THE LOYAL SUBJECT
Licensed 16 November 1618
a synoptic, alphabetical character list
Alinda is the disguise name of young Archas, Archas's youngest son. As Alinda, he is introduced to Olimpia as a foreign princess and becomes Olimpia's lady in waiting. She informs Olimpia that they were both born on the same day. The Duke forms a liking for "her", but Alinda tells Olimpia she will never let her mistress down. When the Tartars threaten Moscow, Alinda advises Olimpia to ask for Archas's help. When Olimpia brings Archas to the Duke, Alinda joins in the others' pleas for help. She appeals to his honor and virtue, and Archas notices that she looks and speaks like his virtuous wife. When Olimpia brings Alinda the Duke's ring, sent as a token of his admiration for Alinda, she refuses it. Olimpia and Alinda exchange their rings. When the Duke makes Alinda a direct proposition of sex, which Olimpia overhears, Alinda says she must ask her mistress about it. Olimpia, angered, orders her to leave her service. Alinda protests her innocence and goes to the Duke to give him back his ring. Seeing the Duke in intimate conversation with Honora and Viola, Alinda warns Archas's daughters (young Archas's sisters) about the Duke's insincerity and blames him for "her" disgrace with Olimpia. Alinda comes to Olimpia's quarters dressed as a young gentleman. Pretending to be Alinda's brother, he makes Olimpia see the injustice she has done Alinda. Finally, Alinda is revealed as Archas's youngest son in female disguise, and the Duke gives him Olimpia's hand in marriage.
The Ancient is an old soldier in Archas's army. When Archas takes his farewell to arms, he thanks his "good Ancient" personally. The Ancient tells Putskie and the soldiers that he will no longer fight in an army that is not led by his General. Foreseeing that very soon the old General will need his army, the Ancient advises the Soldiers to refrain from fighting under the new general Boroskie. Learning that the Tartars are at the borders, the Ancient relishes the idea that Moscow will be burnt. When Archas returns victorious from the war with the Tartars, the Ancient sees that Archas and his soldiers are not given due honors for their victory, and he refuses the humiliating pay of eight pence a day, inviting the soldiers to play dice for his share. Dismissed from the war and having no other means of subsistence, the Ancient sells brooms. The Ancient informs Theodor that, during his trips through the city as a broom salesman, he has managed to round up a thousand ex-soldiers, ready in time of need for their general. After Archas' arrest, the Ancient, Putskie, Theodor, and the faithful soldiers claim their general's freedom. When Archas reprimands his soldiers for having forgotten their allegiance and rebelled against the Duke, the Ancient asks forgiveness and promises to be the Duke's loyal subject.
Archas is the loyal subject to the Duke of Moscow. A general in the Old Duke's army, Archas is now retired due to animosity with the young Duke. Charged with the young Duke's military education, the boy would take no advice from the old General. Archas bids farewell to his war paraphernalia in the presence of his soldiers and the members of the church. When the Tartars threaten Moscow, Archas decides to lead his soldiers against them. Returning victorious from the war, Archas receives a cold welcome. At Archas's home in the country, the Duke visits and discovers a treasure in a locked room. The Old Duke had entrusted Archas and Boroskie with a considerable fortune to help the young Duke in case of necessity. The Duke demands the treasure, but he grants Archas his wish to keep an old coat and a copy of Seneca, symbols of his friendship to the Old Duke. Archas comes to court for a banquet and is arrested by Boroskie, who tortures him without the Duke's approval. His faithful soldiers mount a rebellion and free him, but Archas reprimands them for disloyalty to the Duke, and he receives the Duke's apologies. During the military crisis, when the soldiers led by Theodor threaten to retire and leave the city at the mercy of the enemy, Archas faces his son's armyraised against the Dukeand demands capital punishment for Theodor's disobedience. Revealing that he has another son raised secretly by his brother Briskie, Archas is on the point of stabbing Theodor. Only when Putskie (alias Briskie) threatens to kill Young Archas (alias Alinda) does Archas agree to forgive Theodor. Archas is honored when the Duke offers Olimpia's hand to Young Archas, asks Honora to marry him, and nominates Theodor as the new General.
