Only mentioned in Tomkis’ Lingua. Mendacio claims he is three thousand years old and helped many writers and philosophers pen their lies.


A mob of local rustics designated as "Rabble" in Heywood and Brome's The Late Lancashire Witches, this group performs a Skimmington ritual outside of the Seely household as a show of public protest against the disorder of the Seely family's social relations, and particularly the discord between the recently married servants Lawrence and Parnell.


Ruben Rabshake, servant to Benwash the Jewish merchant turned Turk in Daborne's A Christian Turned Turk. He is witty and observant, part clown, part satirist. He compares Turks, Jews and Christians in a long comic analysis, then turns his wit to doctors and lawyers. Made guardian of Benwash's wife Agar, who is suspected of adultery. He is an anxious and incompetent guardian, given to bawdy chatter and gossip with his mistress and her sister Voada. He soon realizes that he is powerless to outwit Agar's determination to take a lover. The watch on Agar is later relaxed–while she is being unfaithful to her husband and his house burns, Rabshake brings news that the harbor is aflame with the destruction of every ship but Ward's own. He is blamed for Agar's infidelity but points out that she has done her husband a favor: he no longer suffers from pointless jealousy (because she has provided grounds in reality for his paranoia). Assists his master in murderous revenge for his wife's adultery. He strangles Agar on Benwash's orders, and agrees to stab his master as part of the plot to make the murders look like the work of an intruder. He is fearful of being bound as part of the plan, saying he has seen the play of Pedringano (i.e. The Spanish Tragedy). Like Kyd's character, he is then murdered himself, the penalty for failing to preserve his mistress's honor.

RACHEL **1538

A "ghost character" in Bale's God's Promises. Mentioned by Moses as an example of God's mercy and guidance.

RACHEL **1594

Merry's sister in Yarington's Two Lamentable Tragedies. Helps Merry tend his tavern. After seeing someone go upstairs in the tavern, Rachel follows and discovers the murder of Beech by Merry. She laments the crime but promises Merry to keep it a secret. After Harry Williams has also discovered the crime, she pleads with him not to leave in order to avoid raising suspicion, but he refuses to stay. She expresses her fear to Merry that Williams will reveal the crime. When Merry fears that Winchester will remember him and therefore must also die, Rachel offers to help Merry but he tells her to tend the tavern and await his return. She meets him after he has murdered Winchester. Rachel tries to comfort Merry and then helps him to remove Beech's body to the tavern and cover it with sticks. Merry tells Rachel to clean up the blood and then burn the cloths she has used. She brings a bag to Merry, who informs her of his plan to cut up Beech's body in order to remove it from the tavern. Merry tells her to fetch him a knife, and when she returns with it she refuses to stay as Merry begins to cut up the body. She returns after Merry has completed cutting up the body but refuses to assist him in putting the torso in the bag. She agrees to clean up the blood Merry has spilled. She joins Merry after he has disposed of Beech's torso and helps him load the head and legs into his bag. She is warned by Merry not to reveal anything about the crime, and vows to die before betraying her brother. Later, after Winchester has died and Beech's remains have been recovered, the Neighbours, Loney, and the Gentleman take Salter's man from house to house in search of the maid to whom he sold the bag that contained Beech's head and legs. When they arrive at Merry's tavern, Rachel appears but is not identified as the buyer by Salter's man. Rachel informs Merry about the Neighbours' search for the owner of the bag, and Salter's man's failure to identify her as the buyer. She asks Merry about Williams and hopes that he will continue to guard their secret. That evening, she allows the Constable and Watchmen in when they knock at Merry's door and is then arrested for her role in the murders of Beech and Winchester. Rachel is led to execution with Merry by Officers and the Hangman. She forgives Merry and watches as he is hanged. She is led up the Hangman's ladder and then publicly proclaims her continued love for her brother, forgives Williams for not revealing the murder of Beech in the first place and thereby preventing the further complications, and asks God to forgive her. She is then turned off the ladder.

RACHEL **1641

Rachel is the daughter of Oldrents and sister of Meriel in Brome's A Jovial Crew. A fortuneteller has told their father that Rachel and Meriel will be beggars. Weary of their father's melancholy over this forecast, the sisters decide to fulfill it by leaving their father's house to go begging. They enlist the aid of their childhood sweethearts, Hilliard and Vincent, and Springlove, their father's steward and a sometimes beggar. The sisters must conceal their misery as beggars, and they are nearly raped by Oliver. When Sentwell breaks up the beggars' wedding, they disclose their identities and are brought to Master Clack's house, where they reunite with their father and where Rachel plays herself in the inset play before Oldrents.


Rachel is Water Chamlet's wife in Middleton's Anything for a Quiet Life. She complains that she lacks contentment. The spiteful and jealous woman accuses her husband that the two children being raised in his house, Maria and Edward Cressingham, are actually his bastards. At her husband's denial, Rachel leaves infuriated to live with her cousin, Knavesbee. From the lawyer's house, Rachel sends a message announcing her intention to divorce on grounds that Chamlet has two illegitimate children living in the house. Later, Knavesbee informs her that he has been invited to Chamlet's house to celebrate Chamlet's wedding to a French lady. Rachel, mad with jealousy, rushes to her husband's shop to settle the affair. There she sees her husband entertain the French bawd Margarita. It is all innocent, but Rachel jumps to the conclusion that Margarita is the "French Hood" that Chamlet intends to marry. Rachel kicks her out and reinstates her position as mistress of the house. The wedding was all a trick dreamed up by their apprentice George, and when George is confronted he admits to having lied. Rachel seems to be appeased and to accept her husband's proposal of a second marriage celebration. However, Rachel dismisses George in punishment for having lied to her. Outside Beaufort's house, Rachel learns from Lord Beaufort that Chamlet intends to leave for the Bermudas because of her sharp tongue. She is caught in the echo game played by Beaufort and George, who is hidden behind the arras. When Rachel goes to seek George in order to apologize to him and have him back in the shop, George follows her. In the final reconciliation scene, George brings a very submissive Rachel in tow. She is willing to accept any conditions, including the promise that she will call her husband "Master Chamlet" as a sign of submission and wifely respect.


Supposed daughter to Jaques de Prie and beloved of Paulo Ferneze in Jonson's The Case is Altered. Actually the daughter of the elder Chamont, stolen (along with his fortune) by de Prie when he was his steward. She is wooed by Onion, Christophero, Count Ferneze, and Angelo as well. She mourns Lord Paulo's capture and refuses Angelo's attempts to comfort her. As de Prie follows Angelo and Christophero's golden trail, Angelo tells Rachel that Paulo Ferneze has escaped and awaits her at the priory, and she willingly follows him. He makes love to her at the priory and she rebuffs him, horrified, calling upon Lord Paulo, who returns at that moment and attacks Angelo, accusing him of treachery. He rescues Rachel and brings her to the Count's, where Jaques unwillingly reveals that she is actually the stolen daughter of old Chamont, named Isabel. Her marriage to Lord Paulo is then blessed by Count Ferneze and Chamont.


Servant to Old Matchil, later his wife in Brome's The New Academy. As a servant, she is obsequious and fearful of Matchil, leading him to believe that she will make a perfect wife. Once they are married, however, she is emboldened and rebukes Lady Nestlecock for calling her "drudge and droile." At first this change pleases Matchil, but when he criticizes Sir Whimlby for crying over his dead wife rather than laughing, which is "the manlier passion," Rachel scolds him. She rebukes him for being officious and tells him that now that they are made equal through marriage she will not abstain from criticizing his behavior. Erasmus and Valentine try to make peace between the couple, but Rachel, claiming that she has not been herself since Matchil made her rich through marriage threatens to make Matchil poor by spending excessively. She also threatens to cuckold Matchil, to which end, she agrees to be "mistress" to Valentine who asks to be her "servant." After Matchil repents, she agrees to let him maintain the appearance of dominance in public so long as she remains dominant in private. Later, she sneaks away with Valentine and Erasmus to the New Academy. There, she bickers again with Lady Nestlecock but the two end up reconciling in a parody of the courtly speech that the Academy proposes to teach. At the end of the play, she kneels to Matchil and humbly asks for his forgiveness.


The thief Bobbington disguises himself as a ship's master named Racket in [?]Heywood's The Fair Maid of the Exchange when he uses Wood's stolen diamond as security for a loan from Master Flower.

RADAGON **1590

The ungrateful son of Alcon and Samia in Greene and Lodge's A Looking Glass For London And England, Radagon gains favor at court by flattering Rasni and approving of the king's desire to enter into an incestuous marriage with his sister Remilia. The latter action wins him the tributary kingship of Crete. When Alcon, Samia, and his younger brother Clesiphon beg for aid, Radagon is cold and contemptuous, and he refuses even to recognize them as his family. When Rasni learns that Radagon has acted in this way because he would not want anyone to know that the king's favorite had ties to such base-born people, the proud king approves of Radagon's attitude, thus leaving the poor family with no hope of relief. As Samia departs, she calls down a mother's curse on Radagon, and instantly the ungrateful son is swallowed up by a column of fire.

RADAGON **1599

Radagon is the son of the King of Sicilia in [?]W. Rowley's The Thracian Wonder. He has pretended to be a groom, in order to woo Ariadne, daughter of Pheander, his father's enemy. When Pheander finds out, he banishes him, and after a storm, Radagon is washed up on the Thracian coast. For many years he lives among shepherds, taking the name of Menalchus not knowing that Ariadne is also living nearby. At Pan's festival, he dances with Ariadne without realizing it, and they are crowned King and Queen of the shepherds. He has a conversation with Pheander, Ariadne and Eusanius and they discuss the banishment (none of them realizing who the others are). When they hear of Ariadne's abduction by Pheander, the shepherds make Radagon their general in an assault on the court. But Pheander persuades them to unite with him against the invading Sicilians. In the battle, Radagon feels sympathy for his father, and switches sides. In the second battle, he captures Pheander. He agrees to settle the war with a single combat between him and Eusanius. But before the fight is over, Pheander asks why he is against him: Radagon reveals his true identity, and his family is reunited as the identities of Ariadne and Eusanius are also revealed. When Pheander offers Radagon his crown, he refuses it, and recommends he give it to Sophos.


Another statesman in Davenant's The Fair Favorite. He also advises and admonishes the King.


Radger is Cowsell's brother in Burnell's Landgartha. He is another foolish coxcomb. He talks to his brother about the eating and drinking habits in the court.


The usurer and simoniac Sir Raderick prepares to give Immerito the benefice he controls in exchange for part of the tithes in the anonymous 2 Return From Parnassus, but he asks the Recorder to help him test the candidate first; they find his foolish answers to foolish questions acceptable, and give him the place. Sir Raderick expresses his pleasure at avoiding the disagreeable presumption that a university-trained parson might have assumed. He forecloses on Prodigo's mortgage. Approached by Furor Poeticus, he is proof against both praise and blame, and exits without opening his purse.


Another name for Ralph, Warman's man in (?Chettle and) Munday's Downfall of Robert Earl of Huntington, given as an alternative by Ralph himself.


Only mentioned in Jonson's The Alchemist. Mathlai, Tarmiel, Barborat, Rael, Velel, and Thiel are the names of spirits taken from Elementa Magica by Pietro d'Albano. Subtle recommends to the gullible Drugger the best solutions for the location of his shop. He suggests that Drugger should write the names of Mathlai, Tarmiel, and Barborat on the eastern side of his shop, and Rael, Velel, and Thiel on the northern part. Subtle claims these are the names of the Mercurial spirits, meant to frighten flies from the boxes of tobacco. Implicitly, the god of commerce, Mercury, was supposed to protect the shop.


See also RALPH, RALFE, RAPH and related spellings.

RAFE **1585

One of three sons of a miller in Lyly's Gallathea. After being shipwrecked, they determine to seek their fortunes separately. The play follows the adventures of Rafe, who serves first the Alchemist and then the Astronomer in hopes of wealth and power, but he leaves them both.

RAFE **1592

Rafe chides his buddy Robin that he cannot read but agrees to work with Robin's magic if the latter can get Nan Spit to sleep with him in Marlowe's Doctor Faustus. After Rafe and Robin cause mischief by making off with Vinter's goblet, Mephostophilis appears and turns Rafe into a dog.

RAFE **1598

Another name for Ralph, Warman's man in (?Chettle and) Munday's Downfall of Robert Earl of Huntington, given as the name that the vulgar use.

RAFE **1601

‘Page unto Floradin’ in Percy’s Cuckqueans and Cuckolds Errants. He is heartbroken to leave Joice when his master must leave Doucebella. When Floradin discovers Aruania has been untrue to their marriage bed, Rafe tells her to be patient as Grissel. He advises Floradin, who is suicidal, to go to Tilbury and join the Queen’s forces to repel the Spanish invasion, pointing out that, if he is lucky, a Spaniard will dash out his brains for him. He and Rooke are at Olivel’s lodge when they are ambushed (offstage) by Latro and Hare, who steal their masters’ horses.

RAFE **1604

A former gambling partner of Flowerdale, who refuses to help him in The London Prodigal.

RAFE **1605

Betrothed to an unnamed wench in the Anonymous Nobody and Somebody, Rafe sees his fiancée marry a clown and then leave her husband to become a lady-in-waiting at the king's court.

RAFE **1606

Servant to Master Harebrain in Middleton's A Mad World, My Masters. He is especially protective of his mistress during her illness.

RAFE **1607

"Nell's man" in the dramatis personae but also seeming to be George's apprentice in Beaumont's Knight of the Burning Pestle. Nell nominates him to take the leading role in the play her husband, George, calls for, a play they entitle The Grocer's Honour. He has played Mucedorus for the wardens of the grocers' company and should have played Jeronimo for a bet but did not. As the Knight of the Burning Pestle, he takes a squire, Tim, and a dward, little George, and first befriends Mistress Merrythought and Michael when they lose their thousand pounds. He next champions Humphrey when Jasper beats him, but Jasper takes him golden pestle, beats him, and runs him from the stage. He spends a night at the Bell Inn, whose Host sets him on a fool's quest to defeat the "giant" Barbaroso, actually Nick the barber. At Nell's insistence, Rafe next meets Pompiona, daughter of the King of Moldavia. He will not wear Pompiona's favor as she is a heathen who follows the Antichrist and false teachings. He dispenses 4s 9d to her so not to be beholding to her father's house and leaves the princess with a broken heart. He delivers a civic speech at the conduit on May Day at the grocer George's behest. At Nell's insistence, he takes a company to muster at Mile End, where he engages his soldiers in bawdy double entendre. At play's end, he comes out with a forked arrow through his head and delivers a death speech in which he recaps his adventures during the play. After his death, he rises, bows to the gentlemen, and exits.

RAFE **1625

A boy who lives in Blackwall in Webster and Rowley's A Cure for a Cuckold. With Jack, he tells the returning Compass that his wife has had a child in his absence. Rafe also appears as a musician in the Three Tuns, where Compass's paternity suit is debated.

RAFE **1632

Servant to Dorcas in Brome's The Weeding of Covent Garden.

RAFE **1637

Arthur's serving-man in Brome's The English Moor, in love with his mistress, Dionisia. He follows her when she leaves home, and finds her male disguise (and abusiveness) alluring. He arrives at the Host's Tavern to find his old Master, Meanwell, and Rashly, and urges them to reveal themselves in time to prevent a tragedy. He brings them to Theophilus' house just in time.


Husband to Hannah in Brome's The New Academy. He is a merchant with a shop and residence in the New Exchange. His fundamental characteristic is an unflagging faith in his wife's virtue and an absolute refusal to be jealous, which has earned him a reputation as a wittol. He repeatedly dismisses what others think of him by invoking the motto of the Order of the Garter, Honi soit qui mal y pense ("Shame be to he who thinks evil of it"). He spends the majority of his time outside the shop at the ducking pond. He secretly arranges for a priest to marry Erasmus and Blithe. In return, Erasmus positions him to overhear Valentine asking Hannah for more money at which point Rafe flies into a jealous rage. Hannah then reveals that Valentine is her half-brother and that she has orchestrated the scenario to provoke his jealousy.


One of Simon Eyre's journeymen and the faithful husband of the seamstress Jane in Dekker's Shoemaker's Holiday. He is separated from his wife when he is conscripted in the war in France, but presents her with a pair of shoes made especially for her as a parting gift. Subsequently, these shoes play a crucial role in the couple's reunion. Following his return to London, Rafe learns that Jane is about to marry the wealthy citizen Hammon when Hammon's servingman brings him this same pair of shoes as a model for her wedding shoes. With the aid of Firk and the London shoemakers, who violently protest her marriage to Hammon, he is reunited with his wife on the day of the ceremony and proves his loyalty by rejecting Hammon's offer to buy Jane from him.


Rafe Nod is a soldier in Bowyer's company in the anonymous Trial Of Chivalry. He is noted for going to sleep, and Bowyer refuses to have stand sentinel. Nonetheless, Rafe does stand sentinel, and falls asleep, not waking even when Bowyer throws him in a ditch.


Although jester to King Henry in Greene's Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay, Rafe spends most of his time accompanying Prince Edward and his friends. Disguised as the prince during Edward's visit to Oxford, Rafe is arrested for drunken brawling. He is released when Sussex explains their mission to the Constable.


Sir Rafe is Filbon's father in Armin's The Two Maids of More–Clacke. Hearing Sir William's offer, he says that he prefers honor rather than money as a dowry. Later, with Sir William's foolish promises, he gets angry and leaves the action with the Auditor. He will come back later to tell his son about Mary and Toures's elopement. After that, he will recognize his son's disguise to see his lover and he joins Filbon's party to Putney when the marriage is to take place.


Ragau is Esau's servant in ?Udall's Jacob and Esau. Throughout the play he complains of the dreadful way Esau treats him: he is constantly criticized and gets little sleep and food. When he explains that the neighbors complain about being woken early every morning by the sound of Esau's hunting horns, Esau ignores him. And he scorns him when Ragau suggests taking Jacob hunting with him. Ragau next appears announcing his extreme hunger, having hunted with Esau for over a day without food. When he returns to Esau after looking for food, he explains that Jacob was the only person who had food but that he would not grant them any. Esau sends Ragau back. He returns with Jacob who offers Esau food in exchange for his birthright. Ragau shares Mido's amusement at the way the starving Esau eats Jacob's red rice pottage, but is angry that Esau has selfishly locked him out of the tent where he is eating. He thinks it is Esau's nature to be like that; he cannot be reasoned with. His lament is bitter but he admits that he did manage to get a lick from Jacob's ladle, a better bargain than Esau had. Following Isaac's instructions to Esau to continue his hunting, Ragau, alone, announces that next time he hunts he will take with him a large, secret supply of food and will offer none of it to Esau. After a successful hunt, Ragau announces that Esau must dress the deer for Isaac's meal. When Esau utters his threats after learning he has been supplanted, Ragau comments on his anger. When the vengeful Esau meets the servants and directly threatens them, Ragau stands surety for Abra's good behavior.


A papal nuncio in Dekker's The Whore of Babylon, based on the real-life nuncio of the same name, who supports Paridel in his plot against Titania.


The early-rising rag-rakers of London, scavengers rummaging in the dunghills, are "ghost characters" in Jonson's Bartholomew Fair. When Quarlous shows his displeasure at the fact that Winwife has been up so early, and is already at Littlewit's house to court Dame Purecraft, Quarlous says disparagingly that only the rag-rakers would have been up at such an early hour.


Servant in the household of the Palatine of Mensecke in Suckling's Brennoralt. He is a spy for Brennoralt, whom he smuggles into the rebels' fort with the help of Orilla, his own supposed beloved. (He apparently uses his relationship with Orilla–who wants to marry him–only to further intrigues of this sort.)


A "ghost character" in Shakespeare's Measure for Measure. A pirate imprisoned in Vienna who dies of a fever. Because of his resemblance to Claudio, the Provost and the disguised Duke Vincentio substitute Ragusine's head for Claudio's, tricking Angelo into thinking that Claudio has been executed.


Sir Rainborn is the son of Guy and Phillis in the anonymous Guy Earl of Warwick. He is raised without the benefit of his father's guidance because Guy leaves Phillis for a pilgrimage before Rainborn is born. When Rainborn becomes a man, he leaves England to search for his father. While traveling, Rainborn comes upon Sparrow, his father's clown and sometimes squire. Rainborn invites Sparrow to travel with him in search of Guy. Rainborn hears the doleful sound of a dying man and goes into Guy's cave to offer solace. Although Rainborn does not recognize his father, he nevertheless comforts the dying man. Rainborn delivers a gold ring to Phillis from Guy as a sign that the old man is dead. After Guy dies, Rainborn's mother arrives and informs her son that the old man was Guy. Rainborn tries to stop Phillis from crying over her husband's deceased body.


This noble in Shirley's The Ball learns he is beloved of both Honoria and Rosamond, so he confronts the ladies, telling them they must decide between them who is to have Rainbow. He ends up with neither lady at the play's end, but he does manage to apologize to Lady Lucina for Bostock's behavior; there is reportedly some obscure family relationship between Lord Rainbow and Bostock.


Master Rainsforth is a quarrelsome gentleman, with a strain of fatalistic melancholy in Heywood and Rowley's Fortune by Land and Sea. He encourages Frank Forrest into drinking, but quarrels with him when he insults his father. Rainsforth kills Frank in the ensuing fight. Young Forrest then challenges him to a duel, in which Rainsforth is killed.


A "ghost character" in Udall's Ralph Roister Doister. Jack Raker is a ballad maker whose efforts evidently are unsuccessful because Merrygreek sarcastically likens Roister Doister's ridiculous attempts at songs and ballads to them.


A "ghost character" in Quarles' The Virgin Widow. Quibble says Sir Walter Ralegh's ointment cured Count Gondomar's fistula.


An acquaintance of Humfry Bowdler in [?]Heywood's The Fair Maid of the Exchange. Ralfe is a witness to Mall Berry's initial declaration of love for Bowdler and her promise to marry him.


See also "RAFE," RALFE," and related spellings.

RALPH **1591

Fights with Orlando in Greene's Orlando Furioso against Rodamant and Brandimart.

RALPH **1597

Ralph is one of the denizens of the Boar's Head Tavern in Eastcheap in Shakespeare's 1 Henry IV. He is told by Francis to look in the Pomegranate Room for an unspecified item.

RALPH **1598

Ralph is Warman's man in (?Chettle and) Munday's Downfall of Robert Earl of Huntington. He is in charge of Scarlet and Scathlock and is afraid that the prisoners might escape. When speaking with Tuck, he uses excessively flowery language, causing irritation and ridicule.

RALPH **1614

Along with Roger and Humphrey, he helps the sisters Isabel and Widow to pack to go into the country in Fletcher's Wit Without Money. He and the others are unhappy that they have to go along and will miss the tavern and the girls there.

RALPH **1621

Ralph is Chamlet's second apprentice in Middleton's Anything for a Quiet Life. In Chamlet's shop, Ralph and George describe in rhyme the abundance and variety of cloth materials displayed in the shop. When Rachel accuses Chamlet that the two children, Maria and Edward, are his bastards, the innocent children overhear. Chamlet explains to them that she probably meant George and Ralph. George confirms, saying that she surely meant Ralph because he is not right in the head. Ralph tries to calm the spirits, saying this is not a way to keep a quiet house. When Franklin disguised as "Sir Andrew" and Cressingham as his "tailor" come to Chamlet's shop, pretending to buy expensive cloth and pay on credit, Chamlet sends Ralph to the barber Sweetball to collect the promised money for the materials. Outside Sweetball's house, Ralph is tricked into leaving the stuff in "Gascoyn's" hands, under the pretext that Ralph must accompany the Barber into the house to collect the money. However, Franklin had told the Barber that Ralph had a rash on his penis and needed his surgical services, Sweetball leads the unsuspecting apprentice to his surgery. The trick is revealed at the last moment, and Ralph escapes by a hair from having his penis cut and cauterized. When they discover that they have been cheated, both Ralph and Sweetball go to find Franklin and punish him. Outside the tavern "Man in the Moon", Ralph announces to the Barber and the officers that Franklin is about to come and then goes to fetch Chamlet. Ralph attends the scene in which Franklin barely escapes his pursuers by pretending to be a French gentleman, but the apprentice does not appear later in the play.

RALPH **1625

Brisac's cook, or "cooke" in Fletcher's The Elder Brother. He helps Andrew unload Charles's considerable collection of books, and is impressed by Charles and Andrew's great learning although he fears Charles is studying conjuring. The cook wonders why Charles is not as friendly as Eustace. Brisac places the cook in charge of the elaborate food being prepared for Angellina and Eustace's wedding.

RALPH **1626

Ralph is servant to the Park-keeper in James Shirley's The Wedding and helps bring the wounded Marwood from the scene of the duel with Beauford.

RALPH **1633

He and Dobson are the servants of Dungworth, the country gentleman who tries to become a city gallant in Nabbes' Covent Garden. The two servants speak the opening lines of the play, setting the scene along with Dungworth as they arrive in London from the country. Later he and Dobson appear drunk, and are tricked by Susan into robbing Warrant and Spruce; they try to rob Young Worthy, but flee when Artlove intervenes. They are later apprehended by the Constable in Dasher's tavern, but go free when Warrant denies that they robbed him. Ralph subsequently takes over, directing the mock trial which concludes the play. He wittily characterizes each of the main characters according to his "humor", or distinguishing charecteristic.

RALPH **1642

A servant of Captain Blade in Cowley's The Guardian; in order to test the impostors Puny and Dogrel, who are pretending to be Blade's long-lost brother and his manservant, Ralph and his fellow-servant William disguise themselves in the same way and confront them. Puny and Dogrel quickly back down.


Ralph Betts is the brother of George Betts and figures in the May Day riots of 1517 in Chettle, Dekker and Munday's Sir Thomas More. The stage direction in the opening scene places him on the stage, but he is mute at that time. When the riots against the foreign merchants begin, Ralph appears in the speech headings as the Clown, and he delivers a constant stream of banter (sometimes sexual and rhymed) condemning the foreigners. Sentenced to death with the other ringleaders, he escapes hanging when More prevails upon the king for pardons.


In Middleton's Your Five Gallants this is the name used by Fitsgrave in his disguise as a credulous university scholar in the company of the five Gallants. This scholarly disguise has the additional merit of suiting him for the role of author for their masque: a circumstance which the sufficiently literate Fitsgrave turns to his own advantage by using his script to expose them.


Ralph Harvey, an apothecary in Haughton's The Devil and his Dame, is a friend of Musgrave, Miles Forrest and Captain Clinton. He conspires with Clinton and Forrest to gain access to the house of Castiliano the Spanish doctor (actually the devil Belphagor in human shape), under color of supplying him with drugs and medicines. There they can turn the doctor's garden into a trysting spot for the various secret lovers. After his introduction to Castiliano in II.v, Harvey hints that he too will have a go at the lustful Mariana, but he never appears again. However, Mariana later credits him with making the poison she feeds to Castiliano.


Ralph is the horsekeeper in More's household in Chettle, Dekker and Munday's Sir Thomas More. Along with Robin the brewer, Giles the porter, and the rest of the servants, he will receive a gift from More of twenty nobles in recognition of his loyal service.


Sir Ralph Ierningham, father of young Frank Ierningham in the Anonymous The Merry Devil of Edmonton. Together with Milliscent's father, Sir Arthur Clare, he agrees to have Milliscent sent to a nunnery in order to break her engagement with Raymond Mounchensey, and to have her marry his son after a year.


Among the first in Thomas Heywood's 1 Edward IV to dub Falconbridge bastard, and remarkably defective in proper language use according to the Lord Mayor, King Edward nonetheless knights Joffelin for meritorious service in the defense of London.


Ralph Mouldy, recruited by Justice Shallow for military service with Falstaff, feels others are far fitter for the military and buys himself out for forty shillings in Shakespeare's 2 Henry IV.


Ralph Roister Doister is a cowardly, conceited braggart enamored of the widow Dame Custance in Udall's Ralph Roister Doister. With encouragement from the parasite Matthew Merrygreek, he attempts to woo her, even though it is commonly known that she is devoted to the absent merchant Gawin Goodluck. When all of his overtures (a love letter, a ring and token, serenades before her house) are rebuffed, he takes Merrygreek's advice and confronts the woman directly in what degenerates into a comic battle royal between his servants and those of the widow. Because most people cannot stay angry with him for long, he is forgiven at the end of the play by the newly returned Gawin Goodluck and is invited to attend the feast in the happy couple's honor.


