The son of a countryman in Shirley's The School of Compliment, Oaf is brought to the Compliment School to learn scholarship and the ways of a courtier.


A workman in the shipyard in Mountfort's The Launching of The Mary. The workmen quarrel genially as they work, and mutter about the massacre of Englishmen by the Dutch at Amboyna (although the reference to Amboyna was deleted by the censor). Later, they meet in a tavern, and Sheathing-Nail tells the story of the massacre (this too was censored). Trunnel encourages the workmen to taunt Dorothea Constance, whom they assume to be as unconstant as the other women in town, but they are chased off by Captain Fitzjohn. When the Mary is launched, the workmen entertain the East India Company board members with "some dainty dance, every one wearing the emblem of his name upon his head."


One of the watchmen in Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing, but not the first or second. When Dogberry asks the night watchmen to nominate a constable, the first watchman recommends Hugh Oatcake and George Seacole because both can read and write. Dogberry accepts the nomination of Seacole, who is referred to as second watch in the speech headings. Dogberry addresses Seacole directly, but Oatcake is not specifically identified within the group.


A vainglorius fellow in Middleton's(?) Puritan; he vows to free his friend Idle. He helps Pyeboard in his charade by pretending to be dead, and then being "raised" by Pyeboard's magic.


Family name of Sir Roger and Rose in Dekker's Shoemaker's Holiday.


A "ghost character" in Bale's God's Promises. Mentioned by John Baptist as an example of a prophet.


Timon's butler in the anonymous Timon of Athens. He thinks that his colleague Grunnio, Philargurus' servant, is "transparent," but does not give him anything to eat.


A "ghost character" in Marlowe's The Jew of Malta. Barabas describes him as a Jew of great wealth who lives in Bairseth.


Possibly a "ghost character" in the anonymous Temperance and Humility, but probably an actual character from the lost portion of the play. Temperance refers to Obedience as needing to go with Audacity and Adversity in order to abate them.


A "ghost character" in the anonymous Wit's Triumvirate. Tom O'Bedlam is mentioned by Signor Jealousia when he is telling Doctor Clyster about his obsession with horns since he thinks his wife is being unfaithful to him: "For Tom O'Bedlam, he's not so mad as to come in my walk." Tom O'Bedlam seems to be another man obsessed with horns, since Signor Jealousia adds: "But I'll never set him in the stocks again, for with his continual tooting he had almost made me as horn-mad as himself."


A “ghost character" in Ruggle’s Club Law. Brecknocke reminds the townsfolk that, last year when he was Burgomaster, Sir Obedus Tuck stood bareheaded before him. He tells them that, odious as it may be, they must now do the same before Philenius and Musonius as they present their petition for peace with the students.


In the Induction of Greene's James IV, Oberon finds Bohan sleeping in a tomb and subsequently joins Bohan as the onstage audience for the main play. He has fallen asleep by the end of Act III but is awake again by the end of Act IV. He intervenes to rescue Slipper when the latter is threatened with hanging, and also promises future blessings on Nano.
Oberon is King of the Fairies in the anonymous Guy Earl of Warwick. He arrives outside the Tower of Donather to free Guy from the Enchanter's spell. Oberon directs Guy to Jerusalem.
Oberon is the fairy king and husband of Titania in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. His persistent demands for Titania's Changeling Boy have caused division between himself and Titania and ultimately a rift in the fairy realm that has adverse effects upon nature and human life. Oberon's application of love-flower essence to Titania's eyes causes Titania to fall in love with ass-headed Bottom and give up her Changeling Boy. Oberon and his fairy troupe-newly reunited-bless the marriage beds of the newlyweds at the play's end. Shakespeare does not follow the folkloric tradition that Oberon was cursed forever to have the appearance of a three-years-old child.
After Maria has taken the drug that Eleazar gave her for King Fernando, she falls asleep in the anonymous Lust's Dominion. Oberon comes in a masque—or dreamlike sequence—to warn Maria that she will die, that Eugenia, the Queen Mother, intends to kill her and to marry her husband.
A "ghost character" in Dekker's The Whore of Babylon. King of Fairyland; son of Elfiline; and father of Mariana, Titania and an unnamed son, he represents Henry VIII of England.
"King Oberon" is an alias adopted by Craft to carry out his cheat in the anonymous Oberon the Second. As King Oberon, he convinces Covet and Politico to give him all their money and Spendall and Losarello to give over their land and money.
A "ghost character" in Habington's The Queen of Aragon. The king of fairies is mentioned by Browfilldora, Sanmartino's dwarf, in connection with his imagined mistress.
King of the Fairies in Randolph's Amyntas. The disguise assumed by Dorylas in order to steal apples from Iocastus's orchard, and later to gull Iocastus into splitting his wealth with Mopsus, enabling Mopsus to marry Thestylis.

OBERON **1632

An informal disguise, or persona, or impersonation adopted in jest by Asotus in Randolph's Jealous Lovers. Ballio suggests that, for variety, Asotus should cease roaring in the guise of Mars and become Oberon, King of the Fairies, instead. In fact this is a ruse to get Asotus out of the room while his father, Simo, attempts to seduce Phryne.

OBERON **1632

A disguise in Hausted’s Rival Friends set upon Tom the bedlam after Anteros convinces Stipes that the tree that he is tied to is magic and sits on fairy ground.


A precise scrivener and suitor to Mistress Ursely for the parsonage’s sake in Hausted’s Rival Friends. If he gets Ursely, he means to do away with Bully Lively by introducing a pin into his bread or a burr in his butter and so gain the parsonage. Lively imagines him to be the likeliest of the suitors to win Ursely. When Bully Lively pretends to die, he and the other suitors begin pulling at Ursely as on a rope to win her quickly. When Anteros receives the parsonage deed and Sacrilege Hook drives Hugo off, he and the other suitors flock to Anteros and call him patron. He is a “a shorn-beard villain . . . would fain turn priest." He is driven off by Anteros as unworthy to marry his sister.

OBLIVIO **1607

A “ghost character" in Tomkis’ Lingua though listed in the dramatis personae. Anamnestes hates Oblivio, who is favored above him. Men spend their money on wine for Oblivio and wash their cares in Lethe.

OBRUM **1632

Stipes’s mistake for Oberon, which Merda adopts in Hausted’s Rival Friends.


Follower of Selimus in ?Greene's Selimus I. Sent by Selimus to Bajazet to request a meeting, supposedly to show Selimus' loyalty but actually to demand the crown. He presents Selimus' request for a meeting to Bajazet, as well as Selimus' desire for another territory to govern. Bajazet grants Selimus authority over Samandria, and sends Chereseoli with Occhiali to deliver this news to Selimus. Occhiali delivers Bajazet's reply to Selimus. Occhiali accompanies Selimus when his forces encounter Bajazet and his forces on the way to Byzantium.


Occulto is one of the band of thieves headed by Latrocino in Thomas Middleton's The Widow. During a medicinal flimflam run by the thieves, Occulto pulls Martino's aching tooth and picks Martino's pocket in the process.


A Saxon general who accompanies Artesia to the British court, and encourages Aurelius to doubt the Hermit's power in William Rowley's The Birth of Merlin: or, The Child Hath Found His Father.

OCTAVIA **1607

Octavia is the sister of Caesar in Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra. On the advice of Agrippa, she is married to Antony as a way to bind Antony to Caesar. She is described by Enobarbas as holy, cold and still, and she herself promises to pray for Antony when they are separated. When Antony prepares to go to war against Caesar, Octavia protests, but is unable to move him, winning only his consent that she can attempt a reconciliation. Caesar refuses to stop his war preparations when she arrives, but he happily takes her back under his protection.
A "ghost character" in May's Cleopatra. Wife of Antonius and sister of Caesar, mentioned a couple of times by Cleopatra.

OCTAVIA **1635

A "ghost character" in Richards' Messalina. Young daughter of Claudius and Messalina.
Daughter of Claudius, wife of Nero, and sister of Britannicus in May's Julia Agrippina. Octavia is virtuous and patient, though she does resent Acte's high-handed treatment of her.


Octavian vows revenge in the anonymous Caesar and Pompey after Caesar's death and, with Antony, defeats the forces of Brutus and Cassius at Philippi.


Octavian is the elderly King of North Wales in The Valiant Welshman. He fights a battle against the usurping lord Monmouth. After the battle he slights his base-born son Codigun by making Caradoc heir to the throne. When Caradoc goes to aid Gederus against the Romans, Codigun and his allies poison Octavian.


Octavian is son to Rogat, a gentleman of France, and brother to Dauphine in the anonymous Ghost. Octavian and Babilas fight in a duel at a time when strict laws against duels have been proclaimed. Octavian falls, and his slain body is abandoned by Babilas. At the end of the play it turns out that he was not really dead. He had been seriously wounded, but the Friar had saved his life and married him to his beloved Aurelia. Nevertheless, they had spread the news that he was dead, to take revenge on Babilas and Aurelia's suitors. But, on learning that Philarchus intended to marry Aurelia on that very day, not even respecting her mourning, Octavian, his wife, his father, his brother and the Friar, devise a plan to take revenge on Philarchus.


A fictitious character in the anonymous Ghost. Engin disguises himself as Octavian's Ghost and threatens Philarchus.

OCTAVIO **1608

Octavio, Duke of Venice, father to Hippolito, Francisco and Florimel has defeated and exiled Antonio Duke of Mantua in Day's Humour Out of Breath. Octavio asks his children, What next? His sons are for hunting or tournaments, but his daughter Florimel suggests that they set off in search of beauty and love. Octavio sends his sons off to find love, but decides to disguise himself as a rough fellow seeking service so that he may keep an eye on his daughter and observe his sons' first wooing efforts. (All of Octavio's appearances in Acts 2, 3, and 4 are in this disguise.) He watches his sons, disguised as shepherds, meet and flirt with the daughters of his rival Duke Antonio; but he is taken in by their disguises as country maids, and thinks his sons are wooing peasants. Still in disguise as a servingman, Octavio tries to get Antonio his rival (unrecognized, dressed as a fisherman) to help persuade their children from wedding. When that fails and the two couples are determined to wed, Octavio steps forward and doffs his disguise. He forbids the matches, exiles the fisherman, and marches his sons off home. There he is puzzled to find that his daughter Florimel seems to have fled the city with his deputy Hortensio (really Aspero disguised in Hortensio's gown), when news is brought that Duke Antonio and some Mantuan Lords have retaken their city. He calls for Antonio's son Aspero to be brought forth from prison, but is presented instead with the gownless, disoriented Hortensio. Octavio consigns Hortensio to prison and marches his sons off to attack rebellious Mantua. When Octavio and his army approach the walls of Mantua he finds that his daughter is there, betrothed to his enemy's son, and that his sons, who had gone on ahead have joined their lovers, who turn out to be not country maids but Duke Antonio's daughters! Octavio is chastened by his children's loving examples, and the families are reconciled.

OCTAVIO **1611

Like Astolpho, Octavio is uncle to Alphonso, the King of Naples in Dekker's If It Be Not Good. Octavio alone protests the new rule of pleasure created by the King according to Ruffman's council. He objects to the court's mocking dismissal of the Soldier, Scholar, and Seafarer who come to offer honest entertainment to the King. He also pleads on behalf of the poor tradesmen to whom the courtiers owe money, and asks the King to intervene in the business of the priory. Overcome by frustration, Octavio abandons the Neapolitan cause and supports the Duke of Calabria when he attacks the city. He captures Ruffman and turns him over to the Duke for interrogation.

OCTAVIO **1622

Supposed husband of Jacinta in Fletcher and Massinger's Spanish Curate. He raises Ascanio as his own until Henrique proves that Ascanio is actually his legitimate son and heir. Octavio is a poor, humble, almost saintly man who admits in court he has never known Jacinta as his wife. Octavio is seized and threatened with death as part of Jamie's plot to trick Violante into revealing her true nature to Henrique and the authorities, but is released when the trap is sprung.

OCTAVIO **1635

The Marquis of Sienna appears for much of Ford's The Fancies Chaste and Noble to be a thoroughly unsavory character. According to his nephew Troylo-Savelli, he is impotent but still feels sexual urges, and therefore likes to surround himself with nubile young women in his private bower. The Marquis eventually reveals that they are in fact his nieces, whom he has preferred to bring up privately. It is never clear whether he really is impotent or whether that is part of Troylo-Savelli's pretence.

OCTAVIO **1636

Formerly a general under Gonzaga, he has been banished and now lives as a humble country shepherd in Massinger's The Bashful Lover. His daughter is Maria, who is disguised as the page Ascanio. When Hortensio enters with a faint Ascanio in his arms, Octavio recognizes the page immediately as his daughter Maria. She is dying of hunger, but Octavio gives her a restorative that revives her. Gothio then tries the same potion, and feels his nobility growing within him. Octavio, Gothio, and Maria find Alonzo dying in the forest. They strip him of his purse. The father asks his daughter what she wants to do with Alonzo, who once slept with Maria and then broke his promise of marriage. No one would deny her revenge. When she asks her father to save him, he grows hopeful that if Alonzo recovers, he will marry Maria. He disguises himself as a Priest to hear Alonzo's penitent confession before allowing the marriage.

OCTAVIO **1637

Octavio is a courtier in Naples and son of the banished Riviero in Shirley's Royal Master. Avenging his father is important to Octavio, and he is delighted to discover that the king's secretary Philoberto is actually Riviero in disguise. When Montalto's double-dealing and conniving are finally revealed, Octavio finds Riviero welcomed home and Domitilla promised as bride.


Octavius is a consul and a supporter of Scilla in Lodge's The Wounds of Civil War. He is mentioned in a letter that Cinna sends to Young Marius, and is described as trying to stir up trouble against Cinna, but to no effect. When the young and old citizens meet to argue, Octavius promises that Marius shall not rule in Rome. He promises that the law of King Tullius—that the oldest citizens will be the ones to decide the election of leaders—will be maintained. However, when fighting threatens to break out, he is persuaded by Lepidus to obey the gods' desire for peace, and leaves with the old citizens. When Marius is on the verge of entering Rome, Octavius, with Anthony, blames Cinna for allowing a traitor in, but takes courage from the idea that if Fortune will turn on them, they can still chose to die with honor. When Marius enters, Octavius calls him a traitor and insults Young Marius. He then announces he will die before he leaves his consul seat and that he is actually ready for death. He is stabbed by a soldier and carried off.


See more listings under CAESAR, AUGUSTUS.


Octavian [sic] vows revenge in the anonymous Caesar and Pompey after Caesar's death and, with Antony, defeats the forces of Brutus and Cassius at Philippi.
Octavius Caesar, the adopted son of Julius Caesar, is the ruler of Rome in Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra. He is at first under attack by both Pompey and the wife and brother of Antony. The latter two are dealt with as the play opens, and Caesar sends for Antony to explain his level of involvement in their attacks. The two are reconciled and Antony even agrees to marry Octavia, Caesar's sister. Next, Caesar arranges a peace with Pompey, and that peace is sealed with a drunken banquet on Pompey's ship. However, Antony returns to Egypt and Caesar reports to his followers that he has set himself up as Emperor. Eros reports to Enobarbas that Caesar has returned to war against Pompey and won, before turning his attention to Antony. Caesar declares war. The first battle is fought at sea, and Caesar is triumphant. During a second battle, Caesar at first is beaten, but then again overcomes Antony at sea. After the battle, he hears that Antony has committed suicide, and mourns the loss of such a great man. He then sends first Procleius and then Dolabella to persuade Cleopatra to surrender to him, because he wants to take her to Rome as a prize. He meets with Cleopatra and is convinced that she will surrender, which allows her to sneak asps into her monument and commit suicide. Caesar, now with sole control of the Roman Empire, promises to provide a state funeral for the famous lovers.
Augustus Caesar, heir of the dead Julius Caesar and rival of Antonius for control of the Roman world, enters May's Cleopatra as a conqueror after the Battle of Actium. He shows himself clement, sparing the citizens of Alexandria (even the philosopher Fergusius), but most of his activity consists of a contest in double-bluff with the equally crafty Cleopatra After Actium, he sends Thyreus to her with a declaration of fervent love, hoping to persuade her to betray Antonius; she, for her own purposes, responds with equal enthusiasm. When he finally visits her himself, after Antonius's death, he is for a moment almost tempted in earnest, but he quickly recalls himself; perhaps because of this momentary confusion, he speaks to her more harshly than he had intended. As a result, Cleopatra, seeing through his protestations of affection, decides to commit suicide rather than trust herself to him, and thus escapes his secret plan to display her in a Roman triumph. The Psylls try to revive her, but in vain; and Caesar takes it well, vowing to erect a proud monument to her and Antonius.


A "ghost character" in Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra. Canidius lists him as one of the soldiers who is to fight by sea.


Honest Tom is one of several nicknames for Gudgeon in Shirley's The Ball, according to Frank Barker.


Odillia is the daughter of Emmanuel, the Duke of Brabant, in the anonymous Weakest Goeth to the Wall. She loves Ferdinand, Emmanuel's foundling. When Emmanuel is told that the two have fallen in love, she insists that they have done nothing wrong. Odillia and Ferdinand plan to run away together. They flee through the woods at night and meet Bunch also on his travels. They also meet Lodowick dressed as a sexton in Picardy. Ferdinand asks Lodowick, as a representative of the church, to arrange for him to marry Odillia. Sir Nicholas the vicar agrees to perform the ceremony. Soon after, Ferdinand explains to Odillia that because he cannot get work and they have no money, he must leave for France to become a soldier in the wars. Lodowick, the sexton, agrees to look after her in his small cottage while Ferdinand is away. Sir Nicholas comforts Odillia in her distress. Almost immediately Lodowick must leave her to recover his property in Bullen. Odillia expresses her disappointment that Lodowick will no longer look after her, but Lodowick points out that, despite his appearance, the new sexton Bunch has a truly noble character. He also points out that he sees she is really a lady. Odillia reveals that she is in fact the daughter of Emmanuel, Duke of Brabant. Later Duke Lodowick, victorious over the invading Spanish, sends for her to join him. Lodowick presents her to her father Brabant in an effort to get Ferdinand, the hero of the battle, spared from execution for eloping with her. She explains that she stole Ferdinand and not the other way round, but this only forces Brabant to call her a whore. When it is clear that Ferdinand is in fact Frederick, Lodowick's lost son, both Lodowick and Brabant bless their marriage.


A conspirator with Ariaspes in Suckling's Aglaura (first version) and also Aglaura (second version); he dies in a fight with the King's men in III.

ODMER **1637

Faithful to the Emperor in Carlell’s Osmond. Haly tricks him into agreeing to tell the king that he has grown neglectful of his kingdom in his dotage over Despina. Odmer goes to the king and pleads with him to become his former self. Melcosbus is incensed at him but forgives him and swears to govern his passion. When the king slays Dispina before his men, Odmer sees it as an act of uncompromising valor. He suspects Haly and the captains, however, of hatching a treasonous plot against Melcosbus. He comes upon the scene of Melcosbus’ death along with captains and Hosa. He at first thinks Osmond was of the traitorous conspiracy but quickly dismisses the idea, for Osmond was ever virtuous. Osmond’s posture in death, kissing the king’s feet, convinces him that Osmond died nobly. He, too, wishes to commit suicide but Hosa and the captains convince him to live and rule the Tartars. He agrees, but only until Melcosbus’ younger son comes of age to take the crown himself. He ends the play professing that he will raise a great tomb to Melcosbus and the noble Osmond.

ODOR **1607

One of the boys in Olfactus’s train in Tomkis’ Lingua. He gives a recipe for a sweet pomander to help demonstrate Olfactus’s quality.


Oeconoma is the faithful wife of Ethicus in Holiday's Technogamia, although he chides her for not having the house prepared for their dinner party.


Jocasta tells Servus in Gascoigne and Kinwelmershe's Jocasta how the infant Oedipus, rescued by a shepherd after he was abandoned in the wilderness and raised to manhood as the son of the king and queen of Corinth, left that city in a vain attempt to escape the prophecy that he should slay his father. In his flight, however, he encountered his true father, Laius, killed him in battle, then came to Thebes and married his mother, Jocasta. When his crimes were discovered, he blinded himself, and was imprisoned by his sons, on whom he pronounced this curse: that they should destroy one another. At the time of the play, he still lives in a Theban dungeon, reiterating his curse. After the deaths of Eteocles, Polynice, and Jocasta, Antigone summons him to the stage to witness the results of his crimes. Creon banishes him, and at the play's end he and Antigone are setting out for exile in Athens.
Only mentioned in Jonson's Poetaster. In ancient Greek legend, Oedipus was the king of Thebes. He unwittingly killed his father and married his mother, Jocasta. When he realized his deed, Oedipus put out his eyes. A blind and helpless outcast, Oedipus wandered away with his faithful daughter Antigone. On the Via Sacra in Rome, Tucca wants to pick up a fight and sees Histrio. Tucca sends one of his boys to accost the player and bring him there. When Histrio enters, he apologizes for not having seen the gentleman and Tucca reprimands him, calling Histrio an Oedipus, an allusion to his seeming blindness.
Only mentioned in Pickering's Horestes. Nature describes him as one who also slew a parent.
Only mentioned in Percy’s Cuckqueans and Cuckolds Errants. Even Oedipus could not resolve Pearle’s riddle, or so he says.
Only mentioned in the anonymous Narcissus. Narcissus mentions Oedipus when, after Florida and Clois praise his beauty, he states: "Oedipus I am not, I am Davus." His reply is based on a line in Terence's comedy Andria: uttered by a character named Davus. (See Davus.) Oedipus is famous for having solved the riddle of the Sphinx. Therefore, Narcissus implies that if he were Oedipus, he would be able to offer the nymphs an answer, but he is not.
Only mentioned in Randolph's Muses' Looking Glass. Tragedy uses this character as an example to convince Comedy of her superior ability to move men to reformation and improvement.


The elderly king of Calidon in Heywood's Brazen Age. He neglects to offer Diana a proper sacrifice and she sets the Caledonian Boar against Oeneus's people in retribution. Oeneus unsuccessfully tries to calm his wife Althea down after their son Meleager kills Althea's brothers in a dispute. Oeneus dies of a broken heart after Althea kills Meleager.

OENONE **1581

Oenone in some ways serves as a female equivalent of the love-destroyed shepherd Colin, for she is a mountain nymph in love with and then forsaken by the Trojan prince Paris when he sees and is promised in Peele's The Arraignment of Paris. After his betrayal, she charges males generally of infidelity, expresses her shattered feelings in a song of complaint, and then directs Mercury to the place where he may arrest Paris.
A nymph from Mount Ida in Heywood's 1 The Iron Age, Oenone (Oenon in the text) is married to Paris. She confronts the Trojan prince when she learns that he intends to sail to Greece and begs him to stay at Troy. When he pushes her aside, Oenone leaves complaining that she is to be replaced as Paris's wife.

OENONE **1637

A "ghost character" in Cartwright's The Lady-Errant. One of the ladies involved in the rebellion but who never appears on stage.


An attendant to Misogonus in (?)Johnson's Misogonus. Oenophilus threatens Eupelas when the latter urges Misogonus to reform his ways. Instead of repentance, Oenophilus suggests that he and Misogonus visit the prostitute, Melissa, and invites Sir John because the wayward priest has cards and dice. After Misogonus' brother, Eugonus, is declared Philogonus' heir, however, Oenophilus forsakes Misogonus.


Oetes is King of Colchus in Heywood's Brazen Age. He is the father to Medea and Absyrtus. Because the well-being of Colchus and his own health depend upon the kingdom's possession of the Golden Fleece, Oetes is not pleased when Jason and the Argonauts come to challenge for it. Oetes tries unsuccessfully to convince Medea to prevent Jason from succeeding, or at least kill him before he leaves Colchus.

OFFA **1608

The real name of the character usually referred to by his pseudonym, Crispianus, in William Rowley's A Shoemaker a Gentleman.

OFFA **1631

Segebert's youngest son in Brome's The Queen's Exchange. His flattery blinds Segebert to his evil nature. Being left in control of his father's estate, Offa tries to secure his position by hiring outlaws to kill Segebert and Anthynus. After the outlaws fail once, Offa accompanies them and strikes at his father himself, wounding him in the head but leaving behind his sword. Convinced that his father and brother are dead, Offa casts the outlaws into a secret pit he has had constructed in his house. Next, he informs his sister Mildred of his incestuous desire for her. He is stalled briefly by Mildred and Edith's deceptions; however, he eventually attempts to rape her. He is prevented from doing so by the arrival of Osriick, whom he mistakes for Anthynus and charges with patricide. As his plans are thwarted, he grows mad and is brought on in the final scene raving and bound to a chair. He is untied and taken away to recover in the hopes, as Segebert expresses it, that "his senses may / Bring a new soul into him."

OFFICER **1578

A member of the King's retinue in Whetstone's 2 Promos and Cassandra. In the streets of Julio, he reads the royal proclamation regarding corrupt officials.

OFFICER **1581

An Officer ("or two if you can") whips Simplicity in Wilson's The Three Ladies of London. The Officer is also referred to as a Beadle.

OFFICER **1592

This Officer of the jail at Ephesus in Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors arrests Antipholus Sereptus for money owed to Angelo the goldsmith. The Officer, of course, does not get his man; he arrests the wrong Antipholus. Antipholus Sereptus did commission the chain but the goldsmith delivered it by mistake to his twin brother.

OFFICER **1599

This unnamed Officer works with the Lord Mayor in Thomas Heywood's 1 Edward IV; he is sent by Crosby to fetch Master Shore.