Beau Desert is a "ghost character" and probably an assumed name. When the Duke makes amorous advances to Alinda, "she" tells him he used to have a Mistress who nursed him, called Beau-desert. The Duke cannot remember this name, and Alinda says the woman had a plainer name and was related to Lord Archas. Probably Alinda refers to a nurse the children had in the time of the Old Duke.
Boroskie is an old gentleman attending the Duke. A variant spelling of the name is Boroskey. He raised the young prince from childhood. Through his envious machinations and slandering Boroskie manages to cause Archas to fall out of favor with the Duke. Boroskie hints that Archas's humility is but a way to hide his claws. The Duke nominates Boroskie the new General. When he learns that the Tartars are heading towards the city, Boroskie claims to be sick. When Archas returns victorious from the war against the Tartars, Boroskie disparages Archas's merits and causes the Duke to refrain from awarding him full honors. Boroskie and Archas are the trustees of a treasure hidden by the Old Duke for his son in case of necessity. By arranging for the new Duke find and claim the treasure, Boroskie proves his disloyalty to the Old Duke. During the military crisis, Boroskie complains to the Duke that Archas is responsible for inciting the soldiers to mutiny. At the Duke's banquet, Boroskie has Archas arrested under the thin pretext that he had taken the sanctified weapons from the Church and used them in the war against the Tartars. In prison, Boroskie exceeds his authority and orders Archas's torture. In the final reconciliation, the Duke leaves Boroskie to Archas's punishment, but Archas forgives. Boroskie repents and promises to be a loyal and obedient subject.
Briskie is Archas's brother. He has secretly raised Archas's youngest son, Young Archas. Hoping that his brother's son would be better protected at court in a woman's disguise (as Alinda) Briskie accompanies him disguised as Putskie, a captain in the army. When Archas wants to kill his son Theodor for having rebelled against the Duke, disclosing that he has another heir, Young Archas, Briskie (still disguised as Putskie) threatens to kill Young Archas unless Archas agrees to pardon Theodor. When Archas forgives Theodor, Briskie reveals that fear of the new Duke's persecution and the anticipation of the old general's disgrace made him educate the boy secretly and bring him to the court disguised as Alinda.
Burris is a loyal counselor to the Duke. He reminds the Duke that Archas served the Old Duke as a loyal subject. When the Tartars are heading for Moscow, the Duke sends Burris to Archas to plead for help, but he brings back the message that Archas could not be convinced to leave his retirement. Burris later persuades the Duke to overcome his pride and ask for Archas's help. The Duke sends Burris to Olimpia with a ring for Alinda. Burris tells Olimpia that the Duke's interest might be just a way of vaunting a new mistress. At Archas's retirement house in the country, Burris announces the Duke's visit. When the Duke has retrieved the money hidden in Archas's house by the Old Duke, he pays Burris generously for his faithfulness and gives him his ring. Burris uses the money to repay Archas. At the Duke's banquet, Burris weeps when he sees the honest general arrested. In a private conversation with Burris, the Duke reveals that he knows Boroskie is false and hates Archas, and that the arrest was a way of trying Archas's integrity. Burris then acts as a messenger between Theodor's rebel army and Archas, who remains loyal to the Duke. In the final reconciliation, the Duke repays Burris for his faithful service by giving him Viola's hand in marriage.
DAUGHTERS of BOROSKIE
Boroskie's daughters are "ghost characters" and possibly "fictional characters." When the soldiers are dismissed from the army without pay and having no other means of subsistence, they become peddlers. The First Soldier tells Boroskie he mends cracked maidenheads. Ironically, he offers to help Boroskie's daughters, should they have cracked their maidenheads in a coach with too much tumbling. The fictional daughters' loss of virginity is described through the image of breaking their legs above the knee. There is no indication elsewhere in the play that Boroskie's daughters actually exist.
