Francis Verney

THE TRAGEDY OF ANTIPOE

1604
The manuscript begins by listing the date of transcription as 1622 but ends by listing 10 June 1642 as the date of the writing of the manuscript.

a synoptic, alphabetical character list

Notes: The extraordinary number and extraneous nature of many speaking characters coupled with the large production requirements and frequent call in the stage directions for ‘trains’ of followers, soldiers, &c. strongly suggest that this is a closet drama or, if performed, was presented in a greatly truncated version.

ANGEL

At play’s end, an Angel appears, floating over the heads of the ghosts, and calls upon all to ‘adore great Jove’ the Elysian king.

ANTIPOE

He is the respected vanquisher of Bohemia and Greece, hated by his usurping king, Dramurgon. When he reports that Bohemia and Greece have broken their truce with Dramurgon, the egocentric king uses this as a pretext to have him jailed in the opening moments of the play. Although Antipoe’s fate is much discussed, Antipoe does not return again until III.i, where he is found fettered in prison. He laments in soliloquy ‘fortune is fickle’. Marcos disguised as Sorcam brings the writ for Antipoe’s execution, reveals himself, and helps him escape disguised as a wizard complete with long white beard, head of hair, and philosopher’s gown. He vows vengeance upon the tyrant. He enters with the masquers before the king of Bohemia dressed as a blackamoor and wearing a crown and after a dance takes away Bohemia’s four daughters. After Dramurgon swoons on the field of combat, Antipoe appears as Tartar’s champion, kills Corinth and Thrace, and subdues Bohemia, who yields to him. He then informs Bohemia that it was he who took the king’s daughters to his friends. He refuses to give Bohemia to Dramurgon and kills the knights who try to compel him. In III.iv. he enters into a de praesenti marriage with Cleantha. After Cleantha sends Dramurgon away, Antipoe secretly watches over her where she sleeps on the grass. When Dramurgon returns to rape her, Antipoe runs him off. Macros offers Antipoe the crown if he will help to unseat Dramurgon, but Antipoe is true to the crown even though he hates the man and goes instead to subdue Africa at which he enriches himself and his four friends who follow. Upon returning he meets and defeats Dramurgon’s army and takes the tyrant prisoner. Ever loyal, he believes Dramurgon’s promise to put aside tyranny and promises to return his crown. When he later discovers Dramurgon’s body, he swears to avenge the murder and then discovers that his friend Macros killed the tyrant, Antipoe places him under arrest for treason. Despite his friends not wishing to pass judgement on Macros, Antipoe condemns him not only to death but torture and death. On the day of execution, Antipoe kneels before the People and asks to die in Macros’ place, but they speak, saying that both should continue to live. He calls upon his friends to instate old Roman values into the laws of this country. When later the four worthy knights offer him the crown again, he rejects it disdaining Caesar, who only pretended to reject the crown. The Ghost of Dramurgon appears and reminds him that his vow to avenge his murder is yet unfulfilled, so Antipoe kills himself with his sword. He is later seen as a ghost, clad in white, ascending to the throne with the others at the behest of Brutus.

APOLLO

Only mentioned

ARMY

In Act IV, the army speaks with a single voice, declaring that they would rather die than disappoint Dramurgon in the fight.

BRUTUS

He appears at play’s end, when everyone has died, with Charon. Jove has sent him to place the worthy dead upon the throne, which somehow all eleven white-clad ghosts mount.

CAESAR’S GHOST

Only mentioned by Macros

CAPTAIN of the WATCH

He commits suicide rather than watch the dishonourable execution of Macros. Macros says that he was wrong to do so.

CAPTAINS, THREE

Two captains have seen fearful portents in camp, one commits suicide before Antipoe for shame in speaking saucily to his renowned leader. The third captain of the dramatis personae would technically be the earlier Captain of the Watch.

CHARON

He appears at play’s end with all of the deceased characters wearing white except for Dramurgon and Drapon who are dressed in black. While Brutus places the worthy dead upon a throne, Charon takes Dramurgon and Drupon into torment.