OFFICER **1600

He appears at the end announcing he has Cromwell's head in the anonymous Thomas Lord Cromwell.

OFFICER **1604

One of several Officers in Dekker and Middleton's 1 The Honest Whore, but the only one given lines. He first appears after George and the Apprentices have beaten Fustigo. He arrives not to arrest anyone but only to tell Candido that he is needed at the Senate House. After Candido dresses as an apprentice, Viola fetches the Officer, telling him that Candido is mad and that she fears for her safety. He engages Candido in conversation while the other Officers seize him from behind.

OFFICER **1610

The Officer is the constable who comes to Lovewit's house to restore order at Mammon and Surly's complaint in Jonson's The Alchemist. The Officer threatens to break down the door if they refuse to open it. When Lovewit asks through the closed door if they have a warrant, the Officer says menacingly they will have warrant enough if the door is not opened. The Officer tells Lovewit, through the closed door, that there are two or three other officers with him. When Lovewit finally opens the door, all the cheated people speak at once, each claiming something or blaming one of the tricksters. The Officer invites them to speak one after another, using the authority of the staff to restore order. The Officer and his companions leave after Lovewit says that he is the master of the house and everything has been a misunderstanding.

OFFICER **1617

An officer in the court in Webster's The Devil's Law Case.

OFFICER **1618

Arrests Cleanthes after the capture of Leonides in Massinger, Middleton and Rowley's The Old Law.

OFFICER **1625

A non-speaking character in Fletcher's The Chances. He arrests Bawd, Second Constantia, and Francisco at Petruccio's instigation.

OFFICER **1631

The Officer arrives to secure the palace doors as the duchess prepares to announce her choice of husband in Shirley's The Humorous Courtier.


When the Sheriff of London is ordered to hang the leaders of the May Day uprising in Chettle, Dekker and Munday's Sir Thomas More, the unnamed Another Officer informs him that the carts bearing the prisoners have been blocked by the huge crowds gathering in the streets. The Sheriff then orders the condemned to be brought on foot to Eastcheap, but because someone else has already thought of that, he is interrupted by their arrival.


The First Officer is part of the constabulary that arrives to arrest Beauford for the supposed murder of Marwood in James Shirley's The Wedding.


This unnamed First Officer is in charge of prisoners Ardelia and Bentivolio in Shirley's The Duke's Mistress. He brings news of the couple's arrest to Fiametta and Horatio.


Two officers figure in Marlowe's The Jew of Malta:
  1. The First Officer announces to Ferneze that the Jews are coming, and then is sent to secure the goods of Barabas. He returns to announce that the house and goods have been taken. Later, he is in charge of the slaves sold by Bosco. He comments that they will sell quickly, and also that if Barabas still had money, he would buy them. Finally, he is the one who announces that Bellamira, Pilia-Borza, Ithamore and Barabas have all died suddenly.
  2. The Second Officer helps the First Officer arrange the Turkish slaves for sale. He comments that their prices are written on their flesh.


The First and Second Officers arrest Antonio when the latter interrupts the duel between Sir Andrew and the disguised Viola in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. Of the two, the First Officer is more knowledgeable; identifying Antonio after the latter denies it. He is the only one to speak when Antonio is brought to Orsino, identifying Antonio by name and describing his crimes in some detail.


Two officers appear in Shakespeare's Coriolanus:
  1. While preparing the hall of the Roman senate where Coriolanus's possible consulship is to be debated, the First Officer remarks to the Second Officer upon the political shortcomings of the hero. Although Coriolanus's open scorn for the common people is well known, he has lately said things to emphasize that contempt, and the First Officer sees in this a perverse attempt to stir up the commons against him. He also recognizes that, were Coriolanus to change public position now by emphasizing his services to the state, he would "pluck reproof and rebuke from every ear that heard it." The Second Officer does force the First to admit in the end that Coriolanus is a worthy man.
  2. The Second Officer asserts to the First Officer that the hero should be admired both for his martial exploits on behalf of Rome and for the consistency of his attitude toward the plebeians. The First Officer does conclude that Coriolanus is a worthy man.


Summoned by Paegnium to arrest Ballio for the theft of Pamphilus' sword in Randolph's Jealous Lovers.


The First Officer and Second Officer arrest Trappolin at Barbarino's order in Cokain's Trappolin.


These three unnamed officers in Fletcher's The Honest Man's Fortune arrest Montaigne for non-payment of debts and fight when Duboys rescues Montaigne. The Third Officer is at first believed killed when Duboys rescues Montaigne; in fact, the officer has merely fallen from a kick.

OFFICER of the WATCH **1599

He assists in the search for Harpool and Oldcastle in Munday, Drayton, Hathaway, and Wilson's Sir John Oldcastle.


The Teleboans have just been defeated by Amphitryo when the latter's episode of the play begins. Janzen's cast-list of Heywood's The Escapes of Jupiter includes a "Teleboan Officer"; no individual character is identified in the brief scene where they appear, but they have a spokesman who capitulates on their behalf to Amphitryo and offers him a golden bowl–later to be a cause of confusion between him and his wife.


They lead Merry and Rachel to their execution in Yarington's Two Lamentable Tragedies, along with the Hangman. An Officer oversees the execution.

Non-speaking characters attending Vernon at the Spanish court in the anonymous Captain Thomas Stukeley.


Officers of Justice in Dumb Show III of (?)Heywood's A Warning For Fair Women go with Chastitie on Justice's bidding to fetch Ann Sanders, Drury, and Roger along with the corpse of George Sanders. The Officers of the Mayor of Rochester conduct prisoner George Browne to Master Barnes, then to Court, and finally to the Justices. The Mayor addresses the Officers as "Sergeants." Two Officers associated with the Justices prepare the judgment seat for the Lord Justice and four Lords. The second officer entertains the first with a jaunty tale of "lustie Browne."


Non-speaking characters at the end of [?]Heywood's The Fair Maid of the Exchange, the Officers accompany Wood as he arrests Master Flower for possessing the stolen diamond. The Officers may be the two Sergeants (not mentioned in the cast of characters) who earlier arrest Barnard for defaulting on his loan from Master Berry.


Non-speaking characters in Dekker and Middleton's 1 The Honest Whore. An unspecified number of Officers (but at least two) accompany the speaking Officer to take Candido to Bethlem Monastery. They sneak up behind Candido while he is talking to the Officer and seize him from behind.


They conduct the beheading of the Younger Son in [?]Middleton's The Revenger's Tragedy. Although their captive protests that there has been a mistake, they have the Duke's signet sent via Ambitioso and Supervacuo as well as those gentlemen's order to execute "their brother." Ambitioso and Supervacuo meant to have Lussurisso executed, but owing to the Duke's trick Lussurioso had already been freed. The Officers dutifully behead the Younger Son of the Duchess and deliver it to Ambitioso and Supervacuo.


Officers at Hermione's trial in Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale perform the legal duties of swearing in the witnesses and reading Apollo's oracle.


Specifically, the Turkish officers in Daborne's A Christian Turned Turk who answer Voada's cries for the Watch to assist her and arrest Ward, not for killing his page, but for wounding his wife, a true Turk.


They accompany Gazetto (in his guise as Lupo) in his quest for Tormiella in Seville in Dekker’s Match Me in London.


The corrupt officers who fail to report the lawbreakers of the City to the Lord Mayor of London are "ghost characters" in Jonson's Bartholomew Fair. When Overdo enters the Fair disguised as madman, in order to detect those who break the law and bring them to justice, he mentions that another man of high wisdom, apparently the Lord Mayor of London, used the disguise trick. Since he could not trust his corrupt officers to report what went wrong in the city, the Mayor would adopt a disguise as a humble citizen and spy on the delinquents.


These officers of the law in Fletcher's Monsieur Thomas help Michael to bring Francis back to Valentine's house under 'arrest.'


These two unindividuated characters in Daborne's Poor Man's Comfort formally present Lucius in the Senate.


The Officers engaged by Polymetes in May's The Heir to escort him and arrest of Philocles for abducting Leucothoë. Their number is not specified, but they are quantity enough to overpower Philocles and his comrade Clerimont after a fierce fight.


Non-speaking characters in Fletcher's The Elder Brother. They accompany Lewis, Angellina, Sylvia, and Brisac as they make their way to the King after Lewis kidnaps his daughter, seizes Brisac's house, and arrests his neighbor.


Officers appear to guard Alphonso at his scheduled execution for treason in ?Ford's The Queen, but are dismissed when he is reprieved. They perform the same function at the planned execution of Salassa, and are again dismissed.


Some of them carry the wounded Delamore across the stage in Shirley's The Gamester, while others transport the arrested Beaumont. Later, they bring Beaumont to his "trial" at the house of Sir Francis Hurry.


An unspecified number of unnamed Officers in May's The Old Couple. They arrest Eugeny. The first Officer confides to the prisoner that they had been given a tip-off by "a plain fellow," who seems likely to have been an agent of Sir Argent.


In Act Five of Chamberlain's Swaggering Damsel, a party of officers comes to seek for Sabina and Valentine. They are to arrest Valentine for his attack on Sabina's honour.


The constable and officers arrest Newman at the behest of Simpleton in Cavendish's The Variety. They believe that Newman has assaulted Simpleton without cause, but the truth is that Newman only fought with Simpleton in order to rescue Lucy. The constable and officers bring Newman to the Justice.


An unspecified number of officers bring the various captives in and out in Quarles' The Virgin Widow.


Summoned by Harbert to the scene of the supposed murder in the anonymous The Fair Maid of Bristow. They arrest Harbert when he confesses to the supposed crime.


Arrives with the Twelve Peers of France in Greene's Orlando Furioso. Fights a disguised Orlando, but is defeated and in the end makes peace with him.


A "ghost character" in Chettle, Dekker and Munday's Sir Thomas More. John Ogle was a leading supplier of wigs and costumes for the Elizabethan theater companies from the 1570s to 1600. The actor playing Inclination the Vice in the interlude presented by the Lord Cardinal's men asks More to delay the performance because they are waiting for a false beard to be fetched from Ogle for the actor playing Wit.


A "ghost character" in Goffe's The Courageous Turk, Germaine Ogly is the Phrygian king who forges a diplomatic and military alliance with Amurath by offering the hand of his daughter Hatam in marriage to Baiazet, Amurath's oldest son.

An Irish soldier defending Dundalk in the anonymous Captain Thomas Stukeley, apprehended by Stukeley for treason. He quarrels with McSurly over command of the force and is eventually killed by him in hand-to-hand combat.


A "ghost character" in Heywood's 1 The Iron Age, Ajax Oileus (called Aias Oilaeus in the text) is the king of the Locrians and a Greek fighter at Troy. Sometimes known as Ajax the Lesser to distinguish him from Ajax, the son of Telamon, Ajax Oileus is one of the Greeks Hector punishes in revenge for Achilles's having killed Margareton.


A "ghost character" in the anonymous Captain Thomas Stukeley mentioned as one of many hoped-for reinforcements for the Irish army.


She is otherwise designated "first lady" of three unnamed ladies of the court in Davenant's The Fair Favorite. Thorello notes that she is short but disguises the fact by wearing chopines. Her name is variously spelled Olari and Alari.


This uncle of the king has been off at war with the king's son Turgesius in Shirley's The Politician. At court, the duke warns the king that Marpisa's queenship is not to be tolerated. Emotions run high and accusations proliferate as Turgesius dismisses troops that Olaus would have had him retain. Olaus thinks he has mortally wounded Aquinus; at the play's end, the duke tells rebels that Turgesius needs to be buried, convincing the rebels to take up the coffin within which is hidden the traitor Gotharius.


"Old Assarachus" is a "ghost character" in the anonymous Locrine, Brutus' old uncle who went with Brutus into exile from Italy.


The father of a young girl who is in love with Lucilius, one of Timon's servants in Shakespeare's The Life of Timon of Athens. He is against this match, but agrees when Timon promises to provide a generous dowry for Lucilius.


A countryman, ringleader of the villagers who persecute Mother Sawyer in Rowley, Dekker and Ford's The Witch of Edmonton. He beats her when she gathers sticks on his land, and blames her for all his misfortunes, including a bizarre compulsion to kiss his cow's arse every day.


Young Bateman's father in Sampson's The Vow-Breaker, he is well-born but laden with debts. Nevertheless, he is incensed by Old Boote's perfidy in using these debts as a reason to renege on the marriage agreement between Ann and his son. He warns his son not to count too much on Ann's fidelity, as women are notoriously fickle in their lovers' absences. On Ann's marriage to German, he brings a breach of contract suit against Old Boote. He discovers his son's body when the latter hangs himself in grief at Ann's perfidy, and his lamentations are mocked by Ann and her father. When Ann comes to visit him after she begins to be haunted by Young Bateman's ghost, she finds him mourning over his son's picture. Initially angry with her, he is moved by her distress and tries to comfort her, but he cannot see his son's ghost when she points to it. After Ann drowns herself, he arrives at Old Boote's house and upbraids him for causing the tragedy; however, Boote's penitence makes him relent, and he consents to become friends with him and to "write the tragedy of our poor children."


Juno in disguise in Heywood's The Silver Age, this old woman keeps her knees crossed and thus prevents Alcmena from giving birth. But Galantis penetrates the plot, and by a cunning subterfuge beguiles the goddess into standing up and so releasing the spell.


Old Bellamy is Bellamy's uncle in Brome's A Mad Couple. In Act Five, he tells Lord Lovely that he wants his nephew to be like him and not like his father.


A disguise assumed by Fitzwater after he is banished by John and searching the forest for his daughter in (?Chettle and) Munday's Downfall of Robert Earl of Huntington. When he meets with Marian and Robin Hood, he does not reveal himself, even after he is greeted kindly and cared for.


Ann's father in Sampson's The Vow-Breaker, he separates her from Young Bateman, the man to whom he had promised her, on the grounds that Old Bateman's lands are too overladen with debts to provide her with a sufficiently rich husband. He chooses German as a more appropriate parti, and rejoices when Ann accedes to his will. When Young Bateman hangs himself, Old Boot laughs at Old Bateman's grief. He cannot see Young Bateman's Ghost when it appears to Ann, and dismisses her distraction as a product of indigestion. When she begs his leave to express her contrition to Old Bateman, he refuses. At her childbed, he is eager to know whether the child is a boy with "a purse, and two pence in't," but seems content to hear that it is a girl and departs to find godfathers for it in German's absence. When he returns, he finds that Ann has disappeared and is present when her corpse is brought back from the river. Mourning her death, he is reconciled with Old Bateman. He is recovered enough by the time of Queen Elizabeth's visit to upbraid Miles for trying to "steal" Ursula.


Old Bruce first appears with Fitzwater, Young Bruce and Matilda during the proxy wooing of Matilda by William Wigmore in Munday and Chettle's Death of Robert, Earl of Huntington. Although Old Bruce does not say anything here, it is likely that with the revision removing Young Fitzwater that Old Bruce would, in fact, urge Matilda to marry. When John arrives, he demands the swords of Leicester, Richmond, Fitzwater and Bruce. John specifically accuses Bruce of treason because he will not give up his sons as a pledge of loyalty, and threatens Bruce directly. After he leaves, Bruce fears John will ride to Guildford and take his wife and son hostage. He and Richmond head there immediately with an army. Bruce and Richmond arrive too late and find Chester and Hubert guarding the gates. Bruce asks after his wife and son, and is told that the former is with John and the latter cannot be found. In a battle against John, Old Bruce dies from wounds received on the field.
An old lord in Davenport's King John and Matilda. He is married to Fitzwater's sister, father of Young Bruce and a second boy, George. He is second only to Fitzwater in opposition to King John. The restoration of the rights of Magna Carta is his main political demand; the safety of his family and the honour of his niece Matilda concern him equally. His castle is taken by the Queen and Oxford; his wife and young son taken prisoner. He vows civil war if they are harmed. (Chester's servant, Brand, later starves them to death.) He is on hand to oppose the King's ceremonial submission to Rome and at the party where disguised masquers abduct Matilda. With Leister, he takes and holds Windsor Castle against the King. When the King repents for Matilda's murder, he agrees to forgo vengeance for the sake of the public good.


First mentioned as an "old grey ruffian" who leads the citizens in mutiny in Beaumont and Fletcher's Philaster, or Love Lies A-Bleeding. The Old Captain is indeed in charge of citizens who have captured the would-be heir, Pharamond. Loyal only to Philaster, the Old Captain takes bids from his countrymen for Pharamond's body parts. He is convinced to disband the citizens and release Pharamond only at the insistence of Philaster and the promise of Philaster's rightful succession to the throne.


A rich, generous yeoman, who arranges the marriages of his two daughters, Susan and Katherine, in Rowley, Dekker and Ford's The Witch of Edmonton. He is devastated by Susan's murder, and infuriated when Frank's guilt is revealed. But he forgives Frank in the conclusion, falsely believing him to have been bewitched by Mother Sawyer.


Only mentioned in Marmion's A Fine Companion. Old Cato in this usage refers to the Roman lecher who married a slave girl. Careless refers to Cato in a conversation about pleasure with wenches.


Friend to Sir Harry, and father to Young Chartley, Old Chartley arrives in London near the end of the play in search of his wayward son in Thomas Heywood's The Wise Woman of Hogsdon. Upon his arrival he encounters Sir Harry. The two of them soon realize that Young Chartley has duped them both. He visits the Wise-Woman of Hogsdon in the hopes of discovering what his son is up to, and ends up becoming a member of the party who confront Young Chartley about his wrongdoings at the Wise-Woman's house. He welcomes Second Luce as his daughter-in-law when it is revealed that she and Young Chartley are married.


Old Chartley arrives in London with "three or four" servingmen, but only one of them speaks in Thomas Heywood's The Wise Woman of Hogsdon. He merely confirms that there has been no news in response to inquiries about the whereabouts of Young Chartley.


Old Christmas is a virtuous ruler who has been absent from his kingdom in ?Skelton's Old Christmas. While he was away, rebellion broke out and Good Order, his regent, was forced to flee. After his return, he banishes Glotonye, Ryot, Periury and Hasarder from England on Good Order's advice.


The Old Citizen speaks for the old men when fighting breaks out in the Senate in Lodge's The Wounds of Civil War. It seems likely that the Old Citizen is for Scilla, as a contrast to the Young Citizen, since he responds mockingly to Anthony's claim that the gods are controlling them all, it is also possible that he is a Marius supporter.


He tries to protect his daughter from Sancto Danila who threatens his life in the anonymous A Larum for London. He reveals that his daughter is in a convent and is taken away to be tortured. He will be made to reveal the location of the convent so that Danila can rape the daughter. He returns with his daughter, who pleads with Danila for their safety. The old citizen offers money to Danila but is killed on Danila's orders.


Old Fitzwaters is an English lord in Smith's The Hector of Germany. He is in league with Clynton to protect their respective properties by coercing Clynton's daughter Floramell to marry Old Fitzwaters. When Old Fitzwaters and Clynton discover the two young lovers wooing in the garden, Clynton banishes Young Fitzwaters from the house. At his supposed wedding, Old Fitzwaters is duped by a Page in Floramell's dress. Floramell herself escapes with Young Fitzwaters by sea. Old Fitzwaters and his friend Clynton fall out after the aborted wedding. They blame each other for the calamity and are about to duel when King Edward stops them. Edward recruits them to assist him in the war against The Bastard. Old Fitzwaters and Clynton report to the audience on how well Edward and the Palsgrave perform at the tournament. Old Fitzwaters and Clynton are sent to Germany to free Savoy, Bohemia and Brandenburgh. They are successful and deliver Savoy on stage to be crowned Emperor of Germany. King Edward rules that Young Fitzwaters was betrothed to Floramell before his father and that Floramell should therefore marry Floramell. Old Fitzwaters and his friend Clynton agree to be good fathers-in-law.


A merchant who returns from a long stay in Venice in The London Prodigal. Learning that his son has become a dissolute prodigal, he disguises himself as a sailor, Christopher, in order to observe his behavior. In this disguise, he helps his son to gull Sir Lancelot into allowing him to marry Luce. But he also works behind the scenes to ensure that his son is shown the error of his ways by experiencing utter destitution. When his son repents, and promises to become a better person, Old Flowerdale reveals his true identity, and they are reconciled.


A "ghost character" in Fletcher's The Captain. Franck mentions him as someone with whom Clora had become infatuated "for singing of Queen Dido."


A poor gentleman, head of a decayed family, and father of Frank, Susan and Young Forrest in Heywood and Rowley's Fortune by Land and Sea. He tries to keep Frank from drinking, and is devastated when he is killed in a brawl. When Susan marries Philip Harding, and Old Harding forces the couple into servitude, Old Forrest begs Old Harding to show mercy, but to no avail. At the end of the play, the family's fortunes are restored by the endeavors of Young Forrest, and by Philip's inheritance of his father's estate.


Old Foster is an avaricious London merchant in William Rowley's A New Wonder: A Woman Never Vexed. He hopes to be elevated to the gentry on making his fortune. He disowns his prodigal brother Stephen, and then disowns his son Robert for helping him. But Old Foster's ships sink, and he ends up in the debtor's prison at Ludgate, forced to beg at the grate. Old Foster repents of his meanness when Robert virtuously finds £200 to help him. Stephen sneers at Old Foster's plight, but he is only pretending, and in the final scene, the Foster family is reconciled before the King.


Old Franklin is a country gentleman and Franklin's father in Middleton's Anything for a Quiet Life. According to George, he is a Puritan from Scotland. Before Sir Francis's house, Old Franklin feigns mourning, because of his son's apparent death. It is all a ruse. While George Cressingham makes a show of consoling him for his loss, Old Franklin states that his son was his dearest and nearest enemy, and that he long feared that his dissolute ways were bound to lead him to a tragic end. Having been informed that Franklin cheated Chamlet, Old Franklin wants to pay his son's debts. In addition, he says he will buy Sir Francis's land. Old Franklin asks George to identify his son's creditors for him, so that they might be repaid. On hearing a very long fictional list, containing debts to a brewer, a hosier, and a tailor, Old Franklin concludes he will pay them all. Promising to try to explain to Sir Francis the injustice he had done his son, Old Franklin exits accompanied by George and young Franklin, who attends the discussion disguised as an old servant. Outside Lord Beaufort's house, Old Franklin enters with his disguised son and three creditors. Telling Beaufort that he intends to pay all his son's debts and clear his name, Old Franklin hears each creditor and promises to satisfy their demands. Hearing that Chamlet intends to leave for the Bermudas, Old Franklin promises to repay Chamlet for the goods his son had stolen from him. In the final agreement scene, Old Franklin removes his son's disguise. Intending to clear his son's name through the death trick, Old Franklin managed to eliminate Franklin's debts by negotiating to pay fifty percent in satisfaction of the full amount. Old Franklin announces his son has been newly born as a consequence of these events. The creditors forgive the father his little trick, saying he had "beguiled them honestly."


Mother of the Courtesan Lady Frank Gullman in Middleton's A Mad World, My Masters. This gentlewoman encourages her daughter's activities, believing they will lead to wealth and the opportunity to extort money from her wealthier clients. She urges haste in the marriage of her daughter to Follywit in order to ensure that Sir Bounteous will not be an impediment and that the new couple will receive a generous monetary blessing from Follywit's generous grandfather.


She is Captain George's sister in ?Brewer's The Country Girl. Together with Lady Malory, she asks Lady Mosely to remarry. When Gregory Dwindle loses his hopes in Lady Mosely, he turns his attentions to the Old Gentlewoman.


Father of Young Geraldine, neighbor of Wincott, Old Lionell, and Ricot, and a widower in Heywood's The English Traveler. Dalavill tells him that people are talking about Young Geraldine and Wincott's Wife, so he tells his son that he should stay away from Wincott's house where he has been a frequent visitor. Seeing that Wife is finding ways to be near Young Geraldine, Old Geraldine tells him that he should get married, unaware that Young Geraldine has vowed not to marry until Wincott is dead and he and Wife are free to marry.


The name by which the Miller is known since the Norman invasion in [?]Wilson's Fair Em, the Miller's Daughter.


Old Goldwire arrives with Old Tradewell at the Frugal estate in an attempt to resolve their sons' debts in Massinger's The City Madam. They have brought along Lord Lacy to mediate. They are denied, however, and are, in fact, arrested for their sons' outstanding debts as well. Old Goldwire is brought back by Sir John to plead for Luke's mercy, which is denied.


Father to Young Gudgen, sixty years old in Carlell's The Fool Would Be A Favorite. He is a yeoman but is possessed of sufficient money to make it worthwhile for the Courtiers to swindle him. He believes that his son will secure them more wealth and status. At the end of the play, he is brought to court to witness his son's success but only witnesses Young Gudgen being thrown out of court. He advises that they return home with less money and more wisdom.


The head of a family newly come into wealth in Heywood and Rowley's Fortune by Land and Sea, Old Harding has married the young and dowerless Anne. Despite this, he is hypocritically angry when his eldest son Philip marries the poor Susan Forrest, and he decides to disinherit Philip in favour of his younger brothers. When Philip begs for leniency, Old Harding demands that Philip and Susan act as servants for him. In order that Philip can be properly disinherited, Old Harding needs to change his will formally, but Anne succeeds in persuading him to wait until he is nearer death before doing it. This is a mistake on Old Harding's part, because when he learns that pirates have captured a ship that he had a stake in, he dies of shock before the will can be changed.