The Duke is the ruling prince of Moscow, son to the Old Duke and brother to Olimpia. When his father was alive, the young prince did not like to be told he was wrong and formed a distaste for his tutor, the general Archas. He favors Boroskie as the new general over Archas. Meantime, he forms an infatuation for Olimpia's lady-in-waiting, Alinda. When word comes that the Tartars have crossed the Volga and are approaching Moscow, the Duke turns to Archas. When Archas returns victorious from the war, however, the Duke retires and gives Boroskie a chance to humiliate the soldiers. At Archas's house in the country, the Duke discovers a locked room, which contains a fortune. The Duke seizes the treasure and orders Archas to send his two daughters, Honora and Viola, to court. Alone with Alinda at court, the Duke makes amorous advances to "her." When Honora and Viola are introduced to the Duke, he asks if they would become his mistresses. Honora is sexually aggressive to the Duke. Defeated by this display, the Duke tells Honora she has cured him of his womanizing. Alinda accuses the Duke of having caused her dismissal from Olimpia's service, and the Duke promises to amend her situation. At the court banquet, the Duke allows the arrest of Archas. In a private conversation with Burris, however, the Duke reveals that the arrest is meant only to try Archas's integrity. When Boroskie oversteps his authority and orders Archas's torture, the Duke has Archas freed and promises to punish the Boroskie. In the final reconciliation, the Duke offers Olimpia's hand in marriage to Young Archas, offers himself successfully to Honora, and gives Viola's hand to Burris. The Duke orders the three marriages to be celebrated at once.
A "ghost character." A good ruler of Moscow who earned the loyalty of his people, especially Archas. He placed his son and heir in the tutorship of Archas, his trusted general. Before his death, the old Duke entrusted a great treasure to Archas and Boroskie by way of ensuring the dukedom would remain solvent even if the new Duke fell on hard times.
The Epilogue is certain that few members of the audience will regret having spent precious money and three hours' time to attend the play. The spectators are invited to show their opinion of the acting. Applause, he says, will please the actors and encourage them to improve their performance in the future presentations.
There are six characters variously described as gentlemen in the Duke's court in the play, but some descriptions may refer to the same character.
- When the Duke hears that the Tartars are approaching the city and inquires if his army is ready, the First Gentleman informs him the army would not fight without Archas. While Archas is at war with the Tartars, the First Gentleman confirms that Boroskie is well again, now that he is no longer expected to lead the army in battle. When Burris expresses his fear that Boroskie's displeasure might have something to do with money, the First Gentleman agrees.
When Burris reports to the Duke that Boroskie is well again, now that Archas has taken his place as a general in the war with the Tartars, the Second Gentleman confirms it. When Burris wants to see Boroskie, the Second Gentleman advises him against it, saying that Boroskie has ordered not to be disturbed. The Second Gentleman asks Burris if he knows of someone who has angered Boroskie. While Boroskie incites the Duke against Archas, the Second Gentleman announces Theodor, who comes with news of Archas's victory over the Tartars.
When Archas and his soldiers return victorious from the war against the Tartars, a Gentleman brings in the soldiers' pay from the Duke. He observes that the soldiers look tired and announces there is double pay for every company. Seeing that the Ancient and Putskie refuse money with dignity, the Gentleman observes in an aside that this is what he feared. After Archas's arrest, the Gentleman tells the Duke that Archas is being tortured at Boroskie's orders. When Archas lies wounded, after having been tortured, the Gentleman reports to the Duke that the soldiers threaten to retire for good and leave the city to the mercy of the enemy.
Another Gentleman in the Duke's court is a "mute character." When Theodor is looking for his two sisters Honora and Viola at court, he sees a Gentleman passing by. At first, Theodor intends to ask him about his sisters' lodgings. The Gentleman does not hear Theodor's question, and Theodor gives up, thinking that the Gentleman has a debauched look and he might be the one who endangers his sisters' virtue at court. Later, he sees the Gentleman in the amorous company of a Gentlewoman.
Two Gentlemen are philanderers at the Duke's court and also "mute characters." They attend Theodor's presentation of Honora and Viola at court. Theodor uses vulgar terms when he introduces his two sisters to Boroskie and the two Gentlemen. When Boroskie exits with Honora and Viola, Theodor tells the two Gentlemen to go after them and grab the girls. Theodor tells the men ironically that he has brought Honora and Viola for their pleasure. He instructs the two Gentlemen to surprise the ladies while they are walking in the evenings and speak to them in verse, then send them love letters through a cunning woman. Actually, Theodor lists some of the seduction rules in the courtier's handbook. After the Gentlemen's departure, Burris describes them as "flesh flies," while Theodor notes that the flesh they will not seize must be very stinking indeed.
