Alexis' wounds and prevents his healing until the Satyr removes her. She repents and passes the test before returning to the village with the other shepherds.

CLORIN

Clorin is a shepherdess. She vows to remain forever chaste for the sake of her dead lover and also to stay by his grave practicing herbal healing magic. Her virginity sustains her magic and gives her power over the Satyr. She is wooed by Thenot but rejects him. Seeing that her attraction to him lies in the fact that she is unattainable, Clorin cures Thenot's love for her by pretending to seduce him. She heals Alexis and Amoret and brings CloŽ to repentance. Perigot seeks her out in order to purge his guilt and is reunited with Amoret. Clorin tests the chastity of the Priest of Pan. She advises him on how best to regulate the behavior of the shepherds and shepherdesses. She remains in her bower in the wood when the other characters return to the village, and the Satyr vows to patrol the woods on her behalf.

DAPHNIS

Daphnis is a shepherd. In the past he had sent gloves to Amoret, but now CloŽ woos him. Although Daphnis is bashful and determined to preserve his chastity, he agrees to meet her in the wood. CloŽ is exasperated by his lack of sexual heat and tells him that she will meet him in the hollow tree after they have meditated apart (fully intending not to meet him). After the Sullen Shepherd injures Alexis, CloŽ decides to meet Daphnis after all, and the Satyr discovers them in the hollow tree. Daphnis passes the chastity test imposed by Clorin and returns to the village.

DRIOPE

A "ghost character." The Satyr recounts that Driope had ordered him to fetch nuts for her.

HOBINOL

A "ghost character." Hobinol is the son of a shepherd. The Sullen Shepherd tells Amarillis that he has bribed Hobinol to spread rumors about Amoret in order to call her reputation into doubt with Perigot. Amarillis rejects this plan in favor of magically disguising herself as Amoret.

OLD SHEPHERD

The Old Shepherd leads the shepherds to the evening ceremony conducted by the Priest of Pan. In the morning he accompanies the Priest of Pan to the woods in search of the shepherds and shepherdesses.

PAN

A "ghost character." Pan is the god of the shepherds. He never appears in the play, but he is constantly referred to and invoked by them. The Priest of Pan demands strict chastity from his followers, but Pan's servant the Satyr describes the god wooing and dining the nymph Syrinx.

PERIGOT

Perigot is a shepherd. He loves Amoret and is loved by her; they agree to meet in the wood at night to make vows to one another. Magically disguising herself as Amoret, Amarillis makes sexual advances to Perigot. Perigot is appalled that Amoret could behave in a lustful manner, and he pursues the disguised Amarillis with his sword. Amarillis escapes by reversing the enchantment, and Perigot finds the real Amoret and stabs her with his sword. Despairing, he threatens to kill himself. He is prevented by Amarillis, who confesses her trickery and promises to prove that it was she by returning in the shape of Amoret. When the real Amoret finds Perigot, he stabs her for a second time believing that she is Amarillis returned in disguise. Unable to wash Amoret's blood from his hand, he vows to repent to Clorin before taking a hermit's life. At Clorin's bower he is reunited with Amoret, and his hand is cleansed. He renews his vows to Amoret before they return to the village.

PRIEST OF PAN

The Priest of Pan leads the worship of Pan among the shepherds and shepherdesses. He performs the goodnight ritual and reminds them of their duty to remain chaste. Unable to find the shepherds when he goes to perform his morning ritual, the Priest of Pan accompanies the Old Shepherd to the woods in search of them. The Priest of Pan passes the chastity test imposed by Clorin, and she advises him on how to regulate the behavior of the shepherds and how to punish the guilty. The Priest of Pan banishes the Sullen Shepherd, but he forgives Amarillis when she repents. He performs the ceremony of blessing before the shepherds return to the village.

RIVER GOD

The River God rises from the enchanted well to rescue Amoret. He heals her wounds and tries to win her love, but he releases her when she explains that she is in love with Perigot.

SATYR

The Satyr is a servant of Pan, the god of the shepherds. He is enraptured by Clorin, and vows to serve her. The Satyr rescues Alexis and Amoret, bringing them to Clorin to be healed. He performs Clorin's chastity test on the shepherds and on the Priest of Pan. After the shepherds return to the village he promises to continue to patrol the woods for Clorin.

SULLEN SHEPHERD

The Sullen Shepherd is a malcontent shepherd with scabby sheep and a lean dog, who rejoices in breaking up the relationships of the other shepherds. He lusts after the shepherdesses but loves no one. He assists Amarillis in return for her agreement to have sex with him, and he helps her to transform herself into the shape of Amoret. The Sullen Shepherd misdirects Amoret away from Perigot and lusts after her. Meeting CloŽ and Alexis with his lust aroused, the Sullen Shepherd challenges Alexis for CloŽ and wounds him before being chased away by the Satyr. He throws Amoret into the well after Perigot has wounded her. He tries to get his reward from Amarillis, but she rejects him. The Sullen Shepherd pursues her, but the Priest of Pan stops him. The Sullen Shepherd is completely unrepentant, and by play's end he has been banished by the Priest of Pan.

SYRINX

A "ghost character." Syrinx is the lover of Pan. The play's presentation of Syrinx is contradictory. She never appears in the play, but Pan's off-stage wooing of her is mentioned frequently, and the Satyr makes the preparations for their feast. However, Amarillis calls on Pan and Syrinx as she runs from the Sullen Shepherd, reminding us that the mythological Syrinx rejected Pan and was turned into a reed from which Pan made his pipes.

THENOT

Thenot is a shepherd. He rejects CloŽ because he loves Clorin. Thenot goes to Clorin's bower to declare his love for her, but she rejects him, seeing correctly that her attraction for him lies in her unattainable chastity. She therefore cures him of his love by pretending to seduce him. Thenot returns to the village cursing all women.