A "ghost character" in Sampson's The Vow-Breaker. English nobleman. Cross names him as one of the commissioners at the peace negotiations in Edinburgh who have ordered the English forces to cease hostilities in Leith until talks are concluded.


Although he speaks several times during Cromwell's execution scene in the anonymous Thomas Lord Cromwell, his entry is not indicated. It seems the name is a misprint for Sir Richard Ratcliffe who does not speak in this scene but whose entry is announced.


A scoundrel that Sir Alexander Wengrave hires to entrap Moll Cutpurse in Middleton and Dekker's Moll Cutpurse, The Roaring Girl. Trapdoor has Moll hire him as her servant so that he may spy on her for Sir Alexander. Trapdoor informs him that Moll will be meeting with Sebastian Wengrave in Sir Alexander's chamber, and Sir Alexander lays out valuables to tempt Moll into stealing them. After Moll becomes aware of Trapdoor's duplicity, she fires him, and she later encounters both him and Tearcat in the street disguised as poor soldiers. Trapdoor and Tearcat cant with her (i.e. speak criminal street slang), while she translates and explains it to Jack Dapper, Sir Thomas Long, Sir Beauteous Ganymede, and Lord Noland, giving them (and the audience) an education in purse cutting.


A silent character in Davenport's The City Night Cap. He takes part in the masque in Act Four.


Rabble is a ruffian who demands entry to Shave'em's brothel in Massinger's The City Madam. When at first denied, he and his fellow ruffian Scuffle threaten to break windows and harass the neighbors. Secret, a bawd, lets Ramble and Scuffle in, pleading with them to be gentle with her. Shave'em, however, has no intentions of accepting either men as customers and draws a knife to defend herself. Ramble draws his sword and there are words exchanged between them over a previous encounter, when Young Goldwire enters pretending to be a Justice of the Peace, with Ding'em, disguised as a constable. In exchange for their freedom, his freedom, Ramble is ordered to leave his cloaks and kiss the Justice of the Peace's shoes. Ramble and his companion beg for mercy from Shave'em and Secret and slink off the stage.


Lord Rambures, a noble in the French army and master of the crossbows in Shakespeare's Henry V, is killed in the battle of Agincourt.


A nymph of Diana in Lyly's Gallathea, she is afflicted by the love plague and falls in love with "Tityrus" (Gallathea in disguise).


Ramis is in love with the nymph Nisa in Lyly's Love's Metamorphosis. He leaves declarations of his love on the tree around which the nymphs dance. But Nisa is proud and disdainful, and rejects his love. Ramis complains to Cupid, demanding that Celia be turned into stone as punishment. Cupid grants his wish but restores Nisa at Ceres' request. However, Nisa says she would rather be a stone than be in love. Ceres tries to change her mind and eventually Nisa agrees to be Ramis' lover.


Only mentioned in Jonson's The Alchemist. When Ananias enters Subtle's alchemical workshop, Subtle asks if he is a Lullianist, that is a disciple of Ramón Lull, a noted alchemist. Lull (1232-1315) was born in Majorca and founded an influential school of philosophy. His disciples wrote systematic alchemical treatises and attributed them to him. Since Ananias introduces himself as a Brother, Subtle pretends to understand that by "Brother" Ananias meant a fellow-alchemist.


Loyal to the Prince–most of the time–Rampino is continually harassed by his creditors Fibbia and Friskin in Davenant's The Unfortunate Lovers. When he reluctantly surrenders to Heildebrand, he convinces them that he can obtain for them court appointments, thus temporarily ridding himself of their importunities.


Family name of Sir Thomas and Lady Ramsey in Heywood's 2 If You Know Not Me.


Wife of Sir Thomas Ramsey in Heywood's 2 If You Know Not Me. Employs Doctor Nowell to effect a reconciliation between her husband and Gresham. Following the death of her husband, she is courted by the penniless John Gresham, but insists on never marrying again.


A member of Bolingbroke's army, which, the Earl of Northumberland tells us at the end of II.i, is making its way to England in Shakespeare's Richard II.


A "ghost character" in ?Greene's Selimus I. Emperor of the Tartars. Enemy to Bajazet. Selimus arranges to marry his daughter and enters into a military alliance with him.


A scholar in Marlowe's Massacre at Paris, murdered for his skeptical views by Anjou. The murder is done on Guise's orders.


A gentleman of Madrid, father to Fernando and Francisco in Shirley's The Brothers. Don Ramyres and his friend Don Carlos want to arrange a marriage between Fernando and Carlos's daughter, Jacinta. This is thwarted by the children themselves. Jacinta wants to marry Francisco while Fernando falls in love with Felisarda, Jacinta's poor cousin. When Fernando confesses his feelings, Ramyres curses and disinherits him, and soon after apparently dies of the strain. At the end, however, he reveals that he was only shamming in order to test Fernando and Felisarda. He reinstates Fernando as his heir, providing Francisco with a handsome jointure to mollify Don Carlos and smooth his younger son's marriage to Jacinta.


Randall is one of More's chief servants in Chettle, Dekker and Munday's Sir Thomas More. Before the arrival of Erasmus, More has Randall dressed in the regalia of the Lord Chancellor and instructs him to pretend to be that high official. Randall assures his master that he can pull off this joke, one that More has devised in part to learn if the famous Dutch humanist will see through the ruse or will simply accept things as they appear to be. In the event, Randall manages enough bluster to keep Erasmus unsure.

RANDALL **1622

Randall is a comic Welshman who sings a lot and speaks in an incomprehensible accent in William Rowley's A Match at Midnight. Leaving London having failed to find employment, he hides under Kingston Bridge to avoid Captain Carvegut and Lieutenant Bottom, and overhears them discussing a stash of money they have hidden in a barn. Randall steals the money, and returns to London, where he invades the Widow's house with the other suitors. Rejected by the Widow, he sends love-letters to Moll, who is unimpressed. When Moll arranges to meet Ancient Young at Leadenhall, Sim decides to cause mayhem by telling Randall to go there too. In the dark, Moll mistakes Randall for the Ancient, and gives him his mortgage. Randall then encounters Mary the maid, whom he mistakes for Moll and agrees to marry. When these confusions are revealed in the conclusion, Randall decides to marry Mary anyway, and he returns the Ancient's mortgage because he is an honest Welshman.

RANDALL **1625

A captain in the English army at Leith in Sampson's The Vow-Breaker, one of the soldiers who fight in the battle. Lord Grey says that Randall will give the alarum that will begin the battle.

RANDALL **1641

Randall is Oldrents' groom in Brome's A Jovial Crew. He is responsible for providing food, drink, and lodging at the guesthouse for beggars maintained on Oldrents' estate by Springlove. Randall expresses some ambivalence towards this responsibility. When Springlove departs to go begging, he gives Randall complete oversight of the guesthouse. When Oldrents suggests a christening for the child born in the guesthouse, Randall states that the merrymaking beggars will not be able to stay long enough to witness it. Randall is tempted to use some of the money, meant for the beggars' provisions, for his own use. When Randall informs Oldrents of his moral predicament, Oldrents tells him to keep the money and offers to maintain the guesthouse at his own personal expense. Throughout the play, Randall extols the virtues of Oldrents and tries to play himself in the inset play before Oldrents with which the play concludes.


Brother of Albano in Marston's What You Will. He is responsible, along with Jacomo and his other brother Adrian, for the plan to disguise Soranza as Albano to prevent Celia from marrying Laverdure.


The merchant Randolph is the brother of Mistress Goodgift in Brewer's The Lovesick King. He arranges her second marriage to Thornton.


The first of the two fathers in Randolph's Thomas Randolph's Salting.


Only mentioned in Wild’s The Benefice. Invention reads some praise for him (‘a sweeter swan did never sing’) but Furor Poeticus finds fault in his works (‘his wit’s too violent long to endure’) and calls for an imaginary Jailor to take him away.


Randulpho is a character in "The Triumph of Love," the second play within the play of Fletcher's Four Plays in One. He is a brother to Rinaldo and Benvoglio and acts as guardian to Gerrard (Alphonso) and Cornelia.


A suitor in John Heywood's The Play of the Wether. The Ranger asks Jupiter for strong winds.


Does not appear in play. An Enfield gentleman, who sends Warbeck to Edmonton in Rowley, Dekker and Ford's The Witch of Edmonton.


A bandit in Shirley's The Sisters, follower of Frapolo.


A Count, and captain of the Guard in Davenant's The Unfortunate Lovers; he is active in freeing the prince and in foiling the designs of Heildebrand.


A foolish knight in the court of Duke Earnest in ?Cumber's Two Merry Milkmaids, Ranoffe takes an immediate dislike to Cornelius and the two milkmaids (really Julia and Dorigene) that accompany him. Surprised, the courtier attempts to fight Frederick while he is invisible; recognizing the futility of this pugilism, he agrees to guide the invisible man. Along with Smircke, he plays an integral roll in the masque that concludes the play.


Ranola is Bertolina's lady-in-waiting in Davenant's The Siege. She does not share Bertolina's extraordinary bravado in the face of a Tuscan invasion; in fact, Ranola plans on hiding in a closet during the battle. Ranola joins Foscari in blaming Bertolina's perverse sense of honor for Pisa's destruction.


Ranulphe, Earl of Chester is father to Sydanen in Munday's John a Kent and John a Cumber. At his court, Chester receives Pembrooke and Moorton, the promised bridegrooms of Marian and Sydanen. On the night before the wedding, Chester appears in his nightgown at the country house where the bridegrooms are lodged, confirming the ladies' disappearance from Chester castle. When he corroborates what he knows with what the bridegrooms learned, namely that the ladies are gone, Chester sends the clowns and his servants in search of the Countess, Marian, and Sydanen. John a Cumber offers to help them retrieve their ladies by outsmarting John a Kent and his party, and Chester leaves with the lords to Gosselin's castle. At the castle, Chester arrives disguised as the Second Antique for a masque arranged by John a Cumber to gain entrance into the castle. On the lawn before Gosselin's castle, Chester, Llwellen, Pembrooke, and Moorton prepare to attend the play John a Cumber has arranged for them. When John a Kent arrives disguised as John a Cumber and asks these lords to act as themselves in the play, they agree thinking this is part of the performance. They are unaware that the ladies also act as themselves in the play. In the revelation scene, Chester sees how, by his cunning, John a Kent has expunged John a Cumber's offense. At Chester Abbey, just before the weddings of Sydanen to Moorton and of Marian to Pembrooke are to be celebrated, Chester and his party expect the bridegrooms. Chester attends and approves unwittingly the marriages of Sydanen to Sir Griffin (disguised as Moorton) and of Marian to Powesse (disguised as Pembrooke). Faced with the fact of his daughter's marriage to Powesse, Chester has no choice but to accept, since he has promised John a Kent to agree to anything should John a Kent outwit John a Cumber once again.


An informer for Phallax in Whetstone's 1 Promos and Cassandra. He and his fellow Gripax tease each other constantly and acerbically. They arrest Lamia on suspicion of her prostitution and present her to Phallax.
An informer for Phallax in Whetstone's 2 Promos and Cassandra. He and Gripax bring John Adroins in to stand trial for various offenses. The three get into a brawl, eventually broken up by Phallax. With Phallax's encouragement, Gripax and Rapax let John go in exchange for a bribe.


See also RAFE, RALPH, RALPHE, and related spellings.

RAPH **1602

One of the gamekeeper Brian's men in the Anonymous The Merry Devil of Edmonton.

RAPH **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.

RAPH **1606

A "ghost character" in Day's Isle of Gulls. He a horseman in the service of Dametas. Mopsa lost her virginity to Raph, and is probably expecting his baby. She is happy to marry him when it becomes apparent that Demetrius has jilted her.

RAPH **1608

A journeyman shoemaker who encourages the Shoemaker to hire Crispinus and Crispianus in William Rowley's A Shoemaker a Gentleman. Although he is usually present in all the scenes involving shoemakers, he contributes little to the plot and his only function is to make the shop look busy.


Raph is the eponymous cobbler, who is chosen by Mercury to deliver a prophecy to Mars in Wilson's The Cobbler's Prophecy. Raph is alarmed and upset when Mercury punishes his shrewish wife, Zelota, by driving her mad. But he accepts the mission, and sets off on an epic journey to find Mars. On the way he encounters Sateros the Soldier, Emnius the Courtier, the Scholar, and the Country Gentleman debating who is the most worthy. Raph prophesies the absurdity of their pretensions in the face of the end of the world. He travels to Mars with Sateros the soldier, who plans to deliver a petition to Mars. They meet the Muses but Raph is misled by an Echo and runs off, thinking it is a person calling to him. He meets Charon and learns that Hell is overflowing with sinners. He and Sateros then meet the Porter and Herald of Mars, from whom they learn that Mars now resides at Venus's court. Raph delivers his prophecy to Mars. The prophecy announces that Mars is a cuckold. Raph then accompanies Sateros to the Duke of Boetia's court, where he saves the Duke's life by prophesying Emnius's treachery. Emnius is forgiven, but he then attacks Raph, who is saved by the mad Zelota who kills Emnius. The Duke sends Raph and Zelota to prison for murder. Raph leads the prisoners in a jailbreak, and they join the army Sateros is raising against the invaders of Boetia. At the end of the play, Raph complains to Mercury of his treatment, and Mercury asks Sateros to ensure that Raph and Zelota are pardoned by the Duke. The Duke obliges and all ends happily.


A "ghost character" in Sharpham's The Fleire mentioned by Antifront as a man who sent his mistress an oat cake.


Sir Raph Smith in Porter's 1 The Two Angry Women of Abingdon is out hunting for deer with his wife and Will, his woodsman, but, having caught nothing, resolves hunt throughout the night. He meets Frank Goursey, who is trying to find Mall, the woman Frank wants to marry, in the dark and mistakes him for his woodsman.. The scene becomes more complicated, and some might say more comical, as a wide range of characters, Sir Raph included, all halloo to each other in the dark, trying to find the others, and making mis-identifications. When he discovers Mall, alone and lost, Sir Raph tries to seduce her, but on discovering who she is swears he will do everything he can to help find Frank for her. At the end, when the quarrelling Gourceys and Barneses have made friends, he appears with Mall and gives her to Frank. The marriage can now take place.


A young merchant in Heywood's The Captives. Plans to rescue his beloved mistress Palestra and her companion Scribonia from Mildew's brothel by buying them from him. Gives Mildew 300 crowns in return for Mildew's agreement to deliver Palestra and Scribonia to a nearby house that evening. When Mildew fails to arrive, Raphael along with Treadway and the Clown begin to search for Mildew, despite a fierce storm. Raphael sends Treadway back to search the city for Mildew. Raphael notices John Ashburne and Godfrey and asks them if they have seen Mildew and the women; when Ashburne says that he has not seen them, Raphael leaves his name and address with him and continues on with his search. Later, Raphael and Treadway are brought by the Clown to the village where Mildew and Sarleboys with the two women captives are confronting John Ashburne, Godfrey, and the assembled villagers. Raphael is happily reunited with Palestra and is furious with Mildew; Treadway counsels him to pursue legal action against Mildew rather than direct revenge. Later, the Clown returns with Raphael and Treadway, confirming the discovery of Palestra's true identity as Mirabel and that John Ashburne will consent to Raphael's marriage to Palestra/Mirabel. Raphael also agrees to speak with Scribonia about Treadway's love for her. Raphael and Treadway then meet John Ashburne, his wife, Palestra/Mirabel, and Scribonia; Ashburne confirms Palestra's identity as Mirabel and presents her to Raphael as a wife. Raphael then asks Mirabel to speak to Scribonia about Treadway's love. Raphael agrees to go with Mirabel and the others to London. The departure of the Ashburne brothers, Raphael, Mirabel, Treadway, and Winifred is delayed, however, by the resolution of Friar John's murder amongst the Sherrif, the Abbot, Friar Richard, the Duke of Averne and Dennis.


Uncle to Frederick in Brome's Court Beggar. Raphael has vowed that he shall live a bachelor and spends his time moralizing to women about their folly and vices. He attempts to reform Lady Strangelove from her habit of courting and rejecting men but is driven away when she feigns love for him. He tries to comfort the apparently mad Ferdinand with greetings from his friends at court. He convinces Mendicant to allow Frederick to see Charissa by promising that he will guarantee a jointure to match her dowry. However, he is only able to match the £1,000 she has inherited from her uncle, not the £10,000 Mendicant hopes to add from Ferdinand's estate. Hoping to trouble Mendicant with a rumor that Ferdinand has regained his senses, he returns to the house only to learn that Ferdinand has, in fact, regained his senses and Frederick has married Charissa.


See also RAFE, RAPH, RALPH, and related spellings.


A servant in the anonymous Wisdom of Doctor Dodypoll. He and Motto argue over who is responsible for Alberdure's near drowning.


A small, light, sharp sword, used primarily for thrusting or stabbing, rather than cutting. Often used with a dagger in fighting. The conclusion to the anonymous Work For Cutlers suggests that Rapier was primarily used for dueling rather than warfare. Rapier contests Sword's assertion of superiority throughout the play, but eventually agrees to Dagger's terms.


Confident Rapture is a pretended wit in Shirley's The Example who follows Lord Fitzavarice. Solitary Plot considers Rapture to be a lascivious gamester; indeed, when Rapture visits Lady Peregrine, he is full of flowery love words that he offers in the name of Fitzavarice. When Fitzavarice is challenged by Peregrine to a duel, Rapture is chosen as Fitzavarice's second, and the cowardly Rapture does everything he can to the out of the duel.


Mr. Rash is a mercer in ?Brewer's The Country Girl. He comes to visit Lady Mosely to propose marriage to her. Due to that, he will have to fight with Mr. Gregory, but he does not have more weapons than the law. Having a date with Barbara as the lady, he meets her in the upper end of Lymestreet and, having lost the love of the real lady, he courts the chambermaid whom he marries.


A compatriot of Staines and Spendall in Cooke's Greene's Tu Quoque. This young gallant's largely functional role satirizes the outlandish fashions of arriviste Londoners including their dress, their pastimes (including gambling and playgoing), and their speech (typified by Bubble's overuse of the phrase "tu quoque").


One of the blades employed by Squirrel in his bawdy-house in Nabbes' The Bride; he gives their names as "Rashbe, Spilman, Poinard, and others", but they are not named elsewhere. After hearing them carousing, Raven asks Squirrel to have them attack Theophilus and the Bride, whereupon they carry the Bride away and threaten to rape her. Theophilus successfully fights them and forces them to release the Bride and give up their weapons. They go and get Justice Ferret to complain about Theophilus's abuse of them, but disappear before pressing charges. Later they return and encounter Kickshaw, whom they rob and leave tied up.


Father to Theophilus and Lucy in Brome's The English Moor, he has been missing (and presumed dead) for a year at the beginning of the play, apparently having ridden away to France with Meanwell to fight him in a duel over a game of bowls. They appear in Act Five to reveal that their duel and disappearance were counterfeited. Having redeemed Winloss (Phyllis' father) from debtors' prison to atone for having ruined him in a lawsuit, they have returned to London. He arrives with Meanwell just in time to prevent Dionisia from murdering Theophilus. The families are re-united and he gives his blessing to the marriages of the various children.


A farrier and a constable, along with Scriben, Medlay, and To-Pan in Jonson's A Tale of A Tub. He claims to be the godson of "King Harry's" doctor, the famous Arabian physician Rasis. One of the "Council of Finsbury" that serves as a kind of Chorus to the fortunes of High Constable Tobie Turfe, and who recommend Medlay and Scriben to create Squire Tripoly Tub's masque for Audrey's wedding. (Listed in d.p. as "Rasi: Clench")


Rasni is the King of Nineveh and the brother of Remilia in Greene and Lodge's A Looking Glass For London And England. Overcome by pride and flattered outrageously by those around him, he sees himself as a god on earth and even proposes to imitate Juno and Jove by marrying his sister Remilia. After she is killed by lightning, the new court favorite Radagon encourages him to take Aluida, the wife of the King of Paphlagonia, as his mistress, and although he briefly feels shame at his affair and attempts to send her back, when Aluida cleverly poisons her husband, Rasni is quick to renew their relationship. The first indication that he might be capable of change appears when Radagon is cursed by his mother Samia and instantly is consumed by fire. Rasni is frightened by this display of a power beyond his own, but the Magus and others assure him he has nothing about which to worry. Further portents of coming disaster are described for him by the Priest of the Sun, but it is not until Jonas appears at a royal banquet with the news that God has decided to destroy Nineveh in forty days that the wave of repentance the prophet has already effected among many of the common citizens begins to be felt at court. Worried and ashamed, Rasni dismisses the flattering Magi and orders a forty-day period of fasting and prayer as a sign of the sincerity of his conversion, and at the end of the fasting period, almost everyone in Nineveh has reformed. Jonas then reappears at court to confirm God's pleasure at the changes and to endorse Rasni's intention to marry the newly converted Aluida.


A "ghost character" in Brome's The Novella. Rastrofico is the hangman. His position is so despised in Venice that anyone other than a Zaffi discovered conversing with him immediately becomes a social outcast. In revenge for the humiliating "bed trick," Pantaloni conspires to have the hangman go to the Novella disguised as a Dutchman and be found there to her discredit. The plan misfires with the aid of Nicolo, who tells Fabritio.


The curate in [?]Stevenson's Gammer Gurton's Needle. Gammer asks him to make Dame Chat return the needle. He feels hard-pressed to go about on his rounds all the time, and complains about never having a moment to himself. But he must be up and about or else he'll not get a tithe pig, or the like, when it comes due. Dame Chat throws hot water on him as he sneaks around her alehouse in the dark trying to catch her with the needle and breaks his head. He calls for Master Bayley and Scapethryft, the constable and his man, to arrest Dame Chat.


Supporter of Richard III in Shakespeare's Richard III. Ratcliffe escorts Rivers, Gray, and Vaughan to be executed at Pomfret Castle, where Richard II was murdered. Richard later sends Ratcliffe to Friar Penker to order him to give a sermon supporting Richard's claim to the throne. Along with Catesby and Lovell, he was the target of William Collingbourne's satiric attack
The catte, the ratte, and Lovell our dogge
Rulyth all England under a hogge.
Ratcliffe attends on Richard during the Battle of Bosworth.


He is named in Cromwell's execution scene but is silent in the anonymous Thomas Lord Cromwell. It seems the name is a misprint for Sir Ralphe Sadler who speaks several times in this scene but whose entry is not announced.


Only mentioned in Zouche's The Sophister. Definition, Division, Opposition, and Description mention Rationale while attempting to "draw out" for Discourse "the pedigree, which is a true lineall discent of all the chiefest inhabitants within these provinces." Rationale "begat Homo."


Morion's servant Ratsbane introduces him to the Juggler, who claims to be able to conjure the Fairy Queen in The Valiant Welshman. Ratsbane follows Morion as he crawls toward the Fairy Queen and rescues him from the ditch into which he falls.


Only mentioned in Jonson's The Alchemist. Gamaliel Ratsey was a highwayman, executed in 1605. When Face is quarreling with Subtle, he mentions some of the alchemist's tricks. Among them, Face describes how Subtle had a face cut for him by his magic that looked worse than Gamaliel Ratsey's did.
Only mentioned in Randolph's Plutophthalmia. A Northamptonshire highwayman. Chremylus fears that Anus would look worse that Gamaliel Ratsey if her makeup were washed away.

RAVACK **1636

He appears in the last act of Killigrew’s Claricilla to assist Melintus and Philemon. Although the dramatis personae describes him as “a slave but also a great man of Sicily" the text suggests he is a captured man who only disguises as a slave after Philemon finds and redeems him from capture. He goes along with Philemon and Melintus when Manlius pretends to lead the “slaves" into town. Disguised as slaves, Melintus, Philemon, and Ravack pretend to assist Seleucus in capturing Claricilla, the king, and Appius, but they turn the tables, rescue them instead, and watch as Seleucus stabs himself to death with hatred on his lips for them.


Goodlove's nephew and Theophilus's cousin, the villain of Nabbes' The Bride. He first expresses his love for Goodlove and Theophilus on the eve of Goodlove's wedding to the Bride, but in asides he reveals his villainy. Raven encourages Theophilus to run off with the Bride, so that Goodlove will leave his estate to Raven rather than Theophilus. When Goodlove reveals that he had intended to give the Bride (and his estate) to Theophilus anyway, Raven says he will bring the lovers back, but actually plots to keep them away. He finds them at Squirrel's tavern and urges them to flee to the country, falsely telling them that Goodlove has disinherited Theophilus. Before they can leave, the blades arrive (secretly prompted by Raven) and nearly carry off the Bride, but Theophilus fights them and forces them to surrender their weapons. Theophilus begins to suspect Raven's sincerity, and when Justice Ferrett arrives and tells them all of Goodlove's plans, Theophilus resolves to return to Goodlove, and Raven follows him. On the way, Raven tries to kill Theophilus, but is accidentally stabbed by him instead, and left for dead when the Bride arrives and Theophilus runs off with her. When Kickshaw tries to rob him, Raven revives, and when Goodlove arrives in search of Theophilus, Raven is taken to Horten's house to be treated by a surgeon. There he first tries to blame Kickshaw for his wounding, but eventually comes clean and reveals his villainy, and also reveals that Theophilus is Goodlove's unknown biological son.


The Sheriff's Sergeant in Middleton's(?) Puritan. He arrests Pyeboard for non-payment of debts, but is tricked by Pyeboard into freeing him so he, Pyeboard, can collect the money he owes.


With the Prodigal, Guy Fawkes, and Bartervile, Ravillac is doomed by the judge Minos to suffer torments in hell in Dekker's If It Be Not Good.


Master Jasper Rawbone is a young usurer in James Shirley's The Wedding. Scrawny and miserly, Rawbone diets constantly and starves his servant Camelion into seeking another position. He then takes on Jasper (Haver in disguise) as servant. He and Master Lodam both seek to wed Justice Landby's daughter Jane. Rawbone is convinced to challenge his rival Lodam to a duel. A devout coward, Rawbone exchanges clothing with his servant, who is really Jane's true love in disguise. When Haver wins the duel, Justice Landby gives Jane to him as wife. Rawbone complains, but in Jasper's attire he is ignored, appearing to be no more than a cheeky servant.


A "ghost character" in Mountfort's The Launching of The Mary. One of the workers in the shipyard. His name is called out by the Clerk of the Check.


Abdelmelec's good Queen in Peele's The Battle of Alcazar. She gives encouragement and gratitude to those who aid her husband's cause.

RAYMOND **1619

A lord in the court of Duke John Earnest in ?Cumber's Two Merry Milkmaids. Raymond disapproves of the Duke's hasty marriage to the widow Dorigene and is therefore overjoyed when she is banished form the court for allegedly pursuing an affair with Dorilus, using the opportunity to make advances toward Julia, Dorigene's intimate, also disguised as a milkmaid. He acts as prosecutor at Dorigene's trial, but is interrupted by an invisible Dorilus who explains the true facts of the proceeding, advocates mercy, and procures the Duke's pardon for Dorigene. Overheard by the invisible Frederick, Raymond vows to mend the relationship between the Duke and the Duchess if Julia will marry him. After the reconciliation, however, Julia chastises him as a lustful "villain" and is caught by the Duke and Bernard when he attempts to ravish her. He is sentenced to death but the punishment is revoked at Dorigene's intercession; he is subsequently banished from the court.

RAYMOND **1622

Raymond is the brother of Aminta and the son of one of the pirates who attacked the Portuguese settlers and pursued their ships when they fled, marooning them on the islands in Fletcher and Massinger's The Sea Voyage. Raymond is searching for Aminta, who has been kidnapped as a result of the feud between Raymond and Albert. He rescues Sebastian and Nicusa and takes them back to the island when they tell him that they have encountered the French party. When he finds nobody there he leaves Sebastian and Nicusa with four days' supplies, vowing to return only if he finds evidence of the Frenchmen having been on the island. Raymond finds Aminta on the other part of the island and begins to untie her, but he is captured by Juletta, Crocale and Clarinda when he refuses to fight them. At the banquet Raymond and Albert are reconciled, and Raymond reveals the actions of their fathers. Sebastian returns just in time to prevent the sacrifice of Raymond and Albert at the hands of Rosella; he betroths Raymond to Clarinda and blesses the union of Albert and Aminta.

RAYMOND **1625

One of the four gallants at the wedding of Annabel and Bonvile in Webster and Rowley's A Cure for a Cuckold. Raymond refuses Lessingham's plea to duel with him, claiming he has an appointment elsewhere. He tries to woo Clare, but is rebuffed. He becomes a sharer in Woodroff's shipping venture. He assists Franckford, during the legal debate with Compass. It is Raymond who suggests the cure for cuckoldry that Compass uses, and he and the other gallants are present at Compass' wedding.