Honora is Archas's eldest daughter. For the Duke's visit Archas instructs his two daughters Honora and Viola to prepare a banquet and dress elegantly. When the Duke arrives, he admires Archas's house and the beauty of his daughters and invites them to court as Olimpia's ladies in waiting. Honora tells Archas that they are too old and sophisticated to be lured by the vanities at court. At court, their brother Theodor makes a vulgar introduction of Honora and Viola to Boroskie and two philandering Gentlemen. Showing them off like prize horses, Theodor slaps Honora's buttocks, telling the men they will probably find no bedstraw here. Honora sarcastically thanks her brother for the rude compliment. In Olimpia's quarters, Alinda (young Archas in disguise) receives Viola and Honora, posing as the experienced courtesan and giving them a set of rules about the art of seduction. After Alinda's departure, Honora is revolted and refuses to read the instructions. She tears them up. When the ladies are introduced to the Duke and he makes amorous advances to them, Honora plays the aggressor, kissing the Duke and inviting her sister to do the same. The Duke is put off by her zeal and realizes that she is testing him. Thus, Honora cures him of his vanity and self-indulgence. In the final reconciliation, the Duke asks Honora if she can love him and she responds enthusiastically. Honora is to be married to the Duke as the play closes.
Only mentioned. The Duke invokes the god of marriage in the final scene, when three marriagesDuke/Honoria, young Archas/Olimpia, Burris/Violaare to be celebrated at once.
Only mentioned. When Boroskie unjustly arrests Archas, the old general compares Boroskie to Judas, who kissed him and welcomed him when he came victorious from the war only to betray him.
The Lady is part of Olimpia's household and a representation of the loose sexuality at court. When Theodor is looking for his sisters' lodgings, he intends to ask somebody about Honora and Viola. The area around Olimpia's quarters is famed for sexual encounters and secret assignations. When Theodor sees a Lady, he pretends to be Boroskie's servant. The Lady gives him money and tells him to announce to Boroskie that a choice Young Lady has prepared a secret assignation with him in the chamber by the water. The Lady observes that the arrangement is private and convenient, inviting Theodor to her personal rooms. The Lady shows Theodor where she lives and says she will be expecting him. When she exits, Theodor calls her a Bawd.
Olimpia is the princess of Moscow and the Duke's sister. She takes in a new lady-in-waiting, Alinda, not realizing that "she" is really young Archas in disguise. Olimpia finds "her" handsome and honest, confessing she likes her. Olimpia is frightened at the news that the Tartars are approaching the city. At Alinda's advice, Olimpia seeks Archas's help against the enemy. She asks her brother to treat the old general well. Olimpia returns with Burris, who brings a ring from the Duke, as a token of is love for Alinda. Olimpia shows Alinda the Duke's ring, but when Alinda refuses it, Olimpia exchanges rings with Alinda and takes full responsibility for the consequences. Olimpia and Petesca listen secretly while the Duke speaks privately with Alinda. She overhears the Duke proposition Alinda, but she does not hear the girl's answer. Revolted at what she believes to be Alinda's hypocrisy, Olimpia dismisses Alinda from her service. It is not long before Olimpia grows sad and misses Alinda. When the Second Gentlewoman introduces Alinda's brother, young Archas, Olimpia observes that he looks exactly like her former lady. He makes Olimpia regret having dismissed Alinda. In the final scene, when Alinda is revealed as Young Archas, the Duke makes Olimpia admit her love for the young man and blesses their marriage.
A "ghost character." Olin is an archenemy of Moscow. When Archas recalls his past victories, he mentions Olin as a feared enemy. Archas tells how Olin's latest incursions made Moscow sweat with fear and how he defeated him with canon fire. For the offense of Archas's torture at Boroskie's orders, the soldiers threaten to retire and leave the city unprotected and at the mercy of Olin and his fierce troupes.
Petesca is Olimpia's gentlewoman. When Olimpia asks her opinion of Alinda, Petesca finds only faults with the "girl." According to Petesca, she is too brown and has a manly body. When she sees the Duke kissing Alinda, Petesca feels threatened and wishes the girl back home, milking her father's cows. Hearing that the Tartars are approaching the city, Petesca and the Second Woman are very scared. Alinda ironically tells Petesca she did not think Petesca could fear any man. Petesca is jealous and makes cutting remarks when she sees that the Duke has sent Alinda a ring. Olimpia and Petesca enter privately and overhear the Duke's intimate conversation with Alinda. Petesca observes in an aside that she is glad her mistress is convinced of Alinda's hypocrisy. Petesca later comments she is glad that Alinda has left and admits to having contributed to Alinda's disgrace. She is last seen introducing Alinda's "brother," young Archas, to Olimpia.