CLAPA

Daughter to Bohemia and sister of Marba, Nama and Reba. Along with her sisters, they love the Tartar knights, Dabon, Liperus, Macros and Sapos and agree to be wooed by them once the strife has ended, hoping noble Antipoe will be freed from prison. She climbs into the masquers’ chariot when they arrive to take her and her sisters away to Egypt. She and her sisters appear before the President of Tartar identified as their ‘contracted wives’ of the four worthy knights of Tartar. Upon learning of her husband’s death, she is next to kill herself after Cleantha. She is later seen as a ghost, clad in white, ascending to the throne with the others at the behest of Brutus.

CLEANTHA

The President’s daughter. Beloved of Dramurgon, she rejects him when he comes to woo, making clear that she abhors him for his bloody usurpation. She drops her glove for him, however, and agrees to reverence him if he demonstrates his honour in battle on Thursday next. Her father insists that she should marry the worthy Antipoe instead, and she submits. In III.iv. she enters into a de praesenti marriage with Antipoe. When Dramurgon calls, however, she must pretend interest in him as she is the only obstacle the tyrant has to killing her father. She uses the fact that he did not fight bravely, as he promised, to rebuff his wooing, then lies down to sleep upon the grass. Dramurgon attempts to rape her, but Antipoe runs him away. Upon learning of Antipoe’s death, she lays his body in their crimson bed and lay down beside it. Placing his sword to her heart, she kills herself. She is later seen as a ghost, clad in white, ascending to the throne with the others at the behest of Brutus.

COUNCIL, TWO

They are mere functionaries of Dramurgon, agreeing with all he asks in a scene or two.

CUPID

Only mentioned in his usual role as shooter of darts and inflicter of love.

DABON

One of the four worthy knights of Tartar. He conspires with Liperus and Sapos to kill Dramurgon and agrees to take noble Macros into their conspiracy; the conspirators see Macros lying in his prophetic stupor and elect to leave him there for the time being. Upon catching Drupon about to murder the sleeping Macros, he along with Liperus and Sapos capture Drupon and lead him away to torture. He agrees with his friends Liperus, Macros and Sapos that Dramurgon has dishonoured them by refusing to fight the kings of Bohemia, Corinth and Thrace and believes that he will find some trick to avoid the fight on Thursday next. Fearing Antipoe dead by execution, he is delighted to see that Macros has rescued the hero and goes to fulfill his promised love with the king of Bohemia’s daughters. He stands beside Antipoe to kill the men Dramurgon sends to compel the fallen Bohemia from him. He and the other three knights appear before the President of Tartar identifying the four daughters of Bohemia as their ‘contracted wives’ and all go in to supper. He later objects to passing judgement upon Macros for the murder of Dramurgon. He is next to commit suicide after Macros commits suicide after Antipoe commits suicide for his failure to avenge Dramurgon’s murder. He is later seen as a ghost, clad in white, ascending to the throne with the others at the behest of Brutus.

DEVILS, CREW OF BLACK

They appear and attempt to strangle the sleeping Macros, but Mercury stops them.