Olde John, employer of Joan and friend of John Bean in (?)Heywood's A Warning For Fair Women, is a comic rustic who reacts with vigor when he overhears Bean cry "false knave" on the trail to Greenwich near the dangerous wood. Once Joan tells Olde John that Bean is the speaker, he calms down and suggests that the three of them walk a way together. It is near this same spot a day or so later that Olde John and Joan encounter the mortally wounded Bean and the corpse of George Sanders. Olde John then acts with great sense as he directs Joan to help him to protect the corpse from birds and beasts, to bind Bean's wounds as much as possible, and to carry Bean home.


Only mentioned in the anonymous Wit's Triumvirate. The Old Juggler is mentioned by Master Fright when he is describing one of the visions provoked by his disease to Doctor Clyster: "A sleight, I fear, of the old Juggler, the Great Deceiver." The Old Juggler is another name for the Devil, as well as Lucifer, the Great Deceiver, Satanas or Satan.


A reference to Henry, Richard, Jeffery, and John's father in Chettle's(?) Looke About You. (See "HENRY II.")


Old Knowell is a rich old gentleman in Jonson's Every Man in His Humour. He has high expectations regarding his son's education. At the door of his house, Knowell greets Brainworm, telling him to wake his young master. Stephen enters and Knowell lectures him on the benefits of thrift and moderate expenditure as against spending money on useless things. Servant enters delivering a letter addressed to Edward Knowell from his friend Wellbred, and Knowell opens it. Thus, the father learns that his supposedly studious son is invited to the Old Jewry to have fun with the gallants. Knowell decides to observe his son unawares and instructs Brainworm to give the letter to Edward Knowell as if it had never been opened. In an aside, Knowell admits he has decided to spy on his son and exits to fulfill his plan. At Moorfields, Knowell enters pursuing his son, and the father deplores the younger generation's dissolute ways. Brainworm enters disguised as a maimed soldier and offers his services to Knowell. Knowell exits followed by his new servant. At Justice Clement's house, Knowell enters with the judge. Since the father seems rather depressed because of his son's frivolity, Justice Clement tries to cheer him up, telling Knowell he has no real reason to worry. Knowell exits with Justice Clement to have a cup of sack. Before Cob's house, Knowell enters looking for his son, since he had been informed that Edward Knowell had a secret assignation with a lady there. On seeing Dame Kitely, Knowell thinks she is his son's mistress. When Kitely enters, he thinks Knowell is his wife's secret lover. Since they are in an impasse, all the plaintiffs decide to take their case before the judge. In the final revelation scene, Knowell discovers that his servant Brainworm is a deceiver, but also that his son Edward Knowell is about to marry a rich girl. The father appears to be reconciled with his son and to participate in the final merriment. Incidentally, Old Knowell was originally performed by William Shakespeare and is the only part for which we have independent evidence (the character list) of one of his roles.

OLD LADY **1613

This unnamed Old Lady has been sixteen years at court and attends Anne Bullen in Shakespeare's Henry VIII. She predicts a queen's crown for Anne and near the play's end brings news to the king that Anne has borne a girl child.

OLD LADY **1614

A midwife in Webster's The Duchess of Malfi. Early in II she becomes the butt of Bosola's misogynistic wit.

OLD LADY **1619

Alternative name for Lamira's Nurse in Fletcher and Massinger's The Little French Lawyer.


There are three old ladies in Fletcher's Rule a Wife and Have a Wife:
  1. The First is an old, wise lady to whom Margarita turns for advice on marriage. She recommends that she marry a grave governor.
  2. The Second is also an old, wise lady to whom Margarita turns for advice on marriage. She recommends that she marry a lawyer.
  3. The Third is an old lady who accompanies the other two, but she does not reappear after speaking two lines in the first act.


A "ghost character" in Wilson's The Three Ladies of London. The mother of Lucre. Old Lady Lucre used to live in Venice, where Usury was her servant. Now she is dead, Usury has come to work for her daughter in London.


Father to Frances in Brome's The New Academy. He raised Philip Matchil in France while Old Matchil raised Gabriella Lafoy in London. He sends Frances and Philip ahead of him to visit Old Matchil while he conducts some business with Captain Hardyman on the Isle of Wight. Upon arriving in London, he is shocked to learn that Old Matchil has not seen the men and is under the impression that Philip is dead.


Father of Young Lionell in Heywood's The English Traveler; neighbor of Old Geraldine, Wincott, and Ricot. A merchant seaman, he has just come home from a long voyage to find his house locked. His servant Reignald tells him that it is haunted by the ghost of someone murdered by the former Owner of the house. Reignald is trying to keep him away from the house while Young Lionell and his friends try to cover up the damage done by three years of wild living. Old Lionell becomes suspicious when he hears the Usurer demanding the return of the money that Reignald and Young Lionell have borrowed. After learning the truth, he forgives them both, resigned to the idea that youths will behave foolishly.


The elderly father of Young Lord Nonsuch in Sharpham's Cupid's Whirligig. The old lord arranges a marriage between his son and Nan, the daughter of his friend Alderman Venter. When his son makes an unannounced escape to evade the marriage, Old Lord Nonsuch believes his son is dead and mourns accordingly. At the play's conclusion, he hosts a traditional feast and is happy to hear he is to be honored by the presence of four newly-married couples, one of whom is revealed to be his son and Nan, rightly matched owing to the efforts of Cupid and the witty servant Wages. Old Lord Nonsuch returns Mistress Correction to her husband rather than allowing her to commit bigamy with Wages.


A "ghost character" in Shakespeare's 1 Henry IV. Although never appearing on stage, the Old Lord of the Council is mentioned by Falstaff as a poor role model for Prince Hal.


Father of Young Lord Wealthy and Maria in Tailor's The Hog Hath Lost His Pearl. Laments the mysterious disappearance of Maria, but despite her disobedience to him, he wishes her contentment in her love. He sends Young Lord Wealthy to Carracus' with instructions to pass on his forgiveness to them if she is there. Later, Old Lord Wealthy welcomes Carracus, Maria, and Albert after they return from the woods, and gives his blessing to the marriage of Carracus and Maria. Young Lord Wealthy, along with Hog and Peter, enter to Old Lord Wealthy seeking justice for Hog's robbery. At the end of the play, after Rebecca and Haddit have been joined with Hog's blessing and Haddit's mortgaged land has been returned, Old Lord Wealthy invites the assembled company to join him in a celebratory feast.

OLD MAN **1592

As Faustus' death and damnation approach in Marlowe's Doctor Faustus an Old Man enters and urges Faustus to repent to escape "the pains of hell." He pleads unsuccessfully for Faustus to ask for mercy and accept grace.

OLD MAN **1598

The Old Man is a disguise assumed by Robin Hood when he rescues Scarlet and Scathlock in (?Chettle and) Munday's Downfall of Robert Earl of Huntington. He tells Warman that the pair killed his own son and therefore he wants to be the one to kill them, in revenge. He announces that he will sound his horn just as they did when they killed his son, but this is, in reality, a signal to Little John and Much, who help rescue Scarlet and Scathlock.

OLD MAN **1602

He is father of Wil Cricket in the anonymous Wily Beguiled and also tenant of Ploddall to whom he owes rent.

OLD MAN **1605

This unnamed tenant of the Earl of Gloucester is sorely grieved over Gloucester's treatment at the hands of Cornwall and Regan in Shakespeare's King Lear. The Old Man promises to fulfill Gloucester's request that raiment be brought for Tom o' Bedlam, in whose company the Old Man finds the blinded Gloucester.

OLD MAN **1610

The old man is a "fictional character" in Jonson's The Alchemist. Mammon boasts to Surly that he can turn an old man of eighty into a child by using magical potions. When the skeptical Surly remarks that, at this age, he is a child already, Mammon says he can renew him like an eagle to the fifth age. This fictional superman, in Mammon's imagination, will be able to have children, like the ancient patriarchs before the flood. Mammon says this old man can become strong and fertile by taking a small quantity of the magic potion once a week.

OLD MAN **1612

Gives Caradoc a magic herb with which to repel the Serpent in The Valiant Welshman.

OLD MAN **1637

He and the Old Woman allow Philanthus to convalesce in their home in Carlell's The Fool Would Be A Favorite. Adrastus's friends force their way in looking for Philanthus. Before she takes Philanthus, Lucinda has the man and woman taken into the woods and tied up to prevent them from going to the authorities.


The disguise George a Greene assumes in Greene's George a Greene in order to fool Kendall and the other rebel lords.


Father of Young Master Arthur in (?)Heywood's How A Man May Choose A Good Wife From A Bad. Discusses with Old Master Lusam the falling out between Young Master Arthur and Mistress Arthur. He cannot decide whether it is best to become involved in their quarrel and try to end it, or to leave the couple to work it out themselves. After Old Master Lusam concludes that they should leave them alone, Old Master Arthur decides to visit the couple after dinner. He arrives along with Old Master Lusam at Young Master Arthur's door, where he and Old Master Lusam deliberate over whether to go through with their visit or not, deciding eventually to go inside. Later, they come outside with Young Master Arthur, Mistress Arthur, Young Master Lusam and Pipkin; Old Master Arthur calls Young Master Arthur a knave for treating his wife so cruelly. After Young Master Arthur leaves, Old Master Arthur threatens to take further action against his son and weeps for Mistress Arthur; he exits with Old Master Lusam. Old Master Arthur and Old Master Lusam bring their grievances against Young Master Arthur to Justice Reason; they also bring along Mistress Arthur and Young Master Lusam. After squabbling between themselves and getting no useful advice from Justice Reason, they go to join the justice in a glass of March beer. Later, Old Master Arthur and Old Master Lusam arrive at the feast given by Young Master Arthur. They both tell Mistress Arthur that she appears sad as she tends to Mistress Mary's needs, but Mistress Arthur denies this. They both listen to and admire Master Fuller's tale, and then rejoice at the reconciliation of Young Master Arthur and Mistress Arthur. They leave at the end of the feast with Justice Reason and Hugh, and return with Justice Reason when he returns for Hugh, at which point they learn of Mistress Arthur's supposed death. Both men are overcome with grief and Young Master Arthur tells them to go in and view Mistress Arthur's body. At the end of the play Old Master Arthur appears before Justice Reason pleading for clemency towards Young Master Arthur, who will stand trial for the murder of Mistress Arthur. He argues with Old Master Lusam, accusing him of trying to take away his son, and they are both silenced by Justice Reason when Young Master Arthur arrives. When Mistress Arthur arrives, Old Master Arthur and Old Master Lusam are both overjoyed to see her alive and both ask her to explain her return from the dead.


Father of Young Master Lusam and Mistress Arthur in (?)Heywood's How A Man May Choose A Good Wife From A Bad. Discusses with Old Master Arthur the falling out between Young Master Arthur and Mistress Arthur. As Old Master Arthur weighs the benefits of becoming involved in the quarrel or leaving the lovers to work it out themselves, Old Master Lusam sees the benefits to both options, but opts for leaving the lovers to themselves. When Old Master Arthur decides to do the opposite, Old Master Lusam goes along with him. They arrive at Young Master Arthur's door, where he and Old Master Arthur deliberate over whether to go through with their visit or not, deciding eventually to go inside. Later, they come outside with Young Master Arthur, Mistress Arthur, Young Master Lusam and Pipkin; after Old Master Arthur calls Young Master Arthur a knave, Old Master Lusam repeats the charge. Young Master Arthur refuses to accept Old Master Lusam's charge, since he is only his father in law. Old Master Lusam then grants that Young Master Arthur is honest, but asks him why he is so cruel to Mistress Arthur. After Young Master Arthur exits, Old Master Lusam offers to take Mistress Arthur home, but she refuses to abandon her marriage to Young Master Arthur. When Old Master Arthur weeps for Mistress Arthur's situation, Old Master Lusam follows suit. He then exits with Old Master Arthur. Old Master Arthur and Old Master Lusam bring their grievances against Young Master Arthur to Justice Reason; they also bring along Mistress Arthur and Young Master Lusam. After squabbling between themselves and getting no useful advice from Justice Reason, they go to join the justice in a glass of March beer. Later, Old Master Arthur and Old Master Lusam arrive at the feast given by Young Master Arthur. They both tell Mistress Arthur that she appears sad as she tends to Mistress Mary's needs, but Mistress Arthur denies this. They both listen to and admire Master Fuller's tale, and then rejoice at the reconciliation of Young Master Arthur and Mistress Arthur. They leave at the end of the feast with Justice Reason and Hugh, and return with Justice Reason when he returns for Hugh, at which point they learn of Mistress Arthur's supposed death. Both men are overcome with grief and Young Master Arthur tells them to go in and view Mistress Arthur's body. At the end of the play Old Master Lusam appears before Justice Reason pleading for justice in the case of his murdered daughter. He argues with Old Master Arthur, who accuses him of trying to take away his son, and they are both silenced by Justice Reason when Young Master Arthur arrives. When Mistress Arthur arrives, Old Master Arthur and Old Master Lusam are both overjoyed to see her alive and both ask her to explain her return from the dead.


A London merchant, brother to Lady Nestlecock and half-brother to Strigood in Brome's The New Academy. True to his name, Matchil married a domineering woman whose death he has been celebrating continuously for the six years leading up to the beginning of the play. He has raised Old Lafoy's daughter Gabriella in London while Lafoy has raised Philip Matchil in France. Upon receiving news that after living a riotous life, his son has been slain in an impetuous quarrel, Matchil falls into a deep sorrow. He quickly resolves to banish his grief in favor of the "nobler and more manly passion" of anger. Blaming Lafoy for not tempering his son's "youthful follies" into "manly virtues," he orders Cash to cast up his accounts so that he can draw up a will before traveling to France to face Lafoy in a duel. In a rage, he throws Gabriella out of his house along with his own daughter Joyce who attempts to intercede on Gabriella's behalf. Having disinherited his daughter and not wishing to leave his wealth to any of his relations–his spendthrift half-brother, his already wealthy sister or milksop nephew–he decides to marry for a second time to produce an heir. Not wishing to be dominated in marriage again, he takes as wife his maid Rachel Maudlin, whose obedience he demonstrates to Valentine and Erasmus by her eagerness to execute her employer's peevish commands. After his marriage, he takes his new bride to Lady Nestlecock's house, where he learns that his daughter, Gabriella and Strigood have disappeared. In a strikingly hypocritical moment, he upbraids Lady Nestlecock for not having looked after his daughter better. He rails against her, her son and her fiancée and encourages his wife to do the same. He is at first delighted to learn that Rachel has a sharp tongue. However, when he criticizes Sir Whimlby for crying over his dead wife rather than laughing, which is "the manlier passion," she upbraids him, announcing her plans no longer to play a subservient role now that they have been made equal by marriage. Suddenly aware that he is once again in an ill match, he returns home, followed by his scolding wife. There, Erasmus and Valentine attempt to maintain peace between the two. When Rachel leaves the room with Erasmus and Valentine, with whom she has been flirting, Matchil repents not only his mockery of Whimlby's grief but also his anger towards Old Lafoy and his behavior to his daughter, all of which he attributes to "unbridled wild affections" and "contempt of counsel." He speaks secretly with Rachel and they agree that she will be allow to dominate him in private as long as she allows him to maintain the appearance of dominance. When Rachel sneaks away to the New Academy, he is delighted by the thought that she may have disappeared. He is also encouraged (though perplexed) by the arrival of Old Lafoy, who tells him that Philip is not dead. At this point, Cash enters dressed as a gallant and Matchil mistakes him for Philip. This confusion is soon cleared up and Cash leads Matchil to the New Academy, where he finds his children.


The three old men are Antipodeans, characters in the inset play of Brome's The Antipodes. All old men in the Antipodes are required to attend school in order to maintain their decaying wits. At Peregrine's request, these three are allowed to take the day off.

OLD MEN, TWO **1592

They come with the bailiff to Walter, the farmer in the anonymous A Knacke To Knowe A Knave. One poor old man has been accused of destroying Walter's corn with his horse, but it was Walter's boy. The other poor old man has borrowed some corn from Walter and brought it back, but he is told he must repay it twice because the prices have gone down since. The Knight pleads for him, but Walter wants him imprisoned.

OLD MEN, TWO **1599

While traveling to the temple of Eliza, or Gloriana in Dekker's Old Fortunatus, they discuss the virtue and goodness of Queen Elizabeth.


She is the neighbor of Thomasine Quomodo in Middleton's Michaelmas Term and one of the "counterfeit" mourners at Quomodo's fake funeral.


Uncle of Sir Charles Mountford, who refuses Susan's plea for financial help in Heywood's A Woman Killed with Kindness.


Old Nightwork is Robin Nightwork's father and the husband of Jane in Shakespeare's 2 Henry IV. He does not appear on stage in the play and is mentioned in relation to Jane in a conversation between Falstaff and Shallow.


A "ghost character" in Ford's The Fancies Chaste and Noble. Secco mentions an old man of over a hundred who has recently had to do penance for fathering a bastard. The audience would readily have recognized this as an allusion to the real-life Thomas Parr, who was believed to be 112 and had indeed fathered a bastard.


Husband of Anne Ratcliffe in Rowley, Dekker and Ford's The Witch of Edmonton. He relates her death-bed speech accusing Mother Sawyer of witchcraft.


The husband of Joan Seely, father of Gregory and Winny Seely, and uncle of Master Arthur in Heywood and Brome's The Late Lancashire Witches, Old Seely is one of the victims of the witchcraft that upsets the Seely household. In an inversion of normal family dynamics, Old Seely has become deferential to his son Gregory, who rules over him ruthlessly. Both he and Gregory are, in turn, ruled over by Old Seely's manservant Lawrence. This misrule has left Old Seely unfit to govern his own estates, and his nephew Master Arthur is forced to secure a loan from Master Generous because he is unable to turn to his uncle for financial help. Old Seely's neighbor Doughty is appalled by the chaos of the Seely household and attributes the strange behavior to witchcraft. During the wedding celebration of Lawrence and Parnell, the witches' mischief causes the family's relationships to undergo abrupt changes; Gregory becomes penitent and Old Seely forgives him, then Old Seely becomes tyrannical and refuses to forgive him, and finally he becomes submissive to his son again. In the final scene normal, happy family relations are restored, and it is revealed that the family is no longer bewitched because the witches responsible have been arrested.


The Old Shepherd in Fletcher's The Faithful Shepherdess 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.


The Old Shepherd helps to usher in the second, comic half of Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale when he tells his son (the Clown) that "thou met'st with things dying, I with things new-born." The newborn thing that the Old Shepherd discovers is Perdita, and in the sixteen years that elapse between the end of the third act and the beginning of the fourth the shepherd rears her as his daughter. He has cause to regret his charity when the Bohemian king Polixenes discovers that his son Florizel has been courting Perdita and orders the shepherd hanged for fostering the romance. Camillo persuades the young lovers to seek refuge in his native Sicilia, planning to report their destination to Polixenes in the hope that Polixenes will take him there. Meanwhile, the roguish Autolycus learns from him Perdita's true identity. The shepherd and his son the clown travel to Sicilia, and the comic resolution is facilitated by the shepherd's description of the articles which he found with the infant Perdita. Leontes, in gratitude, makes the old shepherd a "gentleman born."


"Ghost characters" in Rutter's The Shepherds' Holiday, Sylvia informs Delia that Thyrsis defended her from the avarice of old shepherds, who tried to take her goats.


A "ghost character" in Brome's A Mad Couple. He is the butler who helps Saveall in his flings.


A "ghost character" in ?Clavell's The Soddered Citizen. Old Sir Wittworth is mentioned by Undermine, when expresses his fear that the old nobleman's friendship with the Doctor might ruin his plans to marry his daughter to the old man's son.


Old Stilt is the father of Stilt in Chettle's Hoffman. He is loyal to Jerome, and plagued with malaprops.


The old tailor enters Rawlins's The Rebellion with Sebastian (disguised as Giovanno) and a group of tailors. The old tailor is resolved to fight bravely for Spain in the war. The old tailor and Sebastian find a sleeping Antonio after Antonio has murdered the Governor. It is the old tailor who overhears Machvile speak to Raymond about a plot. The old tailor informs Sebastian and goes to inform King Philip about the troubles. The old tailor informs Sebastian that Evadne has been banished by Machvile. The old tailor provides Antonio and Sebastian with disguises so that they might infiltrate the court of Machvile and Raymond. The old tailor informs Virmine that he will not be performing at the end of the play. King Philip tells the old tailor to spread the word that the king had held court in the dwelling of a tailor.

Father of the adventurer, Captain Thomas Stukeley, in the anonymous Captain Thomas Stukeley. He disapproves of his son's youthful antics, both in London and abroad. After gaining entrance to his son's study and learning of his nuptial plans, he accuses his son of being a "changeling" for engaging in such a self-serving marriage and for not following in his footsteps in pursuit of a legal career.


An impoverished country gentleman in Rowley, Dekker and Ford's The Witch of Edmonton. He pressures his son Frank into marrying the rich Susan Carter. When Frank repents Susan's murder, Old Thorney forgives him, and acknowledges Frank's first wife, Winifred, as a daughter-in-law.


Old Tradewell arrives with Old Goldwire at the Frugal estate in an attempt to resolve their sons' debts in Massinger's The City Madam. They have brought along Lord Lacy to mediate. They are denied, however, and are, in fact, arrested for their sons' outstanding debts as well. Old Goldwire is brought back by Sir John to plead for Luke's mercy, which is denied.


Old Truman in Cowley's The Guardian is the standard irascible Senex, whose decisions and mood-swings are both unpredictable. He wants his son to marry Tabytha, disregarding the young man's love for Lucia, and later tries to force him to marry Aurelia instead. It is very hard for him not to fly into rages in every situation; he accepts the final outcome—his son's marriage to Lucia—with a rare flash of self-knowledge: "I was somewhat rash: I'm an old man, alas."

[In Cowley's own 1658 revision of this play, Cutter of Coleman Street (performed 1661), he is made more interesting by his ambiguous political inclinations. He wants his son to marry Tabitha because her father has managed to make money out of the "times," even though he himself could not force himself to do so. At one point, he threatens to inform on Jolly to "the Protector," but it is clear that he will not, angry though he is.]


A fantasy character in (?)Speed’s The Converted Robber. In his boasting, Autolius claims that he can make an old usurer stand whose hams are weakened by his own penury. He can also feed the old man’s servant a dish of air and make the old man pay for it.


Old Wallace was the Sheriff of Ayre before Edward I's invasion in J.W.'s The Valiant Scot; his office is now possessed by Haslerig, and his lands have been surrendered to the English. He warns Wallace that Peggie is going to be executed, and is delighted when Wallace saves Peggie and then marries her. But then he, Friar Gertrid and Peggie are captured by Selby, who stabs Old Wallace to death in revenge for Wallace's murder of his own son. Later, he appears as a ghost to Wallace and frightens him without offering any useful information.

OLD WOMAN **1590

An old woman in the anonymous Mucedorus pursues Mouse, whom she accuses not only of failing to pay his bill in her alehouse, but also of stealing the pot from which he has been drinking. After a physical skirmish, the old woman exits in triumph with the pot.

OLD WOMAN **1604

An old woman is a patient of the fraudulent Doctor Niofell in the anonymous Wit of a Woman. She is named in the dramatis personae as Miso.

OLD WOMAN **1610

A "ghost character" in Jonson's The Alchemist. The good old woman who cured Drugger when he was sick from too much drinking. When Face wants to convince Kastril that Subtle's art can create potions that would cure any disease, he gives an opposite negative example. Since he knew that Drugger had been very ill form a one-night bout of drinking at the tavern, Face makes Drugger, who is present at the discussion, testify to the old woman's amateurish medical practices. Drugger says the old woman lives in Seacoal Lane and she cured him of his hangover with sodden ale and lime peeled out of the wall, charging him two-pence. Regarding another sickness Drugger had, which seems to be intestinal worms, Drugger says he almost died from the cure and all his hair fell off. Drugger observes the old woman did it for spite, but he does not give the reasons.

OLD WOMAN **1615

She only makes one appearance on stage in Thomas Middleton's The Witch. She comes with Aberzanes' child in her arms. Sent off stage to free Aberzanes from this burden by killing the infant, she has the function of accentuating his ruthless irresponsibility.

OLD WOMAN **1621

A "ghost character" in Fletcher's The Pilgrim. The four peasants who come across Roderigo in Segonia initially mistake him for this old woman, who "keeps sheep hereabouts."

OLD WOMAN **1624

A resident of the poor lodgings where Michael Perez stays in Fletcher's Rule a Wife and Have a Wife. She tells him the truth about Estifania.

OLD WOMAN **1637

She and the Old Man allow Philanthus to convalesce in their home in Carlell's The Fool Would Be A Favorite. Adrastus's friends force their way in looking for Philanthus. Before she takes Philanthus, Lucinda has the man and woman taken into the woods and tied up to prevent them from going to the authorities.

OLD WOMAN **1638

The old woman is an Antipodean, a character in the inset play of Brome's The Antipodes. She is drunk and blind; however, in spite of her visual impairment, she is addicted to bear baiting.


Non-speaking roles in Massinger, Middleton and Rowley's The Old Law. They are four elderly widows whom the Butler, Tailor, Cook and Bailiff marry, hoping to inherit their wealth when they are executed under the Old Law. The masked old women dance with the servants in a tavern. At the end of the play, Evander reveals that the Old Law is a fiction, and the servants are lumbered with their elderly wives.


A "ghost character" in Bale's God's Promises. Mentioned by John Baptist as an example of a prophet.


One of Prince Harry's rowdy companions who rob in jest and fight in taverns in the anonymous Famous Victories of Henry V. They laugh with the prince at the king's illness, wishing him dead so that they would all be kings through their close friendship with the Prince of Wales. He and his companions are ultimately rejected by Harry after he is crowned Henry V of England.