There are two posts in the play.
- The First Post brings a message to the Duke. While Putskie, the Ancient, and the Soldier show their disapproval of the Duke's treatment of Archas and curse him, the First Post enters and asks about the Duke. When Putskie directs him to the Duke, the First Post thanks him and exits.
The Second Post is a messenger who brings news from the borders to the Duke. He announces that the Tartars have attacked the country, burning the villages and killing everybody on their way. The Second Post asks about the Duke and tells the Soldiers, Putskie, and the Ancient to run while they can. When the Duke asks about Boroskie, since the new general is needed in the emergency, the Second Post informs him that Boroskie is in bed, claiming to be sick.
The Priests are "mute characters" sanctifying Archas's armaments in a religious ceremony. Archas hands his arms to the holy men and vows to them he will never wear his arms and trophies more. Seeing that the Priests look sad, Archas tells them he is not dead yet.
The Prologue names Fletcher as the author of the play. Mourning the loss for the stage caused by the playwright's recent death, the Prologue calls Fletcher a genius. While voicing the actors' pledge to do their best to honor such a great name with their acting, the Prologue notes that the story combines merriment with grave matter and it is meant for the audience's profit and delight.
Putskie is the disguise of Briskie, Archas's brother. He raised Young Archas, his younger nephew, to keep him safe from the envious court. As Putskie, he is a Captain in the Duke's army and loyal to Archas. Putskie, Theodor, the Ancient, and the Soldiers attend the ceremony of Archas's farewell to arms. Putskie tries to temper Theodor's anger in the Duke's presence. When the Ancient advises the soldiers to refrain from fighting in the new general's army, Putskie agrees. Putskie frightens Boroskie with tales of battle and then goes to tell the army to disobey the new general. When Archas returns victorious from the war, Putskie is amazed that the Duke did not receive them. Feeling that Archas and his soldiers are not honored sufficiently, Putskie refuses the Duke's pay. Putskie informs Theodor that the Duke is having a feast at court that night, to which Archas is invited. Suspecting foul play, Putskie agrees with Theodor and the Ancient that it is better to have a small army of a thousand ex-soldiers ready, should anything happen at the party. After Archas' arrest, the Ancient, Putskie, Theodor, and the faithful soldiers claim their General's freedom. When Archas reprimands his soldiers for having forgotten their allegiance and rebelled against the Duke, Putskie reveals himself as Briskie, Archas's brother. Briskie forces Archas to forgive the rebellious Theodor by threatening to kill Young Archas.
Two servants in the Duke's household and two other servants figure in the play.
- The First Servant in the Duke's household is likely the character who refuses to tell Theodor about his sisters' lodgings in court. Later, while preparing the banquet ordered by the Duke, the First Servant talks with the Second Servant. The First Servant observes that there will be much drinking at the feast that night.
When Theodor inquires about his sisters' lodgings at court, he asks a Servant first, who refuses to tell him. Then Theodor sees a Second Servant in the Duke's household who is carrying a jug of wine. Theodor asks if he may have some wine, and the Second Servant serves him. Theodor is about to drink the entire carafe but the Second Servant will not allow it. While preparing the banquet ordered by the Duke, the Second Servant speaks with the First Servant. The Second Servant says he is glad the old general has been invited, because the news will make half the court drunk with joy.
- Another servant is part of Burris's household in the Duke's palace. This Servant delivers a casket to Burris, which he gives to Theodor for Archas, in the Servant's presence. When Archas comes to court for the Duke's feast, the Servant gives him directions. Telling him that Lord Burris lives this side of the palace, probably the side where Archas used to live while in active service. The Servant confirms that Burris has sent Archas the casket with gold. Inquiring whether Archas wants something else, the Servant learns that Archas will need only his horses after supper and promises he will have the groom wait with the horses outside.