RAYMOND **1636

Raymond is a Moor in Rawlins's The Rebellion who serves as a general of the French forces. He is married to the Amazon Philippa. Raymond enters into league with Machvile and is betrayed by the Spanish count. Raymond suffers inopportune lapses in judgement by trusting Machvile and by offering his official ring to Antonio, who is disguised as a Frenchman. Machvile pays a Brave to assassinate Raymond and Antonio uses the authority of Raymond's ring to dispel the French forces from the region. Raymond's dying wish is to see his beloved Philippa.


Second son to old Raymond, betrothed to Alizia in Daborne's A Christian Turned Turk. Ward captures her en route to their wedding; later his whole family is captured by Ward as all characters in the drama converge on Tunis. Brought to the house of Benwash for sale into slavery, where Alizia is present. Their silence on the subject suggests that they do not recognize each other. [Stage directions are patchy–they might be meant to miss each other by minutes, ed.] He pleads for their freedom, given that Ward already has taken their ship and fortune in goods. He is refused. His father dies of grief at the division of his family, and the brothers are sold with others who tried to intercede on their behalf. Seen later with his brother, Albert and Ferdinand being taken under guard to serve in the galleys. Their plight now troubles Ward's conscience, but he resists their generous offers to forgive him if he remains Christian. Alizia works for his rescue, making his ransom the condition of Fidelio's agreement to sleep with Voada. Alizia is planning his escape on a Dutch ship. He is next seen rather pessimistically awaiting Alizia–their code word is 'Fidelio'. He calls out her name and Voada shoots him by mistake: it seems she has been convinced that Fidelio has another lover. Dying, he denounces Alizia as a whore, but is reconciled by her arrival and they swear mutual constancy and die together.


In the B-text only of Marlowe's Doctor Faustus, King Raymond of Hungary fought to victory with Pope Adrian against the German pope, Bruno. He returned to Rome in the papal procession and behaved as a courtier at the Pope's victory banquet.


Son of Sir Richard Mounchensey in the Anonymous The Merry Devil of Edmonton. He is in love with Milliscent Clare and they should be married the next day. But her father, Sir Arthur Clare, tries to prevent their marriage when he finds out that Raymond's father is not as rich as he thought. He wants to send Milliscent to a nunnery, where she is to stay for a year and then marry Sir Ralph's son, young Frank Ierningham. Raymond is helped by Peter Fabell, Frank Ierningham and Milliscent's brother Harry Clare. Sir Arthur does not recognize Raymond in the disguise of Benedic, Friar Hildersome's novice. He leads him to the nunnery, where he can speak to Milliscent and secretly arrange her escape.


Raymond senior, a French gentleman in Daborne's A Christian Turned Turk. Father to two sons, the elder unnamed, the younger, Raymond junior, the intended husband of Alizia. The whole family is captured by Ward en route to Tunis and brought to the house of Benwash to be sold into slavery. A dignified and courageous old man, he is defiant in the face of capture, more sorrowing for the fate of his sons than himself, and outspoken in his contempt of Ward's inhumanity. His plea for the family to be allowed to stay together in slavery is ignored and he dies of grief after a long and touching evocation of paternal love, prophesying heaven's black revenge on his tormentor, Ward.


Unnamed, but captured by Ward, together with his father and younger brother, and brought to Tunis for sale into slavery in Daborne's A Christian Turned Turk. Says very little, but adds his voice to his father in defying Ward. His father dies of grief at the division of his family, and the brothers are sold in the company of others who tried to intercede on their behalf. Seen later with his brother, Albert and Ferdinand being taken under guard to serve in the galleys. Their plight now troubles Ward's conscience, but he resists their generous offers to forgive him if he remains Christian. He does not reappear, and is presumably doomed to life in slavery, as unlike his brother, he lacks a fiancée to work for his release.


The disguise assumed by Dissymulacyon, one of the villains who threaten King Johan's crown in Bale's King Johan, Part 1. As Raymundus, Dissymulacyon is sent by the Pope to incite the other Christian Princes to make war against King Johan.


Raynard the Keeper is a non-speaking character in Jordan's Walks of Islington and Hogsden. A Keeper at the Wood-Street Counter, he is said to be organizing Mercurio's funeral, and appears as one of the mourners at the funeral.


A "ghost character" in Drue's The Duchess of Suffolk. Related to Foxe; has a country property to which Foxe flees after the Duchess refuses to take him as an attendant when she is apprehended by Clunie.


Raynulph is a monk of Chester and the chorus in Middleton's Hengist.


A "ghost character" in Sampson's The Vow-Breaker. One of the English soldiers praised by Arguile for their bravery in mounting the scaling ladders at the siege of Leith.


Only mentioned in Jonson's The Alchemist. Dr. Simon Read was convicted in 1608 of magic practices on testimony of a young clerk like Dapper. When Dapper is introduced to Subtle, who receives him in his Doctor's cap and gown, the bogus alchemist seems reluctant to reveals himself as a magician to Dapper because of the Read case. Dapper says Read was an ass who dealt with a fool. When Face tells him that the fool who denounced Read was a clerk, Dapper is surprised. Ironically, the story repeats itself, as Subtle also proves to be a charlatan and Dapper a fool.

READER **1637

A “ghost character" in Mayne’s City Match. Bright and Newcut say they were called away by the benchers to contribute to one of them that has become a Reader.


A London gallant in Middleton's Michaelmas Term. He is rival to Andrew Lethe for the daughter of Ephestian Quomodo. Despite the fact that he is Thomasine's (Susan's mother) preferred suitor, he seems destined to fail until he exposes the fact that Lethe has been keeping a mistress (the Country Wench) during his courtship of Susan.


Father of Science and husband to Experience in the anonymous Marriage of Wit and Science. He encourages Science not to give up on marriage but to look for a worthy partner. He likes the message Will brings from Wit and encourages Science to meet him. He gives Wit a crystal mirror (glass) that will show him all the defects that Wit must learn to remedy. When he later comes upon Wit dressed in Ignorance's coat, he does not at first recognize him. When he does realize that this is Wit, Reason calls for Shame and then reminds Wit of all he has squandered that Nature had given him. At Science's request, Reason shows Wit lenience, gives him a new coat, and sends him back to Instruction to be reformed.


Hears the case in (?)Heywood's How A Man May Choose A Good Wife From A Bad of Old Master Arthur and Old Master Lusam, who bring Mistress Arthur and Young Master Lusam with them, against Young Master Arthur for his behavior towards Mistress Arthur. He offers useless advice to Old Masters Arthur and Lusam as well as to Mistress Arthur, and claims he can do nothing until they bring him Young Master Arthur. He invites Old Master Arthur and Old Master Lusam to join him in a glass of March beer. Later, he is invited to Young Master Arthur's feast and arrives with Hugh. He greets Old Master Arthur, Old Master Lusam, Master Anselm, Master Fuller, and Aminadab when they arrive. He asks Mistress Mary to sit by him, but Young Master Arthur insists that she sit in his wife's place. He then asks Aminadab if Pipkin is his scholar, and admires Pipkin's display of knowledge. He also asks the guests if anyone has a jest, which leads Master Fuller to tell his tale. After Young Master Arthur and Mistress Arthur drink their toast of reconciliation, Justice Reason leaves along with Old Master Arthur, Old Master Lusam, and Hugh. He returns later in search of Hugh, who was sent to find Justice Reason's gloves, and learns of Mistress Arthur's supposed death. At the end of the play, Justice Reason hears the contrary suits of Old Master Arthur, who seeks clemency for his son, and Old Master Lusam, who seeks justice for the death of his daughter. He silences their quarrel as Young Master Arthur enters to face the charge of murder brought against him by Mistress Mary. Although Young Master Arthur admits to murdering Mistress Arthur, Justice Reason continues to pursue the case, threatening to charge Aminadab and Master Fuller with selling poison, and Master Anselm with attempting to justify Fuller's actions. Mistress Arthur's arrival and resolution of the confusion finally eliminates the need for Justice Reason to hear any of these cases.


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


A musician in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet hired to play at Juliet's wedding to Paris.

REBECCA **1538

A "ghost character" in Bale's God's Promises. Mentioned by Moses as an example of God's mercy and guidance.
Rebecca is Isaac's wife and mother of the twins Jacob (the younger) and Esau (the older) in ?Udall's Jacob and Esau. She deeply regrets Esau's appalling behavior and suggests that Jacob reprimand his brother for it. She encourages Jacob to buy the rights associated with being the firstborn son from Esau, explaining that she heard a voice from heaven at the boys' conception, announcing it God's will was that he would be Esau's lord, even though he was younger. When she is praying for Jacob's success in her scheme to oust Esau, Isaac arrives. She raises the subject of Esau's dissolute life with him, telling him that the Lord had explained that her younger son would overthrow the older one. Isaac is unconcerned. After Jacob takes advantage of a chance to buy Esau's birthright, he explains to Rebecca what he has done and she suggests that she, Mido, Abra the maid and Jacob sing to the Lord explaining how they are fulfilling God's will. She blesses Jacob, saying he was appointed the eldest son by God and that Isaac is blind and easily beguiled. Rebecca overhears Isaac talking sympathetically with Esau about the loss of his birthright but she trusts God will thwart Isaac's plans. She recognizes that Jacob needs Isaac's blessing, in addition to Esau's birthright. She prays earnestly that Isaac will bless him but nevertheless is determined to act herself to ensure that he does. She tells Jacob to strengthen his resolve and explains her plan. Esau has gone hunting. While he is gone Jacob should go out and fetch two goats which she will cook so well that Isaac will be delighted. As a result Isaac will bless Jacob. When Jacob expresses his doubts, Rebecca tells him to do as she suggests and to leave the rest to God. While her plan is unfolding, she is constantly anxious. She is concerned that Jacob may not have set out in time; then she sends Abra, her maid, to find the herbs for cooking the goats. Next she leaves to ensure that Isaac has no suspicion of what she is planning and to convince him, if he smells the preparations, they are for Esau's venison. When she next appears she is anxious because Jacob has been gone so long and that something might have upset her plans. When Jacob does return she takes the goat from him. Following his objections that his skin is smooth while Esau's is rough, she re-appears with gloves of goatskin and goatskin for his neck. With these Jacob will feel like Esau if Isaac touches him. She also has Esau's best clothes for Jacob to wear. She explains that she has arranged it for no one to talk about the deception. After Isaac has enjoyed the meal she has prepared for him, Rebecca prays that God will help Jacob prosper. And when her plan succeeds and Isaac blesses Jacob, she kneels and offers God thanks for what He has done. Rebecca appears again after the servants have described Esau's violent threats to the household when he discovers Jacob has supplanted him. She tells Jacob to hide from his brother by living with her brother Laban and persuades Isaac to instruct Jacob not to marry a Canaanite (where Esau's wives come from) but to marry one of Laban's daughters. At the end, Rebecca persuades Esau to slake his anger. The final twelve lines have Isaac, Rebecca, Jacob and Esau praying respectively for the clergy, the Queen, the Queen's counselors, and the Queen's subjects.

REBECCA **1613

Daughter of Hog the Usurer in Tailor's The Hog Hath Lost His Pearl. Enters to find Young Lord Wealthy at her home and ready to arrange their immediate marriage. He tells her about Maria's mysterious disappearance, which she is glad to hear. When Young Lord Wealthy refuses to listen to her refusals, she exits. Later, she enters with Haddit, who has outlined his plan to rob Hog with the assistance of Lightfoot and the Player. Rebecca agrees to let them in that evening, but fears that once they rob Hog, Haddit will no longer be interested in marrying her. That evening, Rebecca prepares Hog's bed, and, pretending to lay the house keys under Hog's bolster, puts them in her pocket in order to let in Haddit, Lightfoot and the Player. While Haddit, Lightfoot, and the Player are deceiving and robbing Hog, Rebecca leaves the house and later joins Haddit. They are married by a Priest, and after Haddit has paid him, he tells Rebecca to wait at Atlas's house for a while, and then join him and Lightfoot at Old Lord Wealthy's, where he plans to arrange things so that Hog will give Rebecca to him as wife. Rebecca arrives at Old Lord Wealthy's where Hog is overjoyed to find her safe. Haddit tells Hog that Rebecca is worth more than all of his wealth and offers to marry her despite her poverty. Hog agrees, and Rebecca joins Haddit and Lightfoot and exits to Old Lord Wealthy's feast.

REBECCA **1635

Wife to Brittleware, who calls her 'Beck' in tender moments in Brome's The Sparagus Garden. Having been married for five years, she blames her husband for the fact that they have failed to have children, and angrily repudiates his argument that she "may be defective as well as I." She insists that, unlike other women, she must be granted her longings before she is pregnant; among these is a craze to see The Knight of the Burning Pestle and to be "done" by the company's best actor. Sir Hugh convinces her that dining on asparagus will prove a great aphrodisiac, but once her husband grants her wish to do so she still tells him that he is not kind to her "in the asparagus way" and threatens to steal out to the Asparagus Garden to satisfy her longings on another man. When her aunt, Friswood, invites her to spend the night and to help deck Annabel for marriage, Brittleware assumes that she has gone off to put her plans into action; Rebecca hopes that this will cure him of his jealousy, and is satisfied when he returns contritely to her on learning the truth.


Wife of Purge the apothecary and member of the Family of Love in Middleton's The Family of Love. Mistress Purge is sought after by many men. Finally, her jealous husband complains against her, bringing her to trial in Gerardine's fake court. There, confronted by her husband, she defends her innocence and claims she gave him her ring knowing it was him all along. She is reconciled to her husband and agrees to cease attendance at the Family of Love meetings.


Leader in Shirley's The Arcadia of a group of comic characters who, with Thumb, attempt to take over the kingdom from Philanax in Basilius' absence. Trying to overpower Philanax, they are beaten off by Basilius, Pyrocles, Philanax, and Calander. The Captain leads the group of rebels and Thumb against the king, who the captain thinks has abandoned his people. Suggests new laws encouraging drunkenness and loose women, and a plan to empty the prisons and burn them. When the rebels are defeated, he leads them into the woods to become outlaws, where they capture the runaways Musidorus and Pamela and take them back to the king to try to bargain for a pardon


A band of comic characters in Shirley's The Arcadia who try to take over in Basilius' absence. With the captain of the rebels, the Second Rebel is a major instigator of the plot against King Basilius. The Third Rebel agrees with whatever was last spoken by another Rebel or Thumb. The Fourth Rebel volunteers to be ambassador from the rebels to the Basilius; has the idea to lure him into ambush with music and dancing.


The Rebels break into Gotharius' house in Shirley's The Politician. Held at bay by Albina while Gotharius escapes, the Rebels eventually arrive at Olaus' house, where word is to take Turgesius' coffin so the prince can be buried. The rebels find the self-poisoned Gotharius in the coffin.


A foolish and cowardly Lord, afflicted with venereal disease in Chapman's The Widow's Tears. He tries to woo Eudora through letters from a character known only as "His Altitude." He constantly refuses to answer Tharsalio's insults, claiming to do so because of "the place." Tharsalio calls him and his followers "whoreson bagpipe lords."


Harry and his unruly company rob these employees of Henry IV in jest in the Anonymous Famous Victories of Henry V. Thus, when the two receivers reach the young prince, they dare not accuse the real perpetrators of the robbery for fear of the prince's reaction.


When the Farmer hears Friar Hugh ap David say he owes Saint Francis a gambling debt in Peele's Edward I, he claims to be "Saint Francis' receiver" and takes the friar's money.


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


The Recorder in the anonymous 2 Return From Parnassus helps Sir Raderick examine Immerito, then discusses points of law with Amoretto while ignoring and finally spurning Ingenioso.


The Recorder assists at the trial of Young Marlove in ?Glapthorne's The Lady Mother. He quickly takes over the questioning of the witnesses, displacing Sir Hugh, and endeavors to sort out the case. Lady Marlove, attempting to save her son, insists that all blame should fall on her. Then, attempting to save her, Thorowgood claims to have advised her to commission her son in the deed, so blame should fall entirely on him. Challenged to confess, Young Marlove indicates that Alexander Lovell, his mother's Steward, was the main instigator of the duel, implying that he, too, should be punished. Finally, the Recorder determines that Lovell, Young Marlove, and Lady Marlove must all be executed for the crime.


The Recorder of London serves as the jury foreman in the Court of Sessions that hears the case against Lifter in Chettle, Dekker and Munday's Sir Thomas More. He reports the guilty verdict and the sentence of death for the cutpurse, and when the Lord Mayor calls for members of the court to contribute money for the burial of the condemned man, he and an Unnamed Justice follow the Lord Mayor's lead and make a contribution.


A healing woman in the anonymous Marriage of Wit and Science. She arrives to heal Wit after he is struck down in the fight with Tediousness. She then chastises Wit when he rails against Science for sending him to fight. She advises him to rise and dance with her and her woman before returning to Studie and Instruction.


A "ghost character" in Marlowe's Doctor Faustus. The Second Scholar suggests the Rector might be able to persuade Faustus not to turn to magic.

RECTOR **1599

A “ghost character" in Ruggle’s Club Law. Head of Cricket’s school. He hopes the Rector will provide shackles for Mr. Colby when he tries to steal the students’ corn. He sends out a writ to attach Colby for the deed. He next sends a writ by Musonius to arrest Niphles, Tavie, and Luce for their wantonness. He holds Niphle in prison but releases Colby (Philenius believes it is to allow Colby to get into even greater trouble). After the fight, the Rector sends Philenius and Musonius to hear the townsmen treat for peace.


A “ghost character" in Hausted’s Rival Friends. Zealous Knowlittle’s father sent Justice Hook a horse of Robin Redbreast’s getting.


Son of the Keeper of the Fleet in the Tower in Chettle's(?) Looke About You. Stammers fervently and is made to run lengthy errands for several of the characters in the play. Redcap inadvertently plays a large role in the confusion of disguised messengers. On his first mission for Gloster to obtain the help of Prince Richard via Gloster's sister Marrian Faukenbridge he is intercepted by Skinke who gives him wrong directions and then manages to swap his cloak for Redcap's cape. Hereafter the gullible Redcap is led on a succession of missions running back and forth between Kent, Gravesend, Stepney and Black Heath, mainly motivated by tracking down the escaped Gloster to ensure that his father is not hanged for Gloster's escape from prison. He finally catches up with Gloster on the heath when Lancaster and Leicester apprehend Skinke and Faukenbridge both in Hermit's clothes.


Another name for God in the Anonymous Everyman, who is also called Adonai, Messiah, Jerusalem King, and Jupiter in the play.


A moral abstraction in Skelton's Magnyfycence. Redresse, on seeing that Magnyfycence is sincerely repentant, gives him a new garment signifying his moral regeneration and restores him to his previous condition.


Reduction is, presumably, one of Discourse's servants in Zouche's The Sophister. He is instructed by Definition, "Charge Conclusion to keep him [the mad Discourse] fast, and if he chance to breake from him, doe you assist him." He also retrieves the presumably escaped Discourse after the madman finishes talking to Ambiguity, and brings him back to his house.


A sailor in the Anonymous Arden of Feversham. He curses Arden for taking the lands at the Abbey of Feversham to which he had an interest. Arden's acquisition spelled the end of Reede's ability to provide for his wife and children--the rents he received were small but adequate to keep them clothed and fed. Arden is pitiless and passes Reede but not before Reede curses him.


Name adopted by Eldred in his disguise as a Welsh servingman in Dekker, Ford and Rowley's The Welsh Embassador. The first time he says it, it lacks the 'ap Vaughan.'


Although he is listed as Sir Rees ap Vaughan in the dramatis personae of Dekker's Satiromastix and also so designated in some of the stage directions, Sir Vaughan introduces himself as "Sir Vaughan ap Rees" in II.i. He is also called Sir Vaughan ap Rees by Sir Quintilian, "Ap Rees" by Tucca, and is usually only addressed as "Sir Vaughan" elsewhere in the play. This discrepancy is present in the quarto versions of the play, and it is unclear which name order is most appropriate, the order of Welsh names being often interchangeable. Because the character would be known as "Sir Vaughan ap Rees" by an audience listening to the play, Sir Vaughan's full entry has been listed under "REES, SIR VAUGHAN AP."


A Welsh knight whose malapropisms and butchery of the English language was no doubt a great source of topical humor in Dekker's Satiromastix. Sir Vaughan is a wedding guest at the marriage celebrations of Cælestine and Sir Walter Terill and one of the suitors pursuing the widow Mistris Miniver. Having perceived the bald-pated Sir Adam Prickshaft to be his most formidable rival for Mistris Miniver's affections, Sir Vaughan invites her and other ladies to a party at his home under the pretense of further celebrating Cælestine and Sir Walter's wedding. He hires the poet Horace to deliver an argument against baldness in order persuade Mistris Miniver to prefer him to Sir Adam. Sir Adam responds in kind by holding another party at which he hires a rival poet, Crispinus, to defend baldness. In the meantime, Sir Vaughan decides to challenge Tucca to a duel over his mishandling of a monetary love token meant for Mistris Miniver. Tucca and Sir Vaughan reconcile their differences verbally, however, and Tucca tells Sir Vaughan of Sir Adam's plan to present to the widow a poetic counter-argument on baldness. Sir Vaughan and Horace, with the aid of Tucca, crash Sir Adam's party in order to disrupt Crispinus' defense of baldness, but the baldness debate is soon forgotten as Tucca turns the company against Horace instead by revealing Horace's hypocrisy. The party determines to subject Horace to a mock trial before the court. In it, Sir Vaughan plays the role of the court prosecutor, reading off the list of offences. When Tucca reveals in the final moments of the play that he is to be married to Mistris Miniver, Sir Vaughan seems to take the disappointing news in a fairly good-natured way.


This is the alias adopted by Oppression in Udall's? Respublica.

REGAN or RAGAN **1590

Ragan is the second daughter of Leir and wife of Cambria in the Anonymous King Leir. She, with Gonorill, admits to jealousy of Cordella because of her beauty and haughty nature, and she plots with her sister to have Cordella fail the love test. Ragan promises that she loves Leir so much that she would happily let him chose her husband, safe in the knowledge provided by Skalliger that Leir's choice is the same as hers. When Cambria arrives at Leir's court, Ragan greets him with great warmth. After their marriage, Ragan rejoices that she rules Cambria and can do whatever she pleases, while Gonorill must put up with Leir. The arrival of Leir makes her unhappy, but she dissembles her feelings. She reads the false letters that Gonorill has sent and decides that both Leir and Perillus must die. She hires the Messenger for that purpose. She lures Leir and Perillus by asking them to meet her in a thicket two miles outside of the castle, and there she also sends the Messenger to kill them. When the Ambassador from Gaul arrives, she accuses him of having been sent by Cordella to kill Leir. Later, when Leir and Perillus confront her with her treachery, she accuses them of lying. After the battle, Leir mentions that both daughters and their husbands have been forced to become fugitives, so it may be assumed that Ragan ends the play alive but on the run.
Regan is The middle of three daughters and wife to the Duke of Cornwall in Shakespeare's King Lear. She is unspeakably cruel. She urges Kent/Caius's placement in the stocks and extends his punishment there. She assists in turning her father out into the storm. Later, she applauds Cornwall as he gouges out Gloucester's eyes, slays (from behind) the servant who tries to stop Cornwall's cruelty, and plans to wed Edmund immediately upon the death of her husband. She dies from poison at the hand of her sister Goneril.

REGAN **1592

Follower of Acomat in ?Greene's Selimus I. Counsels Acomat to delay taking up arms until he has been given the crown. He is later sent to Bajazet to request that Bajazet pass the crown on to Acomat as he had promised. When Bajazet awakens, Regan delivers Acomat's request. Joins Acomat and his soldiers as they conquer Natolia, killing Mahomet and Zonara in the process. After Acomat and his forces have destroyed Natolia, Regan observes Aga's embassy to Acomat and is ordered by Acomat to cut off Aga's hands. Later, joins Acomat and Tonombey as they march for Amasia to break Selimus' siege. Regan is involved in the battle that ensues between Acomat's and Selimus' forces.


Regard is the false name of Terror in Wilson's The Three Lords and Three Ladies of London.


A military captain in Shirley's The Politician, Reginaldus feels that Duke Olaus has been too vocal and passionate in speaking to the king about Marpisa.


Young relative of Tamoren in Suckling's The Goblins; heiress of that clan. Reginella has been brought up by Tamoren among his thieves in the innocence of Miranda on her island, and falls instantly in love with the captured Orsabrin without knowing what is happening to her. Despite the efforts of Peridor to part them, the two are reunited at Orsabrin's trial when Tamoren identifies himself and her to the Prince.


Register is another name for the Clerk of the Venetian Court in the anonymous Knack To Know An Honest Man. He reads out the charges and sentence at Lelio's trial


A legal officer in Webster's The Devil's Law Case.


The editor of the Staple of News in Jonson's The Staple of News.

REGULUS **1603

Regulus (Memmius), a consul opposed to Sejanus in Jonson's Sejanus His Fall. He conspires with Macro and Laco to have the Senate meet at night behind Sejanus' back.

REGULUS **1613

Regulus is a Roman officer in Fletcher's Bonduca. He discusses the battle with Penius, and, after Penius's death, accompanies his body back to the Roman camp.


A "ghost character" in Bale's God's Promises. Mentioned by Isaiah as an example of a wicked king.


Servant to Old Lionell in Heywood's The English Traveler, who has been using his Master's house as a brothel in his 2-year absence. He and Young Lionell have been using up Old Lionell's money in wild living, and have had to borrow from the Usurer. Reignald creates a complicated ruse to fool Old Lionell when he returns from sea.


Reignier is Duke of Anjou and titular King of Naples in Shakespeare's 1 Henry VI. His daughter Margaret is captured by Suffolk and becomes King Henry's wife. He advises King Charles to accept the peace Henry offers, even though this means Charles will give up control of France to become viceroy of a nation under English control.


See also RENALDO and related spellings.


Reinaldo is the brother of Richard in the Anonymous Charlemagne, and he is also a follower of Orlando. He reports the news of Orlando's victories in Spain to Charlemagne. He also plots with Oliver to reduce the influence of Ganelon over Richard.


A Saxon landowner in the anonymous Costly Whore, summoned to the Parliament at Meath, he sides with Frederick and Alberto against the Duke's dishonorable marriage to the courtesan.


A member of Bolingbroke's army, which, the Earl of Northumberland tells us at the end of II.i, is making its way to England in Shakespeare's Richard II.


Holifernes is a fatherless apprentice surgeon-barber and godson to Mulligrub in Marston's Dutch Courtesan. Cockledemoy, going by the name of Gudgeon, persuades Holifernes to lend him his shaving utensils. Eventually, Cockledemoy uses these gadgets to pose as Andrew Shark the barber and to swindle Mulligrub out of fifteen pounds.


Religion accompanies Astraea in Marston's Histrio-Mastix.


A “ghost character" in the anonymous Pathomachia. One of the eleven virtues that regulate the affections. Profaneness and Superstition are the extremes of Religion. King Love’s high priest. He will pray for the king’s safety as well as the safety of his army. He is sixth in the wave of the attack against the Vices.


After Imagination has converted from wickedness in the anonymous Hick Scorner, both Free Will and Perseverance rename him Remembrance or Good Remembrance.


Several characters use this nickname for Anamestes in Tomkis’ Lingua.


Early in Greene and Lodge's A Looking Glass For London And England, Rasni becomes infatuated with his proud and beautiful sister Remilia and expresses a desire to marry her (in emulation of the brother-sister union of Jove and Juno). Although the King of Crete expresses dismay at this incestuous marriage, Rasni goes forward, in large measure prompted by the sycophantic Radagon. After Remilia enters the bower created for her by the Magi, she is struck by a lightning bolt and dies. When Rasni discovers what has happened, he orders a royal tomb to be built for her.


Only mentioned in Burnell's Landgartha. In the masque, he is mentioned as having founded the city of Rome with Romulus.


See also REINALDO and related spellings.

RENALDO **1605

Hercules's brother in Marston's Parasitaster, or The Fawn. He is charged with managing Ferrara in its Duke's absence.

RENALDO **1638

A boy in Davenant's The Fair Favorite. He sings a song for Eumena in Act II.


A marquess in Chapman's The Revenge of Bussy D'Ambois. Renel interacts with most of the major characters; his primary role is as a true friend to Clermont (contrasting the treacherous Baligny). He weaves in and out of the play, and his final entrance is with the blind Countess of Cambrai at Montsurry's home, where they observe Clermont's revenge and then discover his suicide.