DRAMURGON, KING of TARTARE

He returns in victory from Africa and wonders if Cleantha smiled to learn of his success. He orders Antipoe imprisoned for reporting danger abroad because, in is pride, Dramurgon refuses to believe that the world does not quake before his might. He then has his messengers killed and mutilated when they bring in reports that support Antipoe’s. He entreats Drupon to spy out Antipoe’s friends, whom he believes to be his foes. He slips away from the sleeping Macros, whom he fears, ‘running lightly, with his shoes off.’ He meets the armies of Bohemia, Corinth, and Thrace but refuses to fight man-to-man while scorning their suggestions that he is a coward, making them agree to meet and fight on Thursday next. He woos Cleantha, who despises him, but collects her dropped glove and wins her promise to love him if he can demonstrate his honour in battle on Thursday next. He goes to the President, who refuses to execute Antipoe without charges or trial and chastises Dramurgon for his tyranny. Dramurgon endures the old man only because he is Cleantha’s father. When at the prison he finds that Antipoe has escaped, he has the torturers hang up the Jailor, Jailor’s wife, and servants. On the Thursday of the single combat, Dramurgon takes his spear but falls in a swoon and must be carried back to his pavilion. He returns after Antipoe has defeated the three kings and attempts to claim Bohemia, who has yielded, for himself. When Antipoe refuses, he calls down his knights but runs away when Antipoe and the four worthy knights kill his men. Unaware that Clentha has secretly married Antipoe, Dramurgon goes to renew his wooing with her but is rebuffed because he did not show the bravery he promised in the combat. He returns to rape her but is run away by Antipoe. He meets the army returning from Africa to fight Antipoe though he proposes to remain behind and not enter the fight personally. In the battle, his army loses and he is taken prisoner and grovels before Antipoe, who relents and spares him. He tells the trusting Antipoe what he wants to hear in order to regain the crown but secretly intends to return to his tyrannous ways. Macros appears, having heard all, and kills Dramurgon while he pleads for his life on his knees. He is later seen as a ghost, clad in black, descending to torture with Drupon at the behest of Charon.

DRAMURGON’S BROTHER

A ‘ghost character’. Dramurgon murdered him.

DRAMURGON’S FATHER

A ‘ghost character’. Dramurgon stabbed him.

DRAMURGON’S MOTHER

A ‘ghost character’. Dramurgon raped and murdered her.

DRAMURGON’S SISTER

A ‘ghost character’. Dramurgon ravished her.

DRAMURGON’S UNCLES

‘Ghost characters’. Dramurgon strangled them.

DRUPON

Dramurgons’ mignon stabs the first messenger who comes with a report of revolution in Bohemia, Corinth, and Greece. He next pulls out the tongue of the second messenger, who reports that the treasure city has been sacked. Instructed to spy out Antipoe’s friends, he finds Macros sleeping (in Mercury’s prophetic slumber) and draws his rapier to kill him but not before plucking his hair before his eyes so as not to see. He is interrupted in the act by Dabon, Liperus and Sapos, who lead him away to torture. When Dramurgon swoons on the field of battle, he claims that the kings of Bohemia, Corinth and Thrace have bewitched him. He is placed in charge of the royal army to fight Antipoe’s army as it returns from Africa, but when he learns that Dramurgon will not personally fight, he secretly determines to be sick that day as well and not face Antipoe. In battle, he drinks Canary wine for valour but runs away and falls on his face pretending to be dead. When confronted, he grovels before Macros, who spares him in imitation of Antipoe’s mercy to Dramurgon. He is tied to a tree and watched over by Marcos’ page. He is taunted by the Page and remains tied to the tree throughout the murder of Dramurgon and the capture, trial and thwarted execution of Macros. Upon Macros’ deliverance from execution, Macros calls for the killing of Drupon, still tied to the tree, and then kills Drupon. He is later seen as a ghost, clad in black, descending into torture with the Dramurgon at the behest of Charon.

FAERIES, TWO

Having not appeared previously, they end the play with a song, which they sing by alternating lines. The song sing praise to their king, but since the only kings have been Dramurgon, Bohemia, Corinth and Thrace, it is difficult to determine upon whom they are bestowing peace and rest.

GHOST of DRAMURGON

He returns to remind Antipoe that he vowed to avenge Dramurgon’s murder, which has not been accomplished. He later returns with Charon clad in black.

GHOSTS

All that die return with Charon and Brutus at play’s end. Antipoe, Macros, Dabon, Liperus, Sapos, Cleantha, Clapa, Marba, Reba, Nama and the President wear white while Dramurgon and Drupon wear black. It is unclear from the stage direction whether the others who have died in the play such as the kings of Corinth and Thrace, the two Captains, and the rest are intended to be in this final rout of ghosts. Those in white ascend to the throne with Brutus while the two in black descend into torture with Charon.