Another servant is part of Archas's household. Archas's Servant brings news to Theodor and Putskie from the country house. The Servant says that Archas summons Theodor immediately at his house.
Five soldiers are given speaking parts in the play.
- One Soldier represents the voice of Archas's army. Seeing that the victorious general Archas and his army are not given due honors, the Soldier speaks up. He demands, in the name of the army, that the general be offered a full triumph.
- The First Soldier is part of the Duke's army and loyal to the former general Archas. When Archas takes his farewell to arms, he shakes hands with his soldiers. When the Ancient foresees that this is just the beginning of the misfortunes, the First Soldier agrees and curses the Duke for his malice. The First Soldier asks Captain Putskie what they should do after Archas's retirement. He says he could retire as well and go back to his old job as a shoemaker, but the Ancient tells him he is still needed to fight. When the Second Post brings news that the Tartars are at the borders, the First Soldier directs him to the Duke. Later, dismissed from the army and having no other means of subsistence, the First Soldier becomes a peddler. When Boroskie wants to know why he and his fellow soldiers are performing such menial jobs, the First Soldier tells him ironically that he mends cracked maidenheads for Boroskie's fictional loose daughters.
The Second Soldier is part of the former general's army. When Archas takes his farewell to arms, he shakes hands with the soldiers. After Archas's departure, the Second Soldier is of the same opinion as the Ancient that the Duke has behaved ungratefully towards Archas. When the Ancient advises the faithful soldiers to refrain from fighting under the new general, the Second Soldier relishes the thought of the Tartars burning Moscow unless they intervene. Dismissed from the army and having no other means of subsistence, the Second Soldier sells potatoes. When Boroskie asks the soldiers why they are performing such menial jobs, the Second Soldier offers Boroskie a potato ironically. According to the Second Soldier, it may increase the old courtier's sexual prowess.
Dismissed from the army without pay and having no other means of subsistence, the Third Soldier is a peddler. When Boroskie asks him what he is selling, the Third Soldier answers ironically that he sells honesty to his Lordship, adding it will be worth his money. The Soldier alludes to Boroskie being in need of honesty and to the pecuniary importance he attached to it.
Dismissed from the army and having no other means of subsistence, the Fourth Soldier is a peddler. The Fourth Soldier sings the mocking song about the peddler who exchanges cracked maidenheads for new. The allusion is to Boroskie's tarnished virtue.
Another group of Soldiers are "mute characters." When Archas takes his farewell to arms, he shakes hands with his "honest" soldiers. When the Ancient and Putskie suggest that they should refuse to fight under the new general Boroskie, the soldiers cheer in agreement.
"Ghost characters." When Archas takes his farewell to his arms, he observes that he has used them against the Tartars on the Volga. After the ceremony of Archas's retirement, the Second Post brings the news that the Tartars are at the borders, killing everybody and burning villages on their way.
Theodor is a colonel in the Duke's army and Archas's eldest son. Theodor explains to Putskie why his father has retired from active service after the Duke's accession to power, observing that his military career is jeopardized by his father's disgrace with the Duke. Theodor revolts at his father's early retirement and insinuates he would take revenge against the Duke. Returning from the war with news of Archas's victory against the Tartars, Theodor requests an interview with the Duke. Theodor is offended when Boroskie instead of the Duke receives him. Archas summons Theodor to his home, telling him he must accompany his sisters at court. Though Theodor opposes his sisters' exposure to the lewd life at court, he agrees to act as their guardian. At court, Theodor introduces Honora and Viola to Boroskie, Burris, and two Gentlemen as if the ladies were horses at an auction. He extols their beauty in vulgar terms and invites Boroskie and the Gentlemen to try to conquer them. When Putskie brings him the news that the Duke has invited Archas to a feast, Theodor suspects a trap and instructs the Ancient to tell the faithful soldiers to lie in attendance. After Archas' arrest, the Ancient, Putskie, Theodor, and the soldiers win their General's freedom. Theodor and his soldiers foment a military rebellion, retiring beyond the city gates and threatening to leave Moscow unprotected. In a final confrontation between the rebel army and Archas, who remains loyal to the Duke's side, Archas accuses Theodor of disobedience and proposes to kill him. When Briskie threatens to kill young Archas if Theodor is not pardoned, Archas forgives his eldest son. The Duke nominates Theodor the new General.