RENT–ALL **1627

A "ghost character" in Randolph's Plutophthalmia. Lackland's neighbor. When Plutus makes him rich, he will get a satin doublet and scorn his landlord.


Steward Rentfree is one of the prisoners in the Counter in Jordan's Walks of Islington and Hogsden, seen conducting a mock-parliament in the prison. By analogy with his colleagues, Lord Louse-Proof, Constable Lazy, and Chamberlain Jailbird, it seems unlikely that he is a "real" steward.


Renuchio, a gentleman of the privy chamber and servant to Tancred in Wilmot's Gismond of Salerne. He is ordered to summon Gismond when the king learns of her secret affair. Later Renuchio reports to the Chorus that he was commanded to bring Guishard from the dungeon and supervise his execution by strangulation; Guishard's last words are of Gismond. Renuchio finds himself admiring Guishard's courage in the face of death. On Tancred's orders, Renuchio reluctantly delivers to Gismond a golden cup containing the heart of her lover.
The captain of Tancred's guard in Wilmot's Tancred and Gismunda. Renuchio prepares to accompany the king on a hunting expedition. Later, along with Julio, he exits the palace to accompany Guiszard on a walk. Renuchio also accompanies Tancred when he leaves his daughter's chamber and encounters Megaera. On Tancred's orders, Renuchio brings Gismunda to her enraged father, who has discovered his daughter's affair with Guiszard, and conveys Guiszard to the dungeon. In a dumb show Renuchio supervises the execution of Guiszard by strangulation. Despite his role, Renuchio tells the Chorus that he finds the killing abhorrent, describes the ripping of Guiszard's heart from his body and its conveyance, impaled on a sword, to Tancred. Very reluctantly Renuchio conveys the golden cup containing Guiszard's heart to Gismunda, who gives this captain her bracelet.


The name given to Age by Perseverance at the end of the anonymous Mundus et Infans. He is never listed by this name in the pages of the text or in the cast list, but Perseverance calls him by the name several times.


A “ghost character" in the anonymous Pathomachia. And attendant of Religion in the attack against the Vices.


Apparently thanks to the intervention of Atlanta in the anonymous Swetnam, the figure of Repentance appears at the height of the masque planned by Nicanor to drive King Atticus to despair. She moves both Atticus and Nicanor himself to repent their parts in the condemnation and apparent execution of Princess Leonida. Their repentance opens up the opportunity for Lorenzo, Leonida and Lisandro to enter in disguise and to gain the blessing of the King.


Report appears on stage in the anonymous True Tragedy of Richard III after the battle at Bosworth Field. The page debriefs Report as to how Richard was killed by Richmond.


Resolution is the symbolic name given by Puntavorlo to Shift in his relation to Sogliardo in Jonson's Every Man out of His Humour. Puntavorlo says the two inseparable friends shall be named Countenance and Resolution. It is inferred that Shift possessed the necessary resolution to profit financially from his friend Sogliardo.


She is "a widowe" in Udall's? Respublica. She bewails the fact that all countries are mutable and end in ruin, and acknowledges that those that are ruled by good policy recover their original good state. She accepts the offer from Avarice (Policy) to bring good policy back to her country. She offers him all her goods and agrees to accept the aid of his three colleagues introduced to her at court as "Honesty" (Adulation ), "Reformation" (Oppression), and "Authority" (Insolence). She instructs them to destroy Avarice, Oppression, and Adulation. She is full of hope that things will improve. When People insists on seeing her, she welcomes him and henceforth listens both to her advisers and to People before making any decisions. As People's discontent grows, she becomes increasingly suspicious of her advisers. She prays to God who sends her Misericordia and Truth. Truth explains that the four voices were not good government but rather ravening wolves. The four sisters Verity, Justice, Peace and Mercy help Respublica banish Avarice, Oppression, Adulation and Insolence from her land, and Nemesis arrives to deal with the transgressors.


A supporter of Guise in Marlowe's Massacre at Paris.


"An hasty non-proficient" in Hawkins's Apollo Shroving. Retro is the son of Geron. For his scholarly hastiness, he has previously been punished by Apollo with a distorted tongue and limbs and, for the past two years, he has been tended to by his father. Geron begins to conduct Retro to Apollo's court to (hopefully) gain Apollo's favour. Since only two years (of his three year sentence) have passed thus far, the old man is beginning to lose hope that he will live until the full restoration of Retro's faculties. Retro implies that he wants Geron to entreat Museus to intercede on his behalf in Apollo's Court but Geron, afraid to approach the Priest, retires to rest and "recollect [his] spirits" while Museus and Philoponus converse. Geron later reveals himself and begs Philoponus to "intreat Museus for [his] childe." Philoponus does so, and Museus provides Geron with some hope that Apollo will "remit the remaining yeer" of Retro's punishment. Retro is present at the sentencing of disobedient characters at the play's end and, after his father asks Museus to have mercy on him, Museus claims that Apollo has "accepted [Retro's] submission, and cuts off the third yeere of [his] punishment." Museus pronounces that Retro's "tongue may now runne right," the scholar thanks him, and Museus warns him to "holdst the schollars even path" in the future.


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


Summoned by Thierry to celebrate his marriage in Fletcher and Massinger's Thierry and Theodoret. One invites Brunhalt to dance. When she refuses, he persuades Memberge to dance. Their brief conversation reveals her ominous belief that her father is to die just before her father is murdered.

REVENGE **1588

Timon thinks that Laches in his disguise as a soldier is Revenge in the anonymous Timon of Athens, and he sends him to invite all his former friends to a new and worthy feast (the mock banquet).

REVENGE **1588

Perhaps a "ghost character" or merely imagined in the Anonymous A Knacke To Knowe A Knave. She stands, according to the dying Bailiff of Hexham, with an iron whip and cries "Repent!"
She appears in the last scene of the Anonymous First Part of Jeronimo and tells the Ghost of Andrea, who wants to give his thanks to Horatio, that he is not allowed to speak.
Revenge appears in the Induction and Chorus throughout Kyd's The Spanish Tragedy. Revenge conducts Don Andrea back from the underworld to witness the aftermath of Andrea's treacherous murder on the battlefield.


Tamora in Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus disguises herself as the spirit of Revenge in order to drive Titus insane. But Titus responds by killing Demetrius and Chiron and serving them to her in a meat pie at a banquet before killing Tamora herself.


Revenue is a nickname used by the Knight to refer to his mistress, the Jeweler's Wife in Middleton's The Phoenix. The name obviously refers to the gain realized by the Knight from this relationship.


A “ghost character" in the anonymous Pathomachia. One of the fifteen affections and the subject of the play. Love gives his queen Disdain and Clemency as her guard while taking Reverence, Zeal, Desire, Pity, Justice, Charity, and Affability for himself.


Lamard is a French knight in Jordan's Walks of Islington and Hogsden, who wishes to marry Splendora. He is, however, discovered in the company of a whore, Mrs Light, at the King's Head. He escapes paying for the drinks there, and accompanies Mr Nice to witness the arrest of his rival Mercurio. He is later himself arrested on a debt of £6000 to Mr Bonaventure, but escapes from the Wood-Street Counter by climbing down a rope. He returns and reveals that he is in fact Will Nice, and that he has adopted this disguise in order to ensure that Splendora and Mercurio will be permitted to marry each other.


Appears after Virginius has brought Virginia's head to Apius in [?]Bower's Apius and Virginia, and tells Apius that his crimes deserve death. Reward gives Haphazard the rope with which to hang himself and tells Virginius to oversee Haphazard's hanging.


Reynaldo is a servant of Polonius in Shakespeare's Hamlet. He is sent by him to France to spy on Laertes. Polonius instructs Reynaldo to claim that he himself has seen Laertes gaming, drinking or even visiting prostitutes, and then see if Laertes' friends avouch such behavior. Although Reynaldo does protest that these claims will dishonor Laertes, it is a feeble protest and quickly overruled by Polonius. In Q1 he is called Montano, F1 spells his name Reynoldo.


Reyner is the king of Denmark in Burnell's Landgartha. He joins Landgartha to defeat Frollo. Addressing his men, he tells Valdemar, Inguar and Hubba to fight like Hannibal when things are not in their favor. Arriving at the castle, he finds Landgartha fighting Frollo and proposes marriage to Landgartha. He becomes melancholic when Landgartha does not love him and he does not find any solution to that pain in the advice of his subjects. He writes a love song to flatter his beloved in front of his people. He finally wins her and lets his beloved depart for a short period of time until the day of their marriage. For the marriage there is a theatrical play and, in the masque, he is connected to a lineage of rulers coming back to the founder of Britain and his marriage with Landgartha is foreseen. Later, he sends Hubba to look for Inguar whom he has asked to prepare a fleet for him. Reyner is confused because he does not know if he really loves Landgartha. He does not want to say anything as he is afraid of the general who could kill him. Valdemar tries to deter him from fleeing, threatening the ruler. Angry for such a rebellion, he asks his commanders to destroy the kingdom, but Hubba complains to him about such an attitude. Reyner does not let Landgartha go with him. In Denmark, he marries Vraca so he will have to face Landgartha again. Reyner is sure that Landgartha will not take revenge because she is not as evil as he is. He gets the letter in which Landgartha tells him that she still loves him at the same moment that he is told of the arrival of the enemy. He is attacked by Harrold, but surprisingly he is saved by Landgartha, who has forgiven him. However, she departs soon to live a life by her own. Being abandoned, he rejects Vraca and promises Landgartha to test himself in order to win her respect again.

REYNOLD **1632

In Hausted’s Rival Friends, Stipes calls the fox that has been stealing his lambs Reynold.


A "ghost character" in Brome's The Damoiselle. Reynold had a daughter whom he offered to Sir Amphilus as his wife.


A "ghost character" in Brome's The Damoiselle. She was to marry Sir Amphilus, but she was rejected in favor of Alice.


He attends Pluto and Proserpine in Hades during Psiche's visit in Heywood's Love's Mistress.


With Minos and Aeacus, Rhadamanth sits in judgement over souls in hell in Dekker's If It Be Not Good.


A fictional character in Jonson's Poetaster. Rhadamantus is the fictional apothecary supposed to treat Horace's invented sick Friend. This apothecary is one Rhadamantus, Horace says, a just judge in hell, who inflicts strange vengeance on those here on earth and torments the poor patient spirits. Horace's allusion is to the mythological Rhadamantus, one of the two judges in hell, next to Minos.


Rhadamantus (dramatis personæ) or Rhadamant (text) in Heywood's The Silver Age, who judges the dead in Hades, rebukes Hercules for violating the due order of the universe: by challenging Pluto's ordinance in Hades the young hero threatens to return things to primal chaos and wipe out distinctions between good and bad. Hercules is chastened, and agrees to abide by the judgment of the planetary gods.
Only mentioned in the anonymous Narcissus. Dorastus mentions Rhadamant when, slain by Clinias, he sends he own "ghost" "unto Rhadamant." Thomas Kyd introduces a Rhadamant in his play The Spanish Tragedy (c. 1587), whom he presents as a judge of the underworld. According to Greek mythology, Rhadamanthus was one of the three judges of the Underworld–the others being Minos and Aeacus. He was wise and just. Rhadamantus was brother to Minos, and son to Zeus and Europa (whom the god had abducted). Both brothers were adopted by Europa's husband, Asterius, king of Crete. Interestingly, according to Greek history, Rhadamant (1575–1550 b. C.) was the unifier of Crete, and he was succeeded by Minos the Great (1550–1500 b. C.).
Rhadamantus (also Rhadamant) is in classical mythology one of the judges of the Greek underworld. In Haughton's The Devil and his Dame he is a devil, one of the judges of Hell, and with Pluto, Aeacus and Minos sits in judgement on the Ghost of Malbecco. It is Rhadamantus who suggests to Pluto that someone be sent into the world to find out the truth about women.


Rhanis conducts the goddesses Juno, Pallas, and Venus to their welcome on Ida in Peele's The Arraignment of Paris. He calls himself a servant of Diana, although it is not clear if he is to be understood as a minor god or a human devotee of the goddess.

RHEADE **1619

A “ghost character" in (?)Goffe’s Careless Shepherdess. A comedian of whom Thrift approves. Thrift never saw Rheade peeping through the curtain that he wasn’t ravished with joy. This could be a reference to Emanuel Reade, who was with Queen Anne’s Men at the Phoenix about the time of this play.


A clownish Dutch merchant in Nabbes' The Bride, who always appears with his Spanish counterpart, Maligo. The two merchants have been hired by Goodlove to provide the wine for his wedding, and when the wedding is cancelled he promises them double pay if they will stay around until the next day. The merchants later show up at the house of Horten to see his antiquities, but when the Bride arrives, they are lovestruck and fight over which one will get to escort her on a walk. They are both left empty-handed when Kickshaw escorts her off instead.

RHESUS **1596

King of Arabia in Chapman's The Blind Beggar of Alexandria. Rhesus joins with Kings Bebritius, Bion, and Porus to attack Egypt. They are defeated in battle. In the aftermath of the war, Rhesus seeks the love of the widow Samathis, butshe chooses King Bion. Cleanthes (Irus in disguise), victor in the battle and now King of Egypt, promises to find hima suitable Egyptian bride.

RHESUS **1612

Rhesus is a "ghost character" in Heywood's 1 The Iron Age. During the contest for the armor of Achilles, Ajax mentions that one of the very few things with which Ulysses can be credited is the killing of the unarmed Thracian Rhesus and the similarly unarmed Trojan spy Dolon.


Rhetias is a Cyprian courtier and follower of Meleander in Ford's The Lover's Melancholy. He is charged with the protection of Eroclea when she flees the advances of Agenor. He returns to the Cyprian court with Eroclea in her disguise as Parthenophill. Deciding that he may as well greet the ruin of the court and of his own fortunes by indulging his bluntness and fondness for railing, he begins by sparring with Prince Palador's physician, Corax, but later joins him in a plot to reveal the cause of the Prince's melancholy. Left alone with Palador, he gains the Prince's confidence by recalling his association with Eroclea and hints to the Prince that he may soon be reunited with his lost beloved. He is distressed when the distracted Meleander fails to recognize him, but determines to cure both Meleander's melancholy and the Prince's. To this end, he appears in Corax's Masque of Melancholy disguised as a Lycanthrope, holding a piece of raw meat. He then brings Eroclea to Palador in her own form, and leaves the two to rediscover one another. He helps to train Cleophila in the 'part' she must play in curing her father's madness, and is rewarded with "more than common thanks" when his work ensures that all ends happily both for Meleander and for Palador.


Rhetoric accompanies Peace in Marston's Histrio-Mastix.


Rhetorica is in love with Logicus but unsuccessful in her attempt to win him in Holiday's Technogamia. She eventually agrees to marry the faithful Grammaticus


‘Waiting woman to Florimel’ in Percy’s A Country Tragedy in Vacunium, who describes her complexion as ‘black’, comparing herself to Egypt in colour. She is witness to Florimel and Amadour’s elopement plans and makes a crude joke about her mistress being tired ere morn. She is so true, Jeptes asserts, that it is easier to draw oil from flint than to coax her to betray her lady Florimel’s secrets. Fulvia confesses to her in utmost confidence that she is in love with Affranio. Rhodaghond agrees to lead him to Fulvia’s chamber in exchange for being allowed to marry Sir Jeptes. She reads to Florimel Jeptes’s sonnet, written in couplets, in praise of blackness, which Florimel dismisses as ‘punning’ and a waste of ink. When Fulvia catches her dallying with Jeptes rather than dealing with the Affranio business, she scolds and strikes Rhodaghond (‘her palm to her crown’) in front of Jeptes, and Rhodaghond secretly vows vengeance for the slight. She writes a deceptive letter to Tremelio luring him to the spot of Fulvia’s assignation with Affranio. Awaiting to marry, she and Florimel play a game to tell their futures by punning on the names of fruits found in the ‘grove of love’. In the woodland party, Jeptes proposes that the women each name a flower most like herself, and she names the ‘Turnsole’ (sunfollower) that turns with the sun. She sings a song at Fulvia’s request. After Florimel and Amadour’s death, she recounts how Florimel, who once despised Amadour, grew to love him when he earned great praise at the Duke of Vacunium’s games. She tries but fails to prevent Fulvia’s suicide. Realising that she and Jeptes are responsible for the tragic outcome and deaths, they agree to drink the poison themselves and so die.


Along with Cosmeta in Cartwright's The Lady-Errant, one of the leaders of the women's rebellion.


"The prince of all the Swaines that dwell on Hybla," Violetta's brother, and Acanthus's and Anthophotus's friend in Knevet's Rhodon and Iris. Rhodon is identified by Acanthus at the play's beginning as melancholic. The friends discuss the negatives and positives of love, and Rhodon claims that Acanthus is one "whose heart loves darts could never penetrate" though he maintains that the shepherd will, one day, "yeeld to the force of Cupid's golden dart." He confesses to his previous love of Eglantine which, he claims, was due in part to his "strong desire, / To see the Customes of some forraine Nations, / And know the manners of people farre remote." However, Rhodon claims that he now loves Iris, and Eglantine mourns the loss of the shepherd's affections throughout the play. Rhodon compliments Iris and she praises him in return, and the rumoured match between them incites Martagon and Cynosbatus to try and come up with "some Stratagem" to separate them. Rhodon receives a letter from Violetta concerning his sister's mistreatment by Martagon, and he makes an attempt "to bring th'usurper to a restitution" by "a friendly treaty." However, the conference set up to address this issue fails to bring about a satisfactory result and, thus, Rhodon vows to have revenge on Martagon "arm'd with a scourge of steele." Because of Rhodon's and Acanthus's "zealous"ness over Violetta's "cause," Martagon and Cynosbatus decide that they will not be able to defeat their opponents fairly in battle and, thus, must resort to underhandedness. In the meantime, Poneria stays Eglantine's suicide over Rhodon and Eglantine accepts the witch's offer to make Rhodon "renew the love" which he previously bore to her. Poneria sends a message to Rhodon in Iris's name requesting a meeting in the mirtle grove, during which time Eglantine pretends to be Iris and offers Rhodon "a precious Philter of rare efficacy" which, she thinks, will make him forget Iris and fall in love with her again. Rhodon believes Eglantine to be Iris, and Poneria's plan goes off without a hitch (although, unbeknownst to Eglantine, the witch provides the shepherdess with a poisonous drink rather than a love potion at Martagon's request, which results in Rhodon's near death). Panace is charged by Iris to deliver to Rhodon "a gemme whose price doth farre transcend / All estimation" and is instructed to "pray him weare it for [her] sake." Panace is also entrusted with the delivery of Violetta's "token of [. . .] love" to Rhodon–a "precious herbe" which "frustrates quite the divellish force / Of strongest poysons or enchantments." Panace is informed by Acanthus that Rhodon "lies at the point of death," and the servant is conducted by Acanthus and Anthophotus to their "sicke friend" so that she can present him with Violetta's antidote. Though Acanthus initially blames Iris for Rhodon's poisoning as does the shepherd, himself, Panace claims that Iris did not meet Rhodon during the previous night, and Rhodon states that he "must pardon crave of gentle Iris." Rhodon, Acanthus, and Anthophotus pledge an oath on Rhodon's sword "ne're to lay downe [their] just and lawfull armes, / Untill [. . .] avenged to the full" against Martagon, and Rhodon sends Acanthus to invite Martagon "to a bloudy breakfast to morrow morne." At the realization that the shepherd is not dead, Martagon and Cynosbatus prepare for battle. Agnostus and Poneria flee to Rhodon's side after Martagon banishes them both from his "Dominion," and the witch begs for pardon for her "many mischiefes." After Rhodon recognizes them, he charges Acanthus to "see them to safe custody" and "make them sure for starting." The armies on both sides are prevented from fighting when Flora appears with Iris, Eglantine, and Panace and stops the battle. Flora orders Rhodon and Martagon to "dismiss" their armed bands and commands Martagon to "make an ample restitution" to the "wrong'd" Violetta as well as "entertaine a friendly league with Rhodon / Which [. . .] Cynosbatus must also condescend to." She sentences Eglantine to do "ten yeeres pennance" while "confin'd" in a "vestall Temple" for breaking "the sacred lawes of love" in her attempts to make Rhodon "enamor'd on" her, and banishes Poneria and Agnostus from Thessaly forever for their foul deeds. Finally, she "bestow[s]" Iris upon the thankful Rhodon and suggests that everyone "solemnize with mirth" the "nuptiall rites" of the title couple.


The rhymers, or poets, that seem to conspire against the Puritans by scorning them are "ghost characters" in Jonson's Bartholomew Fair. Busy interrupts the puppet-show, ranting against all forms of entertainment, including the theatre idol. The Puritan believes that all the poets have associated with the stage-players and the dancers in a conspiracy of contempt against the Brethren and the Cause, using the mean instruments of their show.


A "ghost character" in Shakespeare's Richard III. A supporter of Richmond. Rhys-ap-Thomas joins Richmond's forces in Havorford West as they march to Bosworth.


Katharine in Barnes's The Devil's Charter is the sister-in-law of the Sforza's and the widow of Riario and, as such, she is the ruler, since her husband's death, of Furli, a town that is attacked by Caesar during his campaigns. He seems to admire this "Amazonian" that defends her city better than any man. When Caesar threatens to kill her young sons, she tells them to be brave, and not to fear death, but only dishonor and cowardliness. She tells them to die bravely because they are noble and free and it is better to die free than to live as a slave. She tells Caesar that she will fight to the death, "I spit defiance in your coward's face / Traitor to God and man, hadst thou been, Caesar." She loses the battle in spite of her valiant efforts to defend her town. She expects to see the bodies of her children, but Caesar, a true Machiavellian, has taken care of them and reunites her with the boys. He then takes Katharine with him to Rome and promises that she will be treated fairly.


A good friend of Sebastiano in Shirley's The Maid's Revenge, Antonio falls in love with Berinthia, Sebastiano's sister. Catalina, however, has eyes only for Antonio, and her jealousy prompts her to try a combined poisoning and kidnapping scheme to rid her of Berinthia. Antonio foils the scheme when he takes Berinthia to Elvas Castle. Honor-bound to duel for his sister's return, Sebastiano fights and kills Antonio.


A "ghost character" in Dekker's The Whore of Babylon. According to Como, he leads the second squadron of the Babylonian Armada sent to attack Titania. When the Fairies attack the Armada, he shows typical Babylonian bravery by taking to his bed.


A young gentleman, in love with Viola in Beaumont and Fletcher's The Coxcomb (called RICHARDO in the Stage Directions) He is in love with and is courting Andrugio's daughter, Viola. He has convinced Viola of his love and she agrees to run away with him. However, while at the tavern with Pedro, Uberto and Silvio, he reveals that he has no desire ever to be married. He thinks that women are deceitful and will do anything to get a man to marry them. After a night of drinking, Ricardo tells them how much he enjoys his freedom and bachelorhood. Viola's father, Andrugio, visits Ricardo while his friends are with him and tells Ricardo that if Viola, who has mysteriously disappeared, comes back safely that she (and her dowry) will belong to Ricardo. Ricardo and his friends start to search for Viola vowing not to stop until they find her. Ricardo hears that Valerio knows of Viola's whereabouts and so goes to his house. He asks Valerio where Viola has gone and is told that she was left in a field. The next day Valerio takes Ricardo to the place where he left Viola, but there is no sign of her. Then they see her approach with Nan and Madge. Nan and Madge are reluctant to leave her with the two men. At first, Viola is reluctant to forgive Ricardo for his actions, but she believes that he is truly repentant and forgives him. Finally he tells Viola that she can't help it if she's a woman with all a woman's faults. After all, "women want but ways; / To praise their deeds, but men want deeds to praise."

RICARDO **1616

Ricardo is an ardent young man in Thomas Middleton's The Widow. He hides two friends, Attilio and Francisco, inside Valeria's house and uses them as witnesses in receiving a false promise of marriage from the rich widow. When he is placed in jail the Second Suitor bails him out. By the end of the play it seems he truly desires the Widow more for herself than for her money, and he wins her.

RICARDO **1629

Ricardo, a courtier in Massinger's The Picturewho, with Ubaldo, is sent by the Queen to tempt Sophia.


A clever servant to Sir Owen in Chettle, Dekker and Haughton's Patient Grissil. He comments wittily on the action.


A "ghost character" in Heywood's Royal King. The Welshman's uncle, to whom he will relate the size of the organ at St Paul's.


Rice ap Howell, a Welshman, appears with the Mayor of Bristol before Queen Isabella and Mortimer in Marlowe's Edward II. As a demonstration of support, he presents them the captive Spencer Senior as a gift. Later he captures the defeated Edward II, hiding in the Abbey of Neath, along with Spencer and Baldock, and turns them all over to the Queen's party. Rice promises to reward the mower who alerted him to the whereabouts of the king and his final faithful courtiers.


Meredith is the chief retainer and closest advisor to Lluellen in Peele's Edward I. In the Robin Hood role playing scenes, he assumes the character of Little John.


This is the name that the uneducated People innocently uses to address Lady Respublica in Udall's? Respublica.


A "ghost character" in Quarles' The Virgin Widow. Pertenax has a bond from him.


Standing apart from the alliance between the Queen, Young Henry and John, Prince Richard deals mildly and justly with his father, the old King in Chettle's(?) Looke About You. He is also the benefactor of young Robert Huntingdon/Robin Hood. He is won over to Gloster's party by his love for Gloster's sister, Lady Marrian, wife to old Faukenbridge. Richard is tricked by his own ward Robin, who disguised as Marrian obtains Richards's promise to free her brother Gloster in exchange for her love. When at the end of the play young Henry repents and reinstates the old King to power, Richard is compelled to go on a crusade to the holy land as a penitence for his sins against his father.
A "ghost character" in the anonymous 1 Troublesome Reign of John. Surnamed Cordelion, Richard's untimely death as Lymoges' captive has left John the unproved king of an imperiled realm. His main influence on the play is as the adulterous father of Philip Fauconbridge, the Bastard.
King Richard the Lionheart returns from fighting in the Holy Land to sentence Harbert and Florence to death in the Anonymous The Fair Maid of Bristow, and Vallenger too unless some man will consent to die for him. When he learns that Sentloe is not in fact dead, he commutes all the sentences.
Richard is King of England in (?Chettle and) Munday's Downfall of Robert Earl of Huntington. He has been absent from the kingdom for quite some time, first on Crusade and then as prisoner to Leopold of Austria. He had appointed Ely as regent, but John took over as regent and then had himself crowned king. Richard returns to England at the end of the play and restores Robin Hood to his earldom. To thank him, Robin presents Fitzwater and Ely, safe from John's treachery. He then asks Richard to forgive John's treachery, which Richard does.
King Richard is out hunting with Robin Hood's men in Munday and Chettle's Death of Robert, Earl of Huntington. He is somewhat upset that he had missed killing a deer, and sends Little John to find Robin and Scarlet to help him catch the deer. It is discovered that the deer had a ring around its neck, put there (apparently) by Harold Harefoot. The King then goes with Robin and the others to dinner, where Robin has promised the King a fine drink. However, Robin discovers that the drink is poisoned, and so saves the King. When it is revealed that Doncaster and the Prior have poisoned Robin and attempted to poison the King, he orders them both executed, and gives Matilda all Robin's lands as Countess of Huntington and promises to take his followers on crusade with him. King Richard is then reported dead by Tuck in the interlude that moves the play forward in time.
A "ghost character" in Shakespeare's King John. Richard I, also called Coeur-de-lion, was the previous king of England and the elder brother of John. He is also revealed to have been the father of Philip the Bastard. He is mentioned in connection with Austria, who is (unhistorically) presented as his killer as well as his jailor, and who wears a lion's skin, apparently to signify this deed.