He receives the disguised Powis to his home in Munday, Drayton, Hathaway, and Wilson's Sir John Oldcastle. He is called before the ecclesiastical court, where he refrains from swearing an oath to Rome but convinces the King that he is not a threat to the King's rule. He convinces King Harry to pardon Powis. After being approached by Scroop and Cambridge and solicited to join their cause, he vows to tell the King about their conspiracy. He is accused by the captured rebels of participating in the rebellion, but is acquitted when the rebels acknowledge that they have never actually met Oldcastle. With the help of Harpool, he escapes from the Bishop at the Tower of London. To escape the Mayor and Constable of Albany, he and his wife disguise themselves as servants of the Bell Inn. After being accused by the senior Richard Lee of murdering the young Richard Lee, who finds Oldcastle asleep near the body of his son, he is freed when Wrothman points out that the real murderer is the Irishman. He and his wife are reunited with Powis in the play's concluding lines.


Credulous Oldcraft is a nephew of Sir Perfidious in Middleton and Rowley's Wit at Several Weapons. His uncle prefers him before Wittypate, and plans to install him as Dean of Cardigan. But Credulous is a fool, and Wittypate tricks him into believing that he is assisting in a robbery (in fact, both robbers and victim are Wittypate's cohorts in disguise). Credulous is then gulled into thinking he has been arrested, and is brought before Sir Perfidious, who pays a weighty compensation to the 'victim'. Angered that Credulous has besmirched the family name, Sir Perfidious banishes him, and decides that Wittypate is now his favourite relative. Credulous is then gulled into believing that Sir Perfidious will be pleased if he performs the marriage of the Niece to Cunningham.


Sir Perfidious Oldcraft is an old rich knight in Middleton and Rowley's Wit at Several Weapons. He has made a fortune from his cunning, and demands that his son, Wittypate, proves his own wit before he can be given an inheritance. Sir Perfidious plans to marry his Niece to a rich fool, Sir Gregory Fop. Unfortunately, his plan to enhance Gregory's appearance, by initially pretending that his poor parasite, Cunningham, is the Niece's intended, backfires: the Niece finds Cunningham more attractive than Gregory. Wittypate and his gang gull money from Sir Perfidious by disguising themselves as beggars. Sir Perfidious's favourite relative is his nephew, Credulous Oldcraft. Wittypate and his gang gull more money by making him think that Credulous has been arrested for robbery; the knight is so protective of the family's reputation, that he is easily gulled when the 'victim' demands 100 marks in compensation. The gang gulls him again during the masqued ball, by disguising as musicians and demanding payment. At the end of the play, Sir Perfidious learns of all the tricks that have been played on him, and is so delighted by Wittypate's wit that he awards him the inheritance, and forgives everyone else.


Wittypate is the son of Sir Perfidious Oldcraft in Middleton and Rowley's Wit at Several Weapons. He admires wit above all other qualities and demands that Wittypate prove his wit before he can inherit his estate. Wittypate therefore hires Sir Ruinous Gentry, Lady Runious, and Priscian to assist him in gulling his father. Ruinous and Priscian disguise as a begging soldier and scholar, and Wittypate disguises as a passer-by who is impressed by Ruinous' tales of soldiery, and converses with Priscian in an invented language. Sir Perfidious is sufficiently impressed to give money to the 'beggars'. Later, the gang disguise as a band of robbers and their victim, and trick Credulous Oldcraft into believing that he has assisted in a robbery; Sir Perfidious is then gulled into paying the 'victim' compensation, which Wittypate encourages by abusing the 'victim' so as to embarrass Perfidious. Wittypate then conspires to aid Cunningham's elopement: he promises Sir Perfidious that during the masqued ball, Gregory will be forced to marry the Niece, but in fact the masque is designed so that Cunningham and the Niece can elope without being spotted. Wittypate also gulls Perfidious out of more money by disguising his cohorts as musicians who demand payment. At the end of the play, Wittypate reveals what he has done to his father, who is so impressed by the display of wit that he awards his estate to Wittypate.


Oldrat is one of two very lazy servants in the employ of Sir Solitary Plot in Shirley's The Example. At one point in the play he comes with Dormant wearing the disguise of a constable.


Oldrents is a wealthy and aged squire, known for his generosity and hospitality in Brome's A Jovial Crew. Along with his steward Springlove, he keeps a guesthouse for beggars. Oldrents is melancholy because a fortune-teller has informed him that, despite his wealth and goodness, his daughters will be beggars. His daughters disappear, but at the urging of his friend Hearty, Oldrents puts on a show of constant mirth. While visiting Master Clack, Oldrents is reunited with his daughters, who stage an inset play revealing the fulfillment of the prophecy through their actions. In this play, Oldrents is himself a character played by the decayed lawyer. Oldrents also meets Patrico, who reveals himself as the fortuneteller who foretold the daughters' fate. Patrico also informs Oldrents that, many years ago, Patrico's sister, a beggar woman, secretly bore Oldrents a son and died. That son is Oldrents' own steward, Springlove. The play ends with Oldrents recognizing Springlove as his heir, thus ensuring the marriage of Springlove to Amie.


A "ghost character" in Hawkins's Apollo Shroving. Ludio speaks of "young Oleo" who "got of Ganeo the Elder, all his points, hatband, garters, and a gold ring, and five crownes in money; and yet in two houres to see to, see how fortune came with a windlace about againe." He delivers this story in order to prove to Lauriger that "hee that loseth at one time may winne at another."


One of the five senses in Tomkis’ Lingua. Smell. All that Common Sense may learn through smell he learns through Olfactus. Lingua complains that the five senses have a monopoly and have barred the way to Common Sense. Olfactus wears a garland of white and red roses upon false hair (a wig?); his sleeves are wrought with flowers under a damasked mantle over a pair of silk bases, buskins drawn with ribbon, and a flower in his hand. He derides Tactus for imagining himself to be a glass urinal. He is not present when the other four senses fall out over the crown and robe. During the battle, he favors neither side but intends to side with the winner. His army consists of dogs, hogs, and vultures that will eat up the fallen when the battle’s done. When called before Common Sense to show his quality, he comes garlanded in several flowers leading boys carrying sweet smelling things. Amongst his retinue is Tobacco, King of Trinidado, who (though he stinks) knits together companions. He fails to win, and Visus is awarded the crown while Tactus gets the robe. Olfactus is named chief priest of Microcosmus charged with offering incense in her majesty’s temple. He is enraged by drinking Lingua’s wine at Gustus’s banquest, but Somnus puts him to sleep and he is thus cured.


The daughter of Caecilius, sister of Comastes, and wife of Lysander in Wilde's Love's Hospital. Olimpa is presumed dead throughout the play and appears primarily in the disguise of Nigella the "blackamoore," who has been given to Facetia as a gift from Surdato. She assists Piscinus in his suit to Facetia by agreeing to deliver his gift of a pearl necklace to her, but acts mainly to further Comastes's suit to his lover as she acts as his lookout for Lepidus and prevents him from killing himself over his disbarment from the Lord's home. Olimpa is preoccupied throughout the play with her infallible love for the false Lysander who has become Lepidus's prime candidate for Facetia's husband and whom she claims has blotted out her hapless memory. In a cruel twist to the plot Lysander and Lepidus attempt to marry her to Caecilius (who believes that she is Facetia), and the marriage of father and daughter is only averted through a combination of the efforts of Facetia, Comastes, Surdato, Macilento, and the First and Second Sergeant, who each work to hinder the wedding and deliver Olimpa safely back to Facetia's home. Near the play's end she attempts to prevent the marriage of Lysander and Facetia by claiming that he is married or at least betrothed before finally revealing her true self to everyone, including her grateful father and the husband who reasserts his love for her.


See also OLYMPIA.


Olimpia is the princess of Moscow and the Duke's sister in Fletcher's The Loyal Subject. 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.


Olimpias is, along with Antiphila, Aspatia's waiting gentlewoman in Beaumont and Fletcher's The Maid's Tragedy. She commiserates with her mistress when Aspatia's betrothed, Amintor, marries Evadne instead.


A "ghost character" in Fletcher's The Loyal Subject. Olin is an archenemy of Moscow, leader of the Tartars. 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.

OLINDA **1615

Perindus's sister, Tyrinthus's daughter, Cosma's enemy, and Glaucilla's friend in P. Fletcher's Sicelides. Olinda is a "poore fisher maid" who is loved by Thalander (as well as Atyches) and is included in a list of possible love interests which Conchylio (disguised as Cupid) presents to Cancrone. Because Olinda had previously voiced her hatred for Thalander, banished him from her sight, and "affected" his rival (Mago), Thalander exiled himself to the woods, became a "stranger," and, according to Atyches, died. In the disguise of Atyches, Thalander returned to the Sicilian town (almost one year prior to the play's action) and, on his arrival, conveyed well wishes, Circe's pipe, and an engraved ruby ring to Olinda which he claims that the "dead and dying" Thalander made him swear to give to her. Because Mago takes on the "shape and habit" of Glaucilla in the garden near "Neptunes temple" and tempts Olinda to take one of the "golden apples" from the "Hyperian tree" situated in the "sacred garden," she is sentenced by Neptune to die at the hands of the sea monster, Malorcha. In preparation for her death, she gives Glaucilla her belongings; however, when the priest Dicaus, who is overseeing Olinda's execution, "proclaimes" that anyone who "conquer[s]" the "monstrous beast" will gain Olinda as "his prize forever," Atyches blinds and kills Malorcha. Directly after this victory Olinda and Atyches are married. Despite the fact that Olinda previously scorned Thalander's love, she later informs Glaucilla that her heart lies with him. Cosma gives Olinda a "glasse" of "liquor" which she claims will cure her griefs and Glaucilla, correctly suspecting that the drink is poisonous, tempers it with her "art" and changes it into a sleeping potion. After Perindus learns that Atyches is actually Thalander in disguise, he informs him that Olinda loves him and the two set out to find her only to learn that she is dead. At this discovery, Thalander voices his desire to kill himself. Alcippus accompanies the distraught lover to Olinda's supposed grave but, suspicious of Thalander's intentions, he decides against "leav[ing]" his friend at Olinda's "temple" alone and chooses to "retire" instead. After mourning Olinda's death Thalander "lies down by the rocke" to sleep and, much to his amazement, is awakened after "the Rocke opens" and Olinda is led from it by Glaucus and Circe. Alcippus re-enters to find Olinda alive and well, remedies Thalander's disbelief concerning Olinda's existence, and claims that the couple's love "perswades" him "to become a lover." Olinda delivers her story to the two fishermen, Thalander forgives Olinda for her past behaviour, and the two proclaim their love for each other. Pas incorrectly informs Tyrinthus (much to the father's grief) that Olinda is dead, accusing Glaucilla of the murder but, later, orders Nomicus to set Cancrone and Scrocca free since it has become evident that Olinda is alive. Tyrinthus is reunited with his children, Olinda forgives Cosma for her "foule offence," Alcippus summarizes the "triall[s]" of Thalander's and Olinda's relationship at the play's end, and Thalander (again) expresses his nagging concern that he is only dreaming such a favourable outcome.

OLINDA **1634

Olinda, a rich heiress and love interest for both Lidian and Clarange in Massinger's 1634 Cleander, or Lisander and Calista (a revision of Fletcher's 1623 The Wandering Lovers?). She issues a challenge to both men: she will love only the last man to visit her. The two men go into exile. Lidian comes to her with news that Clarange is dead. But Lidian has been fooled and Clarange enters, thus winning the bet. Clarange however has found religion and gives her up for a monastic life. He offers to marry Olinda and Lidian.

OLINDA **1636

Olinda is Austrella's sister and the King of Neustrea's youngest daughter in Carlell's 1 The Passionate Lovers. In Act Three, she is temporally appointed heir of the kingdom until Austrella accepts her responsibility as a princess.
Olinda is Austrella's sister and the King of Neustrea's youngest daughter in Carlell's 2 Passionate Lovers. Olinda is thought to be a very honest lady. In Act One, she is wooed by the Prince of Aquitain, whom she blames for courting her sister first. However, she accepts his friendship now. In Act Two, Olinda talks to Agenor's brother, whom she likes. He is to give her a letter where he tells her a secret. When Olinda is humiliated by the Prince of Aquitain, she is defended by Agenor's brother, who turns out to be Clorinda. Later, Olinda goes with Clorinda to see the druid and there she is kidnapped by the Prince of Aquitain. In Act Four, questioned by the Prince, she rejects his affection and begs mercy for Clarimant because that would help him to make it up with Agenor and the King. In Act Five, Olinda confesses her love for Clarimant because, on the one hand, she has been persuaded to accept the prince of Burgony and, on the other hand, because she has seen great virtues in him. Nevertheless, she will not marry the prince, who weds Clorinda.

OLINDA **1636

Claricilla’s maid in Killigrew’s Claricilla. During the siege of Silvander’s villa, she and Claricilla escape to the king’s camp. She tells Seleucus when Claricilla is with “the stranger" (Melintus). She overhears Claricilla tell Appius that she will meet the stranger in the garden and takes this information to Seleucus. She does not hear that the stranger is Melintus in disguise. She trades her information for a promise of a future boon from Seleucus, whom she loves. Manlius reports that she has drowned during the planned escape in act five.


‘Latro’s wife. A woman big and mannish’ who supposes herself briefly to be a cuckquean in Percy’s Cuckqueans and Cuckolds Errants. Claribel calls her ‘a forester’, and she gives him lodging for the night on the promise that he remain quiet lest her jealous husband discover him in the lodge. Immediately thereafter, Floradin and Rafe pass on their way to Elizabeth’s camp and ask to rest and be refreshed. She invites them to do so, but as Rafe is away tending to the horses Olivel’s husband, Latro, returns unexpectedly and Olivel must implore Floradin to hide as well. She must stop her bullying husband from beating the two gentlemen, and does so by pretending to plunge a knife into her breast. She is happy when Latro is deceived and escapes to Colchester, ridding her of a brutish husband. She joins up with Claribel and Floradin, furnishing them with liveries and weapons to become soldiers. They stop in at the Tarlton Inn on the way to the camp where they find Latro sharing his bed with Doucebella and Aruania. She accuses Latro of wronging her, having ‘played the thief with three’ and that he ‘will have marshal law without indicting, straight’. When all is resolved, she agrees to take Latro again as husband.

OLIVER **1591

On behalf of the Twelve Peers of France in Greene's Orlando Furioso, he condemns Angelica to death by fire for her betrayal of Orlando.

OLIVER **1591

William's and Margerie's father, Strumbo's neighbour in the anonymous Locrine. He speaks with a strong accent (German ?) and wants Strumbo to marry his daughter Margerie. Strumbo declines but is beaten by Margerie till he agrees.

OLIVER **1599

Oliver is the eldest son of Sir Rowland de Boys in Shakespeare's As You Like It. He undergoes a remarkable transformation in the play. Initially, he is a villainous figure who mistreats his brother Orlando and schemes to have him murdered. After Orlando has left his brother's house fearing for his life, Duke Frederick orders Oliver to find him in the hope that Orlando will lead them to the duke's daughter Celia. Oliver makes his way to the forest of Arden where Orlando saves his life. He then meets "Aliena" (Celia in disguise) and the two fall immediately and passionately in love. By the end of the play, Oliver and Celia's marriage is among the unions that close the play.

OLIVER **1600

Oliver is a friend and supporter of Orlando in the anonymous Charlemagne. He plots with Reinaldo to reduce the influence Ganelon over Richard. Going in search of Richard, he discovers Ganelon's murders and arrests Ganelon and Didier.

OLIVER **1604

A rich Devonshire clothier, who speaks with a rustic accent in The London Prodigal. He is both temperamental and generous. He is Sir Lancelot's favoured match for his daughter Luce, but is disappointed when Flowerdale gulls Sir Lancelot into thinking he is the richer man. Despite this snub, Oliver donates a large amount of money to the repentant Flowerdale in the play's conclusion. He also asks Delia to marry him, but when she rejects him in favour of the single life, he resolves to live as a bachelor, too.

OLIVER **1606

Oliver is a drawer at the Mitre in Wilkins's The Miseries of Enforced Marriage. He often replies "anon, anon."

OLIVER **1606

A servant in A Yorkshire Tragedy. He appears in the first scene. Together with his colleagues he pities his mistress (the Wife), who has not seen her Husband for a long time. During the rest of the play the servants appear without a name.

OLIVER **1614

A "ghost character" in Fletcher's Wit Without Money. Widow's servant. Named when she calls him, but he has no lines, no action, and does not appear on stage.

OLIVER **1616

A "ghost character" in Fletcher's Love's Pilgrimage. The Second Hostess tells the Wench to send Oliver to invite the Justice for dinner the next day.

OLIVER **1618

Oliver is a fustian weaver who runs against Simon the tanner for the mayorship of Queenborough in Middleton's Hengist. The two candidates engage in mudslinging; when Simon wins, he destroys Oliver's loom and has him arrested. Oliver is a Puritan, and when Simon captures him, he forces Oliver to watch a play.

OLIVER **1626

Senior member of the Jerusalem Watch in Hemminge's The Jews' Tragedy. He is a garrulous fool. His eccentric vocabulary during his explanations of the treason trial and the duties of a watchman provide comic relief. The Watch's dereliction of duty in guarding the city gates during a thunderstorm allows Zareck more easily to admit the traitor Skimeon and his forces.

OLIVER **1632

One of Sacrilege Hook’s servants in Hausted’s Rival Friends. Hook orders Oliver and Robert to go order the bell tolled when he believes Bully Lively has fallen dead at his feet.

OLIVER **1637

Oliver is another gallant in Brome's The Damoiselle. He is also Valentine's friend. Ambrose, Valentine and he are going to charge 20 pounds to anyone going into the brothel. He goes with Ambrose to the brothel.

OLIVER **1638

A servant to Spendall in the anonymous Oberon the Second.

OLIVER **1641

Oliver is the son of Master Clack in Brome's A Jovial Crew. He is returning from London to witness his cousin Amie's marriage to Tallboy. On the way, he insults Hilliard who has begged him for alms and who, consequently, challenges him to a duel. Oliver also encounters Meriel and Rachel, is consumed with lust, and attempts to rape them. Informed of his cousin Amie's disappearance, Oliver travels to Oldrents' house with Tallboy and is entertained there. His insults are forgiven in the last scene.


Sir Oliver is a knight in ?Brewer's The Country Girl. He is in love with Sir Robert's sister, Lady Mosely. Sir Robert fancies him and will help him by offering 1,000 a year as a dowry. But, Lady Mosely has made up her mind. In Act IV, he is to fight Captain George. He tries to avoid Captain George, but when the captain wounds himself accidentally, he takes him to a doctor. However, he flees thinking that he has killed his opponent. He is also sad because he loves Lady Mosely. He comes back to the hospital and meets his friend with whom he goes disguised as a doctor to the final scene.


Oliver Cob is a water bearer and Tib's husband in Jonson's Every Man in His Humour. Bobadill lives in his house as a lodger. Cob is a loquacious character, always ready to share his homespun philosophy with his interlocutors. At Kitely's house, Cob enters with his tankard to deliver the water for the household. After emitting some of his witticisms concerning the maids' immorality, Cob exits. Cob re-enters with his tankard for his afternoon delivery and sees the gallants smoking. Cob speaks vehemently against tobacco, which attracts Bobadill's anger and a good beating. At Justice Clement's house, Cob enters with Kitely, reporting on the party of gallants at the merchant's house. When Kitely exits abruptly, Cob is contaminated with the merchant's jealousy and reveals his suspicion that Tib seems to treat their lodger Bobadill too gently. When Justice Clement enters, Cob complains against being beaten and requires a warrant for Bobadill's arrest. Though narrowly escaping another beating, Cob finally obtains his warrant from the capricious judge. In a lane before his house, Cob enters and knocks at his own door, calling for Tib. When his wife opens the door, he accuses her of immorality and shows her the warrant against Bobadill. Cob instructs Tib to go inside the house and lock the door. Cob re-enters to find Dame Kitely, Knowell, and Kitely before his house. Each is accusing the other of adultery, and Kitely tells Cob that Tib is the bawd who encouraged the illicit assignations. Cob beats his wife and then joins the party of misguided people, all intending to take their case before the judge. In the final scene before Justice Clement, Cob is reconciled with his wife and declares that she is honest.


According to tradition, he played the part of Tactus in Tomkis’ Lingua.


One of the twenty-four Electors for the Burgomastership in Ruggle’s Club Law.


A wealthy man who cannot get children with his wife though they have been married seven years in Middleton's A Chaste Maid in Cheapside. Whorehound is their residuary legatee and, lest they produce offspring, he stands to inherit all of their property after their deaths. Touchwood Sr. offers him a cure—a medicinal water that he must drink and then be active for many hours before copulating with his wife, results guaranteed. He is pleased when his wife becomes pregnant, never guessing it is Touchwood, Sr. who has made her so. The Kix child assures that Whorehound will not inherit their wealth. Kix, overjoyed, orders that Touchwood, Sr. be paid one hundred pounds for the "water" and laughs that this news will make Whorehound poor. He orders Kix to go back to his home and that he will himself provide money to raise the Touchwood, Sr. progeny.


A foolish country parson in Shakespeare's As You Like It. When Audrey insists on marriage as a necessary precursor to copulation, Touchstone enlists Sir Oliver Martext to perform a secret marriage ceremony (one that Touchstone might later deny). Jaques arrives on the scene just in time to recommend a more conventional wedding, which eventually occurs when Audrey and Touchstone make up one quarter of the quadruple wedding at the end of the play.


A rich city Knight and suitor to the Widow in Middleton's(?) Puritan. After Pyeboard and Idle's machinations are revealed, he marries the Widow.


A "ghost character" in Middleton's Your Five Gallants. Briefly mentioned as one of Frippery's clients.


Sir Philip Luckless' witty servant in Brome's The Northern Lass. Mistress Fitchow provokes a quarrel with Sir Philip after their over-hasty marriage by threatening to throw Pate out of her house. He masquerades as a Doctor in order to bring Sir Philip's messages to the mad Constance; it is later discovered that, disguised as a Parson, he also 'married' Sir Philip and Mistress Fitchow. Because he was not an actual Parson, their marriage is rendered a fortuitous nullity.


Sir Oliver Smallshanks is the father of Thomas Smallshanks and William Smallshanks in Barry's Ram Alley. He has disowned William, his younger son, due to his prodigal behavior, but is reconciled with him when he thinks that William has won the rich heiress Constantia Sommerfield, not knowing that "Constantia" is really Francis impersonating Constantia. He gives "Constantia" a chain worth 400 crowns. Sir Oliver boasts to Justice Tutchin that William has "stolen" Constantia. They are amused by the behavior of Captain Face; when he sees them he threatens Sir Oliver, warning him to stay away from Changeable Taffeta. Sir Oliver nonetheless proceeds to Taffeta's house. When Captain Face approaches, declaring that she is his lawfully betrothed wife, Sir Oliver takes refuge under Taffeta's farthingale, revealing himself only when the furious Face goes to kick it. Taffeta agrees to marry Sir Oliver because she desires the social status that the marriage would give her. Sir Oliver disowns William for a second time because he is disparaging about his union with Taffeta. He goes to Taffeta's house early in the morning, but finds William in his shirt, boasting about his conquest of the widow. Sir Oliver refuses to believe what has happened, and goes home to groom and prepare himself for his wedding. He comes to Taffeta's house to be greeted by William, who explains that he has married Taffeta and that "Constantia" was impersonated by his whore. At the close of the play, William advises Sir Oliver to woo Lady Sommerfield.


Old Trashard is Sir Robert's tenant in ?Brewer's The Country Girl. He has two daughters and a son. His daughter Margaret tells him about Sir Robert's intentions, which do not annoy the father in spite of their big social differences. However, he is worried about such a match. In Act III, he will read a letter that the gentleman has sent to Margaret. In Act IV, he pretends to be Lady Malory's husband and kisses her to make her landlord give up.


A rich old knight is the true father of Philip and Jane in Middleton's No Wit, No Help Like a Woman's. Jane, however, is believed to be Sunset's daughter. Sir Oliver believes that his daughter is Grace. Twilight is interested in contracting the marriage of Grace as expediently and inexpensively as possible, conditions that rule out Weatherwise as suitor because he demands a portion of the family wealth. Sir Oliver believes his wife is dead as the play opens, and this rumor is perpetuated by his servant Savorwit though it is refuted by a Dutch Merchant who claims to have seen her alive in Antwerp. Lady Twilight's sudden appearance confirms the Dutch Merchant's tale. The Dutch Merchant informs mother and son (falsely) that Grace is Twilight's daughter, a fact allegedly confirmed when Lady Twilight interrogates Grace herself. Because Grace and Philip had been married clandestinely in Antwerp two months previously, the family prepares for the humiliation that will attend the fact that Philip has, in fact, married his sister. The scandal is averted, however, when Goldenfleece reveals at her wedding feast that Grace is actually Sunset's daughter and it is Jane who is, in fact, Twilight's.


