George Chapman


a synoptic, alphabetical character list


Aemilia is the daughter of Lorenzo. She resents her father's plan to marry her to old Gasparo. She is in love with Aurelio, but initially flees when Lodovico arranges a meeting between them. Later, however, a second meeting at her home is arranged, and she and Aurelio declare their love. In the final scene, at Honorio's home, both fathers bless their union.


Angelo is Aurelio's servant and is also related to Franceschina. He agrees to act as Lorenzo's messenger to Franceschina at the same time mocking the old man. He lures Lorenzo from home so that Aurelio can woo Aemilia, and persuades Lorenzo to come in disguise as a chimney sweep to Franceschina. When Lorenzo returns home to discover Aemilia with someone unknown, Angelo has Franceschina don Aurelio's suit in order to convince Lorenzo that she has followed him home. In the final scene, he assists Lorenzo by pretending to find the chimney sweep, and then introduces the now revealed Lucretio to those in attendance.


Aurelio is the son of Honorio, and is in love with Lorenzo's daughter Aemilia. While he flees from an initial meeting with his beloved (arranged by Lodovico), he keeps a second rendezvous at her home and declares his love. He is forced to flee when her father returns, but all ends well when the two lovers declare their bond at the May-night show and receive their fathers' blessings.


Cutbeard is a barber to whom Quintiliano is in debt. He confronts Quintiliano, who arranges for Giovanello to pay him on his behalf.


A servant at the Emperor's Head. He does his best to provide suitable wine to Quintiliano and his company.


Page to Quintiliano. He worries about the debt they're accumulating at the Lion early in the play, and later learns from Giacomo that Franceschina is disguised as a man and has gone to Lorenzo's home.


Wife to Quintiliano and cousin to Angelo. She agrees to meet Lorenzo at Angelo's urging. When he arrives in disguise as a chimney sweep, she arranges an interruption and "thrusts him into [my] coal-house." Later she disguises herself in Aurelio's clothes to continue the deception of Lorenzo. At the May-night show, she appears to mistake her masked husband for another man, but he believes she knew who he was.


Gasparo appears in the dramatis personae as an old clown. He hopes to wed Lorenzo's daughter Aemilia. He joins Ludovico and Honorio in baiting Lorenzo when the latter is disguised as a chimney sweep en route to Franceschina's home. At the evening's entertainment, he graciously accedes to the love match of Aemilia and Aurelio.


Giacomo is a friend of Lodovico's who appears briefly in the first act, then reappears in act four, in which he reveals to Fannio (and inadvertently to Quintiliano and Innocentio) that Franceschina has gone to Lorenzo's house disguised as a man.


Giovanello is a student from Padua who is persuaded by Lodovico to pursue a position with Quintiliano. He does so and is made a second gull (along with Innocentio) when Quintiliano immediately relieves him of his purse to pay a debt. He later quarrels with Innocentio, but Quintiliano persuades them to a peace over wine at the Emperor's Head.


Honorio is a Venetian gentleman, the father of Aurelio, and protector of Lucretia, the daughter of a Sicilian who had taken refuge with Honorio after fleeing his homeland. He participates in the baiting of Lorenzo when he is disguised as a chimney sweep. At the May night celebration, he learns of Lucretia's true identity and history, and blesses his son's love-match with Aemilia.


Innocentio is a gull, used by Quintiliano to provide funds in exchange for a position as his lieutenant. He quarrels with Giovanello (Quintiliano's ancient) at the Emperor's Head, but the quarrel is resolved. At the May night festivities, he is encouraged to flirt with a woman reputed to be a rich heiress (Lionello disguised as a woman). In the final moments of the play, he is matched with Temperance.


Leonaro is a young gentleman of Venice who is in love with Lucretia, the ward of Honorio. He works with Temperance to plan how to approach his love, but when she fails to appear at their scheduled meeting, he and Lionello repair to the Emperor's Head, where they meet Quintiliano and his company. At the celebration, he unmasks and reproaches Ludovico for dishonoring Lucretia earlier in the day. His beloved is revealed to be Lucretio, a man disguised as a woman.