King of England in the anonymous Jack Straw. Richard II expresses surprise that anyone could possibly want to rebel against his rule, but assures the Queen Mother that he will keep her safe regardless of the cost to himself. He assumes that coercion is the only reason a gentleman would be involved with the commoners. He sends Sir John Morton to tell the commoners that he will hear their grievances on the Thames. Immediately after making the promise, he sends his mother to the Tower of London and leaves for Kent. Later, he expresses irritation that the commoners cannot speak or behave in an orderly manner. In act three, he talks about suffering great injury from his own people who have taken away his honor and his supporters, but he resolves to calm the rebellion with a personal meeting. He rejects the offer of troops from the Lord Mayor. After hearing from the commoners briefly, he promises a general pardon and sends them home as a condition, saying that the pardons will follow. After the leaders stay and continue the rebellion, he takes their actions as ingratitude and sends Sir John Newton to discover what else they want. Jacke Strawe wants both Newton's dagger and his sword. The King says Strawe may have the sword (dagger apparently). When Newton refuses to part with the sword, the King appeals to the Lord Mayor for assistance. After the Mayor kills Strawe, the King promises him appreciation and tells the rest of the commoners that he (the King) will be their leader and withdraws to safety. When the mayhem which is not directly represented on the stage subsides, King Richard II restates his offer of a general pardon. However, he plans to punish the two remaining leaders, although others see it as being unduly generous to pardon the rest. He expresses appreciation to the Lord Mayor of London by knighting him as Sir William Walworth and adds symbols to London's coat of arms in permanent recognition of its loyalty.
King of England in the anonymous Thomas of Woodstock; young, headstrong, easily misled by his favorites Greene, Bagot, Bushy, and Scroop, and the corrupt lawyer Tresilian. Richard chafes under the disapproving control of his uncles, above all Thomas of Woodstock, the Protector, and the play begins with his failed attempt to poison them through the Carmelite friar. At the coronation, Richard and Woodstock quarrel, despite the placatory efforts of Richard's new queen, Anne o'Beame; after Richard's coronation, Bushy discovers in a book of English chronicles that the King is actually of age to govern by himself. Armed with this information, Richard stages a little scene in which he makes Woodstock give judgement against anyone who wrongfully withholds another's patrimony; he then announces that he himself is the wronged party, and demands Woodstock's staff of office. Woodstock retires to Plashy, and the King, undeterred by the reproachful Anne, embarks on an extravagant and irresponsible life with his favorites. To support this, Tresilian comes up with the idea of "blank charters", a kind of uncontrolled taxation whereby subjects are forced to sign blank cheques in payment for supposed "debts" to the King. This makes Richard highly unpopular, as does his treatment of Woodstock, who is admired by the people. Richard resolves to rid himself of Woodstock, and once again Tresilian has a solution: to seize him during a pretended masque at his house, and then send him to Calais to be privately murdered. After dividing up the country among his four favorites (who are supposed to pay him rent), Richard leaves for Plashy, where he takes part in the masque that culminates in Woodstock's arrest: he does not identify himself, but Woodstock recognizes his voice, and makes a powerful, though useless, appeal to him. Richard starts to express feelings of guilt soon after, when Woodstock's wife, the Duchess of Gloucester, unaware of her husband's danger, takes care of the sick Anne and is kind to Richard himself; he comes near to calling off the murder, but is prevented by Scroop and Greene. When news comes that Anne is dead, he is overwhelmed with grief, and tries too late to save Woodstock. The news of Woodstock's death decides his uncles finally to take arms against Richard and his favorites. In the final battle, the King bitterly reproaches his uncles for their rebellion against his "sacred person"; unmoved by this, they refuse to back down, and they win the battle. In our last sight of Richard, he is weeping over the body of his fallen favorite, Greene.
King of England at the start of the play in Shakespeare's Richard II. Richard is poetic and enjoys the pomp and ceremony of kingship. However, he is not in touch with the needs of his people and envies his cousin Bolingbroke's popularity. Richard exiles Bolingbroke for six years and Thomas Mowbray for life after Bolingbroke accuses Mowbray of treason. Richard confiscates the Lancastrian lands upon the death of John of Gaunt in order to help finance his campaign in Ireland. Whilst Richard is quashing the Irish rebellion, the Lancastrian heir, Bolingbroke, returns to England with an army. Richard cedes his crown to Bolingbroke in a famous abdication scene. Once deprived of the duties of state, Richard demonstrates a strength of personal character belied by his inefficiency as king. Sir Piers Exton murders him at Pomfret castle where he is held prisoner.
The deceased King Richard II was sovereign before King Henry IV in Shakespeare's 1 Henry IV. His loss of rule came about due to the machinations of the Percy faction, who supported Bollingbroke/Henry IV, the same faction that would now try to dethrone Henry.
A "ghost character" in Shakespeare's 2 Henry IV. Ruling prior to King Henry IV and now deceased, King Richard was murdered, according to the Archbishop of York, at the command of King Henry. The Archbishop displays scrapings of Richard's blood taken from the stones at Pontefract Castle. Richard is recalled as having prophesied divisions and corruption for the realm under King Henry IV's rule.


Richard III succeeds his nephews, the sons of Edward IV, to the throne in the anonymous True Tragedy of Richard III. At the beginning of the play, Richard is known as the Duke of Gloucester, Lord Protector. Richard expresses from the start a distinct dissatisfaction with his role as lord protector. Richard wants to be king. He professes in a soliloquy that after all of the blood he has shed to approach the throne, he is not about to let a couple of children (i.e. his nephews Edward and Richard) keep him from his kingly destiny. He clearly states that damnation itself will not deter him from his ambition. In fact, Richard does not care much about how long he reigns. He believes even a half-hour on the throne would justify al of the bloodshed. Richard is personally active in his pursuit of the crown. He goes himself to an inn to ambush his enemy Earl Rivers. He also personally arrests Gray, Hapce and Vaughan upon the charge of high treason. The page reports that Richard has employed Dr. Shaw to preach at St. Paul's that the princes are bastards of Edward IV. The page also reports that Richard hypocritically refuses the crown the first time he is asked to receive it. After Richard falsely accuses Hastings of conspiring with the Queen and Mrs. Shore against his person via witchcraft, Richard has Hastings killed and Mrs. Shore thrown penniless into the streets. He further makes it a capital crime for anyone to offer comfort or aid to Mrs. Shore. He condemns her to starve in the streets for being a murderous whore. At the same time, Richard hires James Terrell to coordinate the murder of the two young princes in the Tower of London. After Richard is crowned king, he decides that he no longer needs the assistance of the Duke of Buckingham. He hires Buckingham's servant Banister to betray him. At the same time, Richard also sends a herald with a group of men to arrest Buckingham. Even as Richard hears of Buckingham's demise, he learns that Henry Richmond has returned to England from Brittany to challenge for the crown. In an attempt to discourage the invasion, Richard has Richmond's brother George taken hostage. He threatens to kill the young man if Lord Stanley assists Richmond in any way. Richard also sends Lord Lowell to the Queen to propose marriage to Elizabeth on his behalf, the real purpose being to prevent a marriage between Elizabeth and Richmond. Richard is disappointed by the news that the Peers have decided that Elizabeth must marry Richmond. When Richard hears of Blunt's betrayal and Oxford's escape, he resolves to fight all comers without fear. The night before the battle at Bosworth Field, Richard is haunted by the spirits of all his victims. He is condemned by all of the creatures of nature. Richard realizes that his men have left him and his victim's revenge is at hand. Still, Richard refuses to repent. He vows to fight instead. Richard calls for the murder of George Stanley, but the battle has progressed too quickly for the killing. When he loses his horse, Richard refuses to flee. He battles Richmond instead and is killed. Richard's body is publicly desecrated by order of Richmond.
Also known as Gloucester and Lord Protector in Shakespeare's Richard III, Richard is the son of York and brother of Edward IV and Clarence. Richard is deformed, with a humped back, a limp, and a withered arm. Richard is embittered by the national peace that occurs during Edward's reign because his deformities don't allow him to take part in the sexual activities that accompany peacetime; Richard is a warrior, not a lover. Thus, Richard resolves to become king and cause discord in the court. His first act is to concoct a prophecy while Edward is on his deathbed that a person with the initial "G" will murder Edward's sons; while it is Richard himself, as the Duke of Gloucester, who is responsible for the boys' deaths, he insinuates that it will be his brother George, the Duke of Clarence. Edward has Clarence imprisoned in the Tower of London, and Richard hires two murderers to kill Clarence because he stands before Richard in inheriting the crown. Richard then resolves to marry Lady Anne, the widow of Henry VI's son, Prince Edward, whom he had a hand in killing; she is also the daughter-in-law of Henry VI, whom he murdered. He successfully woos Lady Anne over Henry VI's corpse, which bleeds in his presence. Before Edward IV dies, he appoints Richard as Lord Protector, who is to govern England until Prince Edward is old enough to rule on his own; Richard uses this position to execute his political enemies, including Lord Hastings, Rivers, Gray, and Sir Thomas Vaughan. Richard places Prince Edward and Prince Richard under house arrest in the Tower and has Buckingham insinuate that the boys are illegitimate in order to discredit their claims to the crown, leaving him to inherit it. Once he's king, Richard has the two princes murdered and also has Lady Anne killed so that he may marry his niece Princess Elizabeth in order to strengthen his hold on the crown. Because of his tyrannical rule, Richmond leads a rebellion against him that ends in the Battle of Bosworth. The night before the battle, the ghosts of Richard's victims visit him and curse him. The next day, Richard is killed in the field and the Wars of the Roses finally end.
Gloster is a vile hunchback who murders and connives his way to the throne in Thomas Heywood's 2 Edward IV. He works with Doctor Shaw to have a prophecy misinterpreted, allowing King Edward IV to believe that George, Duke of Clarence, is a danger to the crown. Gloster also orders the murders of Edward's sons, Edward and Richard of York. two young princes that Shaw helps to declare illegitimate after Edward's death. Gloster expels Mistress Shore from court. The only person allowed to offer her aid is Matthew Shore—provided he take her back as wife. Gloster marries Anne of Warwicke, and once crowned as King Richard III, he reneges on earlier promises to Buckingham who in turn promises to see Richmond depose him.
A "ghost character" in Shakespeare's Henry VIII. Richard is the deceased King Richard III, mentioned by the Surveyor and supposedly threatened with death by the Duke of Buckingham's father. See also GLOUCESTER.

RICHARD **1589

Richard is a rustic in Greene's Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay. He visits Harleston Fair with Margaret and others. When Lacy, disguised as a farmer, claims to be from Beccles, Richard asks about "goodman Cob" who had once sold his father a worthless horse.

RICHARD **1591

A fictional character within Peele's Edward I. Richard is the nickname Friar Hugh uses for his pikestaff. When the friar decides to shift his loyalty from the defeated Welsh to the victorious English, he hangs the staff in a tree and sings a farewell song to it.

RICHARD **1599

A "ghost character" in Thomas Heywood's 1 Edward IV, Richard is mentioned by Shore in enumerating King Edward's rights as a royal descendant of the House of York.

RICHARD **1600

Richard is a courtier and the brother of Reinaldo in the Anonymous Charlemagne. He is a close friend of Ganelon, who urges him to woo Theodora and father her child (thus securing an heir closer to the throne). He is loved by Gabriella, but he does not return her affection. Richard is granted Ganelon's offices and rank by Charlemagne after his friend's disgrace, and he is forbidden to see him. He visits Ganelon in secret to warn him that he is danger from Reinaldo and Oliver, but he is murdered by Ganelon under the mistaken impression that Richard has dishonored Gabriella.

RICHARD **1600

A character in one of Luxurioso's ballads in the anonymous 1 Return From Parnassus, having something to do with the war against Spain.

RICHARD **1604

Richard, Earl of Cornwall, is the the son of King John of England, the brother of King Henry III of England and of Isabella, and the uncle of Prince Edward in the anonymous Alphonsus Emperor of Germany. An experienced man who has travelled in Palestine, he has received a unanimous invitation from the Electors of Germany to come to Germany, as they are considering appointing him Emperor in place of Alphonsus. However, the Electors change their minds, and instead make Alphonsus and Bohemia co-Emperors. Richard stays for Fortune's Revel s, at which he draws the lot of the boor, and has to travel to the forest to gather wood There, Hans and Jerick are sent to murder him, but he is able to kill Jerick and returns to court along with Palatine and Saxony. Richard escapes Alphonsus' castle and takes to the battlefield with the support of Collen's small army in the hope of rescuing his sister and nephew from the tyrannical Alphonsus. They lose the battle, and are captured, but at the end of the play when Alphonsus is dead and his treachery is known, Richard is appointed the new Emperor of Germany.

RICHARD **1617

Also known as 'Dick' in Middleton and Rowley's A Fair Quarrel. A servant to whom Russell whispers, ordering him to release Fitzallen from prison.

RICHARD **1625

Old Foster's factor in William Rowley's A New Wonder: A Woman Never Vexed. He is trapped between loyalty to Old Foster and to Robert in their argument over whether to bail out Stephen from prison.

RICHARD **1641

Richard, clerk to the Justice in Cavendish's The Variety, announces that Newman has injured Simpleton and is to be examined by the Justice. He also announces the arrival of the Curate.


Master Brome is a "ghost character" in the Induction of Jonson's Bartholomew Fair. Richard Brome was a servant, friend, and imitator of Ben Jonson, and a successful member of "the tribe of Ben." The stage-keeper in the Induction says that the comedy Bartholomew Fair is very conceited, but he is looking around lest the poet, or his man, Master Brome, should hear him. According to the stage-keeper, the poet and his friend are behind the arras, and they might disapprove of such presentation of the play. In 1614, Brome was still Jonson's servant. Later, he would become a playwright in his own right.


Richard Burbage, an actor of the King's Men at the Globe Theatre, argues with Sly and Sinklo about the play, and theatrical issues in general, in the Induction to Marston's Malcontent.
Only mentioned in Jonson's Bartholomew Fair. Richard Burbage (1573-1619) was one of the greatest Elizabethan actors, creator of many Shakespearean and Jonsonian characters. When Lantern/Leatherhead shows Cokes the puppets as the "actors," Cokes asks about his Burbage, meaning the best actor.
Only mentioned in the anonymous Wit's Triumvirate. Burbage is mentioned by Doctor Clyster, when he catches Sir Cupid Phantsy versifying again, when he had made him assure him he would not do it again. Sir Cupid, in an attempt to avoid being reprimanded, replies he was at his prayers, but the Doctor, ironically, asks him: "What, so loud, and acting, as if Burbage's soul had newly revived Hamlet and Jeronimo again, or Alleyn, Tamburlaine?" Richard Burbage (1573?-1619) was son to the actor, theatre manager and owner James Burbage. By the age of 20, he had gained popularity as an actor of the Earl of Leicester's company. He stayed with the same company through its evolution, in 1603, into the King's men. He excelled in tragedy played leading roles such as William Shakespeare's Richard III, Romeo, Henry V, Hamlet, Macbeth, Othello and King Lear. He also performed in plays by Thomas Kyd, Ben Jonson, John Webster, Following his father's example, he became major shareholder in the Globe and Blackfriar's theatres.


Only mentioned in the anonymous Wit's Triumvirate. Crompton is mentioned by Doctor Clyster when he is explaining to Sir Cupid Phantsy that he can see he is getting worse, and, thus, he is going to put him on a 'reading' diet: "I prescribe you Littleton's Tenures to read in French, with Lambarde's Justice of Peace, Dalton, Crompton, and Fitzherbert, Pulton's Statutes, and Coke's Reports." Richard Crompton (fl. 1573-1599) wrote L'authoritie et jurisdiction des Courts (1594). He co-authored–with Michael Dalton and William Lambarde–The Complete Justice, published in 1936.


Possibly a "ghost character" and more probably a fictitious character in Shakespeare's Cymbeline. When Caius Lucius asks Imogen about the headless corpse lying beside her, she claims that the body is that of her dead master, Richard du Champ. She actually believes that the dead man is Posthumous Leonatus, and she does not realize that it is Cloten's headless trunk in Posthumous's clothes.


Emma's brother, a "ghost character" in the Anonymous Edmond Ironside. Emma sends Gunthranus with her sons Alphred and Edward to him for safety.


Richard, Earl of Cambridge, is a traitor to England in Shakespeare's Henry V. Along with Scroop and Grey, Cambridge works to promote French interests. After asking the men for their advice regarding the punishment of a petty traitor, Henry reveals that he has discovered their plot, and that he plans to punish them with as little mercy as they have shown to the petty traitor. After his arrest, Cambridge rejects Henry's claim that French gold motivated the treason, but he offers no alternative explanation. The three traitors are executed on Henry's orders. Historically, he was Richard of Conisburgh, father of Richard, third Duke of York, and grandfather of Edward IV.


A "ghost character" in Peele's Edward I. Richard, Edward's uncle, is Earl of Cornwall and the elected King of Rome (i.e., Holy Roman Emperor). The Queen Mother informs Edward of the earl's having died while Edward was fighting in Palestine.


Richard Beauchamp, the Earl of Warwick is a Yorkist in Shakespeare's 1 Henry VI, supporting Richard Plantagenet's claim to the throne. Shakespeare imagines a fictitious debate in which the Yorkist and Lancastrian factions choose the symbols of their quarrel, the white and the red roses. Suffolk sides with Somerset and the Lancastrians, plucking a red rose from a nearby bush, while Warwick and Vernon choose a white rose to show their support for Richard Plantagenet's Yorkist side. Warwick tries to make peace between Gloucester and Winchester, who are vying for control over the youthful king and his nation.


Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, son of the Earl of Salisbury in Shakespeare's 2 Henry VI, is a Yorkist and opposes the treaty which Henry has signed ceding Anjou and Maine to the French in exchange for Margaret of Anjou. After Gloucester dies in prison, Warwick reports that the commoners blame Suffolk and Cardinal Beaufort for the death, and after examining the body at Henry's request he concurs that Gloucester has been murdered. Warwick's investigation, along with pressure from the commoners, persuades Henry to banish Suffolk. Warwick serves Henry faithfully throughout most of the play even though he supports the Duke of York's claim to throne, and in 3 Henry VI will return to the Lancastrian side. In the final lines of 2 Henry VI, Warwick is still a Yorkist, and he praises the Yorkist forces for their victory in Saint Albans, anticipating their future glory.
The Earl of Warwick speaks the last lines of 2 Henry VI and the opening lines of Shakespeare's 3 Henry VI. Following his defeat at Saint Albans, Warwick journeys to Herefordshire to inform the Duke of York's sons that King Henry's Lancastrian forces have vanquished their side. After the Yorkists succeed in placing Edward on the throne, Warwick is sent to France as an ambassador to propose an alliance between England and France via a marriage between Edward and the French queen's sister, Lady Bona. When letters arrive reporting that Edward has married Lady Grey, Warwick withdraws his support of the Yorkist cause, and the French king becomes Edward's enemy. Later, after Edward's brother George Duke of Clarence has joined the anti-Yorkist forces, Warwick tells Edward that a man who does not know how to treat his ambassadors or his brothers, or how to promote his country's best interests, does not deserve to be king. When King Henry is freed from prison thanks to Warwick and Clarence's efforts, Henry abdicates power to them. Warwick dies defending Henry against the Yorkists.


Easy, an Essex gentleman possessed of land worth £300 a year in Middleton's Michaelmas Term, exemplifies the typical "gull" of Jacobean city comedy. Easy journeys to London, and attempting to fit in with fashionable London gallants, comes under the wing of Blastfield (really Shortyard, a "spirit" of Ephestian Quomodo) who promises to provide for him while in London. Feigning tight financial straits, Blastfield is forced to turn to Quomodo for credit. Quomodo denies him a loan, but offers Blastfield goods on credit to cover his debts. Naively wishing to participate somehow in London's frenzied commercial activity, Easy cosigns this loan which proves worthless when Blastfield is "unable" to find a buyer for this cloth. Shortyard and Falselight, disguised as sergeants, arrest Easy for defaulting on the loan. Quomodo wishes to imprison Easy immediately but grants him a temporary reprieve to locate Blastfield when two generous citizens (again Shortyard and Falselight disguised) grant him bail with his estate put up as surety to Quomodo. When Easy is unable to find Blastfield, Quomodo legally seizes his lands. But when Quomodo fakes his own death, Easy marries Thomasine (Quomodo's wife) and all Quomodo's property reverts to him when the cozener is eventually undone by his own misplaced signature on an indenture. The judge, at the end of the term, upholds the property transaction.


A young London gallant in Middleton's A Mad World, My Masters. He is known for his wonton lifestyle and extravagant trickery. Follywit's schemes begin innocently enough when he determines to trick his grandfather, Sir Bounteous Progress, out of £10, justifying his deceit believing that it is all a portion of his inheritance anyway. Follywit, disguised as Lord Owemuch, a fictional country gentleman, urges his grandfather to bequeath his estate to himself. Along with his companions, Mawworm and Hoboy, he contrives to extort yet more from his overly generous grandfather. The gallants disguise themselves and rob Sir Bounteous outright and then bind themselves, thus appearing as victims of the robbery. They receive more money from Bounteous Progress for their losses and inconvenience. Again disguised, this time as a courtesan, Follywit gains admittance to his grandfather's house and uses the opportunity to steal several valuable gems, including the Gentleman Usher's chain. Follywit marries Frank Gullman, the frequent courtesan of Sir Bounteous, seeing it as a way to receive more of his grandfather's munificence. In one final trick, Follywit and his companions, posing as the players of Lord Owemuch, perform The Slip before Sir Bounteous' assembled guests. Under the guise of theatrical performance, the gallants, steal a number of Sir Bounteous' valuable personal effects in order to "outfit" the performance and immediately steal away after Follywit speaks the prologue. They are detained by a constable, but he convinces the audience that the constable is part of the play. The constable is tied to a chair and ridiculed by the audience as a poor performer thus allowing the rascals to escape. Follywit returns to his grandfather's party as himself, but his trickery is discovered when Sir Bounteous hears the ticking of his watch. He is forced to return the watch and the other goods stolen as "props." Claiming to have mended his trickster lifestyle, Follywit reveals that he is married to the courtesan and receives a gift of a thousand marks, again from Sir Bounteous, to mark the festive occasion.


Has an ongoing dislike of Friar John in Heywood's The Captives. Outwardly accepts the Abbot's order to stop his fighting with Friar John, but keeps the fight going in his asides. Secretly agrees to meet with Friar John in the orchard after evensong to settle their differences. Is awakened early in the morning by the voices of Palestra and Scribonia outside the gate. When he goes to investigate he meets Friar John and they discuss their fight in the orchard the previous evening. After the Abbot arranges for shelter for the women, Richard watches the Duke of Averne, Lady Averne, and Dennis pass by on the way to matins. Later, Friar Richard is walking at night, having been kept awake by a cold, and sees what he thinks is Friar John but what is in fact the Friar's body. When Friar John fails to answer, Friar Richard strikes him and then discovers that Friar John is dead. Thinking that he has murdered Friar John, Friar Richard picks up the body and carries it up the ladder, intending to leave it near the Duke of Averne's residence. Shortly afterwards, he reenters and places Friar John's body in the porch of the Duke's residence. Still feeling guilty over the supposed murder of Friar John, Friar Richard visits a Baker and borrows the Baker's horse in order to make his escape. As he rides away, he is pursued and overtaken by the corpse of Friar John, dressed in armor and armed with a lance and pistols. After they collide, Friar Richard confesses to the murder of Friar John, is taken prisoner and ordered to stand trial by the Abbot. At the end of the play Friar Richard is being led to his execution when he is stopped by the Duke of Averne, who confesses his role in the murder of Friar John. Friar Richard assists in the unraveling of the events surrounding Friar John's murder.


A gentleman acquaintance of William Bennet in [?]Heywood's The Fair Maid of the Exchange. Gardiner attempts to seduce Phillis in the Exchange and is rebuffed by her. Because Gardiner is on his way to Cambridge, Bennet requests that when he arrives, he pay respects to one Lyonell Barnes, a master of arts there.


He has been dispossessed of his rents owing to Arden's letters patent on the Abbey land in the Anonymous Arden of Feversham. Alice tells him that Arden is a monster who beats her. She gives Greene money to hire murderers to kill Arden. In return for Greene's help Alice promises to give him twenty pounds above the ten she has already given and return his Feversham lands. After the murder, he and Mosbie carry Arden's body to the Abbey to hide it. Franklin tells us that Greene was hanged at Osbridge in Kent.


Only mentioned in the anonymous Wit's Triumvirate. Hakluyt is mentioned by Doctor Clyster when he is listening to Sir Conquest Shadow tell him about his imaginary bravery and his real cowardice: "And did not Hakluyt and Purchas's Pilgrimages put you into the humor of sea voyages?" Richard Hakluyt (1552?-1616) was a lecturer in Geography at Christ College (University of Oxford). He traveled to North America and, on his return to England, he published several books on exploration–among them: Discourse Concerning Western Discoveries (1584) and The Principal Navigations, Voyages and Discoveries of the English Nation (1589).


Sir Richard Hapce attends the young King Edward V in Northampton at the beginning of the anonymous True Tragedy of Richard III. Hapce is arrested by Gloucester, charged with high treason and condemned to death.


Sir Richard Huntlove, husband of Lady Huntlove in Cavendish & Shirley's Country Captain. He invites his friends Sir Francis and Underwit to the country for a weekend of hunting, and for his son-in-law (by a previous marriage,) Underwit, the new Captain of the Trained Guard, to practice maneuvers. Nearly cuckolded by Sir Francis, but the affair is thwarted by unfortunate circumstances.


A knight in Shirley's The Gamester. He rudely dismisses his daughter's grief at the killing of her love, Delamore. He insists that gentlemen need to fight to maintain honor–he tells Leonora that she should marry Delamore's conqueror, her friend's sweetheart, Beaumont. He seems to tell Probe to bury Delamore, or, possibly, to stop treating him–to somehow write him off as a dead man. He visits Beaumont in gaol, promising to help him because of some kindnesses that Beaumont's late father had done for him. His friends in authority will pardon Beaumont–if he betrays Violante and marries Leonora. Sir Richard's offer is rejected. He hears Beaumont refuse the hand of his daughter as he will remain true to Violante. Finally, he again questions Beaumont, this time in his house. Publicly, he repeats the offer for Beaumont to walk free and receive Leonora's hand. When Beaumont refuses to be bribed, staying true to Violante, Sir Richard is delighted and reveals that the whole farrago has been a character test for Beaumont. Now, he blesses both the union of Beaumont and Violante and of Leonora and Delamore, who, Sir Francis discloses, is actually still alive–he has instructed the surgeon, Probe, to convey erroneous information that Delamore has expired.


A "ghost character" in Shakespeare's Henry V. He is reported among the English dead on the Agincourt battlefield.


While searching for the murderer of his son in Munday, Drayton, Hathaway, and Wilson's Sir John Oldcastle, he stumbles across the Oldcastles, who have fallen asleep after fleeing from St. Albans. He accuses them of murdering his son and has them arrested.


Raymond Mounchensey's father in the Anonymous The Merry Devil of Edmonton. He has recently lost money helping his brother, a merchant. His son Raymond and Sir Arthur Clare's daughter Milliscent have been engaged for two years and should be married the next day at the St. George Inn in Waltham. Sir Arthur has heard that Mounchensey has lost his money, and he wants to prevent the marriage. He tells Sir Richard that Milliscent wants to go to a nunnery.


Richard Philpot is a fifteen-year-old boy in Jordan's Walks of Islington and Hogsden, who works for Mr Hemlock as a drawer. Tripes claims to be his godfather.


Philip the bastard in the anonymous 2 Troublesome Reign of John, born Fauconbridge, but revealed in Part 1 as the bastard son of Richard Coeur de Lion and knighted as Richard Plantagenet, brings John the news of the barons' revolt and the immanent invasion of Lewes at the head of the French army. He attends the lords' meeting at Bury, and argues that it offends God's law for sworn subjects to rise up against an anointed king. When Pandulph's curse fails to end the attack on John he leads a sally against the gathered foe. Not knowing of Meloun's revelations to the English peers, and heavily outnumbered by the combined armies of the French and the alienated nobles, he leads the English soldiers north, but a sudden storm catches them as they are crossing the Wash and decimates the force. He and John take refuge in Swinstead Abbey. As they are dining in the abbey orchard, the king and the murderous Monk having drunk from a poisoned cup both die. Perceiving that the Abbot is an accessory, the Bastard kills him. When Pandulph, Henry, and the barons arrive, the prince asks him to destroy the abbey, and he it is who organizes the funeral procession and coronation and speaks the last speech of the play.
Philip the Bastard's title in Shakespeare's King John. After Philip the Bastard is acknowledged as the son of Richard I and agrees to serve John and Eleanor, John dubs him Sir Richard Plantagenet. However, this name is never used in speech headings, and only rarely by other characters.