Sir Oliver Younglove is one of Caelia's suitors in Baylie's The Wizard. His age and various ailments cause him to ask his eldest son, Antonio to woo Caelia for him. He is so in love with Caelia that he sends her letters promising her all his money and property. Antonio, disguised as a conjurer, tells him that he will marry the virgin Caelia, if she is still alive in the morning, so Sir Oliver arrives at what he believes is her window with musicians early the next day. The music rouses Sebastian, who has spent the night with Penelope, and his appearance causes Sir Oliver great anger. When Penelope unveils and Sebastian realizes he has been with the wrong sister, Sir Oliver at first thinks Caelia has saved herself for him. His triumph is short lived, however, when Antonio and Caelia enter, married. He quickly forgives them and hopes that they live and die together and leave behind happy children.

OLIVIA **1600

Olivia is a countess, and is beloved of Orsino in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. Because she has declared that she will abjure the company of men for seven years while she mourns the death of her brother, Orsino sends Cesario (the disguised Viola) to attempt to woo her, believing "his" youth will make an impression. Olivia at first refuses to entertain him, but is eventually won over and even unveils in his presence. However, her reason for doing so is that she has fallen in love with Cesario. When he leaves, Olivia sends Malvolio after him with a ring. The next time Cesario visits, she meets with him alone and woos him directly, causing the disguised Viola a great deal of unease. Saddened by her rejection, Olivia sends for Malvolio, since he is somber and serious, but he appears all smiles due to the forged letter he has found. Olivia, with some prodding from Maria, believes that he is possessed by a devil and gives him over to the care of Sir Toby. Olivia intervenes in the duel between Sebastian and Sir Andrew, believing he is Cesario, and convinces him to marry her immediately. Just a few hours later she finds Cesario with Orsino and declares their marriage, with the Priest's word to back her up. She is shocked when Cesario declares himself willing to die by Orsino's hand rather than go with her, but the riddle is immediately untangled when Sebastian enters to apologize for fighting with Sir Toby. On hearing that the Captain who has Viola's clothes has been imprisoned by Malvolio, Olivia sends for him. He shows her the letter she is supposed to have written; she recognizes it as Maria's and realizes that Malvolio has been tricked.

OLIVIA **1638

Olivia reigns as queen of Murcia in Shirley's The Doubtful Heir, but her realm is threatened by war and the claim of Ferdinand to her crown. When Ferdinand is captured and tried, Olivia pardons him and weds him. Highly unsettled at the absence of intimacy in her marriage, Olivia discovers that Tiberio, the male page toward whom Ferdinand has shown so much affection, is indeed Rosania, Ferdinand's betrothed. Olivia sentences Ferdinand and Rosania to death, but the sentence fails when Leandro proves Ferdinand to be Olivia's cousin and the true heir of the realm. Olivia finally weds Leonario, the prince of Arragon to whom she had been contracted before the war.


A "ghost character" in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. Her brother's death causes Olivia to swear she will remain in deep mourning and refuse the company of men for seven years.


Oloaritus comes with Anicetus to murder Agrippina in May's Julia Agrippina.


According to the Scholar in Wilson's The Cobbler's Prophecy, the real name of Content is Olygoros, the Greek word for Contempt.


See also OLIMPIA.

OLYMPIA **1589

She is the captain of Balsera's wife in Marlowe's Tamburlaine the Great, Part 2. She appears on the walls of her besieged town with her husband and son when Theridamas sounds parley. As the city falls, she tries to lead her husband and son into a cave to escape, but her husband is killed by a stray bullet. Her son begs her to kill him before she commits suicide. She stabs the boy and burns his body along with her husband's. She tries to kill herself but is stopped by the entrance of Techelles, who is impressed by her resolve. Theridamas is also on hand and falls immediately in love with her. They take her against her will to Tamburlaine, promising that she will be married to a king at least. She can only grieve for her lost husband and son. After the defeat of the Turks at Aleppo, she begs Theridamas to kill her. He refuses. When she will not relent, he decides to rape her, but she promises him an unguent that will make flesh impervious. To prove her claim, she anoints her throat and bids him strike. He does and kills her, as it was all a trick to that end. Stricken with remorse, he promises to entomb her with all the pomp his kingdom can afford.

OLYMPIA **1623

Olympia, a rich widow, sympathetic to the slave revolt, falls in love with Poliphron and marries him in Massinger's The Bondman.

OLYMPIA **1636

A bawd of Naples in Killigrew’s The Princess. She negotiates with the soldiers for their prisoner-slaves but thinks two thousand sestertia is too high a price for Cecelia. She buys a male slave who kisses her. Paulina sends Olympia to offer Virgilius sanctuary in her house. She is at first taken with his beauty, but he unwittingly earns Olympia’s wrath when he calls her Mother. She vows to be revenged. She betrays Paulina’s plan to rescue Cicilia to Bragadine. When Virgilius is shot and thought dead, she gloats over him only to have Virgilius stab her after she’s confessed her treachery.


A “ghost character" in Killigrew’s The Princess. Bragadine hires two men to help surprise Virgilius and Facertes in their attempt to free Cicilia. The first Bravo’s name is Ennius. He is an acquaintance of Olympia’s and claims to have killed two men for her, the last one named Olympick.


Olyndus is a young lord of Cyprus in Cartwright's The Lady-Errant. He has been left behind from the wars because he is too ill to fight. He is best friends with Charistus and in love with Eumela. When Lucasia requests an interview with him, he speaks to her about his friend, who quickly becomes jealous and challenges him to a duel. The ensuing duel covers the trunks of two trees with blood. After reconciling with Charistus, he marries Eumela at the close of the play.

OMAR **1615

Only mentioned in Tomkis’ Albumazar. Albumazar’s magical cant includes this allusion.


Master Ominous is "a man fearful of superstitious accidents" in the anonymous Wit's Triumvirate. He goes to visit Master Silence seeking for help–he is an extremely superstitions man and, unfortunately, all his superstitions seem to come true. He proceeds to report all his misfortunes related to superstitions to the divine, and begs him for relief. Then he received his piece of advice from Master Silence–he must "shun all antiquaries and heathenish superstitions and traditions," and explains that his disease is also "partly in the blood," therefore, he recommends him to see also an eminent physician who lives in the same house. He agrees to do as he is told and rewards him for his services. Later, following Master Silence's advice, he goes to see Doctor Clyster, and he starts to report the somatic effects of his superstitions. The doctor diagnoses he suffers from "melancholy, which must be purged", and he assures him he knows how to do it. Thus, he tells him to "forbear the Roman history awhile, to forget the entrails of beasts, birds, flying or pecking of chickens," and to forget about "augurs and soothsayers" and all their superstitions. When Master Ominous offers him a recompense for his services, Clyster refuses it at first "till the cure is finished", but, on his victim's insistence, he takes it. Later, when he finds out he had been cozened, he goes to see Silence to ask him for satisfaction–but Silence threatens him, and Master Ominous leaves. But, soon, encouraged by Damme de Bois, he and the other cozened victims siege the house of the three cheaters. Finally, Master Algebra, who was passing by, offers to act as a judge, and he actually solves the case satisfactorily for all the parties involved, cures the cozened people and he is recompensed both by the victims and by the cheaters.


A "ghost character" in Randolph's Amyntas. Ambiguous references to the authority of the Ompha suggest the personification of the Oracle of Ceres. Cognate with the Omphalos at Delphi, this would indicate the sacred stone of Ceres's shrine, but Randolph's use of the name indicates that he imagines an animate mouthpiece of the goddess, whose Echo is heard in the final scene.


In the dumb show to IV of the anonymous Locrine, Omphale, the Daughter of the King of Lydia, has a club in her hand and a lion's skin on her back. Hercules follows her, Omphale turns and strikes Hercules on his head. Like Hercules for Omphale did Locrine fall in love with Estrild, is Ate's commentary.
Only mentioned by the Fairies invoked by the Magician in Fletcher's The Humorous Lieutenant during the creation of a love potion that Antigonus intends to use to make Celia fall in love with him. In classical mythology, Omphale is a barbarian queen who owned Hercules as a slave.
Omphale is the queen of Lydia in Heywood's Brazen Age. She enslaves Hercules with her affections and feminizes him. Hercules kills Omphale, mistaking her for his wife.


Prior to the action of Dekker's Noble Spanish Soldier, she was contracted to the King and bore him a son, Sebastian. After the King rejected her, she lived in misery, defacing his picture and weeping to a crucifix. The King tricks her into giving him their marriage contract by pretending that he will show it to the Cardinals who will, in turn, invalidate his marriage to Paulina. Once he has the contract in his hands, he again scorns Onælia. She follows him to court but is denied access to him. Balthazar visits her and offers to kill the King. She wishes the King dead but then recants the desire. Balthazar then offers himself as her servant. A poet visits her and offers her a poem celebrating the marriage of the King and Queen. She has the book burned and asks the poet to write a libel against the King, which he refuses to do. She encourages Medina's faction to attempt to secure the King for her rather than kill him. She sends Balthazar a message encoded as music: "sol re me fa mi," which he interprets as "Solus Rex me facit miseram" ("The King alone makes me unhappy."). She agrees to marry Cockadillio to secure peace. At her wedding feast, the cup of wine that Malateste intended to poison her is accidentally given to the King. On his deathbed, he recognizes her as his lawful wife, invalidating her marriage to Cockadillio.


A "ghost character" in Bale's God's Promises. Mentioned by God as an example of man's sinfulness.


Onaphets is a disguise name in Edwards's Damon and Pithias. "Onaphets" is the anagram of "Stephano" and is the false name Stephano gives to Carisophus. As "Onaphets," Stephano beats Carisophus for having searched through Damon's chest. Aristippus notices the anagram and is amused by the trick played on Carisophus.

ONE **1636

A mute character in Killigrew’s Claricilla. The stage direction calls for “one" to knock off Philemon’s slave chains when Manlius frees him.

An Irish soldier defending Dundalk in the anonymous Captain Thomas Stukeley, apprehended by Stukeley for treason. He quarrels with Buske over command of the force and is eventually killed by him in hand-to-hand combat.

O'NEILL **1627

Only mentioned in Randolph's Plutophthalmia. Spelled Oneale. Termock has fought under him in Ireland and believes this entitles him to be captain of Penia's army.


A Leicestershire gentleman, brother to Walkadine Hoard and father to Joyce in Middleton's A Trick to Catch the Old One. Onesipherus reveals Jane Medler's true identity as Witgood's former courtesan to his brother after being invited to London to participate in the festivities following their marriage.


Oniate is a sensible courtier in Habington's The Queen of Aragon. He sees through Cleantha's apparent frivolity and persuades her to marry him.


Head Groom for Count Ferneze in Jonson's The Case is Altered. He is an illiterate who pretends to be intellectual. In love with Rachel de Prie, he solicits Valentine to write him a love ballad and Christophero to woo him for her. He is slightly injured by Martino during a bout of cudgels and insulted by the French page, Pacue. Returning to de Prie's with Juniper to court Rachel, they are chased off by Jaques de Prie's imaginary mastiff, Garlic, but Onion, climbing a tree, sees de Prie visiting his treasure. After debating whether to share the treasure with Juniper, he tells him and they dig it up together. He spends his treasure on clothes, pages, and a knighthood, and arrives at Count Ferneze's court to show off. Identified by Jaques de Prie as a thief, he is ordered into the stocks by the Count.


A suitor to Julia in Chettle, Dekker and Haughton's Patient Grissil. Like her other suitors, his advances lead nowhere.


Lamprias' name in some of the stage directions to Fletcher's Queen of Corinth.


A sempster of London in Middleton and Dekker's Moll Cutpurse, The Roaring Girl. "Sempster" is the masculine form of seamstress, and "openwork" is cloth that has a pattern of holes worked into it, such as lace. Openwork's wife distrusts him, thinking that when Moll Cutpurse comes to their shop that she is having an affair with him. Openwork is suspicious of Goshawk, who is interested in having an affair with Mistress Openwork. He decides to test Goshawk by telling him that he keeps a whore in the suburbs. Goshawk tells Mistress Openwork this false information to alienate her from her husband and make her want to retaliate by having an affair with him. Mistress Openwork confronts her husband, who denies the story, and together they set a trap for Goshawk. When Goshawk comes to take Mistress Openwork to show her where her husband keeps his whore, intending instead to get her drunk and have sex with her, Openwork confronts them as they are about to leave. Mistress Openwork and he pretend to argue over the matter, and he claims that he will kill whoever told his wife about his whore. She reveals that it was Goshawk, who is chastened and forgiven.


Wife of Openwork, a sempster in Middleton and Dekker's Moll Cutpurse, The Roaring Girl. Mistress Openwork had been a seamstress in a lady's service before she married her husband. She distrusts Openwork, thinking that when Moll Cutpurse comes to their shop that she is having an affair with him. Goshawk is interested in having an affair with Mistress Openwork, and her husband, suspicious of him, tests Goshawk by telling him that he keeps a whore in the suburbs. Goshawk tells Mistress Openwork this false information to alienate her from her husband and make her want to retaliate by having an affair with him. Mistress Openwork confronts her husband, who denies the story, and together they set a trap for Goshawk. When Goshawk arrives to take Mistress Openwork to show her where her husband keeps his whore, intending instead to get her drunk and have sex with her, Openwork confronts them as they are about to leave. Mistress Openwork and he pretend to argue over the matter, and he claims that he will kill whoever told his wife about his whore. She reveals that it was Goshawk, who is chastened and forgiven.


A "ghost character" also identified as the Stone Cutter and Sow Gelder. When Sir Timothy Troublesome, weary of what he wrongly perceives as his wife's infidelity, decides to have himself castrated in order to be certain that any children his wife conceives will not be his, he and his servant Wages visit the Operator.


Ophelia is the daughter of Polonius, sister of Laertes, and in love with Hamlet in Shakespeare's Hamlet. Both her brother (before he leaves for France) and her father forbid her to have any contact with Hamlet for fear that she will be used and discarded by the prince. When Hamlet bursts in on her, disheveled, she runs to her father, who assumes that his erratic behavior is due to rejected love. He tells her to come with him to see the king, but apparently changes his mind since she is not in the next scene (except in Q1, where the nunnery scene is shifted forward to precede the fishmonger scene). Polonius and Claudius arrange for Hamlet to meet Ophelia while the two of them observe the interview in secret. She attempts to return his gifts, and he becomes enraged, accusing her of lechery and face painting. After he leaves, she mourns the apparent overthrow of a noble mind. At the play within the play, Hamlet continues to taunt her with sexual talk. After Polonius is killed and Hamlet sent to England, Ophelia goes mad, singing songs and distributing flowers filled with symbolic significance. She falls (offstage) into a brook while trying to place a garland in a willow. Gertrude reports her death by drowning. She is buried with abbreviated rites, but on sanctified soil (though the doctor says she should be placed "in ground unsanctified"), and her corpse must suffer the indignity of being fought over by Hamlet and Laertes.


Ophiletis is a gentleman of King Basileus' household in Wager's The Cruel Debtor. Having lived far beyond his degree, he owes money to the king, but he is not able to pay his debts off. Being summoned by Basileus's steward, Proniticus, into the presence of the king, he accepts the assistance of Rigor, Flateri and Symulatyon.


A devil in Chapman's Caesar and Pompey. He makes a pact with Fronto in a comic scene.


A "ghost character" in Zouche's The Sophister. Opinion is the daughter of Truth and the sister of Scientia who is to wed Topicus. Fallacy attempts to prevent this marriage and Judicium claims that "this Morning from Verona come the Ladies, / Whose presence onely is attended here." Fallacy informs Opposition and Contradiction that he has "surpriz'd the Lady Truth, / With her two famous Daughters" and is "now in doubt / How [he] might best captive their constant thoughts," at which time his followers present suggestions until Fallacy decides to use "glozing words, and kind intreaties" to win them over. Judicium learns that "Truth and her daughters" have been expelled" and Distinction describes to Proposition and Judicium the way that he came upon the closet in which was locked "Lord Intellect in one roome, the Lady Truth and her daughters in others" whom he "thence delivered." Fallacy is informed of his captives' escape and calls both Opinion and Scientia "hated," and Ambiguity recites to his Master the accusations which he has contrived against Truth and her daughters at Fallacy's command. Amongst them is the claim that "Lady Opinion seeks to insinuate, / And winne good liking with the vulgar sort" and that she is "sometimes simple, most times subtile is, / But now deceitfull, straight deceivable, / And only constant in inconstancy." Ambiguity is arrested of Capital Treason, in part for "those vilde designes" which he and Fallacy have contrived against "those distressed Ladyes / Of poore Verona." At the play's end, Discourse seeks to "make recompence / For those injurious wrongs which harmlesse Truth / And her distressed daughters have sustain'd" and, thus, announces that the marriage of his two sons to Truth's two daughters will soon be celebrated.

OPINION **1617

A “ghost character" in the anonymous Pathomachia. One of the intellectual Virtues whom King Love wishes would join him in his war. Unhappily those Virtues are at war with some of their ‘home-bred’ enemies.


Oppius brings news to Appius that the latter must accept election to the Decemvirate or face banishment in John Webster's Appius and Virginia.


Nickname given to Christian, Birdlime's maidservant, by Luce in Dekker and Webster's Westward Ho.


One of Definition's companions in Zouche's The Sophister. Definition claims that he, Distinction, Division, Opposition, and Description have been sent by their "Soveraigne" (presumably Discourse) "to draw out for him the pedigree, which is a true lineall discent of all the chiefest inhabitants within these provinces, and view their ancient possessions, which are the Dominions and Lands, conveighed them by their Ancestors" in order to guard against the loss of "dignity and jurisdiction [. . .] from the noblest houses." Thus, the five partake in much debate over this business until Definition claims that he "can doe nothing without" Lord Demonstration. Proposition informs Opposition and the others that Lord Discourse is "falne starke madde" and that "Demonstration, Topicus, and Fallacy, are hot in contention who must governe." Thus, they go to visit Discourse before "tak[ing] order" with the Lord's sons. Opposition appears for a meeting with Fallacy and expresses his pity for the "base born" son's "poore fortune." In order to convey Distinction away from the place set for Opposition to meet with Fallacy, Ambiguity professes his love for Distinction and invites him to have a drink. Ambiguity informs Opposition that Fallacy is too busy to meet Opposition himself, but delivers Fallacy's letters to Opposition. In these letters Fallacy promises to advance Opposition if he helps the bastard to win the right to succeed Discourse, which Opposition willingly agrees to do. Fallacy (along with his two brothers) makes a plea to Definition, Division, Proposition, and Opposition as to why he should succeed his father. Opposition votes for Fallacy but, when the decision remains unresolved, Fallacy resigns his right to his father's position and claims that one of his brothers can "rule the State" for him if they can agree upon whom it should be. After Demonstration and Topicus badly wound each other in fighting over who should succeed Discourse, Fallacy becomes his father's successor, makes Opposition his "chiefest Counsellor of State," and instructs Opposition to proclaim his "lawfull just succession" throughout "Parrhesia." Because Fallacy is confident in his new position and thinks that he can "stand alone," he contrives the ruin of Contradiction and Opposition. He (separately) informs each of his two "sworne supporters" that Scientia has promised to "place her best affections" upon him if Judicium is killed, and that Judicium has, thus, bid him to "combate." On receiving this information each of the men vows to fight on Fallacy's behalf. He bids them each (separately) to disguise themselves, to keep the plan a secret from the other, and to meet at a certain place and time where each will apparently meet Judicium. However, unbeknownst to Opposition and Contradiction, Fallacy plans for them to meet and kill each other instead. Proposition later informs Judicium that "Opposition and Contradiction contending for the rule, / Have wounded each the other wilfully," at which news Judicium expresses his concern for Contradiction. Analysis congratulates Equipolency on coming to him "so timely" concerning Contradiction's and Opposition's wounds and gives the Apothecary advice on how to treat them. Contradiction (along with Opposition) curses Fallacy and confesses to his role in "thrust[ing]" Demonstration and Topicus into "their desperate fury." Ambiguity later informs Fallacy that "Lord Opposition and Contradiction have hurt each other [. . .] dangerously" at which news Fallacy pretends surprise. Ambiguity goes on to inform his Master that Equipolency "hath with his curiosity drawne out the rancor of their wounds, and no question is made of their recoverie." Furthermore, the Apothecary has also "made them friends" and claims that they do nothing except "exclaime against" Fallacy and Ambiguity. At this news, along with the fact that Analysis has let Discourse's blood, Fallacy grows desperate to "doe somewhat." It is, presumably, Contradiction and Opposition whom Discourse refers to at the play's end when he states, "Let them when their health and strength shall serve, / Be both conveyed hence to th' Antipodes."


Oppression is one of a set of colleagues in Udall's? Respublica, who (with Insolence and Adulation) attach themselves to Avarice in order to make Insolence ruler. At Avarice's insistence he changes his name to Reformation. After convincing Respublica that he will be good for her, he and his colleagues privately compare how much profit they have made from the exploitation of their powers. He takes all the possessions of the bishops. Nemesis hands him over to People at play's end for trial.


A "ghost character" in Heywood's The Golden Age. He is Saturn's first baby boy, murdered in his cradle in fulfillment of the covenant between Saturn and Titan.


Opsius, a spy, a friend of Sejanus in Jonson's Sejanus His Fall. He assists in tricking Sabinus into treason.


A "ghost character" in Dekker's The Whore of Babylon. According to Como, he leads the fifth squadron of the Babylonian Armada sent to attack Titania. The Fairy fleet burns him and his ships.

ORACLE **1596

A character mentioned in the original plot of the anonymous Tamar Cam. Apparently he speaks "to her," likely referring to Tarmia. Whether the character speaks from off stage or on is unclear.

ORACLE **1607

The Oracle is a Priest of Apollo in Heywood's The Rape of Lucrece. He declares that the blame for Servius' death lies squarely with Tullia. He also declares that Tarquin's successor will be someone who first kisses his mother.

ORACLE **1614

A "ghost character" in Daniel's Hymen's Triumph. Thyrsis tells his friend Palaemon that he consulted an oracle after hearing the news of Silvia's death. The oracle told him that he would be happy again. When further queried, the oracle specified that his happiness would occur on the anniversary of Silvia's death.

ORACLE **1615

A fictional character in P. Fletcher's Sicelides. Conchylio delivers a foolish prophecy to Cancrone and Scrocca that he claims comes from his "deities oracle" after they promise to worship him if he "ridde[s]" them of their Orke-fear.

ORACLE **1634

A "ghost character" in Rutter's The Shepherds' Holiday. The Oracle delivers an appalling prophecy to King Euarchus concerning the birth of his son Archigenes (known throughout the play as Thyrsis) which prompts the king to order Eubulus to kill the baby.


Philargus and Philocles consult Apollo's oracle at Delphi (off stage) to determine which of them will marry Eudyna in Brome's Love-Sick Court. They return with the following riddle: "Contend not for the Jewel, which / Ere long shall both of you enrich. / Pursue your fortune: for tis she / Shall make you what you seem to be." Justinius interprets the riddle to mean that the brothers should not contend for Eudyna at the expense of the "fortune" of their friendship. In actuality, Eudyna enriches Philargus by becoming his wife and Philocles by becoming his sister. Her marriage makes the two men brothers, which they previously seemed to be.


Eumena's brother in Davenant's The Fair Favorite. Taken prisoner by the Tuscans, he also fears that Eumena is the King's mistress. He prefers to remain a prisoner rather than allow her to use her influence with the King. He is freed by Amadore, to whom he is a sworn friend, but refuses to believe that Eumena is chaste, despite her own, the Queen's, and finally Amadore's protestations. The King's neglect of the Queen, whom Oramont himself loves, increases his anger, and finally he fights a duel with Amadore, who believes in Eumena's innocence. Thinking that he has killed his friend, Oramont is condemned to die, but finding that his friend is alive and that he has treated Amadore unjustly, he admits his fault.

ORANGE **1599

Orange is a city-born con man, the inseparable twin of foppery to Clove in Jonson's Every Man out of His Humour. Cordatus says that Orange and Clove are not within the scope of this play, but he gives a brief characterization of the two. Cordatus says that Orange is a foolish person, who displays linguistic clichés and cannot understand a joke but laughs heartily at it. At St. Paul's, Orange enters before Clove greeting their common acquaintance Shift. Orange knows Shift by a different name than his friend does, and he greets Shift by the name of Signior Whiffe. When Puntavorlo and Carlo Buffone enter, Orange and Clove witness the conversation between the two. They are also present at the discussion between Fastidious Brisk, Deliro, and Macilente. When he sees them eavesdropping, Macilente describes Clove and Orange as a couple of fine tame parrots. Clove wants to show off in front of the gentlemen and tells Orange to pretend they are two learned scholars. Clove embarks in a one-sided conversation scattered with incongruous references to classical philosophy, punctuated by Orange's brief commendatory statements, which are part of his linguistic idiosyncrasy. Orange replies to Clove's fake learned commentary with his stock phrases, "O, good sir!" and O lord, sir!" When Deliro exits with Macilente, disgusted at the spectacle of Shift brandishing his sword, Orange and Clove call Shift aside, asking him about his dispute with the gentlemen. Orange and Clove greet Shift by his two different names, which allows Carlo Buffone to deduce Shift's double impersonation. Orange exits with Clove.

ORANGE **1608

A Nobleman in the Archduke's court in Chapman's The Conspiracy of Charles, Duke of Byron.


"Ghost characters" in Jonson's Epicoene. The orange-women make loud noises crying their wares in front of Morose's windows. When Truewit discusses Morose's noise-hating idiosyncrasy with Clerimont, he mentions that Morose has tried to bribe all the vendors crying under his windows. Thus, Morose is said to have concluded various treaties with the fish-wives and orange women, who apparently agreed to keep silent.


This unnamed Orator appears at Appius' tribunal for the trial of Virginia in John Webster's Appius and Virginia. Marcus Clodius is his client, and his rhetoric promises to convict the innocent Virginia.