JAILOR of the BASTILE

He pleads with his pretty wife to be allowed back into her good graces. He must leave, and entrusts watching the prisoners to his wife and her new servant ‘Sorcam’ who is really Macros in disguise. He is hung up to die when Antipoe is found to have escaped.

JAILOR’S WIFE

She loathes her husband as a lecher. She takes Sorcam as her servant, not knowing he is Macros in disguise. She sings a song with Macros/Sorcam which begins, ‘Come mourn, come weep, come lower’. She is hung up to die when Antipoe is found to have escaped.

JANUS

Only mentioned by Cleantha.

JOVE

Only mentioned.

KING of BOHEMIA

Along with Corinth and Thrace, he agrees to meet Dramurgon’s army and fight on Thursday next. A squire appears on the field of combat after Dramurgon swoons and asks the kings of Bohemia, Corinth and Thrace if they will agree to face a champion from Dramurgon under the same terms, and they agree. Bohemia is thrown down by the champion, Antipoe. He yields and accepts Antipoe’s protection.

KING of CORINTH

Along with Bohemia and Thrace, he agrees to meet Dramurgon’s army and fight on Thursday next. A squire appears on the field of combat after Dramurgon swoons and asks the kings of Bohemia, Corinth and Thrace if they will agree to face a champion from Dramurgon under the same terms, and they agree. Corinth is killed by the champion, Antipoe.

KING of EGYPT

A ‘ghost character’. Dramurgon has just defeated him as the play begins, and he is said to send the masque to the king of Bohemia, although this is a ruse by the Tartar knights Dabon, Lipersus, Macro and Sapos to gain access to Bohemia’s daughters as they have promised.

KING of THRACE

Along with Bohemia and Thrace, he agrees to meet Dramurgon’s army and fight on Thursday next. A squire appears on the field of combat after Dramurgon swoons and asks the kings of Bohemia, Corinth and Thrace if they will agree to face a champion from Dramurgon under the same terms, and they agree. Thrace is killed by the champion, Antipoe.

LIPERUS or LYPERUS

One of the four worthy knights of Tartar. He conspires with Dabon and Sapos to kill Dramurgon and agrees to take noble Macros into their conspiracy; the conspirators see Macros lying in his prophetic stupor and elect to leave him there for the time being. Upon catching Drupon about to murder the sleeping Macros, he along with Dabon and Sapos capture Drupon and lead him away to torture. He agrees with his friends Dabon, Macros and Sapos that Dramurgon has dishonoured them by refusing to fight the kings of Bohemia, Corinth and Thrace and believes that he will find some trick to avoid the fight on Thursday next. Fearing Antipoe dead by execution, he is delighted to see that Macros has rescued the hero and goes to fulfill his promised love with the king of Bohemia’s daughters. He stands beside Antipoe to kill the men Dramurgon sends to compel the fallen Bohemia from him. He and the other three knights appear before the President of Tartar identifying the four daughters of Bohemia as their ‘contracted wives’ and all go in to supper. He later objects to passing judgement upon Macros for the murder of Dramurgon. He is next to commit suicide after Drabon commits suicide after Macros commits suicide after Antipoe commits suicide for his failure to avenge Dramurgon’s murder. He is later seen as a ghost, clad in white, ascending to the throne with the others at the behest of Brutus.