Richard Plantagenet is eventually dubbed Duke of York in Shakespeare's 1 Henry VI, giving the name Yorkist to the faction that supports him as the rightful heir to the English throne. Shakespeare imagines a fictitious debate at the Inns of Court in which the Yorkist and Lancastrian factions choose the symbols of their quarrel, the white and the red roses. Suffolk sides with Somerset and the Lancastrians, plucking a red rose from a nearby bush, while Warwick and Vernon choose a white rose to show their support for Richard Plantagenet's Yorkist side. King Henry warns Somerset and Richard Plantagenet that their quarrel risks dividing the English when they should be united against the French. Even though Richard does not approve of Henry's decision to sign a peace treaty with the French, seeing this as a betrayal of those who have sacrificed their lives in battle, he helps Winchester to broker a peace treaty between King Charles and Henry.
Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York in Shakespeare's 2 Henry VI, is ambitious to claim England's crown. When he traces the lineage by which he is the rightful heir to the throne, Warwick and Salisbury agree to support his claim. When news of an Irish rebellion reaches England, the Suffolk faction urges King Henry to place York in charge of the military response. York realizes the faction is simply trying to get him out of the way by sending him to Ireland, but he predicts that their plotting will be their own downfall. He plans to destabilize Henry's power with some assistance from the rebel Jack Cade, who leads a domestic rebellion orchestrated by York.
In the previous Henry VI plays, Richard, Duke of York emerges as a serious rival to King Henry's claim to the English throne. In Shakespeare's 3 Henry VI, York negotiates an agreement by which Henry will reign during his lifetime, while York will inherit the crown at his death. York's sons soon persuade him to seek the crown at once, but before he can pursue this course of action he is captured and slain by his opponents, led by Queen Margaret. After York is dead, Margaret orders his severed head placed on the gates of York.


Edward and Richard are the sons of Richard, Duke of York in Shakespeare's 2 Henry VI. Both eventually become king, Edward in 3 Henry VI, Richard in Richard III. At play's end Richard describes Salisbury's valor and of how he himself assisted Salisbury in the field. Salisbury attests that Richard saved his life in battle on three separate occasions.
Richard, afterwards Duke of Gloucester, is the son of Richard, Duke of York in Shakespeare's 3 Henry VI. After King Henry and York have agreed that York will inherit the throne on the condition that Henry may remain king during his lifetime, Richard of Gloucester persuades his father to claim the throne straight away. After York's death the Yorkist forces succeed in placing Richard of Gloucester's brother Edward on the throne, and when Edward proposes marriage to Lady Grey Richard's ambition is revealed. As will become clear in Richard III, Richard will stop at nothing to become king. His soliloquy in III.ii of 3 Henry VI prefigures his more famous speeches in Richard III, emphasizing that his sense of his own physical deformity shapes his decision to become a villain. He assists his brothers in the brutal death of Edward, Prince of Wales. Later, when Edward's forces vanquish the Lancastrians, Richard visits the imprisoned King Henry IV and murders him. See "RICHARD III."


Son of Edward IV in Shakespeare's Richard III, and brother of Prince Edward and Princess Elizabeth. Prince Richard is taken into sanctuary by his mother Elizabeth, but is forced to leave it when Prince Edward is brought to London to be crowned king and asks to see him. Richard III has the two princes placed under house arrest in the Tower of London while Buckingham claims to the citizenry that the boys are illegitimate. When Richard becomes king, he hires Tyrrell to murder the two princes. Their ghosts visit Richard and Richmond on the night before the Battle of Bosworth, cursing Richard and blessing Richmond.
One of the "little princes" of the Tower in Thomas Heywood's 2 Edward IV. Son of King Edward IV, Prince Richard is declared illegitimate, locked in the Tower, and slain by Forrest on the order of Gloster.


The Justice of the Peace in Jonson's A Tale of A Tub. He complains to Hugh that the locals pronounce his name "Bramble." He orders his clerk, Miles Metaphor, to pose as Pursuivant and arrest Squire Tripoly Tub so that Preamble can take possession of Audrey Turfe and marry her. His plot is foiled by Tobie Turfe, who stops the marriage before the slow-speaking Canon Hugh can complete it. Preamble bribes the Canon to come up with another plan to win Audrey. Turfe is accused of conspiracy to protect John Clay by Canon Hugh, disguised as the pseudonymous "Captain Thumb," the robbery victim earlier invented by Basket Hilts, and brought before Preamble to answer the charges. "Captain Thumb" requests that restitution be delivered to Canon Hugh. The money and the bride, however, are intercepted by Squire Tripoly Tub and Basket Hilts. Preamble takes the loss of both philosophically. (Listed in d.p. as "Just: Preamble")


Supporter of Richard III in Shakespeare's Richard III. Ratcliffe escorts Rivers, Gray, and Vaughan to be executed at Pomfret Castle, where Richard II was murdered. Richard later sends Ratcliffe to Friar Penker to order him to give a sermon supporting Richard's claim to the throne. Along with Catesby and Lovell, he was the target of William Collingbourne's satiric attack
The catte, the ratte, and Lovell our dogge
Rulyth all England under a hogge.
Ratcliffe attends on Richard during the Battle of Bosworth.


He is named in Cromwell's execution scene but is silent in the anonymous Thomas Lord Cromwell. It seems the name is a misprint for Sir Ralphe Sadler who speaks several times in this scene but whose entry is not announced.


Richard Rose in Dekker and Webster's Sir Thomas Wyatt delivers to the Duke of Northumberland the letters from newly installed Queen Mary ordering that he discharge his troops and appear at court. Sensing that his life is forfeit and knowing that his former colleagues on the royal council have shifted their allegiance to the new queen, the duke asks Rose if there have been many deaths at court recently. When Rose assures him there have not, Northumberland sarcastically says he must be mistaken, for once the duke had five hundred friends there but now they are all gone.


Richard Scroop holds the title of Archbishop or Lord of York in Shakespeare's 1 Henry IV. He is part of the Percy faction opposing King Henry and feels his faction is too weak to defeat the king. He also fears the length of King Henry's vengeance should the Percys lose at Shrewsbury.


A "ghost character" in Wilson's The Three Lords and Three Ladies of London. Simplicity carries an image of the recently deceased clown Richard Tarlton with him, and speaks an elegy on him.
Only mentioned in Jonson's Bartholomew Fair. Richard Tarlton was a leading comedian of Queen Elizabeth's reign, who died in 1588. The stage-keeper in the Induction complains that the Author of the play does not observe the characteristics of real life in his theatrical Fair. The stage-keeper thinks he can impart of his considerable experience in the theatre, because he had kept the stage in Master Tarlton's time as well. The stage-keeper wished that Tarlton had lived to play in Bartholomew Fair. The stage-keeper creates a fictional picture of the well-known actor interpreting one of the cozening characters in Bartholomew Fair.
Only mentioned in the anonymous 1 Return From Parnassus. Ingenioso wishes he could live in the underworld with the famous clown, spelled here Richard Tarleton, rather than having to deal with clotpolls like the Serving Man.
Only mentioned in Randolph's Plutophthalmia. The famous Elizabethan clown. Cleon's ghost accuses Aristophanes of being the "Tarlton of Athens."


The prologue in Percy’s Cuckqueans and Cuckolds Errants. He enters ‘after second sounding’ and plays on his tabor whilst standing beneath an image of himself, a pub sign, decorated with a garland. He is dressed as Tarlton, drum, cap, slops, shoes, and merit as when alive, to express his gratitude that Pigot has raised a tavern in Colchester to his name. He asserts that since his ‘departure from this sink of sin, the world . . . in the year of our Lord God, my Redeemer 1588’, the tavern has been maintained in its ‘Ancient Bawdry’, which he promises the following play will make clear. He ends his prologue by asking the audience to judge the play kindly and if ever in Colchester to stop by Mr. Pigot’s tavern and partake of Tarlton’s funeral supper which Mr. Pigot will bestow upon them gratis. His final stage direction reads as follows: “He played a little then departed. Here they sounded the third” and the play begins with Doucebella, Floradin, Rafe, and Joice entering “from Maldon”.


Part of the Percy rebel faction in Shakespeare's 1 Henry IV, Sir Richard Vernon carries news to Hotspur concerning the number of the king's troops and the delay in help from Glendower for the Percys. He purposely withholds from the Percys the king's offer of grace. Captured at the battle of Shrewsbury, Vernon is ordered executed along with Worcester for his treachery.
Sir Richard Vernon is connected with Percy's plot against Henry IV in ?Dering's The History of Henry the Fourth. He joins the plot rather late and frequently speaks of Prince Hal in glowing terms. Vernon is obviously not as devious as Worcester or as cowardly as Northumberland. When Henry IV offers amnesty to the rebels if they surrender, Vernon advises reporting the option to Hotspur. Worcester overrules Vernon and Percy never learns of the offer.


A "ghost character" in Heywood's 2 If You Know Not Me. A former mayor of London whose portrait is admired by Doctor Nowell. He is the famous Dick Whittington who, along with his equally famous cat, rose from poverty to become Lord Mayor.


The boy Richardetto is learning French from Studioso in the anonymous 2 Return From Parnassus.


Richardetto, the disguised doctor who comes to catch his cuckolding wife in the act, is wasted in Ford's 'Tis Pity She's a Whore. He is the agent who gives poison to Grimaldi in that gentleman's failed attempt to assassinate his rival, Soranzo. He thus helps bring about the mistaken murder of Bergetto, who was to have been his son-in-law. Beyond that secondary action, Richardetto has little importance in the play. His attempt to avenge his cuckolding is thwarted when his wife, Hippolita, is poisoned by Vasques in response to her attempt on Soranzo's life. His final unmasking at play's end is an anticlimax.


Mrs. Richardson is a widow in the Anonymous Two Wise Men and All the Rest Fools. She tries to recover £10 that Antonio has borrowed from a friend. The friend gave her the note, and she desperately needs the money to keep her life together. Antonio destroys the note without paying her the money. She will not be put off, and her continuing insistence helps expose his malfeasance.


A "ghost character" in Quarles' The Virgin Widow, mentioned as having been cured by Quack, along with the Prince of Orange, the Emperor, the Pope, and the Great Mogul.


The vain Lady Riches in Shirley's Contention for Honor and Riches refuses Ingenuity's request that she visit Lady Honour, naming gout as her excuse. Riches brags that she doesn't come to everyone who desires her company, and as she encourages Clod and Gettings to argue and fight over her, she also spurns Ingenuity, claiming a disdain for all scholars. At one point Riches chooses Gettings as husband, promising then to wed Clod after Gettings dies.


Richley is a knight, brother to Worthy and father of Violetta in Shirley's The Witty Fair One. Having pledged his daughter to Sir Nicholas Treedle, he deposits her at Worthy's home under the watchful eye of Brains, whose job is to keep Violetta secluded. When Richley discovers that Violetta has corresponded with Aimwell, he dismisses Sensible, the chambermaid who has assisted them. His care fails, however, because the girl manages to slip away from Brains and marry the man she truly loves.


Henry Richmond is Stanley's son in the anonymous True Tragedy of Richard III. He is convinced by his mother Margaret that he is the direct descendent of King Henry IV. When Richard is made Lord Protector, Richmond flees England and travels to Brittany. He is brought back to England due to the efforts of Buckingham, before the Duke is arrested and killed. Richmond proposes a suit for marriage to Elizabeth, the Queen's daughter. The suit is granted and Richmond states his intention of ridding the royal family of its brambles, briars and thorns. In essence, he promises to rid the nation of Richard III. In direct contrast to Richard's past behavior, Richmond nearly aborts his planned invasion upon hearing that his brother George Stanley might be murdered on account of it. Lord Stanley convinces Richmond that the battle must be fought, regardless of the dangers to all involved. Although Richmond is concerned about his prospects when Stanley is unable to send men in support, he is encouraged by Stanley's assurance that Richard's men will switch sides and fight for Richmond once the battle begins. Richmond kills Richard in battle and orders for his body to be publicly desecrated. Stanley arrives to report that the Peers have elected Richmond King. He becomes known as Henry VII.
Henry Tudor, Earl of Richmond is present in Shakespeare's 3 Henry VI when King Henry is freed from the Tower, and Henry blesses the young man, predicting that England's future happiness resides in him. When Edward's escape is reported, Somerset and Oxford agree that Richmond should be sent to Brittany, out of harm's way. King Henry's prediction comes true in Richard III, when Richmond conquers the tyrant Richard on Bosworth Field.
Also known as Henry Tudor and Henry VII in Shakespeare's Richard III, the Earl of Richmond leads a rebellion against Richard III. When Richmond was a boy, Henry VI predicted that he would become king, and because of his family's Lancastrian background, Richmond grew up in exile in Brittany. After Richard becomes king, many of his political enemies go to support Richmond, who invades England to claim the crown. On the night before the Battle of Bosworth, the ghosts of Richard's victims appear to Richmond and bless him. The next day, he defeats Richard in battle and becomes King Henry VII. Richmond also marries Edward IV's daughter, Princess Elizabeth, thus uniting the houses of Lancaster and York and ending the Wars of the Roses.
Richmond is a "ghost character" in Thomas Heywood's 2 Edward IV, but Buckingham pledges that Richard will be deposed and that Richmond will be seated as king.


After Leicester has challenged John's usurpation in (?Chettle and) Munday's Downfall of Robert Earl of Huntington, a drum sounds that Leicester believes is John's army. However, it turns out to be Richmond, who announces that Richard is free of imprisonment and has arrived in London. Richmond then describes how Richard was taken by Leopold of Austria and thrown weaponless into a lion's den. Richard wrapped his right hand in a scarf, trust his hand down the lion's throat and pulled its heart from its body. Leicester and Richmond then depart, leaving John in terror and his supporters scattered. Richmond enters with Richard in the final scene and welcomes Fitzwater when the latter embraces him.
The Earl of Richmond attends on King Richard I in the Anonymous The Fair Maid of Bristow.
Richmond is a friend of Fitzwater in Munday and Chettle's Death of Robert, Earl of Huntington. He enters during the proxy wooing of Leicester and is pleased to see Matilda smile. He suggests that she dance with the masquers that have just arrived. It is revealed that John is one of the masquers, and he accuses Richmond, along with Fitzwater, Leicester and Bruce, as traitors. Richmond stands firm and points out that their former rebellion had been forgiven. When John persists, and threatens Bruce specifically, Richmond goes with Bruce to Guildford Castle. They arrive to find the castle held by Hubert and Chester. Richmond at first advises retreat, since they have no men for a fight, but when he sees Chester he does not want to retreat and has to be persuaded away by Bruce. After the second battle, Richmond surrenders and vows loyalty to John again. He is one of those who questions Blunt about the death of Lady Bruce and her son, but he does not speak for or against the proposed rebellion against John.
A young lord opposed to the King in Davenport's King John and Matilda. A member of the party who deplore the King's rejection of Magna Carta and also his predatory assaults on Matilda. He is with Old Lord Bruce when he discovers the King's party has captured his castle and family. He is with Young Bruce to assist in the rescue of Matilda, and he captures the Queen and Chester. Richmond infuriates the King with reports of his notable military successes, but with Young Bruce, he fails to defend Matilda from the King's next assault and the rescue of their prisoners. After the King's ceremonial submission to Rome, he is proclaimed a traitor in his absence. He agrees with Fitzwater's unpopular suggestion that the French Dauphin should be enlisted as their ally. When the Queen arrives as envoy, he innocently arranges the masquers's entertainment, which turns out to be the King's party in disguise. He thereby unwittingly helps in the successful abduction of Matilda. He is fooled by the token of Fitzwater's (stolen) glove into allowing Matilda to be taken away. He escapes to France after the ensuing mêlée. In the final scene, Chester brings the King news that Richmond is accompanying the Dauphin and French troops to support the uprising against him, contributing to the uneven odds that ultimately persuade the King to submit.


Hob–nail’s disguise name in Wild’s The Benefice. He has Marchurch call him Richmond when Homily and he go in disguise to Marchurch for the benefice. Richmond, however, is Homily’s real name, and Homily claims the benefice for himself once the papers are made out.


A "ghost character" in Shakespeare's Richard III. Wife of Lord Stanley and mother of Richmond. She is descended from the Lancasters and therefore doesn't support the Yorks. Elizabeth, Edward IV's queen, assures Stanley that she doesn't bear him any malice despite his wife.


Neighbor of Old Lionell, Old Geraldine, and Wincott in Heywood's The English Traveler. Reignald tells Old Lionell that Young Lionell has spent the Usurer's money to buy Ricot's house because a murdered ghost haunts his. He tells Ricot that Old Lionell wants to see his house because he is thinking of doing some remodeling to his own house similar to that done at Ricot's. As a close neighbor, Ricot is aware of the wild parties that have been taking place at Old Lionell's.


Rider is a rival for the hand of Carol in Shirley's Hyde Park. He actually draws his sword when he realizes that his gift-giving has been mocked by her, just as she mocked the intentions and gift-giving of Venture. He teams up with Venture, in a sort of union of the defeated. He is mocked mercilessly by a contemptuous Carol. He backs the Irish runner in the foot race. He foolishly sets up a meeting between Fairfield and Carol–he has sought to enter into her favor. He backs Venture in the horse race, but worries about the Jockey's better horsemanship. He meekly accepts that he has been an also ran in the race for Carol's hand, and meekly accepts his fate and the willow garland placed on his head by Bonavent.

RIDLEY **1596
Friend of Vernon in the anonymous Captain Thomas Stukeley, encourages him not to act so complacently when Stukeley marries Nell, Vernon's wife. It is pragmatic advice like this that Vernon refuses to follow throughout the play.

RIDLEY **1624

Bishop in Drue's The Duchess of Suffolk. Nicholas Ridley, reformist Bishop of London, burnt at the stake in Oxford, 1555. While being led to execution with Latimer by guards, Ridley professes his continued faith in religious reform, and is gratified to hear Cranmer's recantation of his return to Catholicism.
A “ghost character" in Rowley’s When You See Me. Wolsey fears that Elizabeth’s teachers Latimer and Ridley will turn her against Rome and so he plots to remove them. Historically, he was not Elizabeth’s teacher.


A "ghost character" in Udall's Ralph Roister Doister. Rig is a spaniel in Dame Custance's household. Tibet Talkapace reports that the dog is noteworthy for its clumsy behavior.


A "ghost character" in the anonymous Hick Scorner. A true monk. One among the "true religious" men and "holy women" whom Hick Scorner was glad to see drown in the Irish Sea at the Race of Ireland when their thirteen ships foundered and sank.


As typical of the Vice, Rigor and Flateri decide to play a trick on Symulatyon in Wager's The Cruel Debtor: they feign a fight and when Symulatyon arrives and tries to separate them, they strike him. Then, Disguised as Humylity, Rigor accompanies Ophiletis into the presence of King Basileus and weeps to speed his case.

RIGOR **1617

A “ghost character" in the anonymous Pathomachia. One of the twenty-five vices that are the extremes of the eleven virtues. Rigor and Partiality are the extremes of Justice.


Variant form of the name Rinaldo in the anonymous Wit of a Woman.


The Cyclops in P. Fletcher's Sicelides. He has eaten Cancrone's grandfather. Rimbombo mourns why the heavens "frame" women in such a way that men must love them. Due to a promise which he has apparently made with Conchylio, and in search of Cosma, whom he claims "usd our Mountaines" and "oft would stay, / And heare me speake, and vow, and sweare, and pray," Rimbombo comes down from the mountains. However, he is tricked by Conchylio (who is disguised as Cosma) and ends up tied fast to a tree trunk by a girdle. Furthermore, Cancrone and Conchylio (as Cosma) attempt to kill him and, though they fail, Rimbombo is ashamed of falling for Conchylio's disguise and "flye[s] this shore," vowing to "never deale with fisher-Nymph-lad more." Furthermore, after helping to save Perindus from drowning by assisting in conveying him safely to a "shippe That rides in the havene" after Tyrinthus's son had "fallen from the rocke" in an attempt to offer his life in exchange for Glaucilla's, Cancrone and Scrocca are arrested, "manacled," reunited with Tyrinthus, and led to the "hils [. . .] to the greedy Cyclops" to meet "the death of slaves." Though Cancrone claims that "Rimronce" will be "busie [. . .] about [him]" for the fisher's previous attempt to kill him, Pas convinces Nomicus to "pardon" Cancrone and Scrocca and the Cyclops remains unfed.


Like his friends in Cartwright's The Ordinary, the "clubbers" Bag-shot, Vicar Catchney, and Sir Christopher, he is down on his luck, convinced that much liquor will pacify his Muse, and like them, he is arrested by the Constable for singing at the window at Andrew's "wedding."

RINALDO **1602

The Countess' steward in Shakespeare's All's Well.

RINALDO **1604

Rinaldo is the youngest son of Marc Antonio in Chapman's All Fools. He has been disappointed in love and therefore refuses to ever love again. Instead, he spends his time creating schemes and tricking other people. He tells Gostanzo that Fortunio is the one married to Gratiana, instead of revealing the truth, that it is Gostanzo's own son Valerio. He then persuades Fortunio, Valerio and Gratiana to play along, promising that, in the end, both men will have their fathers' approval of their matches. When Gostanzo sees Valerio kissing Gratiana, Rinaldo suggests to him that they pretend the two are married to fool Marc Antonio, but in reality, Gostanzo is the one who is tricked into accepting the marriage. Rinaldo also helps Valerio take revenge on Cornelio for making him look foolish. Rinaldo helps Valerio convince Cornelio that Gazetta is unfaithful, and this almost leads to their divorce. Rinaldo himself is gulled, however, when Cornelio convinces him that Valerio is arrested for unpaid debts, and is convinced to bring Gostanzo and Marc Antonio to the tavern, ostensibly to pay the officers, but in reality to discover the truth about all the young people. Although all ends happily, Rinaldo comments to himself that he is stupid for being so easily fooled.

RINALDO **1604

Rinaldo is one of the Gallants in the anonymous Wit of a Woman. He is son to Ferio and and brother to Lodovica. He takes upon himself the disguise of a painter, and is commissioned by Bario to paint the picture of Isabella, which he does, flirting with her the while. Thanks to the Wenches' trick, he finishes the play married to one of the Wenches–probably Isabella. N.b. the four gallants are Filenio, Gerillo, Rinaldo, and Veronte.

RINALDO **1612

Two Rinaldos figure in Fletcher's Four Plays in One.
  • The first Rinaldo is an acquaintance of Frigozo and a spectator of the plays at the celebration of Emanuel and Isabella's nuptials.
  • The second Rinaldo is a character in "The Triumph of Love," the second play within the play. He is the Duke of Milan, restored after years of banishment. He is the husband of Cornelia and the father of Ferdinand (Ascanio) and Gerrard (Alphonso), all of whom he believes are dead. When Rinaldo resumes his Dukedom, Benvoglio demands the execution of his daughter, Violanta, and her lover, Gerrard, for fornication. Rinaldo pardons them when Cornelia reveals herself and her sons' true identities, and the family is reunited.

RIOT **1520

Enters in the anonymous Youth thinking Youth has called on him, and invites Youth to go drinking with him, using money Riot has just stolen. When Youth asks Riot to help him find a servant, Riot brings in Pride. Disagrees when Pride suggests Youth marry, suggesting instead that Youth take Pride's sister Lechery as his mistress. Riot welcomes Lechery and begins to flatter her as they head for the tavern. When Charity intercepts them, Riot joins Youth and Pride and puts Charity in the stocks; they exit. Returns with Youth and Pride and begins to threaten Charity and Humility while they attempt to persuade Youth to forsake vice. Riot promises to stay with Youth and to teach him to play dice and cards. When Youth suddenly embraces the counsel of Charity and Humility, Riot curses him and exits.

RIOT **1533

Ryot is one of the vices who rules the kingdom during Old Christmas's absence in ?Skelton's Old Christmas. He forces Good Order, the regent, to flee. Ryot asks for the king's pardon and promises never to offend again, but Glotonye, Ryot's fellow-vice, does not believe in his repentance, and the two villains have a harsh quarrel, convincing the king of the impossibility of their redemption. After the king's return, Ryot, Glotonye, Periury and Hasarder are banished from England on Good Order's advice. Ryot and Glotonye decide to go to "the new found land."


Playboy friend of Reignald and Young Lionell in Heywood's The English Traveler. Listens to Young Lionell's complaints about Scapha. Attends Young Lionell's wild parties.


A servant in the house of the Countess of Cambrai in Chapman's The Revenge of Bussy D'Ambois. She appears only in IV.iii and has no lines.


Only mentioned as an epithet in Jonson's The Alchemist. When Ananias enters Subtle's alchemical workshop, the bogus alchemist asks him is he is a Ripley, that is a disciple of Sir George Ripley, a noted alchemist. Ripley (died 1490) was a Cannon of Bridlington, York, studied in Italy, and wrote the Compound of Alchemy–Filius Artis: son of the art. Since Ananias introduces himself as a Brother, Subtle pretends to understand by "Brother" that Ananias meant a fellow alchemist.


A servant to Stellio in Lyly's Mother Bombie. Riscio is enlisted by his master to negotiate a marriage between Stellio's foolish daughter Silena and Memphio's son Accius. En route, he encounters his friend Dromio, servant to Memphio, who has also been assigned to negotiate the same marriage. The two band together with their servant friends Lucio and Halfpenny and plot to cozen their masters. After concocting a plan over sack at the local tavern, Riscio and his co-conspirators consult the cunning woman Mother Bombie to see if their plan will work. They are told cryptically that they will succeed even though they will be revealed as cozeners. They arrange to have Livia and Candius meet dressed as Accius and Silena, thus eliciting the unwitting blessings of their fathers for their marriage, and have Accius and Silena meet dressed as Livia and Candius. However, Stellio and Memphio catch their children at their rendezvous and bid Accius and Silena home. Even though their plots are discovered, Riscio and his servant friends are forgiven when the various plots work out happily in the final scene.


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


Brother of Lady Grey in Shakespeare's 3 Henry VI. When his sister marries King Edward and thus becomes queen, Lord Rivers is among those who benefit.
Earl Rivers is the Queen's brother in the anonymous True Tragedy of Richard III. He is charged with attending the young King Edward V. Rivers warns Edward that the Lord Protector Gloucester and the Duke of Buckingham are a danger to the crown. He suggests that the boy king stay in Northampton. His recommendation is rejected in favor of the Queen and Lord Gray's suggestion that Edward quit Northampton. Rivers is ambushed by Gloucester, Buckingham and their men at an inn. Richard had coerced the innkeeper to give him the key to River's room. Rivers is accused of treason; a charge Rivers denies. Before being taken to his death at Pomphret Castle, Rivers tries to bless his young nephew the king. Rivers also assures Richard that he will be condemned once the truth is widely known.
Also known as Anthony Woodeville in Shakespeare's Richard III, brother of Edward IV's queen Elizabeth. The Earl Rivers supported the Lancasters during the Wars of the Roses, and after Elizabeth married Edward, she used her influence on the king to have her brother pardoned and promoted. Rivers is therefore a political enemy of the Yorks, and especially of Lord Hastings. Rivers had Elizabeth use her influence to have Lord Hastings imprisoned. Before his death, Edward IV forces an uneasy reconciliation between Rivers and Lord Hastings. Richard III later has Rivers imprisoned with his nephew, Gray, and Vaughan, and they are executed in Pomfret Castle, where Richard II had been murdered. His ghost visits Richard and Richmond the night before the Battle of Bosworth, cursing Richard and blessing Richmond.


Frank Rivers is a companion of Flylove in Jordan's Walks of Islington and Hogsden. He has been flirting with Mrs Trimwell, although she is unwilling to be seduced by him. Rivers is joined by Mrs Trimwell and together they visit a series of taverns with the other gallants. In the King's Head, Rivers recognizes Mrs Trimwell's jealous husband, who has disguised himself as a musician, and escapes from him. Later, during the arrest of Flylove, Rivers is goaded by Mace (who is working under the instructions of Mr Trimwell) into drawing his sword. As a result, Rivers wounds the landlord and is arrested. Rivers continues to attempt to seduce Mrs Trimwell. He reveals at the end that he is really Frederick Brooks, returned incognito from exile in France, and therefore Mrs Trimwell's brother. He has only been testing hs sister all along.


Banished from Naples in Shirley's Royal Master, Riviero returns disguised as Philoberto, serving as secretary to the king. Originally introduced to Octavio as a long-time friend of Octavio's father, Riviero is soon truly known to his son and works to counteract Montalto's influence in the Neapolitan court. At the play's end, Riviero is welcomed home by his king, and Montalto is out of favor and banished.


A female servant to Prisius in Lyly's Mother Bombie. Rixula appears in only one scene, where she agrees to help the four witty servants (Dromio, Riscio, Lucio and Halfpenny) execute their plan to unite Candius with Livia, and Accius with Silena. After singing a song and trading witty barbs with the other servants, she accompanies them to consult the cunning woman Mother Bombie about whether their plan will succeed. She also wishes to ask about a lost silver spoon. Since she does not appear again in the play, it is unclear what her role in the servants' stratagem is, but she is a gamesome wench whose talk of hanging adds comic tension to the scheme of the other servants.