The Queen of Persia, married to the King in Suckling's Aglaura (first version). She was formerly, before his exile, plighted to Zorannes. She falls in love with Ariaspes and plots with him to overthrow the King. Zorannes reveals himself to her and charges her with faithlessness. She weeps and begs for forgiveness, and he forgives her. However, she is still angry that Zorannes has killed Ariaspes, and she opens the box of poison Ariaspes had given her, thus killing Zorannes. She is then killed by Pasithas.
In the "happy ending" second version, the character engages in much the same action. The Queen of Persia, married to the King in Suckling's Aglaura (second version). She was formerly, before his exile, plighted to Zorannes. She falls in love with Ariaspes and plots with him to overthrow the King. Zorannes reveals himself to her and charges her with faithlessness. She weeps and begs for forgiveness, and he forgives her. She probably plans to poison him, but when she asks for a kiss, he refuses her. The King then sentences her to a convent for life.


The word used in P. Fletcher's Sicelides to describe Malorcha (the "Orke" who is described by Atyches as "more monstrous then the seas that bred him").


Orcan is a "ghost character" in [?]Queen Henrietta's Florimène. He does not appear in the play but is named as the man who rescued Lycoris from a Satyr.


King of Natolia in Marlowe's Tamburlaine the Great, Part 2. He meets Callapine's contributory kings, Gazellus and Urbassa, at the Danube. While lamenting that Callapine is Tamburlaine's prisoner, he plans to meet Sigismund and wonders if he should parley or fight with the Christian. He chooses peace with Sigismund in order to save his arms to encounter Tamburlaine. He vows peace with Sigismund in the name of Mahomet. When Sigismund proves treacherous, Orcanes calls on Sigismund's God, Christ, to avenge the blasphemy and destroy Sigismund using Orcanes' insubstantial flank guards. This defeat of Sigismund comes to pass, and Orcanes determines to honor Christ from then on while doing no injury to Mahomet. He greets the returning Callapine as his emperor. He promises his aid in the fight against Tamburlaine and marches with Callapine's armies to Aleppo. There he is defeated and, seeing Tamburlaine kill Calyphas, his own son, calls Tamburlaine barbarous. Orcanes is later led in as captive and made a reserve to draw Tamburlaine's chariot should Trebizon and Soria ever tire. When Trebizon and Soria are hanged at Babylon, Orcanes is harnessed to the chariot with the king of Jerusalem. He is present but muted by his bridle and bit at Tamburlaine's death.

ORCANES **1637

Son to Melcosbus in Carlell’s Osmond. He is immediately struck with the beauty of his host’s wife, Ozaca. He plans to find a way to Ozaca when he finds a letter he thinks is from her but is actually a trap set by Calibeus. He pantomimes his love to the figure in the window not realizing it is Calibeus in disguise. He has Hosa set Calibeus’ garden house on fire to allow himself access to Ozaca. When Calibeus discovers Orcanes and Ozaca together, they conspire to make him believe that she was raped, and the ruse succeeds. He falls in love with Ozaca and, after Melcosbus refuses to punish him for the ‘rape,’ sees his way clear to visit her when he likes. Melcosbus calls him to judgment for the ‘rape’ and because he sinned by looking upon another man’s wife, he is sentenced to have his eyes pulled out so he will not be tempted more. After losing the first eye, Orcanes swears that Ozaca was a willing sex partner, but his father does not believe him. For attempting to murder Ozaca’s reputation, Orcanes is taken away to be strangled to death.


Lala Schahin, attempting to spark a heroic impulse in Amurath in Goffe's The Courageous Turk, enters the king's chamber in disguise as the Ghost of Orchanes, Amurath's dead father. In that shape, Lala Schahin berates Amurath for devoting so much of himself to the Greek mistress Eumorphe, curses any children that might result from this affair, and urges the king to concentrate on war, conquest, and terrorizing Christian Europe.


A friend of Androlio in Davenant's The Spanish Lovers; he is another frivolous character, who joins in Androlio's game of mistress swapping. Disguised as a hired musician, he kidnaps Amiana in order to score off Androlio, her lover, but, like Androlio himself, he is only a mock-rake, and returns her unharmed.


Princess of Aragon, bride to Thierry in Fletcher and Massinger's Thierry and Theodoret. Fifteen years old, she is innocent and famed for her virtue. Although deferential to Brunhalt, her status as the new queen provokes homicidal jealously in her mother-in-law. She prevents a duel between Protaldy and Martell by appealing to Protaldy's chivalry to desist from violence on her wedding-night. The impotence-drug intended to frustrate the couple's married bliss and end the marriage is thwarted by her contented, celibate love for Thierry. Lecure, Brunhalt's agent, disguised as the magician Le Forte, persuades Thierry to sacrifice the first woman coming from the Temple of Diana the following dawn. Lecure contrives for Ordella to be the victim, and, still veiled and unknown to her husband, she consents to be killed. He flees, horrified, when she reveals her identity, and she is persuaded by Martell not to commit suicide to fulfill the false prophecy. She consents to hide and be believed dead to await developments. She returns to court when Thierry is dying. They are reconciled and she dies of grief immediately after her husband's death.


Frequently referred to by the other servants as "master steward" in Massinger's A New Way to Pay Old Debts. Order is a servant of Lady Alworth's who can often be found supervising the other servants and making sure they are doing their jobs correctly. He plays a considerable part in Welborne's charade, receiving, along with Furnace, information from Lady Alworth concerning the prodigal's plan of which the other servants are ignorant.


They are "fictional characters" in Jonson's The Alchemist. The ordinaries are judges of ecclesiastical or other causes who act in their own right. When Face wants to introduce to Kastril the magician's infallible methods of helping one gain at games, he gives the example of a fictional young gentleman. Face says that this young man, who is comparatively poor, will get so rich by gambling and cheating people, among whom are these judges, that the ordinaries will take a bid for him. The young gentleman's services as a gamester will be sold to the highest bidder among the people with money.


See also HORESTES.

ORESTES **1599

A "ghost character" in Heywood's 1 The Iron Age, Orestes in the son of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra. In the epilogue, Thersites mentions that, having survived the action in the first part of the play, he will be around to see Orestes, among others, in the second part.
Orestes is the son of Agamemnon and Clitemnestra in Heywood's 2 The Iron Age. His betrothal to Hermione, daughter of Hellen, is proposed as a happy way to heal the wounds caused by the latter's adultery. When the generals return, however, Menelaus offers his daughter's hand to Pyrhus. In his anger Orestes agrees to join in Cethus' plot. To avenge his father's death, he and Pillades disguise themselves as Spartans, and use Cethus' forged letter to gain entrance to the citadel where the murderers have taken refuge. He learns that they have been plotting his death, kills Egistus, and then, spurred on by his father's ghost, kills his mother. At Cethus' urging, he attacks Pyrhus as the latter is in the process of marrying Hermione; the rivals kill each other.
Only mentioned in Jonson's Every Man out of His Humour. Orestes is the symbolic name Sogliardo gives himself in relation to Shift. In Greek mythology, Orestes and Pylades were faithful friends and their names are symbolic of friendship. When Sogliardo introduces his new friend Shift to Puntavorlo, Shift calls Sogliardo "my dear Orestes." This remark makes Carlo Buffone make the connection of Orestes to Pylades, and speak about the two friends. Sogliardo approves of the classical allusion, saying he is Shift's Orestes, and Shift is Sogliardo's Pylades.
Only mentioned in Jonson's Epicoene. In Greek mythology, Orestes was Pylades's faithful friend and their names are symbolic of friendship. After having witnessed the scene of La-Foole and Daw's public humiliation, the collegiate ladies enter and the two foolish knights are summoned from their separate rooms. Truewit tells the ladies that he will fetch the two friends, Orestes and Pylades. By referring ironically to the relationship between La-Foole and Daw as that between Orestes and Pylades, Truewit implies that their association is exactly the reverse of that between the two classical heroes.
Agamemnon and Clytemnestra’s son, Pylades’ friend in Goffe’s Orestes. He feels as though time has stood still for the ten years of his father’s absence and, with Agamemnon’s return, he feels renewed. He has a prophetic dream while Agamemnon is actually being killed that he sees Achilles and Briseis stabbing his father to death in his tent. He goes to find his father murdered indeed and vows revenge. Orestes tells his mother and Aegystheus of the murder, not suspecting them, and curses the murderer, hoping his child dies before his face. Alone, he prays to Atreus to grant him vengeance. When Clytemnestra refuses to mourn, Orestes says, “O, my prophetic soul" and guesses the truth. He hopes Aegystheus is guilty and conspires to have his friends rumor it about that he has died whilst he puts on a disguise. He has it rumored that he and Pylades have committed suicide by leaping from the cliffs into the sea. He takes his father’s bones and skull to the woman. He eulogizes over his father’s bones in the vein of Hamlet with Yorick’s skull. He apostrophizes the worms eating the king and stomps them for their arrogance. The sorceress Canidia calls up an image of Clytemnestra and Aegystheus murdering Agamemnon for Orestes and Pylades to witness. Orestes, though warned that piety stands between him and his revenge, disavows Clytemnestra as his mother. He abjures Canidia’s offers to kill them with magic curses, choosing to enact the revenge himself at court. Mysander overhears Orestes and Pylades planning to infiltrate the court and kill the monarchs, and they stab him. Mysander’s cries bring lords who arrest Orestes and Pylades, who claim they killed him in self defense. He chafes to be judged by Aegystheus. When Aegystheus says he will execute only the one responsible for stabbing Mysander, both Orestes and Pylander claim to be solely responsible. Exonerated, he pretends to be a great physician with knowledge of herbs. They reveal themselves secretly to Strophius and Electra, and Orestes requires the child of Electra. He hesitates when the child claims to love Orestes, but Agamemnon’s ghost appears to whet his revenge. He ties Aegystheus to his chair when he comes to take physic and stabs the child before Aegystheus’ eyes. He stabs until the child’s blood spurts into Aegystheus’ face. He thrusts Agamemnon’s bones at Clytemnestra to remind her of her sin. He then makes them drink the child’s blood before stabbing them, too. He shows the court his deed and, discovering himself, demands the crown. Tyndarus banishes him from the court and orders that none shall give him food or succor. In exile, he runs mad. The stage direction for his V.iv entrance is “enter Orestes furens." Cassandra taunts him as he comes upon the bodies of Strophius and Electra and stabs them with Electra’s knife. Pylades comes across him and charms him to sleep, but he dreams of horrors and awakes. His guilt works heavily upon him. He regains his sanity at the end, and he and Pylades run upon one another’s rapiers and die embracing each other. Tyndarus, taking pity on them, orders the two friends to be buried in one grave.
Only mentioned in Randolph's Muses' Looking Glass. Tragedy uses this character as an example to convince Comedy of her superior ability to move men to reformation and improvement.

ORESTES **1600

Orestes is one of the Duke's servants in the anonymous Maid's Metamorphosis. He has been commanded by the Duke, together with Phylander, to kill Eurymine, and he is really sorry about the task he has to accomplish. When Eurymine urges him to tell her the reason for his gloom, he replies that Phylander is a better communicator. Furthermore, when she invites both men to tell her a story, he confesses that he is so troubled deep inside and so sad that he would not be able to tell any nice story. After hearing Phylander's tale, Orestes explains the girl that she must prepare to die, and he is ready to strike her to death. But he is prevented killing her by Phylander. Nevertheless, Orestes is determined, and he reminds his friend of their oath to kill her. However, after hearing his friend's claim that the girl is an innocent lady, he agrees not to do any harm to her. But still they must pretend to have killed her, thus, he suggests killing a goat and taking its heart to the Duke, as evidence of Eurymine's death.


Aurelia Orestilla is Catiline's wife in Jonson's Catiline. Aurelia enters Catiline's study and he kisses her, admitting he had neglected her too long, but he would make amends for it. From Catiline's discourse, it emerges that he had removed a wife and a son in order to marry Aurelia, whom he wants to raise to the most elevated status in the republic. Catiline confides in his wife, telling her his plans to present his candidature for a consulship. Catiline counsels Aurelia to enlist the wives of important men to their cause, and also to play the perfect hostess and be discreet. Although Aurelia does not interact too much in this one-sided conversation, it is understood that she tacitly goes along with Catiline's plans. When the conspirators enter, Aurelia retires. Aurelia has recruited extravagant and dissatisfied patrician women, such as Sempronia, always hungry for more money and sexual gratification. At Catiline's house, Aurelia enters to inform her husband that the confederate ladies are gathered in her quarters for the separate women's assembly. Catiline instructs Aurelia to tell the ladies to use their husbands' finances and manpower for the next step in Catiline's plot, which is that of setting fire to the city. Aurelia is advised to promise the ladies richer and better sexually performing husbands, all the lovers in the world, and power over states and empires. Aurelia exits to fulfill Catiline's instructions. After their respective meetings, both men and women conspirators convene in the early hours of the morning to take their leave and make a final statement of confidence. Eventually, when the conspirators are sentenced to death, it is understood that the women, including Aurelia, are not punished.


Page to Orlando in Greene's Orlando Furioso.


An attendant to Misogonus in (?)Johnson's Misogonus. Orgelus threatens Eupelas when the latter urges Misogonus to reform his ways. He urges Misogonus instead to visit Melissa, a local whore. After Eugonus is declared Philogonus' heir, Orgelus forsakes Misogonus.


Friend of Androlio and Orco, and lover of Claramante, whom he tries, with much difficulty, to protect from everyone else and marry in Davenant's The Spanish Lovers. In order to rescue her from her jealous brother, Leonte, he elopes with her. He takes her to the house of Androlio, who sees through her male disguise and subjects her to such harassment that Orgemon is obliged to come back for her; on their journey, Androlio intercepts them and takes her prisoner, tying Orgemon to a tree. Freed by Dorando, he finally finds her at Marillia's house, where Androlio has brought her; but he also finds Dorando there, and realizes that he is his rival. The dilemma is solved, and their enmity ended, when the wealthy old Basilonte reveals that they are both his sons, and Orgemon the elder of the two. Dorando yields, and Orgemon regains Claramante, whom the reformed Leonte is now glad to let him have.


Orgilus is the revenger in Ford's The Broken Heart. He is given good reason to hate Ithocles, who gave Penthea to Bassanes, who abuses her, instead of to him, who would presumably love her. His revenge, however, is more calculated and cold than is found in most revengers of the period. He is not bloodthirsty, as Vindice, nor methodical, as Hamlet. Rather, he is workmanlike and gets around to his revenge in time. His suspicions over his sister, Euphranea, are as groundless as the action itself turns out to be pointless. When she remains faithful to her vow, he agrees to allow her marriage. His name means "angry."


A "ghost character" in Hawkins's Apollo Shroving. Complement claims that he must "give accesse and interview to Sir Orgolio" near the play's beginning. Later, Complement claims that the "Knight errant" "came to [him] desirous to be inroll'd [his] schollar," and the Captaine expresses "griefe & anger" over Orgolio's acceptance of his dinner invitation. Complement makes much fuss with Implement over this issue, until the Page comes up with some possible solutions to the problem and the matter is forgotten about.

ORGYLUS **1630

Roscius in Randolph's Muses' Looking Glass characterizes him as "an angry, quarrelsome man, moved with the least shadow or appearance of injury." His opposite is Aorgus.

ORIANA **1600

Oriana is wife to Lodowick, Duke of Bullen, in the anonymous Weakest Goeth to the Wall. When they must flee to Flanders, Jacob, their landlord, makes several attempts to seduce her. She and her daughter, Diana, are left behind as surety when her husband, Lodowick leaves for London in order to earn enough to pay his debts to Jacob. Later, Oriana announces to the drunk, fat, lustful Jacob that she and Diana are leaving him, now that their debt has been paid. Oriana has been assaulted by Jacob, but she has just managed to retain her honor. She and Diana intend to go to London to find her husband. On their journey, they are shipwrecked, and Oriana and Diana meet Villiers, a kind merchant of La Rochelle who looks after them. He promises to marry Oriana and to share all his property with her, if her husband is dead. In the final scene, Villiers enters bringing Oriana and Diana, with a suit for Lodowick. Villiers describes how he looked after them well and Oriana had agreed to marry him when she was a widow. Although he has a document in which she has said she is a widow, she has refused to marry him. She describes to Lodowick (whom she doesn't recognize) how she had lived in the house of the Duke of Bullen, but now, a weak person, she has gone to the wall. Lodowick declares who he is and reveals that Oriana and Diana now have a son and brother in Frederick. Villiers is delighted.

ORIANA **1606

Oriana is Valore's sister in Beaumont and Fletcher's The Woman Hater. She is fifteen and Duke is in love with her. At Valore's house, Oriana enters, asking her brother's permission to go to court to visit a lady. Though Valore is against this visit, Oriana exits to the court. Being caught in a hailstorm in the street, she seeks refuge in Gondarino's house, but the woman hater tells her she is not welcome. Duke enters and, seeing Oriana in Gondarino's company, he believes she is having an affair with him. Valore enters with Lazarillo and, seeing his sister in the Duke's company, he believes she has an amorous assignation with him. When Duke and Valore leave, Oriana seems determined to make Gondarino appreciate women, and she pretends to accept his invitation to a tryst in one of his houses. In fact, Gondarino wants to trap Oriana by sending her to a brothel, where the Duke would find her, thus concluding she is a whore. Oriana is in the brothel with her Waiting Woman and she looks out of the window. In the street below, Duke, Gondarino, Valore, and Arrigo enter disguised. Seeing Oriana at the window of the brothel, the men conclude she is a whore, but Duke gives her a chance to speak and she exonerates herself. In a room in the palace with a gallery, Oriana and Arrigo enter below, while Duke, Gondarino, and Valore enter above. The men above witness the scene in which Arrigo informs Oriana that she is sentenced to death and proposes sex to her in exchange for her life. Oriana refuses and Duke pronounces her a paragon of virtue, asking her to be his wife. Oriana accepts and she coordinates Gondarino's punishment by women.

ORIANA **1618

Oriana is the sister of Valetta in Fletcher's The Knight of Malta. She rejects the advances of Mountferrat, and he (in collusion with her maid Abdella) plants evidence that makes her appear to be a traitor in league with the Turks. Despite her pleas, her brother believes she is guilty and orders her executed the next day. Gomera steps forward and accuses Mountferrat of lying and challenges him to a duel. A trial by combat is arranged and in the duel Gomera defeats the disguised Miranda, who has taken Mountferrat's place to ensure victory for Gomera and a decision of innocence for Oriana. She is given in marriage to Gomera for his service, despite her declaration that she loves both men chastely. Oriana praises Miranda to Gomera, arousing his jealousy, and he accuses her of unfaithfulness. She faints at the accusation, and Abdella secretly gives her a drug that makes her appear dead. She is placed in her family tomb, where she wakes and is found by Miranda and Norandine, who are visiting her supposed grave. They remove her to Miranda's house where she gives birth to a boy (although nothing was said earlier about her pregnancy). She is happy in the child, but remains sad because she is separated from her husband. In the final scene, she appears veiled, pretending to be a prisoner of war, and Miranda tells Gomera that she desires his protection. When he rejects her, claiming he cannot look at a woman after his wife died, Miranda states that this woman was like a wife to him and that her child is his. At his demand that she unveil to state the accusation publicly, she does so, and is reunited with her husband.

ORIANA **1621

In love with Mirabel in Fletcher's Wild-Goose Chase. After failing to win his love, despite three years of trying, agrees to a series of tricks devised by Lugier, the second of which involves her acting as if she is dying of love for Mirabel. When this fails, she participates in Lugier's third and final trick, disguising herself as a rich heiress desirous of Mirabel's love. This final trick wins him over, namely because he has vowed to marry her if she can trick him a third time, and they marry in the conclusion of the play.

ORIANA **1631

Oriana is the long-suffering ingenue in Shirley's The Traitor. She surrenders her love for Cosmo and obeys her mother Morosa to marry Pisano against her will. One even suspects that she would eventually love Pisano as Amidea asks her to do for her sake. Oriana demonstrates the lack of attention and character development women received during much of the Renaissance. She is no more interesting than the earlier ingenues of the genre.


Maidservant to Francelia in Suckling's Brennoralt. She is involved in a romance with Raguelin, another servant. She wants to marry him; his motives are less personal.


A friend of Aglaura and a lady of the court in Suckling's Aglaura (first version) and also Aglaura (second version); she is also secretly in love with Thersamnes. Aglaura discovers her secret in conversation with her and they enjoy talking about the absent Prince together.

ORLANDO **1591

A valiant soldier in Greene's Orlando Furioso. Having been chosen by Angelica to be her husband, Orlando, along with a bevy of French soldiers, besieges Rodamant's castle, but Rodamant, along with Brandimart, escapes. Orlando, wandering in a garden and musing on his love for Angelica, discovers the love verses placed there by Sacripant, and believing the rumors spread by the disguised servant, begins to go mad, first thinking that his trusty servant, Orgalio, is Medor, Angelica's supposed lover, and then turning his wrath to Sacripant's disguised servant, whose leg he tears off and proceeds to wear around his neck. Later he saves Angelica, now abandoned and dressed as a poor woman, from Rodamant and Brandimart; in the ensuing battle he kills Brandimart. Given his madness he is not able to recognize Angelica; instead he thinks she is a brave soldier and knights her. He then mistakes a clown, who is dressed up as Angelica, as Angelica, and he beats him. Later, he dresses as a poet and composes love poems to his "faithless" Angelica. After cajoling a traveling fiddler to play for him, and after mistaking the fiddle for a sword and beating the fiddler, he is charmed to sleep by Melissa who reveals to him a horrifying dream which brings him to his senses, and then he learns the truth of Angelica's faithfulness and Sacripant's duplicity. He saves Marsilius and Mandricard from Sacripant, and in the ensuing battle, during which he is disguised as a mercenary, kills Sacripant. Still disguised, Orlando saves Angelica as she is about to be put to death by the Twelve Peers of France. He is given Angelica's hand in marriage by her father, who also makes him king. The play ends with Orlando announcing that he will return with Angelica to France.

ORLANDO **1599

Early in Shakespeare's As You Like It Orlando complains that his elder brother Oliver has violated the terms of their father's (Sir Rowland de Boys) will by keeping him "rustically at home" instead of educating him as a gentleman. When Orlando challenges the wrestling champion Charles, Oliver instructs Charles to kill his brother if possible. Instead of being killed by Charles, Orlando wins the match. At the match he first meets Rosalind and both fall in love at first sight. Adam warns Orlando that Oliver is plotting to eliminate him, and Orlando retreats to the forest of Arden with the loyal old Adam, where they join Duke Senior's court-in-exile. In the forest, Orlando spends his time hanging tributes to Rosalind on tree trunks in the form of doggerel verse. When Rosalind arrives in the forest disguised as the boy Ganymede, she persuades Orlando to try curing himself of love with Ganymede's help. Meanwhile, Duke Frederick orders Oliver to find Orlando, hoping that Orlando will lead them to the duke's daughter Celia. When Orlando saves Oliver's life in the forest, Oliver repents and is reformed. Rosalind removes her disguise, and the quadruple wedding that closes the play includes their union.

ORLANDO **1600

Orlando is the nephew of Emperor Charlemagne and heir to the throne in the anonymous Charlemagne. His victories in Spain are reported at the start of the play, but he fears that Charlemagne's marriage to Theodora will result in the birth of a new heir and the ruin of his fortunes. Orlando is given to despair, preferring to comment than to take action of his own even after the birth of Theodora's son Lewis. He regains Charlemagne's favor when the plots against the Emperor are revealed, and he is granted the throne of Spain.

ORLANDO **1627

Only mentioned in Randolph's Plutophthalmia. Anus uses Orlando and Jeronymo as types of madmen who would be so cruel as Neanias.

ORLANDO **1642

A soldier in Salusbury’s Love or Money. He enters in the middle of the play and is immediately smitten with Maria, telling her it is a shame that she is already married. He says that he would kill her husband to be with her though he were to hang the next day for it. He says he would do the same even were there two husbands and agrees to meet Maria at 3 o’clock, saluting her before he goes. He comes to Antius’ dance in honour of Xanthippi and, believing Antius’ claims that Xanthippi is a carefree old soul who loves drink and dancing, forces her to dance with him. He follows Juristis, who is disguised as the porter, as the latter carries Medico in the trunk of dirty linens, chastising them both when they discover that they have been duped. He returns to Maria to report how he ‘swinged’ the two and is surprised when her thanks is only money. When Maria calls out her secreted husband to hear Orlando’s complaint, Orlando congratulates Pamphilus for having a good wife and asks how he might be able to come by one as virtuous.


Orlando is Bellafront's father in Dekker's 2 Honest Whore. Estranged from her for years because of her career as a prostitute, Orlando learns from Hippolito of her reformation and her marriage to Matheo. Disguised as Pacheco, Orlando seeks service with his daughter and her husband in order to confirm the report of Bellafront's conversion and to offer her assistance. Her virtue is confirmed when she sends Hippolito's gifts and letters back, and Orlando gives them to Infelice, thereby informing her of her husband's waywardness. As Matheo's behavior and circumstances become more desperate, Orlando does what he can to help Bellafront, but he finds her too devoted to her worthless husband to accept his offers of aid. After arranging for Matheo to be involved in the robbery of two peddlers (actually two of his servants), Orlando goes to Gasparo Trebazzi, the Duke of Milan for help. The duke agrees to have Matheo arrested, his house searched (revealing, of course, the goods stolen from the peddlers), and the prodigal taken off to prison. Orlando hopes, by placing Matheo in danger and then rescuing him, his son-in-law might be receptive to changing his life. In the final scene in Milan's Bridewell, Matheo brazenly lies that Bellafront and Hippolito have been having an affair, and Orlando reveals himself to counter that change. He resumes a father's role, promising to support his daughter and her worthless husband, and ends by warning Matheo that he must amend his behavior.