MACROS

One of the four worthy knights of Tartar. In the first soliloquy of the play calls down a curse upon Dramurgon. Mercury sends him a prophetic dream that all will be well. He remains on the stage throughout act one, and various characters reveal themselves by their reactions to his sleeping form. He awakes at the end of act one having dreamt of a ghost who told him of his fortunes and ultimate death. He agrees with his friends Liperus, Dabon and Sapos that Dramurgon has dishonoured them by refusing to fight the kings of Bohemia, Corinth and Thrace and believes that he will find some trick to avoid the fight on Thursday next. He goes to the Jailor’s Wife disguised as Sorcam and offers to be her servant. As Sorcam he sings a duet with the Jailor’s wife which begins, ‘Come mourn, come weep, come lower’. He rescues Antipoe from jail and later stands beside Antipoe to kill the men Dramurgon sends to compel the fallen Bohemia from him. He and the other three knights appear before the President of Tartar identifying the four daughters of Bohemia as their ‘contracted wives’ and all go in to supper. Macros attempts to persuade Antipoe to usurp Dramurgon and take his crown, but, although he hates the man, Antipoe is loyal to the crown. In the battle with Dramurgon, Macros captures Drupon and ties him to a tree, instructing his page to watch the knave. The page leaves, but Macros hides and overhears Dramurgon planning to promise Antipoe anything to regain the crown and then return to his villainy; Macros comes from hiding and kills Dramurgon while he is pleading on his knees. He later submits to Antipoe, who views that act as traitorous. Antipoe condemns him not only to death but torture and death. He stands boldly to his execution, but when Antipoe begs the people to allow himself to die in Macros’ stead, Macros says that it is he who should die and not noble Antipoe until the People speak and say that both should live. Saved from his fate, Macros says that they should kill Drupon (still tied to the tree) and then he does so. When Antipoe kills himself for failing to avenge the murder of Dramurgon, Macros delivers a eulogy praising Antipoe’s great worth, and then commits suicide with his sword. He is later seen as a ghost, clad in white, ascending to the throne with the others at the behest of Brutus.

MARBA

Daughter to Bohemia and sister of Clapa, Nama and Reba. Along with her sisters, they love the Tartar knights, Dabon, Liperus, Macros and Sapos and agree to be wooed by them once the strife has ended, hoping noble Antipoe will be freed from prison. She climbs into the masquers’ chariot when they arrive to take her and her sisters away to Egypt. She and her sisters appear before the President of Tartar identified as their ‘contracted wives’ of the four worthy knights of Tartar. Upon learning of her husband’s death, she is last to kill herself after Cleantha, Clapa, Reba and Nama. She is later seen as a ghost, clad in white, ascending to the throne with the others at the behest of Brutus.

MASQUERS, FOUR

They perform for the King and Queen of Bohemia, presumably sent by the king of Egypt, they might be the four worthy knights, but the text is unclear upon this point. They enter in a ‘chariot’ with Antipoe in their midst wearing a crown and dressed as a blackamoor. They inform Bohemia that Egypt requires his four daughters, and, after they dance, he allows them to be taken away in the chariot.

MERCURY

He tells Macros that all will be well and places him in a sleep whereby Jove’s prophesy, by Apollo, will be revealed.

MESSENGERS, THREE

The first messenger reports to Dramurgon that Bohemia, Corinth, and Greece have revolted, and Dramurgon has him stabbed on the spot for the news. The second messenger reports that Dramurgon’s treasure city has been looted, and Dramurgon has his tongue pulled out on the spot. The third messenger later announces to the king of Bohemia that a masque sent from the king of Egypt is toward and begs his permission for them to perform.

MORPHEUS

Only mentioned by Mercury.

NAMA

Daughter to Bohemia and sister of Marba, Clapa and Reba. Along with her sisters, they love the Tartar knights, Dabon, Liperus, Macros and Sapos and agree to be wooed by them once the strife has ended, hoping noble Antipoe will be freed from prison. She climbs into the masquers’ chariot when they arrive to take her and her sisters away to Egypt. She and her sisters appear before the President of Tartar identified as their ‘contracted wives’ of the four worthy knights of Tartar. Upon learning of her husband’s death, she is next to kill herself after Cleantha, Clapa and Reba. She is later seen as a ghost, clad in white, ascending to the throne with the others at the behest of Brutus.

PAGE, MACROS’

After Macros has defeated Drupon, the page is told to stand watch and kill him if he attempts escape. The page, however, disobeys and goes off to see his mates. He returns later to taunt Drupon during a musical interlude.

PEOPLE

During Macros’ Act V execution scene, Antipoe kneels to the People and begs their judgement that he should die in place of Macros. The People (speaking in one voice as did the Army earlier) say that both Antipoe and Macros should live.