ROARERS **1617

The 'roaring school' in Middleton and Rowley's A Fair Quarrel is full of roarers practicing their trade.

ROARERS **1629

Also spelled Rorer in Randolph's Praeludium, the two Roarers are members of the hungry troupe of actors performing at the Gentleman's house in exchange for food and clothing. Histrio introduces them as brothers of the knife, willing to perform a fight at the Gentleman's charge.
  • During the performance, the First Roarer threatens the Second Roarer that he would eat up his nose, slice up his cheeks, and cut his body into pieces. Then he provokes the Second Roarer to a duel. Among the many bellicose metaphors the First Roarer uses, he says his thirsty steel must have blood to drink. Upon this allusion to food and drink, the Gentleman sends the two Roarers to the kitchen to eat with the servants.
  • During the performance, the Second Roarer fights with the First Roarer and tells him that no lean Rhetoric can abate the edge of his hungry blade, which must have flesh to feed on. Upon this allusion to food, the Gentleman sends the two Roarers to the kitchen to eat with the servants.


A "ghost character" in the anonymous July and Julian. Robart Rose is mentioned by Chremes when he explains that he needs to sell Julian to the Merchant, because, that way, the latter will meet the debt he had contracted with Sir Robart Rose. Later he is mentioned again by Wilkin, under the identity of the Vndershreve.

ROBERT **1589

A "mute character" in Munday's John a Kent and John a Cumber. Robert is a member of the troupe of crude amateur actors that comes to entertain the lords Moorton and Pembrooke on the night before their wedding day. After Turnop is elected to deliver the welcoming speech to the lords, the actors make their entrance. Robert's role in the pageant represents Pembrooke's name. Robert holds a small dish full of water with a pen in it. In his speech, Turnop offers "this shining brook" and "this princely pen" to Pen-brook. During the night, the peasant-actors rehearse their song of dedication to the brides near the house where the bridegrooms are lodged. When Shrimp replaces Will's Welsh song with his own song about the ladies' elopement, the clowns are accused of being involved in the escape plan. At Gosselin's castle, John a Cumber discusses with the actors the play they are going to act before the lords Llewllen, Chester, Moorton, and Pembrooke. This play is intended to be a mockery of John a Kent, with John a Cumber playing John a Kent. Yet, the actors arrive after the play is enacted with the real characters acting as themselves, and after John a Cumber is humiliated in the disguise of John a Kent. The actors see the person whom they think to be John a Kent (actually John a Cumber in disguise) and they also spill their abuse at him, as they were taught by John a Cumber. After they thus further humiliate John a Cumber through disguise and misrepresentation, the actors exit to carry on with their daily jobs.

ROBERT **1600

A character in one of Luxurioso's ballads in the anonymous 1 Return From Parnassus, having something to do with the war against Spain.

ROBERT **1608

A "ghost character" in Markham and Machin's The Dumb Knight. Prate and Lollia's servant who is summoned but never appears during the near-discovery of Lollia and Alphonso's assignation.

ROBERT **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.

ROBERT **1634

The manservant of Master Generous in Heywood and Brome's The Late Lancashire Witches, Robert is more often addressed as Robin.


A chandler in Yarington's Two Lamentable Tragedies. Along with the Neighbour, visits Merry in his tavern and drinks a can of his beer. When Merry laments his lack of financial prosperity, Merry expresses his own satisfaction with his business and his store of wealth. Later, Beech is sitting outside his shop reading when he is approached by Merry, who tells him that friends have asked him to join them at Merry's tavern. Although reluctant to leave his shop, Beech eventually joins Merry and as he ascends the stairs in Merry's tavern is murdered by Merry, who strikes him on the head with a hammer fifteen times. Beech's body is removed to Merry's tavern where Merry cuts it up and disposes of it. The remains are discovered, however, and Merry is executed for his crime.


The Lieutenant of the Tower of London in Shakespeare's Richard III. Brackenbury holds the keys to the Tower, and acts as warden to the prisoners kept there. He later dies during the Battle of Bosworth.
Sir Robert Brokenbury is in charge of security at the Tower of London in the anonymous True Tragedy of Richard III. After the princes are sent there by the Lord Protector, Brokenbury refuses multiple directives by Richard to kill the boys. When James Terrell appears at the Tower and demands the keys to the boys' cell, Brokenbury protests briefly but hands the keys over to Terrell. Brokenbury is killed at Bosworth Field.
Brackenbury is originally in charge of Marshalsea Prison and later master of the Tower in Thomas Heywood's 2 Edward IV. He asks Mistress Shore's help in pardoning an imprisoned kinsman, Captain Harry Stranguidge, who captured a French ship in ignorance of the recently made French-English peace.


A non-speaking character in Peele's Edward I. On Baliol's orders, Bruce places the halter around the neck of Lord Versses to remind him to go in haste to Edward with the message of Scottish defiance.
Robert Bruce is heir to the throne of Scotland, but resident at the English court in J.W.'s The Valiant Scot. His plea for a discussion of his status is ignored by King Edward, who sends him to levy troops against France. Later, he fights in the battle against the rebel Scots. He meets Wallace in the field, who tells him that he is fighting on the wrong side. To prove this, Wallace suggests that Bruce wash his hands in blood and then see how much respect he gets from the English. Bruce does so, and sure enough the English are dismissive of his prowess. Clifford tells Bruce that the English sneer at him as a traitorous Scot, and then sends him twelve silver pence and a pair of spurs, meaning that he is a traitor to his country and ought to flee. Bruce recognizes his folly, and decides to join with Wallace. But before he can leave, Wallace is brought into the English camp by Mentith and Coming. King Edward then crowns Bruce the King of Scotland and Bruce bends to his command. However, he then stabs Coming to avenge the death of Wallace.


Only mentioned in the anonymous Wit's Triumvirate. Sir Robert Cotton was mentioned by Master Silence when he is offering Master Ominous a solution to put an end to his misfortunes: "But for Sir Robert Cotton's library, I charge you by and in the name of all out brethren come not near it." Sir Robert Bruce Cotton (1571-1631) was an antiquarian (librarian and record-keeper) and politician–one of the founders of modern government and rule by precedence and common law. His 1000-book library and his vast collection of manuscripts surpassed the records of the government.


A "ghost character" in the anonymous Thomas of Woodstock. The Duke of Ireland. Late favorite of Richard II. His wife, the Duchess of Ireland, is a friend of the Queen, Anne o'Beame. De Vere does not appear in the play. [Historically, de Vere was the favorite defeated by the King's uncles; see general historical note for the playwright's contraction of historical sequence.]


Leader of the First Crusade and son to William the Conqueror in Thomas Heywood's The Four Prentices of London. In the Holy Land, he falls in love with Bella Franca, follows her when she leaves the camp, is captured by the Soldan's forces, and is rescued by Guy, disguised as the Goldsmith Knight. He returns at the end of the play to England where, unhistorically, he succeeds his recently deceased father, William the Conqueror.


Robert, or Robin is the young Earl of Huntingdon in Chettle's(?) Looke About You. He is also referred to as Robin Hood. He is the ward and chamberlain of Prince Richard and appears in conjunction with him and Block on several occasions. On the plea of Lady Faukenbridge Robert dresses up as a woman, impersonating Lady Faukenbridge when Prince Richard comes to woo her. In this disguise he obtains Richard's help in saving Gloster from Henry and John. Robin Hood is the more frequent name for Robert of Huntingdon. He also is referred to as 'England's Pride' by old Faukenbridge.
This is the correct name and title of Robin Hood before he is outlawed in (?Chettle and) Munday's Downfall of Robert Earl of Huntington and also in theirDeath of Robert, Earl of Huntington. However, he is rarely referred to by his title by other characters and the stage directions and speech headings are consistent in using Robin or Robin Hood. (See also "ROBIN HOOD").
A "ghost character" in Davenport's King John and Matilda. He is named as Matilda's late betrothed true love, whose death by poison causes her to swear perpetual virginity. Her committed chastity has frustrated the King's passion since long before the start of the play. (A traditional alias of Robin Hood, though this is not specifically alluded to in the play.)
(See also "ROBIN HOOD").


Robert claims the lands and title of Fauconbridge in the anonymous 1 Troublesome Reign of John on grounds that his older brother, Philip, is illegitimate, having been fathered on his mother during her husband's absence by King Richard Coeur de Lion. Philip acknowledges the charge, and Robert becomes the heir.
Robert is the younger son of Lady Falconbridge in Shakespeare's King John. He appears before King John to force the disinheritance of his elder brother Philip because he is a bastard. From descriptions by the Bastard, he is a thin, weak looking man, and the image of his father. Robert eventually gains the land when the Bastard throws in his lot with John and Eleanor.


A "ghost character" in the anonymous 1 Troublesome Reign of John. Having died before the play begins, Fauconbridge has left his estate as the source of contention between his two sons, Robert the Younger and Philip.
A "ghost character" in Shakespeare's King John. The elder Robert Falconbridge was a friend of Richard I, and was sent by him on an embassy to Germany, during which time the Philip (the Bastard) was born. Robert, who is described as the image of his father, recounts how his father repudiated Philip on his deathbed.


Baron Robert, or Robin Fitzwater, brother to Lady Bruce and father to Matilda in Davenport's King John and Matilda. Leader of the party opposed to King John, seconded by Old Bruce. He is campaigning for the restoration of the liberties confirmed in Magna Carta and later, he is opposed to the King's reconciliation with Rome. His principal personal grievances are the King's persistent attempts to violate his daughter, and progressively, to revenge the atrocities committed by the King's party throughout the play. Ardent to reform but not to depose the King, Fitzwater is resentful of being called a rebel. He resists Leister's suggestion of offering the crown to the King of France and proposes the plan to enlist the Dauphin merely as their ally, a plan that prevails. He makes the fatal paternal mistake of persuading Matilda to dance with the masquer who turns out to be the King in disguise. The glove he loses in the ensuing mêlée is used by Hubert to trick Richmond into ensuring Matilda's abduction. When Matilda takes sanctuary in the Abbey, he seems to accept the King's promise of honorable marriage for Matilda, but his attempt to persuade her to relent is a test of her chastity and her refusal delights him. After her death, he is persuaded to put aside personal revenge in the public good. He accepts the King's show of penitence for his daughter's death. See also "FITZWATER."


Robert is the charitable and virtuous son of Old Foster, and nephew of Stephen Foster in William Rowley's A New Wonder: A Woman Never Vexed. He is in love with Jane, daughter of Bruyne, who approves the match. Robert angers his father by bailing out Stephen from prison, and then rescues Stephen when he is attacked in a gaming-den. Old Foster disowns him. When Stephen reforms and marries the Widow, he takes Robert on as his heir and factor. Old Foster then loses his ships and is imprisoned in Ludgate. Robert steals £200 from Stephen to help his father, who repents of his meanness. When Stephen finds out, he angrily disowns Robert. Robert complains to the King, but Stephen is only pretending to be angry, and in the final scene, the Foster family is reconciled. Robert marries Jane.


Robert Goodfellow is a citizen of London in Thomas Heywood's 1 Edward IV. Though he keeps a "frolic house," Robert claims he has no monies to donate to the king's war effort against France beyond a "brace of angels."


Only mentioned in Jonson's Every Man out of His Humour. Robert Greene (1560?–1592) was an Elizabethan dramatist and poet. He is remembered for a few charming lyrics and a derisive reference to William Shakespeare in his "Groatsworth of Wit Bought with a Million of Repentance." When Fastidious Brisk wants to make a good impression on Puntavorlo as a gentleman, he boasts about his high connections at court. When Puntavorlo mentions the court lady Saviolina, Fastidious Brisk says she is an excellent lady with a talent for music. According to Fastidious Brisk, her phrases are elegant and her choice of figures rivals Sidney's Arcadia or Greene's poems.


Sir Robert is Lady Mosely's brother in ?Brewer's The Country Girl. At the arrival of the suitors, he welcomes his guests. He tries to convince them to leave their beloved rest. He is in favor of Sir Oliver to whom he offers 1,000 a year if he marries his sister. Thus, he is angry with Mr. William for talking to the other three gentlemen. Sir Robert is married with Lady Malory. That does not deter him, however, from flirting with Margaret, a country girl. In his attempt to flatter her, he gives a ring to Abraham for her. Later, he will go to see the country girl asking for her love but she rejects the tutor that has taken care of her since she was young. He leaves the dance angry for not having dance with Margaret. He wants to have her as his mistress, which annoys the country girl that brings Lady Malory to embarrass the nobleman. Later, when the Captain is in the hospital, he visits him with the two ladies.


A "ghost character" in Armin's The Two Maids of More–Clacke. He is a Scottish gentleman thought to be very honorable.


An antiquary in Cartwright's The Ordinary. Because he is devoted to his old books, he is easily fooled into wooing and marrying Joane Pot-lucke. His speech is Chaucerian, sometimes containing actual fragments of Chaucer.


The disguise taken on by King William the Conqueror in [?]Wilson's Fair Em, the Miller's Daughter during his visit to the Danish court.


The false name that Flattery assumes in his disguise as a Pardoner in Lindsay's Satire of the Three Estates.


Sir Robert Rudstone (Rodston in the speech headings in Dekker and Webster's Sir Thomas Wyatt) reports the arrival of the forces of Norfolk and Arundel, and he receives orders from Sir Thomas Wyatt about how to position their musketeers, pike men, archers, and cavalry.


Robert Shallow is a country justice called cousin by Justice Silence in Shakespeare's 2 Henry IV. Shallow presents a rather motley crew of recruits for Falstaff, and his conversations with Falstaff and with fellow justice Silence provide glimpses of Shallow's rough-and-tumble law education days.
Shallow, cousin to Slender, is an elderly country justice in Shakespeare's The Merry Wives of Windsor. Falstaff's followers have robbed Slender, and Falstaff has slighted Shallow by beating his men, stealing his deer, and breaking open his lodge. Shallow seeks amends by having Slender marry Anne Page for her inheritance. He even rather foolishly attempts to woo the young woman on his cousin's behalf, but the plan goes awry when Anne Page steals off with Fenton.


Master Robert Sherley is one of the eponymous English brothers in Day, Rowley and Wilkins's The Travels of the Three English Brothers. He accompanies Anthony Sherley to Persia. During the war against the Turks, he angers Halibeck by preventing him from killing a prisoner. Robert is left in Persia by Anthony as a surety while he travels abroad. He leads the Persians in a victory against the Turks, but angers the Sophy when he independently offers the Turk twenty prisoners in exchange for the captured Thomas Sherley Jr(q.v.). He further angers the Sophy by falling in love with his Niece, but they marry after the Sophy finds their love to be genuine. Robert and the Niece have a child, and baptize it as a Christian. Robert also builds a church in Persia. Robert reveals to the Sophy the truth about Halibeck's behavior toward Anthony, but recommends that he be forgiven.


Robert the Palsgrave is the primary champion of Savoy's claim to the German throne in Smith's The Hector of Germany. At the beginning of the play, the Palsgrave is sick in bed. Because of his illness, he is unable to participate in the initial battle between Savoy, Bohemia and Brandenburgh and the Bastard, Saxon and the Bishops. When The Bastard carries the day, the Palsgrave meets the rightful King of Spain. The Palsgrave, the King of Spain and Cullen rout the Bastard and Saxon in battle and capture the Bastard. When the Palsgrave exits the stage to chase down Saxon, the Bastard escapes. The Palsgrave rebukes his allies and embarks upon a trip to England in order to recruit the assistance of King Edward of England. In England, Edward warmly greets the Palsgrave. The Palsgrave is wildly successful in an English jousting tournament. He repeatedly sends word to the Bastard, now in France, that his days as German Emperor are numbered. The Palsgrave also repeatedly challenges Saxon to duel. Due to his chivalrous behavior, the Palsgrave becomes the first foreigner inducted into Edward's Order of the Garter. When Saxon sneaks into the English court disguised as a Frenchman named Poyctriers, the Palsgrave immediately sees through the deceit and unmasks his enemy. With the assistance of the French Queen, the Palsgrave and his men are able to sneak into the French castle disguised as dancers for a masque. Once inside the compound, the Palsgrave and his men ambush their enemies. The Palsgrave slays Saxon, stands by as the Bastard abdicates and watches as Savoy assumes the throne as Emperor of Germany.


Sir Robert Toures is a gentleman, son of the Auditor in Armin's The Two Maids of More–Clacke. He wants to find the Lady's glove when she loses it. Later, he proposes to Mary although he has always thought that he was to be single. He is offered Mary by her father with a strange promise. He disguises himself as a Tinker boy to sing in front of the Lady. When he finishes, he is left with Mary and he discovers himself and tells his lover to go with him. Later, in the final wedding party, he is blamed for the death of his lover.


A lawyer, subsequently Lord Chief Justice of England in the anonymous Thomas of Woodstock; corrupt and unscrupulous, Tresilian is the brain behind all the bad decisions of King Richard II. He devises "blank charters", or blank cheques, as a way for the King to exact money from his subjects; Tresilian is careful to subtract more than half of it for his own use ("Our pains in this must needs be satisfied"). He aids Richard's favorites, Bagot, Bushy, Greene, and Scroop in their plan to "rent" the kingdom from their master. When Richard wants to be rid of Woodstock, his virtuous uncle, Tresilian comes up with the plot: following his suggestion, Richard first takes Woodstock captive under pretence of giving a masque at his house, and then sends him abroad to be murdered. Tresilian is finally betrayed by his clever servant, Nimble, who hands him over to the King's uncles, Lancaster and York, in the final battle. [The historical Tresilian was executed in 1388, before the rise to power of the King's favorites; the playwright has contracted the period (see general historical note) and invented their alliance.]


Sir Robert is the brother in law of Mumford and ward of his niece in Chettle and Day's Blind Beggar of Bednal Green but plots against Mumford. He is thrilled to learn that Young Plainsey has arranged to have Mumford accused of treason, and banished. He quickly offers his daughter, Kate, to Young Plainsey as wife. When Old Strowd witnesses Sir Robert turning Bess Mumford out of his house, he insults Sir Robert and the two agree to duel. During the duel, Sir Robert is badly wounded and Strowd flees, believing him dead. Sir Robert is found by the disguised Mumford and Bess, who decide to nurse him back to health, despite his treachery. Sir Robert confesses his wrongs and promises to repent, but once he is healthy, he regrets what he has done. He does appear at Strowd's trial so Strowd will not be executed for his death, but afterwards, tells Young Plainsey that they must kill the beggar before he reveals what Sir Robert has told him. Together with their followers, they attempt to kill the disguised Mumford and take Bess by force, but are unsuccessful. Instead, both groups appear before the King and fight to prove their cause. Sir Robert's side loses and Mumford reveals himself. With the others, Sir Robert is banished.

ROBERTO **1621

Roberto, King of Sicily, his half-brother is Bertoldo in Massinger's The Maid of Honor.

ROBERTO **1639

Roberto is the duke's gardener and husband of Ursula in Shirley's The Gentleman of Venice. He has always believed Giovanni to be his son; he learns near the play's end that his wife had exchanged her son for the duke's son in the children's infancy. Thomazo, then, is really Giovanni, Roberto's son.


Woos and marries the widowed Isabella, who, on their wedding day, falls in love with Count Massino in John Marston's The Insatiate Countess. First enraged by her unfaithfulness, he decides to turn his back on his worldly life and retires to a monastery. He returns on the day of Isabella's execution to forgive her.


Minor character in ?Brewer's The Country Girl. Sir Robert asks him to bring the lady in Act V.

ROBIN **1585

The third of the miller's three sons in Lyly's Gallathea. After being shipwrecked, they determine to seek their fortunes separately.

ROBIN **1592

Robin is Clown's given name in Marlowe's Doctor Faustus.


In one of the deleted scenes in Chettle, Dekker and Munday's Sir Thomas More, Robin is an apprentice taking part in the May Day riots of 1517. Speaking to his fellow apprentice Harry, he complains of being out of practice with a sword and asks his fellow when he was last at Garrett's fencing school.

ROBIN **1597

If the character of Robin in The Merry Wives of Windsor is intended to be Falstaff's Page, then this character first saw life as a gift from Prince Hal in service to Sir John Falstaff in Shakespeare's 2 Henry IV. He has no speaking part in the play. He is a remarkably small character to contrast Falstaff's large proportions. He is probably the same character who returns as "Boy" in Henry V and as "Robin" in The Merry Wives of Windsor. However, some scholarship has suggested that the actor might have been a dwarf or midget rather than a child and that he may have also performed the part of Sir Andrew Aguecheek in Twelfth Night.
Robin serves as Falstaff's page in Shakespeare's The Merry Wives of Windsor. He delivers letters to Margaret Page and Alice Ford. He helps the two women to cozen the fat knight, and assists Falstaff into the laundry basket. He is likely the same character known as "Page" in 2 Henry IV and "Boy" in Henry V.
The Boy in Shakespeare's Henry V, formerly Falstaff's page, attends Pistol, Bardolph and Nym when they join Henry's army. When Pistol captures a French soldier at the battle of Agincourt, Pistol's questions and the soldier's pleas for mercy work at cross purposes until the Boy arrives to serve as their translator. The Boy is able to explain that the soldier's name is Monsieur Le Fer, and eventually a ransom agreement is reached. Later, Fluellen is outraged when the French contravene the rules of engagement by killing the boys guarding the English army's luggage. The Boy is among those killed.

ROBIN **1598

Apparently the given name of the Second Collier in (?Chettle and) Munday's Downfall of Robert Earl of Huntington. (See "COLLIER, FIRST and SECOND").

ROBIN **1599

A nickname of Robert, Earl of Gloster in Chettle's(?) Looke About You. (See "GLOUCESTER.")

ROBIN **1599

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

ROBIN **1600

Robin is the servant-devil Akercock in disguise as the manservant of the Spanish doctor Castiliano (who is himself the devil Belphagor in disguise) in Haughton's The Devil and his Dame. When his demonic master's mortal wife beats him, he runs away. After he leaves Castiliano's service Robin further transforms himself into the English folk-devil or "sprite" Robin Goodfellow.

ROBIN **1602

A "ghost character" in (?)Heywood's How A Man May Choose A Good Wife From A Bad. One Master Fuller's mistress' lovers.

ROBIN **1604

Young Chartley's given name in Thomas Heywood's The Wise Woman of Hogsdon. It is mentioned only once in the play.

ROBIN **1606

Robin is Sir John Harcop's man in Wilkins's The Miseries of Enforced Marriage and a clown who engages in word play.

ROBIN **1612

Perhaps a "ghost character" in Fletcher's The Captain, but more likely the name of the Second Tavern Boy.

ROBIN **1625

Servant to Old Lionell in Heywood's The English Traveler. Cares for the livestock. Scandalized by Reignald and Young Lionell's misuse of Old Lionell's estate in his absence. Tells Old Lionell about it when he returns from a long merchant voyage.

ROBIN **1632

One of Lively’s “two rustical servants" in Hausted’s Rival Friends. The other is Edward. Lively has given his two maids, one named Kate, and two of his rustic servants leave to go dance on the green. Along with the fiddlers, they encounter Merda and Anteros disguised as Geoffrey and bid them dance with them. Later, Robin and Edward discover Neander standing over the body of Constantina with a sword in his hand and carry the girl to Justice Hook.

ROBIN **1634

The loyal manservant of Master Generous in Heywood and Brome's The Late Lancashire Witches, Robin is sometimes addressed by his full name, Robert. Early in the play Master Generous puts Robin in charge of two tasks:
  • to fetch wine from Lancashire and
  • to prevent his wife, Mrs. Generous from going out riding alone.
Robin is happy about his trip to Lancashire. It allows him some stolen moments with his sweetheart, Mall Spencer, who resides along the way. Mall is a witch, however, and after demonstrating to Robin her powers by making her milk pail fly through the air, she promises to spirit him away to London to fetch Master Generous' favorite wine. When Robin returns, he tells Master Generous of his miraculous trip, but Master Generous does not believe him, even when he produces as evidence a receipt that Master Generous had forgotten during his last trip to London. When Robin attempts to fulfill his second task of preventing Mrs. Generous from going riding alone, she slips a magic bridle on him and transforms him into a horse and rides him to the witches' Sabbat feast. There he witnesses their revelry. When the Sabbat is interrupted Robin outwits Mrs. Generous and slips the bridle on her and rides her back at home. There, Robin leaves Mrs. Generous in the form of a horse until Master Generous is persuaded to remove the bridle, whereon she is transformed into her natural form. Mrs. Generous tearfully confesses to her husband, and Master Generous exacts a promise of silence from Robin to keep his wife's guilty secret. Robin subsequently accompanies Master Generous on business out of town, and immediately upon his return he is confronted by Master Arthur, who accuses him of being his father. Robin adamantly denies this charge, and his trip out of town confirms that Master Arthur has been misled by witchcraft in his suspicions (see also entry on Robin (spirit)). Robin is among those called forward by Doughty to testify against the witches in the final scene, and he confirms the Boy's story of the witches' Sabbat.


Robin is the More household brewer in Chettle, Dekker and Munday's Sir Thomas More. Like Giles the porter, Ralph the horsekeeper, and the other servants, he is upset upon learning that More must die. With his fellows, he will receive a gift of twenty nobles for his good service.


Also known as Puck in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, Robin Goodfellow is a fairy sprite devoted to Oberon and given to joke-playing and general naughtiness, including transforming Bottom's head into that of an ass.


Robin Goodfellow is a guise that the servant-devil Akercock assumes in Haughton's The Devil and his Dame. In this form, with the traditional leather jerkin, russet face and flail, he intervenes in the rivalry between Grim the Collier, Clack the Miller and Parson Short-hose for the love of the country maid Joan. After invisibly beating Clack and the Parson, and securing Joan for Grim, he visibly shares a meal with them before saying farewell not only to them, but to the audience. Later, as Akercock, he returns to Hell.


Not the mischievous fairy but rather a confidence trickster and helper to Churms in the anonymous Wily Beguiled. He agrees to help Churms in his scheming by trying to convince Peter Ploddall that he has a powder that will cause Lelia to fall in love. Robin also agrees to indict Sophos for the rape "of some strumpet or other," whom they will hire, causing him to be abandoned by his friend Fortunatus (Lelia's brother) and by Lelia. He tells Peter Ploddall he will frighten off Sophos, explains how to court Lelia, and sells him the magic powder. Later he explains aloud in the woods that he will steal more money from Peter Ploddall while Churms steals Lelia from the same simple rustic. He will amuse himself by dressing up as a hob-goblin and frightening Sophos. When he tries to terrify Sophos, Fortunatus forces him to stand on a stool and makes him confess the troubles he causes great men by pretending to be their friend, and man and wife by making them fall out with each other. Fortunatus beats him and he runs away. Later he meets Ploddall and Peter, who doubt that they will get their money back and set off to the Justice to complain about Robin. Churms arrives asking Robin Goodfellow how well he has done in frightening Sophos. After hearing that he has been unsuccessful they leave to go someplace where they are unknown and there to set up their knavery afresh.


An informal disguise, or persona, or impersonation that Asotus proposes to bestow upon Thrasymachus while roaring at Ballio's house in Randolph's Jealous Lovers.


Only mentioned in Mayne’s City Match. Timothy wrote a speech for “a green Robin Goodfellow" to be spoken from the Cheapside conduit for a merchant company.