Furioso in Shirley's The School of Compliment is a devotee of the Compliment School. He presents an outlandish speech full of mythological references.

ORLEANS **1599

A French prisoner at the court in Dekker's Old Fortunatus. He is in love with Agripyne, who teases him on matters of love. After the Prince of Cyprus abandons his claim to Agripyne (once she has horns), Orleans agrees to marry her no matter what her physical appearance.

ORLEANS **1599

The Duke of Orleans, nephew of the French King Charles VI in Shakespeare's Henry V, is among the French nobles captured in the battle of Agincourt. Historically, his name was Charles.

ORLEANS **1624

The Duke of Orleans is present but has no lines in Massinger's The Parliament of Love.


Also called Biancha in Fletcher's The Honest Man's Fortune.


Ormandine is an enchanter who is terrorizing Tartary in Kirke's The Seven Champions of Christendom. His familiar spirit is Tarpax. A prophecy tells him that a red-cross knight will kill him, but he is unconvinced. St. David arrives, and Ormandine fights him off with his wand and then uses tempting spirits to charm him into submission. But then St. George arrives and is too powerful for Ormandine to defeat. Accepting his fate, Ormandine tells George not to sully his sword with his blood. He walks up some steps and is struck by lightning.


Ormandine's friends are bewitched by his magic in Kirke's The Seven Champions of Christendom. When St. George defeats Ormandine, Ormandine asks him to release his friends, who have done no harm. The friends ensure that St. David is returned to favor with the King of Tartary.


A "ghost character" in Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra. Orodes treacherously killed Marcus Crassus, a death which is revenged when Ventidius kills his son Pacorus.


Only mentioned in Tomkis’ Albumazar. Father of Zoroastres. Albumazar’s magical cant includes this allusion.


A Persian lord like Hydarnes in Cartwright's The Royal Slave.


Orphenio is one of Brishio's two sons in the anonymous Knack To Know An Honest Man. When Orphinio and his brother ask the senators for help after their father has been banished, their request is rejected. Sempronio, however, gives them jewels and talks to them about the selfishness of the age. He also tells them that their sister (Annetta) and niece (Lucida) will be attacked that night and that they should stand watch to protect them. That night they wait and wound Fortunio as he attempts to knock down the doors of the house to seize Lucida. They are arrested by Marchetto and given to Servio's charge. He passes them to his daughter Phillida for her to imprison. Phillida offers to let the brothers free if Orphinio will marry her when he eventually returns to Venice. They accept the offer and Phillida gives them Servio's signet ring to show the city porter as they leave Venice. Having escaped, the two brothers meet Lelio and, with swords drawn, try to persuade him to return to Venice to face his punishment, thereby invalidating the order against their father, Brishio. Brishio, however, reprimands them for their unkindness and they humbly apologize to him and to Lelio, explaining that their actions were governed by love. When Lelio leaves voluntarily for Venice Brishio assumes his sons' behavior is the cause and instructs them to go to Venice to rescue Lelio, even if it means they die themselves. They obey, arriving in Venice as Lelio is being condemned to death and, blaming themselves for his fate, and despite Lelio's insistence that his surrender was voluntary, they offer themselves for the death penalty. A reformed Fortunio defends them. Phillida and Orphinio marry.

ORPHEUS **1601

Only mentioned in Jonson's Bartholomew Fair. When Quarlous sees Leatherhead at the Fair trying to sell his wares, probably with a fiddle in his hand, Quarlous says the hobbyhorse man looks like Orpheus among the beasts, with his fiddle and all. In Greek mythology, Orpheus was the musician who could tame wild beasts with his music. The inappropriate association of Orpheus with the peddler, and Orpheus's lyre with a rudimentary fiddle, is probably meant to emphasize the incongruity of the Fair world.
Only mentioned in Jonson's Poetaster. Orpheus was a legendary poet and musician of ancient Greece. Apollo gave him the lyre and the Muses instructed him. Orpheus enchanted men, beasts, and even trees with his music. He was called Father of Song. When Tucca listens to Crispinus's song, apparently dedicated to Chloë, he calls the poetaster another Orpheus.
Sir John summons Orpheus with help from Holdfast, to play music in Massinger's The City Madam. While he plays, all of Luke's victims are brought before Luke one last time in order to test his mercy.
Only mentioned in Fletcher's The Captain; the mythical Greek musician, to whose music Julio compares Lelia's voice favorably.

ORPHEUS **1617

Disguise taken by Stremon in Fletcher's The Mad Lover. Hoping to dissuade Memnon from his rash promise to send his heart to Calis in token of his love, Stremon disguises himself as the classical hero-musician Orpheus to show the general the "afterlife" of lovers in the masque of beasts in IV.i.


Orpiano is a nobleman in Shirley's The Bird in a Cage. The Duke of Mantua sends him to Florence to negotiate the marriage of Eugenia to the Florentine prince. With Fulvio he comments on the hypocrisy of court life and the Duke's folly.


A "ghost character" in the anonymous Knack To Know An Honest Man. Orrelio (also Orelio) [Aurelia?] is the new wife of the Duke of Milan. The war between Milan and Florence took place because Florence did not pay Milan Orrelio's dowry.


Brother to the Prince of Francelia in Suckling's The Goblins. This fact is unknown to all (including himself) except for Tamoren. In a time of extreme danger, Orsabrin was entrusted to his father's servant Garradan and sent away by sea; pirates attacked the ship, killing Garradan and kidnapping the infant prince, whom they then brought up. Orsabrin is a credit to them: he is a courageous and noble-minded young man, though apparently uncourtly in manner (a trait Suckling occasionally forgets). His sea-travels bring him, at the start of the play, to Francelia, where he is immediately asked to act as second for Samorat in his duel with Philatell and Torcular , two brothers who oppose Samorat's love-affair with their sister. Joining in enthusiastically, Orsabrin wounds Torcular, and believes he has killed him–a belief which leads to considerable complications. Making his escape from the scene, he is accosted by one of the Sergeants, who mistakes him for a thief; he wounds the Sergeant, then takes refuge in a dark house belonging to lady named Sabrina, who mistakes him for the man she loves–Samorat, whose name Orsabrin had not learned during the duel. There the two men meet again, in the dark, fail to recognize each other, and fight, till light is brought: Samorat then sees that he has wounded Orsabrin, is filled with remorse, and goes for a doctor. He thus narrowly misses Philatell, Sabrina's brother: he has come to look for Samorat, whom he holds responsible for Torcular's death. Instead of Samorat, he finds the ounded Orsabrin, fights him, and then has him arrested. Samorat rescues Orsabrin from prison by forcing the Gaoler to change places with him, but immediately after the rescue, Orsabrin is kidnapped by Peridor and the thieves. In captivity, he meets Reginella, a young girl under the thieves' protection, and they fall innocently in love, while Tamoren, the thieves' leader, spies on them benignly. Peridor, jealous of this love, frees Orsabrin, who immediately learns that Samorat has been arrested for the death of Torcular. He surrenders himself to the Prince, thinking that he can be punished in Samorat's stead; the result is that both are put on trial, as killer and accessory. But they are saved at the last moment by Tamoren, who arrives at the courtroom with Torcular–not dead after all, but captured after the duel by the thieves. Tamoren goes on to reveal the true identity of Orsabrin, which is confirmed by two old servants, Ardelan and Piramont, and the Prince–with no overwhelming enthusiasm–welcomes him as his long-lost brother, and sanctions his marriage to Reginella.


A courtier in Suckling's Aglaura (first version). He gossips and chats about his view of Platonic love with the ladies of the court, but he is also loyal to Prince Thersamnes. He fights successfully in III, killing men of both Ariaspes' and the King's factions. He is still alive at the end of the play to exclaim in horror.
In the "happy ending" second version, the character engages in much the same action. A courtier in Suckling's Aglaura (second version). He gossips and chats about his view of Platonic love with the ladies of the court, but he is also loyal to Prince Thersamnes. He fights successfully in III, killing men of both Ariaspes' and the King's factions. He is still alive at the end of the play to exclaim in wonder.


Orseolo is the humorous courtier for whom Shirley's The Humorous Courtier is named. He believes all women are bad and inconstant, and he wants never to be associated with dealings at court. Despite his distrust of women, however, Orseolo nevertheless has a taste for unsavory women–a taste which he plans to renounce when he thinks he might be selected as husband for the duchess. In her private talk with him near the play's end, the duchess tells Orseolo that she would never wed such a "public stallion," though she will not publish his faults.


A Count in Carlell's The Deserving Favorite. He is believed to be the father to Lysander. Prior to the action of the play, he was banished after his brother (Jacomo) implicated him and Count Utrante in the poisoning of the Duke's uncle. He is disguised as a hermit and reveals his true identity only at the end of the play.


Orsino is a count, and in love with Olivia, although it is reasonably clear from the opening scene of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night that he is mostly in love with love. He has sent Valentine to Olivia, and Valentine returns with the news that Olivia is refusing to see any man for seven years, while she mourns her brother. After Viola joins his court, in disguise as Cesario, Orsino sends his new page to woo Olivia, convinced that his youth and beauty will win over Olivia. When Viola returns to tell Orsino that Olivia cannot love him, Orsino replies that she must. Viola counters that a woman in love with Orsino would be rejected, and they then argue over whether women or men love most constantly. In the final scene, Olivia announces that she and Cesario have married, confusing Viola, who knows, of course, that no such thing has happened. Orsino, enraged, announces that he will kill his page for betrayal, which Viola willingly agrees to. The confusion and the planned revenge are both halted by the arrival of Sebastian, and the revelation that Viola is a woman disguised as a boy. When he realizes this, Orsino remembers that she has said she could never love a woman as she does him, and declares that once she is in woman's clothes again, he will marry her.


A Persian lord loyal to Cosroe in Marlowe's Tamburlaine Part 1. He supports the usurpation of Mycetes and brings Cosroe the crown. He negotiates with Cosroe and wins the promise that Tamburlaine will be named regent of Persia once Mycetes is slain. He expresses his disdain of Tamburlaine when the Scythian proves treacherous to Cosroe.

ORYTHIA **1638

Wife to Theagines in Mayne’s Amorous War. She sends her husband to war insisting that he be valiant and do right by her. She and Thalaestris refuse the petition of Callias, Neander, and Artops to accompany the ladies to the safe island. She is captured by the Thracians and led in with Thalaestris, Menalippe, and Marthesia like Amazons in golden fetters pinioned with silken cords. As part of Barsene’s plan, she colors her face “a comely brown" and poses as an Amazon warrior in league with the Bithynians. Orythia, Thalaestris, and Marthesia tease Callias, Neander, and Artops by pretending they are prepared to bed them, but at the crucial moment an alarum sounds (by prearranged sign) that the camp is up in arms and the three men are “captured" by their own soldiers, Macrinus, Lacero, and Serpix, in disguise. In a twist on the ‘bed trick,’ Theagines and Meleager take Orythia and Thalaestris to bed believing they are Amazons rather than their wives. Theagines and Meleager learn from Orythia and Thalaestris that the Amazons intend to turn traitors and side with Thrace now because Archidamus has refused to choose between the two princesses and will remain true to Roxane. Callias, Neander, and Artops capture the four of the “treasonous" Amazons and lead in Orythia, Thalaestris, Menalippe and Marthesia wearing helmets over their heads. When the women remove their helmets (having also removed their Amazon make up), the captains are again made fools. Orthia and Thalaestris laugh at their husbands for having committed innocent fornication and made themselves cuckolds with their own wives.


Osbert, Duke of Mercia in Brewer's The Lovesick King, is a Saxon who joins with the Danes against Ethelred and stands on his dead king's corpse. He is then himself condemned to death by Canutus as a traitor.


A "ghost character" in Brome's The Damoiselle. Osbright is the new Ordinary. He was the President of the Roaring Brotherhood for thirty years. He lived overseas and he was thought to be dead. Before leaving, he had a daughter that is now working in the bawd house. He is coming back from France with his French wife.


A "ghost character" in Brome's The Damoiselle. She was left in England when her father sailed overseas.


A "ghost character" in Brome's The Damoiselle. She is French and can speak Broken English. She knows about the manners of the court and she can teach courtly dames in England.


A "ghost character" in Sharpham's The Fleire. An Irish gallant named by Antifront as one of the many customers of the prostitutes Felecia and Florida.


Oseas is the Hebrew prophet in Greene and Lodge's A Looking Glass For London And England more commonly known as Hosea. Early in the play, the Angel leads him to a throne overlooking Nineveh and tells him that God wishes him to observe the sins of Nineveh in preparation for his return to Jerusalem to rail against the sinful practices of the Hebrews. From this point on, the prophet views each of the scenes and then briefly comments upon the lesson to be learned, especially by the English who need to recognize and reject similar bad behavior among themselves. Thus, when the Clown and the two Ruffians go off for a night of drinking and revelry, Oseas observes that London should leave its pride and drunken excesses to concentrate on acts of corporal mercy (aiding the sick, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, supporting widows and orphans, etc.), so that God might be lenient when the time comes for judgment. When the Usurer attaches the property of Thrasibulus and Alcon for a small technical violation of repayment deadlines and then bribes the Judge and the Lawyer so that he wins in court, Oseas condemns all abuse of the poor by the rich and the corruption of the legal system. Figuratively, Oseas holds the "looking glasse" up for London and the English to see their own shortcomings.


A "ghost character" in Dekker, Ford and Rowley's The Welsh Embassador. Mentioned by Edmond as being the brother of Morrogh Mac Breean, King of Leinster.


A Captain to Tarifa, kinsman to Selinthus and Gaselles in Glapthorne's Revenge for Honor. Like his cousin Gaselles, he is a career soldier and is more outspoken in his contempt for the corruption of court and city life, preferring active military service for the Caliph. With Gaselles, he accepts Selinthus's invitation to a party in celebration of their new campaign against Persia. The drinking and singing is interrupted with the news of Abilqualit's arrest; Osman is committed to saving his newly appointed general from the threat of blinding. With other soldiers, he pursues Mura for revenge for Abilqualit's presumed death, arriving just after Caropia has killed him herself. Osman plans to kill her too for her part in defaming the prince's reputation, but he is prevented by the arrival of Tarifa. Abilqualit soon reveals his survival to the three kinsmen and enlists their support against his brother's usurpation. It is not clear from stage directions whether the Captains loyal to Abilqualit accompany him into the throne-room for the final showdown, but their presence as silent witnesses may be inferred.

OSMOND **1637

The noble servant, a Tartar in Carlell’s Osmond. He enters first with bloody sword having slain in the battle a number of avaricious Christians for his lord Melcosbus. He kills two soldiers to save Despina’s honor and give her as a gift to Melcosbus. He admits his love to Despina but crushes it in duty to Melcosbus. He receives a letter from Despina begging him to become a Christian, steal her away, and marry her. He is torn between his passion for her and his duty to Melcosbus, but his loyalty to his king wins. Osmond refuses several gifts from his king including becoming Pasha of Aleppo and equal partner in the kingdom for having given Melcosbus the gift of Despina. He wants only to serve his king and prove himself as a soldier rather than a panderer. After giving herself to the king, Despina calls Osmond to her and says she still loves him but that her affection has turned to sisterly affection. Osmond is relieved by the news because his love for her will no longer tempt him. The king sends Osmond on a minor errand while he kills Dispina. Then he returns to find her body, the soldiers must convince him that it was indeed Melcosbus that slew her. He vows to avenge her murder. He sneaks into Melcosbus’ private arbor in the dark to kill the king but sees Haly and the captains waiting in ambush and so hides himself to observe. He sees their plot and kills them for their desire to kill the king is treason while his own is justice. He would kill Melcosbus until the wounded king explains the noble reasons he had for killing Despina and that she is martyred and sainted for her sacrifice. Osmond understands and earns the dying king’s blessing, who says that virtuous Osmond will be Despina’s lover in Elysium. Osmond stabs himself, unable to live in a world without Melcosbus and Despina, but he says that in the afterlife he will again refuse Despina so the three of them may live forever bound in their mutual affection. He dies kissing his master’s feet.


A workman in the shipyard in Mountfort's The Launching of The Mary. The workmen quarrel genially as they work, and mutter about the massacre of Englishmen by the Dutch at Amboyna (although the reference to Amboyna was deleted by the censor). Later, they meet in a tavern, and Sheathing-Nail tells the story of the massacre (this too was censored). Trunnel encourages the workmen to taunt Dorothea Constance, whom they assume to be as unconstant as the other women in town, but they are chased off by Captain Fitzjohn. When the Mary is launched, the workmen entertain the East India Company board members with "some dainty dance, every one wearing the emblem of his name upon his head."


A lord and courtier of Castile in Montague's The Shepherd's Paradise.


Osric appears only after Polonius' death in Shakespeare's Hamlet. He may represent the man that Claudius has appointed to replace Polonius. Osric's job is to issue an invitation to Hamlet to take part in a friendly duel with Laertes, but he determined to do so in the most aristocratic and courtly fashion possible. Hamlet cannot resist making fun of him for his affectation, calling him a "waterfly" and requiring him to put on and take off his hat repeatedly, and speaking so elaborately that he quite confuses Osric. Osric finally withdraws after receiving a plain answer from Hamlet that he will accept the challenge. He passes out the weapons to Laertes and Hamlet and, although there is no clear textual evidence, is often assumed to be part of the plot, the one who makes sure Laertes receives the poisoned weapon. He judges the fencing match and is also the one who announces that Fortinbras is approaching at play's end.

OSRICK **1592

Alfrida's father in the anonymous A Knacke To Knowe A Knave. Osrick tells his daughter Alfrida to be especially courteous and well behaved when Ethenwald comes. Osrick agrees to her marriage with Ethenwald.

OSRICK **1617

Osrick announces the capture of Winchester to Canutus in Brewer's The Lovesick King.


King of Northumbria in Brome's The Queen's Exchange. Osriick is physically indistinguishable from Anthynus. Osriick initially seeks Bertha's hand in marriage; however, after seeing Mildred's picture, he falls in love with her. Banishing Theodrick, Mildred's former suitor, from the court, Osriick falls into a melancholy as a result of having no one in whom to confide. He summons Ethelswick to help him. When he discovers his resemblance to Anthynus, Osriick plans to leave Northumbria secretly and to court Mildred while Anthynus remains in his place, ostensibly still suffering from melancholia. Upon arriving at Mildred's house, he is mistaken for Anthynus and imprisoned for patricide. At the prison, Mildred (thinking Osriick is Anthynus and under the mistaken impression that she is not Anthynus's sister) declares her love to Osriick. When he is sent before Bertha and Anthynus (whom everyone believes to be Osriick) for trial, his true identity is revealed and Mildred consents to marry him.


Ossuna is Decastro's friend in Habington's The Queen of Aragon. He cannot be found after the defeat of the Aragonese troops but subsequently reappears dressed as a hermit. He reminds Decastro that some years ago they both promised to renounce the world if they survived a shipwreck, and informs him that he is now going to do so.

OSTLER of the BELL **1599

A servant at the Bell Inn in Munday, Drayton, Hathaway, and Wilson's Sir John Oldcastle.

OSTLERO **1607

A fantasy "ghost character" in The Grocer's Honour portion of Beaumont's Knight of the Burning Pestle. This is the cant name that the dwarf, little George, uses for one of the servants they are likely to meet at the Bell Inn in Waltham.


A Saxon nobleman who accompanies Artesia to the British court, and encourages Aurelius to doubt the Hermit's power in William Rowley's The Birth of Merlin: or, The Child Hath Found His Father.


Ostorius Scapula is a Roman lieutenant who leads the second attempt to invade Britain in The Valiant Welshman. He promises to restore Codigun to his throne and attacks the kingdom of Wales. He defeats Caradoc in battle, and abducts Guinever and Helena. Then he captures Caradoc with the aid of Cartamanda and sends him to Rome.
A "ghost character" in May's Julia Agrippina, mentioned by Claudius as having sent prisoners from Britain.

OSWALD **1605

Oswald serves as steward in the house of Goneril in Shakespeare's King Lear. He willingly obeys his mistress' commands to slight Lear in service, and he engages in swordplay with Kent during a message-carrying mission to Regan. Edgar, in disguise as a poor man of the realm, later kills Oswald in the countryside.

OSWALD **1608

A British courtier in William Rowley's The Birth of Merlin: or, The Child Hath Found His Father. A functional character, little more than a device for carrying messages and making announcements.

OSWALD **1636

"A Captaine, Cosen to Cartandes, [and] in love with Cartandes" in Carlell's 2 Arviragus and Philicia. Oswald is welcomed from Denmark at the play's beginning by another "Danish Captaine" who informs him of the Queen's "conquest." He consents to Cartandes's wish that Arviragus be granted charge of the Danish army, is chided by the Queen for warning her about her "safety," claims that he is a part of the Queen's "Counsell," and is reprimanded by Aldred for his "murmurings against the Queen and Arviragus" due to his "crost" hopes of "get[ting] the Queene and Kingdome for himselfe." Near the play's end Cartandes claims that Oswald loves her and informs Philicia that he "doth presse a combat" with Arviragus due to the Queen's former vow "never to marry any man, but Arviragus, yet hee alive," which battle she claims to have granted due to her love to him. However, despite Arviragus's belief that he is fighting with Oswald near the play's end, it is Guiderius who is sent by the Queen "to meet" the "unknowne foe" rather than the promised Danish Captain.


A rebel against the legitimate King Ferdinand of Thessaly in Daborne's Poor Man's Comfort. He is banished to Arcadia when Valerio (the King of Sicily) helps to reinstall the rightful monarch. After attempting to rape Valerio's daughter Adelizia, he meets the exiled senators Silenus and Leonardo and conspires with them against Ferdinand to regain his "diadem," using Adelizia as pawn. Silenus and Leonardo turn on their erstwhile ally when they arrive at King Ferdinand's court. In keeping with the generic expectations of tragicomedy, Oswell is not executed but banished from the kingdom.


Oswen is son to the Earl of Chester and brother to Marian in Munday's John a Kent and John a Cumber. When Moorton and Pembrooke are received ceremoniously at the court of Chester as the future husbands to Sydanen and Marian, Oswen tells his sister that her sullen demeanor might offend Pembrooke. Oswen accompanies Moorton and Pembrooke to their lodgings outside the city. When a troupe of amateur actors meets the lords with a crude pageant, Oswen apologizes for the servants' performance and explains that they are the earl's tenants and they did their best to welcome the lords. During the night, the lords are startled with a song lamenting the escape of their ladies, and Oswen attends the commotion. Oswen and Amery are introduced into Gosselin's castle by trickery, as part of the masque created by John a Cumber disguised as John a Kent. Retrieving the brides-to-be, Oswen and Amery accompany the ladies as their guardians on their way to Chester. With the help of magical music and hypnotic chimes, Shrimp puts Oswen and Amery to sleep, while the lords Powesse, Sir Griffin, Gosselin and Evan make away with the ladies. When Oswen and Amery wake up, Shrimp pretends to be John a Cumber's apprentice and tells them to follow him on a shortcut through the woods. After the performance on the lawn before Gosselin's castle, Shrimp leads on Oswen and Amery, who have been walking around a tree in the belief that they are on the trail of the ladies. At Chester Abbey, where the marriages of Sydanen to Moorton and of Marian to Pembrooke are to take place, Oswen and Amery expect the bridegrooms together with the ladies' families. Actually, Amery and Oswen are tricked into witnessing the marriages of Sydanen to Sir Griffin (disguised as Moorton) and of Marian to Powesse (disguised as Pembrooke). Faced with a fait accompli, Oswen has no choice but to accept his sister's marriage to Powesse.


A character from the original plot of the anonymous Tamar Cam. Possibly Orcanes, the second Ottoman emperor, is meant by the playwright. He, along with Artaxes and Trebassus behead the rebels off stage.


Husband to Desdemona in Shakespeare's Othello. He is a Moor and a soldier for Venice. He is sent to Cyprus to defend it against the invading Turks. He punishes Cassio for his drunken fight with Montano. Trusting Iago, he is led to believe that his wife has been unfaithful with Cassio. After seeing Bianca throw the handkerchief that he gave to Desdemona in Cassio's face, he believes he has sufficient evidence to act. He strangles Desdemona in their bed, and only later learns the truth from Emilia, that Desdemona is innocent and that Emilia herself gave the handkerchief to Iago. He slays himself.


A "ghost character" in Bale's God's Promises. Mentioned by David as an example of an upright, virtuous man.

OTHO **1602

Two characters are known as Otho in Chettle's Hoffman.
  • Also known as Prince Charles, or Sarlois–abbreviated in some stage directions as "Sarl". Son of the Duke of Leningberg, Otho is betrayed by his servitor, Lorrique, and killed by Hoffman, who places on his head a red-hot crown. After his death, Hoffman hangs his body next to his own father's corpse. The mad Lucybel, who, inexplicably, is found wearing Otho's clothes, discovers both bodies in the fifth act.
  • Otho is also a disguise that Hoffman adopts in order to tell Mathias that Lucybel has run away with a Greek lover, thus prompting him to stab both Lucybel and the Greek (actually his brother Lodowick in disguise).