One of Theagine's disguises. Lionello is Leonoro's page. Theagine, Lucretio's betrothed, has followed him to Venice and disguised herself as a boy. With her master, she goes "muffled" to meet with Temperance and arrange a meeting with Lucretia. When this is foiled, she and Leonoro go to the Emperor's Head where Quintiliano remarks on "his" sweet face. She then disguises herself as a woman to participate in the gulling of Innocentio at Honorio's party. There she reveals herself as Theagine to the now revealed Lucretio.


Lodovico is Lorenzo's nephew and the main actor in much of the play's action. As Aurelio's friend, he assists in his suit of Aemilia. Though both flee from their first arranged encounter, Lodovico sets up a second at Aemilia's home while her father will be away. He baits Lorenzo, disguised as a chimney sweep on his way to Franceschina's home, and encourages Honorio to join him. He then facilitates the lovers' meeting. Later, when Temperance mistakes him for Leonoro, he attempts to make love to Lucretia who draws a rapier and assaults him. When Leonoro challenges him at Honorio's party, he offers his version of events. As his various machinations are revealed to all, he blames those whose plots he aided and then says Temperance trained him in all his skills.


Lorenzo is an old Venetian gentleman and the father of Aemilia. He has promised his daughter to old Gasparo. He opens the play by saluting the May Day singers, then reveals his plans to pursue his passion for Franceschina, the wife of Quintiliano. He asks Angelo to carry a message to her, and Angelo arranges for him to meet her, disguised as a chimney sweep, while Aemilia meets Aurelio at her home. Franceschina thrusts him into her coal-house, where Quintiliano discovers him upon returning home. Quintiliano releases him and he runs home, cursing disguises, only to find Aemilia with someone. Shortly thereafter, Franceschina appears in the suit of Aurelio, and Lorenzo is persuaded that she has pursued him home. At the evening festivities, he blesses his daughter's love match with Aurelio.


A disguise assumed by Lucretio. Lucretia is the ward of Honorio, the daughter of an exiled Sicilian who has died. She is pursued by Leonaro, a young Venetian. When Ludovico attempts to assault her, she draws her rapier and reveals herself to be not Lucretia but Lucretio. In the play's final scene, he is reunited with the woman to whom he was betrothed in Sicily, Theagine, who has been in disguise as the page Lionello.


A young Sicilian, in exile in Venice, disguised as Lucretia, the ward of Honorio.


In act five, the messenger announces the arrival of the masquers at Honorio's house.


Quintiliano is a captain who believes devoutly in his wife's fidelity, and takes advantage of tradesmen and those who seek his favor, including Innocentio and Giovanello. He takes advantage of the funds and knowledge of his gulls at the Emperor's Head and in the town. When he returns home to discover the disguised Lorenzo in the coal-house, he believes his story and releases him. He sets up the continued gulling of Innocentio at the May night show, sees (unknowingly) Franceschina disguised as a man in Aurelio's clothes (and later learns what is happening when he eavesdrops on Fannio and Giacomo). As a masquer at the ball, he dances with his wife, but chooses not to believe her when she says that she mistook him for someone else. He persuades Innocentio to consider Temperance as a partner at the play's end.


One of the tradesman to whom Quintiliano owes money. The tailor uses the argument that he must pay his son's schoolmaster.


The tailor's son accompanies his father when he approaches Quintiliano for his payment, and has a comic interchange with Innocentio.


Temperance is the waiting woman of Lucretia, and provides advice to Leonoro about how to approach her mistress as well as other potential lovers. Though she arranges a meeting with him to give him access to her mistress, her plan is foiled when she mistakes Ludovico for Leonoro and allows him to enter instead. In the final scene, with her "mistress" revealed (as Lucretio, a man), she agrees to a match with Innocentio.


Theagine is Lucretio's betrothed, another exile from Cyprus. She spends the first four acts of the play in disguise as Lionello, Leonoro's page.