Viola is Archas's younger daughter. Archas instructs his two daughters Honora and Viola to prepare a banquet for the Duke and dress elegantly. The Duke admires their beauty and invites them to court as Olimpia's ladies in waiting. Viola prefers to stay at home because they have been educated against pride and love of riches. While Honora tells her to brave the challenge of the court, testing her virtue in the process, Viola is more fearful. Finally, Viola agrees to go to the court, hoping she will emulate her sister. At court, Theodor makes a vulgar introduction of Honora and Viola to Boroskie and two philandering Gentlemen. Showing them off like prize horses, Theodor describes Viola as not so strongly built as her sister is, but of an ardent temper. In Olimpia's quarters, Alinda receives Viola and Honora, posing as the experienced courtesan and giving them a set of rules on the art of seduction. After Alinda's departure, Viola is outraged at the vulgarity of Alinda's courtly advice. When the Duke propositions them, Viola goes along with her sister's scheme of acting aggressively towards the Duke. Though Viola is not so forceful as her sister is, she responds to Honora's invitation to kiss the Duke. In the final reconciliation, when Olimpia is given to young Archas and the Duke to Honora, the Duke asks Viola if she would love Burris, and she accepts him. The three marriages are to be celebrated instantly.
WIFE of BOROSKIE
Boroskie's wife is a "ghost character." When Theodor announces the victory over the Tartars and is received by Boroskie instead of the Duke, he gives a bloody picture of what would have happened if Archas had not come to the Duke's rescue. Theodor says the city would have been destroyed, the virgins killed, and Boroskie's very wife would have fallen prey to the cruel Tartars.
WIFE of ARCHAS
Archas's wife is a "ghost character." When Alinda pleads for the old general's help against the approaching enemy, Archas observes that Alinda looks and speaks like his virtuous wife. This statement foreshadows the final revelation that Alinda is Archas's youngest son in disguise. In similar foreshadowing, Alinda tells Olimpia that her mother told her that "she" was born on the same day as the princess Olimpia.
The Second Woman is one of Olimpia's gentlewoman. Whether her first gentlewoman is Alinda or Petesca is not made clear. At Olimpia's quarters at court, the ladies discuss the qualities of the new lady in waiting, Alinda. The Second Woman insinuates she could have a better face and a more slender body, and her behavior is too bold. The Second Woman, like Petesca, finds only faults with Alinda. When she sees the Duke kissing Alinda, the Second Woman says the girl is very dangerous because she jumped immediately into the Duke's arms. The Second Woman is jealous and believes they should be wary of Alinda because her next jump may bring their dismissal. She is envious of the Duke sending Alinda his ring and makes cutting remarks. During the military crisis, while the soldiers are assembled outside the city gates, the Second Woman and Petesca discuss the situation. The Second Woman thinks the soldiers handsome and that they have sexual designs upon them. When Petesca comments on Olimpia's melancholy after having dismissed Alinda, the Second Woman observes that she would have been angrier had Alinda been a man. Ironically, Alinda is a man disguised as a woman. At that moment, "Alinda" returns in his own guise as a young gentleman, asking the ladies about the princess. The Second Woman is amazed at the likeness between this man and Alinda, recalling that she heard Alinda speak of a brother who was away.
Young Archas is Archas's youngest son. For fear of the Duke's persecution, Archas's brother Briskie raised young Archas secretly. Young Archas is disguised as Alinda and placed into service as Olimpia's gentlewoman. Late in the play, he appears to Olimpia as a young gentleman, and he pretends to be Alinda's brother. Speaking to Olimpia about Alinda's faithfulness towards her, the alleged brother succeeds in making Olimpia see her misjudgment in dismissing Alinda. When the Duke asks Olimpia if she loves Young Archas and she responds affirmatively, Young Archas kisses her. The Duke gives him her hand in marriage.
The Young Lady is part of Olimpia's household and a "ghost character." When Theodor inquires about his sisters' lodgings at court, he sees a Lady near Olimpia's quarters. Thinking he is Boroskie's servant, the Lady tells Theodor of a secret amorous assignation between a choice Young Lady and Boroskie. This sequence of amorous propositions reveals the loose sexual behavior at court.