OTHO **1620

Constantine's friend and traveling companion in the anonymous Costly Whore, Otho expresses his love of Euphrata in a letter; when Constantine comes upon it they part. He returns to Meath in secret, and arranges with Julia and Alfredo to substitute himself for the condemned Constantine. He and Constantine are reconciled, and he and Julia are to marry.

OTHO **1627

A "ghost character" in the anonymous Wisest Have Their Fools. A "strawburies and cream flebitte" horse of the court that Silly wishes to praise before Urina to make her love him and believe he is a courtier. The description–strawberry and flea-bit–suggests either a red roan or a flea-bitten grey with red flecks.


A "ghost character" in the anonymous Alphonsus Emperor of Germany. Otho, Duke of Brunschweige has previously fought against the Archbishop of Mentz and captured him in battle. Only a ransom provided by Richard saved Mentz's life. The Duke also captured, and killed, Count Mansfield.


Otho is the lover and subsequently the husband of Poppaea in May's Julia Agrippina. When Nero himself desires Poppaea, Otho is sent as governor to Lusitania, though Seleucus prophesies that he will return and will one day be Emperor.
A "ghost character" in the anonymous Tragedy of Nero. Poppaea's former husband, forced to divorce her in Nero's favor, and sent to govern Lucitania by way of exile. Recalled by Poppaea as her true love after a chance encounter with the Young Man who resembles him. Historically, he became Emperor himself after Galba.


The son of Sisamnes in Preston's Cambises, he is called upon by Cambyses after Sisamnes is found guilty of corruption. He is warned by Cambyses not to repeat the sins of his father when he inherits his father's position as judge.


Probably a "ghost character" but certainly only mentioned in Middleton and Rowley's A Fair Quarrel. Captain Albo, the pimp, compares himself to 'the great O'Toole,' referring to Arthur Severus O'Toole, a flamboyantly eccentric Irish captain who lived in London. It is possible that Albo was written as a caricature of O'Toole.


Otrante is a count who lusts after Florimell, the miller's daughter in Fletcher and Rowley's The Maid in the Mill. In order to gain access to her, he encourages her father to go hunting so that she and her brother Bustofa are free to go to the court. His servant Gerasto abducts Florimell and takes her to Otrante's house. Florimell refuses to sleep with Otrante unless he marries her. Otrante exerts pressure by threatening to ruin her reputation. But Florimell wins through by pretending to be wanton and flirtatious, which Otrante finds repellent. King Philippo then arrives, and demands that Otrante compensate Florimell. She refuses money, and Otrante agrees to marry her. It is then revealed that Florimell was a foundling, and that the aristocrat Julio is her real father.


Father to Virginia in ?Munday's Fedele and Fortunio. As planned by Attilia, he finds Fortunio with his daughter, attacks him and forces them to marry.


Family name of Thomas and Mistress Otter in Jonson's Epicoene.


Mistress Otter is Captain Otter's wife in Jonson's Epicoene. She is a pretentious and foolish woman, who patronizes her subservient husband and is fond of frivolous entertainment and clothes. At Otter's house in London, Mistress Otter enters with her husband, whom she scolds for his taste for parties and his nostalgic reminiscence of his bygone bachelor days. When Truewit, Clerimont, and Dauphine enter, Mistress Otter entertains them with light conversation in which she shows her stupidity. At Morose's house, Mistress Otter enters with La-Foole. Mistress Otter claims membership in Haughty's college. Since there seems to be some doubt regarding Mistress Otter's eligibility, the ladies leave to further debate the matter in another room. Mistress Otter re-enters with Truewit and she overhears her inebriated husband call his wife a beast, affirming that he married her for her dowry, and he has not kissed his Fury for forty weeks. When Otter says that his wife uses artifice to enhance her doubtful charm, Mistress Otter can stand no longer and she falls upon her husband beating him and chasing him away. When Morose enters with a sword, protesting against a wife beating her husband in his house, Mistress Otter runs off. In a long open gallery at Morose's house, Mistress Otter enters in a flurry, complaining that Morose was chasing her with a long weapon for the mere reason that she had been chastising her husband. Seeing that she is a termagant woman, the collegiate ladies decide she can become a member of their exclusive club. Mistress Otter and the collegiate ladies witness the scenes of La-Foole and Daw's humiliation. When Morose enters furiously chasing everybody away, Mistress Otter and the ladies run off. Mistress Otter re-enters with the collegiate ladies and attends the final revelation scene.

OTTO **1619

Duke of Normandy, younger brother of Rollo in Fletcher’s Bloody Brother. He was given one half of his father’s dukedom and envies the half given to his brother. He is extremely suspicious and wary of his brother. He stands upon he dying wish of his father and will not relinquish the share in the dukedom the old duke gave to him on his deathbed. He is reconciled to his brother through his mother Sophia’s strong persuasions. At the banquet, Otto declines to eat or drink, claiming he must fast as he is sickening with a fever. He tells Sophia privately that the kitchen staff confessed to him the food was poisoned. Rollo breaks in and slays Otto while Otto holds his mother before him as a shield.


"Ghost characters" in Barnes's The Devil's Charter. A Turkish prisoner promised to Charles VIII by Pope Alexander VI as part of a truce. Later murdered.


Follower of Selimus in ?Greene's Selimus I. Accompanies Selimus when his forces encounter Bajazet and his army on the way to Byzantium. In the ensuing battle Ottrante encounters Chereseoli and kills him. He is captured by Bajazet's forces and ordered to be executed by Bajazet to avenge his earlier killing of Alemshae.

OUTIS **1607

Only mentioned in Tomkis’ Lingua. At the banquet, Visus drinks Lingua’s wine, becomes blind drunk, believes himself Polyphemous, and rails against Outis for blinding him. Outis (Greek for “no one") is the name Odysseus gave to Polyphemus to trick the cyclops.


After losing his money at dice in the New Academy in Brome's The New Academy, Cash asserts that he should be called by the pseudonym "Outlash."


This "non-speaking" character in Heywood's Four Prentices of London attempts to rape Bella Franca in an Irish Forest. He is subdued by Eustace and Charles.


Three outlaws (part of a group of thieves who live in the forest just outside the emperor's city) accost the banished Valentine in Shakespeare's The Two Gentlemen of Verona:
  1. The First Outlaw asks Valentine to join their group and be their general.
  2. The Second Outlaw reports that he was banished for the crime of stabbing a gentleman.
  3. The Third Outlaw explains to Valentine that several among these banished outlaws are gentlemen. He himself was banished from Verona for wooing the Duke's daughter.


Four outlaws in Fletcher's The Pilgrim, apparently ex-soldiers like their Captain, appear with Roderigo in the wilderness. Along with Jacques and Loper, they apparently represent a small part of a much larger crew of Roderigo's supporters. They love their Captain and encourage him to rob and pillage, but refuse to kill Pedro when Roderigo asks them to do so because they do not wish to have religious blood on their hands. They aid in the search for Alinda, but are unsuccessful and soon dissipate in fear of the King's troupes.


Offa hires three outlaws to kill the banished Segebert and Anthynus in the woods in Brome's The Queen's Exchange. One outlaw is left for dead after the fight and is tended to by Alberto. After being assured by the other two outlaws that Segebert and Anthynus are dead, Offa locks them in a secret pit to starve so that they will not betray him. They are inadvertently rescued by the craftsmen who had built the pit when they return to Offa's house hoping to steal the money they assume he has hidden in the pit. The outlaw saved by Alberto becomes penitent, testifies against Offa and is forgiven by Bertha.


The family name of Adam and Mistress Overdo in Jonson's Bartholomew Fair. Adam Overdo is also a "ghost character" invoked by Cockbrain as a worthy judicial ancestor in Brome's The Weeding of Covent Garden.


Mistress Overdo is Justice Overdo's wife and sister to Bartholomew Cokes in Jonson's Bartholomew Fair. Mistress Overdo enters Littlewit's house with Cokes and Grace, and then exits with them to the Fair. At the Fair, Mistress Overdo is of the Cokes party most of the time. When Cokes announces that one of his purses is missing, Mistress Overdo is trying to restrain Wasp, who is beating Overdo/Madman, accusing him of the theft. When Edgworth steals Cokes' second purse, Mistress Overdo draws the suspicion on the preaching fellow (Overdo again). Mistress Overdo strays away from the Cokes party at the Fair and is discovered drinking in Ursula's booth. The inebriated Mistress Overdo attends the scenes in which Knockem, Northern, Puppy, Cutting, Whit, and Wasp get into a fight, but does not see when Edgworth steals the marriage license from Wasp, or when Knockem and Whit steal the men's cloaks. When the watch exits with the brawlers, Mistress Overdo wants to use the privy and exits with Ursula to relieve herself. When Punk Alice finds Mistress Overdo inside Ursula's booth, she thinks Mistress Overdo is a prostitute and starts beating her. After Knockem and Whit chase the harlot away, they persuade Mistress Overdo and Mistress Littlewit to change their clothes, dressing them up as courtesans. Mistress Overdo enters the puppet-theatre area with Mistress Littlewit. Both women are masked and accompanied by Knockem, Edgworth, and Whit. Whit takes charge of the inebriated Mistress Overdo, helping her to a chair. Mistress Overdo falls asleep and stays so during the puppet-show. When Overdo reveals himself, Mistress Overdo wakes up saying she is sick. Reducing her husband to silence, Mistress Overdo is the reason why the righteous Justice Overdo renounces his grand purpose of imparting justice and takes a more conciliatory position, inviting everyone to his house for supper.


The keeper of a brothel in Shakespeare's Measure for Measure. She has had nine husbands, "Overdone by the last." Mistress Overdone is imprisoned and the brothel torn down on Lucio's testimony against her. She retaliates by revealing that Lucio fathered a child by the prostitute Kate Keepdown, which she watched over.


One of the four suitors of the rich widow, Lady Goldenfleece, in Middleton's No Wit, No Help Like a Woman's. With the emergence of the disguised Kate Low-Water as Lady Goldenfleece's favorite, the suitors realize that they have wasted their time, money, and energy pursing the widow. Disgruntled, they disrupt Goldenfleece's wedding feast by masquerading as the four elements (Overdone portrays Water) and presenting a pseudo-masque.


Sir Giles is a "hard-hearted" extortioner in Massinger's A New Way to Pay Old Debts. He is the play's atheistic villain who is the father of Margaret Overreach, uncle by marriage to the prodigal Welborne, and a repetitive but unsuccessful suitor to the widowed Lady Alworth. Because he "bribes" the "belly" of Justice Greedy he uses him often in order to legalize his corrupt actions of extortion–such as in the cases of the poor farmer and Master Frugal. He is Jack Marrall's teacher in the methods of extortion and other evil deeds, but his "main work" in the play surrounds his efforts to match his daughter, Margaret, in marriage with the Lord Lovell. Willing to go to all lengths in order to have his daughter become "right honourable" Overreach pulls out all the stops for Lovell's visit to his home, including appointing Greedy in charge of food preparation and instructing Margaret to seduce Lovell if necessary. He has cheated Welborne of his inheritance and is, in turn, the target of Welborne's charade. He mends his relationship with the prodigal only when he believes that Welborne will marry Lady Alworth and inherit her money and possessions; for this reason he redeems Welborne's clothes and offers him money to pay his debts. Both of his plans, however, ultimately fail, as he is outwitted and exposed by Marrall, forced to return Welborne's lands and tricked by Lovell, Alworth and Margaret into assisting Margaret's marriage to Alworth. At the play's end Sir Giles attempts unsuccessfully to kill both Margaret and himself, is declared "mad beyond recovery" by Parson Will-do, is taken to Bedlam, and Lovell puts him under the guardianship of Margaret and Alworth.


Margaret is the daughter and only heir of Sir Giles Overreach in Massinger's A New Way to Pay Old Debts. Although she is in love with Alworth, she is instructed by her father to seduce the Lord Lovell at any cost and secure his marriage proposal to her. Meg, with Alworth and Lovell's help, tricks Overreach into assisting her marriage to Alworth and, at the play's end, is appointed guardian (along with her new husband) over her "distracted" father.


A "ghost character" in the anonymous Hick Scorner. One of "the devil's officers" among Hick Scorner's company on his recently returned ship. Listed among a large group of "thieves and whores" and "other good company" of "liars, backbiters, and flatterers . . . brawlers, liars [sic], getters and chiders, walkers by night [and] great murderers."


Only mentioned in Jonson's The Alchemist. When Face introduces Dapper to Subtle, he wants to point out that the clerk is a person of character and learning. Besides mentioning his financial assets, Face says he knows the law and can court his mistress out of Ovid. The reference is to the first-century Latin poet.
Only mentioned in Day's Humour Out of Breath. Ovid is mentioned twice, in 1.1 as an example of exiled scholarship, and in 2.2 as the author of Ars Amandi, a work of use to "Cupid's agents."
Publius Ovidius (Ovid) is in his study, meditating on the immortality of poetry as Jonson's Poetaster begins. Luscus enters, urging his young master to leave his poetry and take the law book because his father is on his way to see him. Ovid Senior enters and he blames his son for showing an inclination to poetry and drama, instead of studying law. In order to placate his father, Ovid promises he will endeavor to study law poetically. Tibullus enters and finds Ovid writing law cases in verse. The poet brings Ovid a letter from Julia, informing him about an assignment at Albius's house. Ovid praises Julia's beauty in verse. At Albius's house, Ovid enters with the poets and their ladies. When Albius calls Chloë out on some household pretext, the guests feel free to speak openly about love. Ovid agrees with Gallus that it is an act of audacity for them to try to meet their mistresses secretly. After light conversation and music, the guests depart for the banquet hall. Ovid disguised as Jupiter enters an apartment in the palace, together with the entire party of poets and their ladies, each characteristically dressed as gods and goddesses. All the masks play their assigned roles. During the entertainment presided by Ovid/Jupiter, he blatantly pretends to court Chloë/Venus in order to make Julia/Juno jealous. During the revelry, Ovid/Jupiter alludes to his feelings for Julia/Juno. When Caesar enters and rails at the debauched party, Ovid does not reply and he hears his sentence of banishment from Rome. Ovid enters an open space before the palace, deploring his disgrace. Julia appears at her chamber window, expressing her wish to share his fate. Ovid deters her, speaking of spiritual beauty and the immortality of love. Ovid and Julia say farewell, and Ovid finally exits after Julia retires from the window.
Only mentioned in Jonson's The New Inn. Publius Ovidius Naso (43 BC-AD 17) was a Latin poet whose early works, Amores (Loves) and Ars amandi (The Art of Love) scandalized many Romans and probably upset Emperor Augustus, who was trying to improve the morals of Roman society. When Host plays the judge in the mock court of love, where Lovel is the appellant and Lady Frampul the defendant, he makes them take their oath on the book of love, Ovid's Ars amandi. The lovers must swear that they are not going to use unnatural means that induce love, such as enchanted arms, stories of virtue, herbs of grace, charms, spell, or love philters. After they are asked to kiss the book, the claimant and the accused must return to their seats and await trial. Beaufort attends the first session of the love trial. When Lovel speaks of love in Neoplatonic terms, calling it a fixed star, constant and immutable, Beaufort says he does not like these philosophical feasts and prefers a banquet of sense, like that of Ovid. This sensual feast consists of a form to lure the eye, a soft voice to attract the ear, aromas for the smell, and ambrosial kisses to melt down the palate. Beaufort's allusion is to the sensuality of Ovid's love poems, as opposed to the spirituality in love proposed by the Neoplatonists.
Only mentioned in Davenport's New Trick to Cheat the Devil. Ovid is mentioned by Slightall when Roger asks him who his Tutor was–after Slightall has offered them the lesson on how not to take notice of women's imperfections. Ovid–Publius Ovidius Naso (43 BC-17 AD) was a Roman poet. He wrote Ars Amatoria, Metamorphoses, Remedia Amoris, Fasti, Medicamina Faciei, Medea and Epistolae.


Marcus Ovidius is Ovid's father in Jonson's Poetaster. At Ovid's house in Rome, Ovid Senior enters followed by Lupus, Tucca, and Luscus. Ovid Senior is displeased with his son's inclination towards poetry, since he envisaged a law career for him. When he enters, Ovid Senior hears the last words of his son's meditation on the immortality of poetry, to the effect that his name will live forever. The father picks up the idea, says that, indeed, his name will be infamous forever, and the best and the gravest Romans will condemn it. Ovid Senior tells his son that he heard of his latest tragedy, Medea, and says he would rather see his son on the funeral pyre than a stager to be laughed at. Ovid Senior stresses the fact that Ovid, as a younger son, should study law and leave the unprofitable poetry, which has made nobody a rich man. Ovid Senior dares his son to name a poet whose immortal divinity could feed him while he lived, or his great name could give him material wealth. After having lectured to his son on the benefits of law against poetry, Ovid Senior exits with Lupus.


Ovidian is a poet in Strode's The Floating Island who offers Fancie a laurel crown, which she rejects.


Family name of Ovid (Publius Ovidius) and his father, Marcus, otherwise known as Ovid Senior in Jonson's Poetaster.


A "ghost character" in ?Clavell's The Soddered Citizen. Mr. Oweinge is a creditor. He sends a servant to see Sly in the hope he should pay him the money his master owes him. At first, it seems that he is not going to be paid, although, in the end, all creditors will recover their money.


An elaborate disguise assumed by Follywit in his numerous schemes to outwit his grandfather, Sir Bounteous Progress, in Middleton's A Mad World, My Masters. Follywit uses the generosity of his grandfather against him when, disguised as Owemuch, he persuades Bounteous to bequeath his wealth to his grandson. Owemuch is tied up in his chambers while staying at the home of Sir Bounteous, a supposed victim of a robbery (which was in fact also engineered by Follywit disguised as a robber). For his losses and inconvenience, Bounteous Progress pays him a resitution. The fictional Lord Owemuch also is patron to a company of players (led by Follywit, disguised) who further extort a number of Sir Bounteous' valuable personal effects under the guise of theatrical performance.

OWEN **1599

A servant of Powis in Munday, Drayton, Hathaway, and Wilson's Sir John Oldcastle, he fights and argues with the Herbert faction.


A Welsh knight who courts Gwnethyan in Chettle, Dekker and Haughton's Patient Grissil. He marries her but finds that unlike the well-known Grissil, his new wife is loud and trying. When she humiliates him by ruining a dinner to which he has invited the Marquess and others, he is outraged and hopes for some way to tame her. In the end, he is relieved to find that her behaviour was merely an act and that she will be more obedient in the future.


Owen is one of Lluellen's followers in Peele's Edward I. When the prince's party first meet Friar Hugh ap David, it is Owen who hints at a dalliance with Guenthian, the friar's mistress, thus provoking a demonstration of the friar's skill with a pikestaff.


Only mentioned in Shirley's The School of Compliment. A Welshman of renown under King Henry IV, Owen Glandower [sic] is the name that Infortunio uses to refer to Jenkin.


Part of the faction opposing King Henry IV, Owen Glendower is father-in-law to Edmund Mortimer in Shakespeare's 1 Henry IV. He is a Welshman with a tendency to believe in the influence of celestial bodies on the lives of humanity, and his delay in sending troops to the Percys at Shrewsbury contributes to their defeat.
A "ghost character" in Shakespeare's 2 Henry IV. Owen Glendower is still part of the Percy faction against King Henry IV. He does not appear on stage in the play but is spoken of by Lord Hastings in predicting divisions of King Henry's strength.
Owen Glendower is a Welsh lord and an alleged magician in ?Dering's The History of Henry the Fourth. He is in constant revolt against English rule. He has recently taken Mortimer hostage. When the play travels to Wales and Glendower's castle, it is apparent that Mortimer is an ally of Glendower, not a prisoner. Mortimer marries Glendower's daughter. Glendower, Hotspur and Mortimer plot together to overthrow Henry; they use a map to divide the island into three separate kingdoms. Glendower and Hotspur have an argument involving the events surrounding Glendower's birth. Glendower believes the universe was shaken by his birth and that it was an omen of his greatness. Hotspur finds the idea preposterous. For some reason, Glendower allows Percy to speak with him disrespectfully. Glendower tells Hotspur and Mortimer that he will meet them with his forces on the battlefield against Henry. He never arrives. It is reported later that Glendower has been hunted down and killed by royal forces.


Sir Owen Williams is a Welsh gentleman in the anonymous True Tragedy of Richard III who fights with Richmond at Bosworth Field against Richard III.


Owine attends Elizabeth in Heywood's 1 If You Know Not Me. He considers her ill but able to travel to the queen.


Former Owner of Old Lionell's house in Heywood's The English Traveler. Reignald tells Old Lionell that Owner has murdered someone who is haunting the house as part of his plan to keep Old Lionell away from the house while Young Lionell and the others try to mask the damage they've done in three years of wild living. Owner assures Old Lionell that he has murdered no one and the house is not haunted.


Only mentioned in Glapthorne's Albertus Wallenstein. Axel Oxensteern, Councillor to Gustavus Adolphus, after whose death Oxensteern continued to run the Swedish campaign according to his late king's plan. Wallenstein mentions continuing diplomacy with him, as part of the alliance against the Emperor.

OXFORD **1591

In France, the Earl of Oxford opposes Warwick's argument that Edward is the legitimate king, and defends the Lancastrian lineage in Shakespeare's 3 Henry VI. When Edward's escape is reported, Somerset and Oxford agree that Richmond should be sent to Brittany, out of harm's way. Later, Oxford is captured by Edward's forces. Historically, the was John de Vere, thirteen Earl of Oxford.

OXFORD **1593

Supporter of Henry VI in Shakespeare's Richard III. Earlier, Oxford had nearly defeated Edward IV in battle until Clarence saved him. The Earl of Oxford fights for Richmond in the Battle of Bosworth. Historically, he was John de Vere the 13th Earl of Oxford.

OXFORD **1595

In the quarto version of Shakespeare's Richard II, he is a supporter of King Richard. He is later reported beheaded for his involvement in the Oxford conspiracy against Bolingbroke (now King Henry IV), along with Spencer, Blunt and Kent. The reference is removed in later versions because it is clearly wrong. Oxford supported Bolingbroke.

OXFORD **1598

Oxford, also addressed as de Vere, was apparently a replacement for Salisbury who was not completely integrated into the text in Munday and Chettle's Death of Robert, Earl of Huntington. He is addressed in the first scene after John is king, but he has no entrance, and his speech-headings are all for Salisbury. He does not appear again until after Salisbury and Queen Isabel have left the battlefield in disgust at John's continued lust for Matilda. When the Queen next appears, she is accompanied by Oxford, who inhabits the same character as Salisbury had, and Salisbury is now missing from the play. Oxford attempts to comfort the Queen and convince her that John loves her, describing his own infidelity to prove that all men are tempted to stray. When that does not succeed, he points out that Matilda is now a nun, and God will not allow John to have her. They decide to visit Matilda at Dunmow and arrive after she has been poisoned, so they are there for her death. They then bring the body to Windsor. It is mainly Oxford who talks Leicester and the other lords out of rebelling and attempting to install the French Dauphin on the throne. (See also "SALISBURY").
Of the King's party in Davenport's King John and Matilda. He is sent by the King, with Mowbray, to spy on the Bruces's castle in Guildford, which he later takes for the King. Old Bruce threatens civil war if his action leads to any harm to his wife and son. Oxford supports the King's submission to Rome; he advises John that Matilda must be won by persuasion, not force. He takes charge of Matilda when she is captured and is wounded by Young Bruce in a duel during her rescue. When the King's party abduct her again, disguised as masquers, he is waiting in charge of the barge that takes her away. He continues to support the King in his attempts to retrieve Matilda and beat the rebels, but he joins in the general grieving and reconciliation that ends the play.

OXFORD **1632

Oxford brings news that the Cornish revolt has been quelled in Ford's Perkin Warbeck. With Cornwall at peace, the king can turn his attentions to the threat from the pretender in Scotland. He and Daubeney act as a Greek chorus, discussing events for the audience. It is Oxford who extends the hospitality of the king to Katherine and Dalyell.


A "ghost character" in the anonymous True Tragedy of Richard III.Gloucester's page reports that the Earl of Oxford is remanded to Hames Castle because the Lord Protector distrusts him. A messenger later reports that the Earl is able to escape from Hames Castle. With the help of Captain Blunt, Oxford escapes Hames to assist Richmond in battle against Richard. Oxford is put in charge of the rear guard.

OYESTUS **1641

A crier in (?)Shipman’s Grobiana’s Nuptials. He is to cry out the Grobian feast to all the invitees: Slouch, Grouthead, Lady Fuste, Deawbeater, Lotium, Dulman, Mulbery, Old Thump, the mayor, aldermen, town clerk, and bailiffs. He also is to read the orders of the Grobians throughout the town. He invites Grobiana and Ungartred to the feast. When Ungartred wants to go to bed with him, he says he’d like to, but he is married.

OZACA **1637

Calibeus’ young and beautiful wife in Carlell’s Osmond. She is immediately struck with the handsome prince Orcanes. She sends word to Orcanes not to walk before her window lest her husband see. When Calibeus discovers Orcanes and Ozaca together, they conspire to make him believe that she was raped. Ozaca goes so far as to offer to kill herself for her dishonor, and the ruse succeeds. She uses the supposed rape to claim that she is unworthy for her husband’s bed and so refuses to sleep with him ever again. After the king punishes Orcanes with death, Calibeus returns to Ozaca with the happy news. To his surprise, she stabs him and herself whilst confessing she went willingly to the prince’s bed. She dies claiming vengeance for Orcanes and hoping to spend the afterlife with him.