PRESIDENT of TARTARE

He refuses to execute Antipoe without charges or trial and chastises Dramurgon for his tyranny. He later attempts to convince Cleantha to wed Antipoe and forsake Dramurgon. When he discovers that Cleantha has committed suicide over the death of Antipoe, he falls down and dies. He is later [supposedly] seen as a ghost, clad in white, ascending to the throne with the others at the behest of Brutus.

POOR

They begin II.v by crying out to Dramurgon, causing him to ask what they want.

POST

He enters to tell Cleantha, Clapa, Marba, Reba, and Nama that Antipoe and the four worthy knights of Tartar, their husbands, are all dead.

QUEENE of BOHEMIA

She worries for her husband’s single combat with Dramurgon.

REBA

Daughter to Bohemia and sister of Marba, Nama and Clapa. Along with her sisters, they love the Tartar knights, Dabon, Liperus, Macros and Sapos and agree to be wooed by them once the strife has ended, hoping noble Antipoe will be freed from prison. She climbs into the masquers’ chariot when they arrive to take her and her sisters away to Egypt. She and her sisters appear before the President of Tartar identified as their ‘contracted wives’ of the four worthy knights of Tartar. Upon learning of her husband’s death, she is next to kill herself after Cleantha and Clapa. She is later seen as a ghost, clad in white, ascending to the throne with the others at the behest of Brutus.

SAPOS

One of the four worthy knights of Tartar. He conspires with Liperus and Dabon to kill Dramurgon and agrees to take noble Macros into their conspiracy; the conspirators see Macros lying in his prophetic stupor and elect to leave him there for the time being. Upon catching Drupon about to murder the sleeping Macros, he along with Liperus and Dabon capture Drupon and lead him away to torture. He agrees with his friends Liperus, Macros and Dabon that Dramurgon has dishonoured them by refusing to fight the kings of Bohemia, Corinth and Thrace and believes that he will find some trick to avoid the fight on Thursday next. He agrees along with Dabon, Liperus, and Macros to woo the daughters of Bohemia, Clapa, Marba, Nama and Reba. Fearing Antipoe dead by execution, he is delighted to see that Macros has rescued the hero and goes to fulfill his promised love with the king of Bohemia’s daughters. He stands beside Antipoe to kill the men Dramurgon sends to compel the fallen Bohemia from him. He and the other three knights appear before the President of Tartar identifying the four daughters of Bohemia as their ‘contracted wives’ and all go in to supper. He later objects to passing judgement upon Macros for the murder of Dramurgon. He is last to commit suicide after Liperus commits suicide after Drabon commits suicide after Macros commits suicide after Antipoe commits suicide for his failure to avenge Dramurgon’s murder. He is later seen as a ghost, clad in white, ascending to the throne with the others at the behest of Brutus.

SIBYL

Only mentioned by Macros.

SOLDIERS

They deliver the disguised Macros to the Jailor and his wife. A great number of other soldiers appear simply to be slaughtered in a number of set pieces demonstrating the skill of Antipoe and his four friends, Dabon, Liperus, Macros, and Sabos.

SORCAM

Disguise assumed by Macros in order to enter the jail. Sorcam is servant to the Jailor’s Wife.

SQUIRE

A squire appears on the field of combat after Dramurgon swoons and asks the kings of Bohemia, Corinth and Thrace if they will agree to face a champion from Dramurgon under the same terms, and they agree.

TORTURER

He discusses Macros’ torture with the Captain of the Watch.

TORTURERS

They accompany Dramurgon to execute the imprisoned Antipoe but end by hanging up the Jailor, Jailor’s wife and servants when Antipoe is found to have escaped.

VARRO

Only mentioned by Macros

WIZARD

Two wizards actually figure in the play. Disguise Macros brings to Antipoe to effect his escape from prison consisting of a long white beard, head of hair, and philosopher’s gown. Another wizard appears but once, after Antipoe wins the battle with Dramurgon, and delivers a single monologue to Antipoe warning against believing all one observes.