Only mentioned in Peele's Edward I. When the Welsh rebels decide to assume the roles of figures from the Robin Hood legend, Lluellen assumes the pose of Robin Hood himself.
Robert, or Robin is the young Earl of Huntingdon in Chettle's(?) Looke About You. He is also referred to as Robin Hood. He is the ward and chamberlain of Prince Richard and appears in conjunction with him and Block on several occasions. On the plea of Lady Faukenbridge Robert dresses up as a woman, impersonating Lady Faukenbridge when Prince Richard comes to woo her. In this disguise he obtains Richard's help in saving Gloster from Henry and John. Robin Hood is the more frequent name for Robert of Huntingdon. He also is referred to as 'England's Pride' by old Faukenbridge.
Robin Hood asks Marian why she is sad in Greene's George a Greene, and she tells him she is insulted by all the attention paid to George and Beatrice, and that she will not sleep with him until he beats George. He agrees that he and his men will seek out George. After George has beaten Scarlet and Much, he and Robin Hood fight to a draw and Robin asks George to join with him. George does not agree, but is pleased to realize that the man he has been fighting is Robin Hood, and invites all of them to dinner. Robin and George meet with the disguised King Edward and James, and mistake them for peasants because they are not carrying their staffs properly. After Edward reveals himself, Robin asks for a pardon for him and his men, and it is granted.
Robin Hood is the outlaw name of Robert, Earl of Huntington, although he is addressed by both names throughout (?Chettle and) Munday's Downfall of Robert Earl of Huntington. He discovers he is outlawed at a dinner supposedly thrown for his engagement to Marian, and leaves in a passion. He is followed by Little John, who counsels him to control himself. Robin then tells Marian that he has been outlawed and she is as good as a widow. She faints, and Robin then gains control of himself. He confronts his accusers at dinner in a sort of play-within-a-play, and chases Sentloe, Broughton and Warman out, threatening to kill them. That night, disguised as a Citizen, he meets with Marian. Marian and Queen Elinor have changed clothes to thwart pursuit. The Queen hopes Robin, with whom she is in love, will mistake her for Marian and steal her away and leave Marian behind, but Marian has told Robin of the switch. He pretends to reject Marian in favor of the Queen, and then escapes with the disguised Marian. He next rescues Scarlet and Scathlock from hanging by pretending to be an old man. He tells Warman that the two killed his son and that he wants to kill them himself. He announces that he will blow his horn just as they did when they killed his son, but this is really a signal for Little John and Much to attack. After they chase off Warman and Ralph, Tuck, impressed, asks to join Robin. Robin decides to become an outlaw and hide in the forest until Richard returns. Robin then renames himself Robin Hood (although he has been using that name since the beginning) and renames Matilda Maid Marian. He also establishes rules for his outlaws, including respect for clergy, protection of the poor and chastity, the latter of which, oddly enough, only Much objects to. The Prior and Doncaster enter the forest to try to capture Robin, but he is warned by Tuck and Jenny and they escape. When Fitzwater, Marian's father, enters the forest, he finds Robin and Marian and they give him meat and drink. They recognize him despite the fact that he pretends to be a blind man, but, when he asks that they not question him further, they respect his wishes. In rapid succession, Ely, Warman and Prince John all find their way into the forest and are met by Robin, who forgives them wholeheartedly, causing each man, in turn, to regret his actions against Robin. Richard then enters the forest and seeks out Robin. After being received by King Richard, Robin presents him with Fitzwater and Ely, reconciles him with Prince John and then presents Marian, a "gift" to the king that he hopes to receive back. Of course, Richard returns Marian to Robin and hopes their love will last forever.
Despite the play's title, Robin appears only in the first act of Munday and Chettle's Death of Robert, Earl of Huntington. He is part of the hunting party with King Richard, but stops to ask after Doncaster and the Prior, who are still recovering from injury. He urges them to rest, not realizing that they are plotting his death, and also suggests that Warman try to forget his fault and be more merry. When he returns to find Warman dead, he is convinced by the Prior that Warman committed suicide. The Prior offers him a health inducing drink and Robin asks instead that it be prepared for the King. However, he does drink some, and discovers it is poisoned. He drags Doncaster and the Prior before Richard and reveals that they have attempted regicide. True to his nature, he immediately forgives the Prior when the latter shows signs of remorse, even urging him to use benefit of clergy to avoid the death sentence. He asks that Richard take care of Matilda, and Richard responds by granting Matilda Robin's lands and title for herself. Robin then tries to make sure all parties will remain reconciled and that John will respect Matilda rather than lust after her. He arranges his funeral, distributes his gold among his followers and then asks that Matilda close his eyes. He then dies.
A "ghost character" in Davenport's King John and Matilda. He is named as Matilda's late betrothed true love, whose death by poison causes her to swear perpetual virginity. Her committed chastity has frustrated the King's passion since long before the start of the play. (A traditional alias of Robin Hood, though this is not specifically alluded to in the play.)


Never appearing on stage in the play, Robin Nightwork is the son of Jane Nightwork and is mentioned in passing by Falstaff and Shallow in Shakespeare's 2 Henry IV.


A "ghost character" in Shakespeare's 1 Henry IV. Mentioned in passing by a Carrier, Robin Ostler is the deceased stableman of the Rochester Inn.


He appears at the beginning of the Anonymous Famous Victories of Henry V with Lawrence Costermonger and John Cobbler. The three of them are neighbors and they help Derrick apprehend Cuthbert Cutter the thief.


A “ghost character" in Hausted’s Rival Friends. Zealous Knowlittle’s father sent Justice Hook a horse of Robin Redbreast’s getting.


And alternate name for Servus in the anonymous Pater, Filius et Uxor. When he is asked his name, he replies he is called Robyn ten away, but not happy with that, he provides the names of the previous nine.


Vaster's son first appears in the first scene of S.S's Honest Lawyer, asking his father to treat his mother well, but is commanded to leave and reluctantly obeys. He and Anne are then met by Benjamin, and at first Robin is ready to attack the son of his enemy, but Benjamin soon wins him over. However, when Gripe appears and threatens to disown Benjamin, Anne insists they leave him. The two supposed orphans seek help from Bromley, Gripe, and Nice and are turned down all three times. Finally Sagar offers to help them, although his own legal troubles have left them almost penniless. Benjamin enters and promises to help them and to marry Anne. Robin meets his mother, whom Benjamin has rescued from the brothel, and at first does not recognize her. When he does, he believes her presence in the house of their enemy shows her infidelity, and threatens to kill her, but she is rescued by Gripe. Robin then joins with Valentine, Curfew and the disguised Vaster in scaring Nice. He is present in the final scene and is reunited with his father and mother.


A "ghost character" in Jonson's The Devil is an Ass. Robinson is a real-life boy actor who Merecraft intends to hire to impersonate the "Spanish Lady," an instructor in fashionable etiquette. Wittipol substitutes himself for the boy actor in order to get close to Frances Fitzdottrel, but Robinson probably originated the part of Wittipol, making this an inside theatrical joke.


A "ghost character" in Heywood and Brome's The Late Lancashire Witches, Master Robinson appears to be the owner of the greyhounds encountered by the Boy. Believing that the dogs have escaped their master, the Boy determines to return them in the hopes of reward, describing Master Robinson as a liberal gentleman.


A spirit conjured by Mrs. Generous and Mall Spencer to aid Whetstone in his revenge against the gallants for calling him a bastard in Heywood and Brome's The Late Lancashire Witches. In order to cast aspersions on Master Arthur's paternity, the spirit appears in the form of Robin (obviously the same actor playing the spirit). Robing at one time had been Arthur's father's groom, and he points to Arthur as if to claim him as his son; the suggestion is that Arthur too is a bastard. This suggestion is revealed as groundless, however, when later in the play Arthur confronts Robin about his paternity and discovers from both Robin and Master Generous that they have been out of town, and hence the spirit that appeared earlier to Arthur could not have been Robin himself; Robin adamantly denies having fathered Arthur.


Robin Starveling, one of the play's rude mechanicals, is a tailor in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. He plays the theatrical part of Moonshine although he is early allotted the role of Thisbe's mother.

ROBUSTO **1607

A “ghost character" in Tomkis’ Lingua. He tripped up Memorie’s heels at football when they were children.


Rocca is the servant of Mountferrat in Fletcher's The Knight of Malta. He returns from Oriana with a message of pity and absolute rejection, and asks that Mountferrat kill him so he will not have to deliver the message. After the trial by combat, Rocca is in contact with Abdella. After Abdella drugs Oriana so that she is believed dead, Rocca goes with Mountferrat to aid in his attempt to rape and kill her in her tomb, but they are stopped by Gomera, who has come to visit his wife's grave. Rocca fights with Gomera and is wounded. He is then arrested along with Mountferrat and Abdella, by Norandine and the Corporal. Unlike Mountferrat and Abdella, his fate is not clearly stated.


A Lord attending the Duke of Savoy in Chapman's The Conspiracy of Charles, Duke of Byron. He appears in the opening scene in Paris.


A poverty-stricken younger brother, Rochfield has decided to become a highwayman in Webster and Rowley's A Cure for a Cuckold. His first victim is Annabel, who is running down the road after the errant Bonvile. Rochfield tries to rob her of the jewelry locked around her body, but Annabel outwits him by grabbing his sword. She then takes pity on him and offers to take him home and give him the jewelry's worth in money. Back home, she introduces him as a wedding guest, and slips him the money. Rochfield then uses it to join Woodroff's shipping venture. During the voyage, the Captain and Master are killed in a battle with some Spanish ships. Rochfield rallies the crew and is made captain, whereupon they defeat the Spaniards. Woodroff is delighted with Rochfield. On Bonvile's return, the melancholic Lessingham tries to suggest that Annabel and Rochfield have had an affair. Rochfield ends this by explaining to everyone how he and Annabel met. The others forgive him because he has proven his worth, and Woodroff promises to look after him.


Viscount Rochford is a title held by Sir Thomas Bullen, father of Anne Bullen in Shakespeare's Henry VIII.


Retiring judge of Dijon in Field and Massinger's The Fatal Dowry. The embodiment of modesty and temperance, he is a poor judge of character. Unlike his successor, Novall Senior, he is immediately impressed by the soldierly qualities of Charalois, freeing him and his friend Romont from prison and offering Charalois his daughter Beaumelle as wife. But while he is able to discern virtue, he seems unable to detect sin, and thus refuses to believe Romont's accusation that his daughter is deceiving her husband. After Charalois has caught her and her lover together, he is forced to sentence her to death in the mock trial set up by his son-in-law, who immediately carries out Rochfort's death sentence. During the subsequent trial of Chalarois, Rochfort acknowledges his daughter's sinfulness and leaves the stage a broken man.


A burgher of Utrecht in Fletcher and Massinger's Sir John Van Olden Barnavelt. He tries, unsuccessfully, to induce the mercenary soldiers to support Barnavelt against Maurice.


This fragment begins at the end of a first scene of Wilson’s The Corporal wherein both a Clo: and Rod: address some ‘choice gentlemen’ saying that ‘we’ are your humble servants. In the next scene he observes a conversation between Erf: acting as go-between for Theo: and asks Clo: if he likes what he sees.


King of Cuba in Greene's Orlando Furioso. With Sacripant, Brandimart and Mandricard he organizes a rebellion in order to revenge himself on Marsilius. His castle is destroyed by Orlando, but not before he escapes, along with Brandimart. He attempts to rape Angelica, but is chased off by Orlando.


Rodamant has studied necromancy under Archimagus for seven years–but has failed to achieve anything in Shirley's St. Patrick For Ireland. He declares his lust for the Queen. He tells a shocked Magician/Priest about his love for the Queen. He expresses bewilderment about the ever-changing roll-call of gods that the pagans must give obeisance to. He tells the appalled Bard about his crush on the Irish Queen, justifying it by saying that because an acquaintance of his loved a horse, it is not inappropriate for him to love a monarch's wife. He composes bad love poetry about the Queen, but is distracted by the chaos caused by Corybreus' death and the fire in Milcho's house. He takes the invisible-making bracelet from the dead body of Corybreus. In the temple, Rodamant puts on the bracelet, using his invisibility to kiss the Princesses, and to stop the fruition of their sexual dalliances with the sons of Dichu–to 'keep them honest', he says. Thinking that his love, the Queen, has died in the fire, he wanders idly in the woods. He uses his invisibility again, this time to prevent the rape of Emeria by two Soldiers, but a Spirit snatches the bracelet from him, leaving him feeling both visible and vulnerable.


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


Roderick is the King of Spain during an invasion of African Moors in William Rowley's All's Lost by Lust. He lusts after Jacinta, and gains access to her by naming her father Julianus leader in the war against the Moors. When Roderick's agents, Lothario and Malena, fail to persuade Jacinta to yield to him, Roderick rapes her. He imprisons her in his castle, but she escapes. Fearful that Julianus will learn what has happened, Roderick orders that Julianus remain at a distance from the court. He is terrified when he learns that Julianus is leading an army to depose him, and breaks into a mysterious locked room in his castle, which all of his predecessors have left unopened. Inside, Roderick finds Devils impersonating himself and his enemies in a preternaturally prescient dumb show. The Devils show Roderick kneeling to the Moor and losing his crown. As the rebels attack, Roderick flees to exile in Biscany.


Secretary to the Duke, he is the Machiavellian villain of Ford's Love's Sacrifice, serving the Duke's disaffected sister, Fiormunda, ultimately for his own purposes. Never overtly expressed, D'avalos appears to be motivated by pure ambition for power, to manipulate the Duke and rule through him. The Duke believes him loyal and trustworthy. The gradual discovery of his treachery by honest characters as his control of the Duke tightens, provides a major political theme in the play- the damage done by a predatory and self-serving politician. His credit with the gullible and volatile Caraffa allows him to slander others close to the throne. First seen delivering to Roseilli the news of his banishment, it is later made clear that D'avalos has exaggerated the Duke's sentence for his own reasons. He serves Fiormunda by breaking to Fernando the unwelcome news of her passion for him and his curiosity is sparked by the latter's improbable indifference to his romantic disclosure. Fernando's rejection of the most eligible lady at court prompts him to suspect rightly that Fernando has a secret and illicit love, but he regards it as policy to lie to Fiormunda about the failure of his mission. D'avalos has the cunning to persist in his allegations of disloyalty against Roseilli, when the Duke is made aware that his orders have been distorted. He weathers the threat to his credibility by turning the Duke's anger from his own fault to Roseilli's alleged defection to the court of Spain. (D'avalos's downfall will ultimately be his arrogance- his failure to recognize Roseilli in his disguise as Fiormunda's Fool, and careless plotting within earshot of the rival he believes absent from court. Having moved from the character assassination of Roseilli to his next target- the Duchess- he underestimates the hero's resilience and resourcefulness.) D'avolos is shrewd enough to spot the overt signs of Fernando's desire for the innocent Duchess. He tests his theory by showing Fernando portraits of the two ladies and notes the lover's emotional reaction to Biancha's image. He delights in this discovery, but it is clear that in his own corruption he cannot distinguish between the adulterous lust he infers and the emotional torment of unrequited passion, which Fernando is suffering. He reveals this to the furious Fiormunda, who realizes that Fernando's protestations of celibacy to her are false. The incident of the portraits thus turns her motivation in the play from desire to revenge. D'avalos's witnesses the compromising dialogue between Biancha and Fernando, when his interpretation of their intimate conversation based only on body language (and his cynical expectations) convinces him of their adultery. The audience, hearing their innocent words, are made aware of her indignant rejection of Fernando's advances. Ironically, Ford contrives here to produce a variation on Iago's jealousy-gambit, when D'avalos ultimately incites the Duke to murder his wife by telling what he believes to be the truth of her infidelity. D'avalos plays on the Duke's choleric nature and insecurity by dropping constant hints of his cuckoldry until the Duke challenges him to produce proof of his wife's adultery. D'avolos enlists the help of Fiormunda's maid, Julia, in spying on the Duchess, promising her a new gown and honorable marriage. This emphasizes her gullibility and his plausibility, as D'avolos nowhere else mentions any carnal desire for her or anyone else. D'avolos later leads the Duke, armed, to an intimately compromising meeting of the platonic lovers and takes charge of the house-arrest of the disgraced Fernando, leaving the Duke to murder Biancha in private. The Duke's volatile temper and guilt, combined with Fernando's subsequent unimpeachable honesty, which persuades honest courtiers of his innocence, finally prevail against D'avolos's cunning. The catalyst of the Abbot's return to visit his murdered niece provokes the Duke to denounce D'avolos as an 'arch-arch-devil and bloody villain' but he continues to trust in his use to Fiormunda and succeeds in brazening out a show of repentance when Roseilli reappears. The Duke sends word that D'avolos has been deprived of his court position but he is clearly already scheming to survive any regime change, even hinting that the Duke's suicide is 'labour saved'. His hopes of survival as the new Duchess's henchman are quashed by Roseilli's integrity and justice, and he is summarily sentenced to death by starvation- hanged in chains from the castle walls for all his earlier crimes.


See also RODERICO, RODORIGO and related spellings.


Apparently a name Sebastian used for a short while in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. After telling Antonio his true name and parentage, he says he has called himself Roderigo. No reason for the false name is given.


A Spanish courtier in the Anonymous Lust's Dominion who is not pleased when Eleazar becomes King of Spain, but Eleazar makes him king of Aragon and so ensures his loyalty.


Failed suitor of Desdemona's in Shakespeare's Othello. He follows Iago's commands hoping to win Desdemona. He initiates the fight in which Cassio fights Montano, and he fecklessly attempts to kill Cassio. Iago kills him.


A lord in Webster's The Duchess of Malfi. He sees Silvio off for Milan. He learns from the servants that the Duchess is ill and all lords are to be locked into their chambers and gallantly accepts this. Roderigo, Grisolan, Malateste, Pescara and are the lords whom the Cardinal orders not to enter his chambers even if he should cry out. Their observance of his orders leads to the Cardinal's death.


Also spelled Rodergio in Fletcher's The Pilgrim. A young, brave, rich, handsome, but very 'rough' outlaw designed by Alphonso as the future husband of his saintly daughter Alinda. Previously a Captain in the King's army, Roderigo has apparently transgressed against his master, been dismissed from the army and is now defying the King's laws in the wilderness with Jacques, Loper and a band of thieves. Disguised as a boy, Alinda temporarily joins this band, and Roderigo finds himself inexplicably attracted to 'him.' His interest in the boy is tested when the outlaws capture Pedro in his pilgrim's habit. Implacably opposed to Pedro because of their rivalry for Alinda's hand and an old enmity between their families, Roderigo threatens to kill his rival despite the latter's religious status. However, his men refuse to execute his commands, and eventually the boy convinces him to stay his hand and to let Pedro go. Shortly thereafter the boy escapes and Roderigo discovers 'his' true identity. Incensed, he swears to follow and capture Alinda, but is frustrated at every turn and eventually decides that the heavens must be against him because of his sins. He has scarcely repented of said sins when he is attacked by an angry mob of peasants, who would kill him but for the life-saving intervention of Pedro. Moved by this act of charity, Roderigo swears to eschew his evil ways and to serve Pedro. He is confirmed in his resolution by Alinda and Juletta, who appear disguised as old women and enjoin him to repent. Despite the fact that he is being pursued by the Governor's men, Roderigo accompanies Pedro to the King's birthday celebrations, where he is forgiven for his crimes and vows once again to fight for his country's good.


Roderigo, a follower of Gonzaga in Massinger's The Maid of Honor.


Roderigo is the rakish son of Fernando in ?Middleton and ?Rowley's Spanish Gypsy. He abducts and rapes Clara and in contrition vows to conceal the act. He also promises that he will be true to whomever he marries. When Roderigo discovers that Lewys hopes to marry Clara, he vows to leave Madrill to avoid sight of her, but then, claiming to be an Italian gypsy poet, he joins the band of supposed gypsies led by Alvarez. The gypsies arrive at Fernando's house; Fernando instantly recognizes his son and is apprised of Roderigo's deeds by Clara. Roderigo's father insists that the gypsies stage a play in which Roderigo plays the prodigal Lorenzo, confronted by an irate father. Calling Roderigo's bluff, Fernando threatens to marry Roderigo to a rich but unattractive woman. When Roderigo expresses his desire to marry Clara, Fernando consents to the arrangement.


A don in Dekker's Noble Spanish Soldier. He snubs Balthazar upon his return and sides with the King against Medina's faction. He attends the wedding of Onælia and Cockadillio.


Cimena’s lover in Rutter’s The Cid. He is caught between his love for Cimena and desire to avenge his father’s dishonor by fighting Cimena’s father. He chooses, reluctantly, to lose his love and retain his honor. He challenges Gormas but is affronted when the Count refuses to fight so green a youth. Roderigo insists, and they go to fight. Roderigo kills Gormas in the duel. He goes to Cimena’s house to await her judgment, but Elvira convinces him to hide if only to save her honor from the rumor of harboring her father’s killer. Upon hearing her confess that she loves him still, he offers her his sword to kill him, but she will not. Upon meeting his father, he tells Diego he plans to die. Diego convinces him to fight the Moors and come back valiantly dead or alive in victory and win Cimena again. The Moors land but are repulsed after a three hour fight that sees two of their kings captured. Roderigo is the hero of the day and sends his captive kings to Fernando as a gift. The Moorish kings name Roderigo their CID. At the king’s request, he recounts the incidents of the battle. He goes to Cimena to tell her that he intends to die at Sancho’s hands and so deliver himself into the punishment she desires, but when she begs him to defend himself and swears her love he is resolute to fight valiantly. He disarms and defeats Sancho but refuses to spill blood that fights on the side of Cimena. When Cimena is given a year to mourn her father before marrying Roderigo, he loyally accepts the king’s commission to take the war to the Moors and return to marry Cimena.


Alexander VI's name prior to becoming Pope in Barnes's The Devil's Charter.


Don Roderigo is a "ghost character" in Shirley's The Brothers. Don Carlos mentions him as the father of Alberto. He died fighting the Moors.


A courtier in Chapman's Monsieur D'Olive. Along with Mugeron, he enjoys the antics of the foolish D'Olive. When D'Olive renounces court life, he plots with Mugeron to forge a love letter from the lady Hieronime to draw D'Olive back to Court and embarrass himself.

RODIA **1635

Eudora’s servant in Killigrew’s The Conspiracy. She is on hand in act four when Pallantus and Eudora meet. After Eudora faints and Pallantus stabs himself and then both recover, she thinks Pallantus a noble and good man. Later, Rodia reports to Eudora that the rebels have taken peaceful possession of the country and revealed the true king. Answering a knock at the door, she is amazed to find a handsome man that turns out to be Pallantus. She appears in later scenes primarily as a spectator.


King of the Vandals in William Rowley's A Shoemaker a Gentleman. During the battle with the Romans, he fights with the Emperor Dioclesian, but is beaten off by Crispianus. When he is defeated, he abases himself before the Romans.

RODOPE **1585

One of Sardinapalus' concubines in ?Tarlton's Three Plays in One. Appears in the second playlet.

RODOPE **1620

Belvidere's attendant, Bartello's wife and Silvio's aunt (sometimes erroneously called his niece in the play text) in Fletcher's Women Pleased. Also spelled "Rhodope" in the play text. She allows Silvio access to Belvidere, but regrets it. Participating in Isabella's plot to expose Bartello, she pretends to make love to Lopez and, when Bartello is discovered in his hiding-place, is reconciled to him. She assists Belvidere in creating the deception of the hag, and in making the wedding masque, in which she also participates as a dancer.


Duke Rodorick, Lord of Orleans in the anonymous Trial Of Chivalry, is the leader of a force of 10,000 men who serve the King of France. He is a Machiavellian villain who allies himself with Navarre's supporter Burbon, and joins him in his raid on Bellamira's tent. Roderick is delighted by Burbon's crime, since he stands to inherit Burbon's dukedom. Roderick sides with Burbon and Lewes against Navarre as war breaks out again. On the eve of battle, Roderick betrays Burbon, being complicit in giving Philip access to Burbon's tent to kill him. Entering the tent himself, he then attempts to kill Philip, but is driven away by arrival of Pembroke and Ferdinand. He is hunted across the battlefield the following day and killed by Philip.


Also known as Rodorigo in Chettle's Hoffman. Brother to Austria, he once lead an insurrection against his elder brother. Giving up politics, he is now a monk/hermit. His brother does not recognize him, but confesses his identity after being recognized by Saxony. After his brother's death, he again becomes a monk/hermit.


See also RODERICO, RODERIGO and related spellings.


Alternate name for Rodorick in Chettle's Hoffman.


Rodorigo is the captain of the ship on which Mark-Antonio has decided to serve in Fletcher's Love's Pilgrimage. He questions Mark-Antonio first why such a young man would want to go to war, and then why he does not seem to care for women. He orders the Gentleman to accompany Mark-Antonio to town because he fears Mark-Antonio's temper will get him in trouble, which it does. When the street fight breaks out, Rodorigo enters and commands that a shot be fired into the town to break up the fight, and also orders the wounded Mark-Antonio be brought to his cabin.


A "ghost character" in Mountfort's The Launching of The Mary. One of the workers in the shipyard. His name is called out by the Clerk of the Check.


A court noble in Shirley's The Doubtful Heir. Rodriguez helps open the play with an explanation of the current war. Later unsure of why Ferdinand refuses to be intimate with his new bride Olivia, Rodriguez soon learns that years ago, Leandro saved young Ferdinand in infancy; thus, the true heir has been able to return and claim his throne. The lack of intimacy between Ferdinand and Olivia is explained, then, by their close relationship.


Roffe is secretary to the French noble Count Earl S. Paul in Thomas Heywood's 2 Edward IV. His master sends him with a message to Edward telling of the Duke of Burgundy's treachery.


Rogat is a gentleman of France in the anonymous Ghost. He is father of two sons: Octavian and Dauphine. At the beginning of the play, he grieves when he learns that his son, Octavian, has been slain. And he seems to be deeply offended when he hears that Aurelia is going to marry Philarchus instead, because he wonders how she could have forgotten her son so quickly. Thus, he declines the invitation to her wedding, explaining that he has to bury his son the following day and he has to prepare the ceremony. At the end of the play, it turns out that he knew that his son had not died, and that he had married Aurelia. Rogat had actually agreed to play a part in the plot to take revenge on Philarchus, pretending that his other son, Dauphine, had gone away in search of Babilas, his brother's "murderer," when he perfectly knew that he was in fact disguised as Engin, Aurelia's servant.

ROGER **1590

The final disguise that Mumford assumes in the Anonymous King Leir. He uses it when he, the King of Gallia and Cordella travel to the seacoast. There, they meet Leir and Perillus quite by chance.

ROGER **1595

One of Edricus' servants in the Anonymous Edmond Ironside.

ROGER **1604

Roger is Bellafront's servant and pander in Dekker and Middleton's 1 The Honest Whore. His relationship with Bellafront before her conversion is casual; they joke about her trade and together pretend that Roger has spilled wine in order to extract extra money from Castruchio. After Bellafront becomes honest, Roger tells Mistress Fingerlock of Bellafront's change in behavior. When Bellafront fires him, he goes to work for Mistress Fingerlock.

ROGER **1604

Along with Christian, Roger is one of two named servants of Mistress Mulligrub in Marston's Dutch Courtesan. After Cockledemoy tricks Mistress Mulligrub into believing that Master Burnish and his wife are on their way to the Mulligrubs' for dinner, Roger and Christian help their mistress to furnish the table.


Servant Two to Antonio in Beaumont and Fletcher's The Coxcomb. Antonio, disguised as an Irish footman, reveals his identity to William and Roger his servants and tells them to spread the word that he is dead.

ROGER **1614

Two Rogers figure in Fletcher's Wit Without Money.
  • The first is a servant to Widow. He presents the three suitors to Widow after Isabel has told him that she likes them. Along with Ralph and Humphrey, Roger helps the sisters Isabel and Widow to pack to go into the country, but they are unhappy that they have to go along and will miss the tavern and the girls there. Not the same as Roger the ghost character supposed to be a secret lover of Luce.
  • The second is a "ghost character." He is not the Roger who is a servant to the Widow but rather a butcher referred to by Isabel as Luce's secret lover.

ROGER **1625

Roger is one of Master Slightall's men in Davenport's New Trick to Cheat the Devil. He accompanies Geffrey to see the Usurer and the Scrivener, but he does not agree with what they are about to do: plot against his master, Slightall. He reveals the treacherous character of his comrade, and laments that they are going to betray a man–his master–who has treated them so well. Later, when Slightall asks him to provide him a "good lusty Lasse" for the night, he manifests his reluctance to do it. Instead, he reprimands his master on his licentious life, and warns him that, if he goes on selling his goods and wasting everything on "Fidlers, Whores and Cheaters", in the end, he will have nothing left. On Slightall's insistence, he refuses to do him that service, explaining "that is an office fit for none but slaves" and that he is no slave. However, when he learns that Geffrey is going to do what he had refused to, Roger decides to stay and keep an eye on his master. He is later moved by his master's generosity when, having lost everything he had, Slightall still calls both his men and gives him and Geffrey some gold he had kept for them. Roger, really grateful, states that he will keep the money ready in case his master should need it. Later, when Lord Skales tries to enroll him as his servant, as he had done with Geffrey, Roger refuses to accept–since he blames him for his master's unhappiness–and explains that he will always be faithful to Slightall. In fact, he will later help his former master in a fight against Lord Skales, Treatwell and Geffrey, and they will beat them up. In the end, he will help Master Changeable in his plan to marry Master Slightall to his daughter Anne.

ROGER **1625

The name of the Clown in William Rowley's A New Wonder: A Woman Never Vexed; not used in the speech prefixes of the Quarto.

ROGER **1640

Roger is a servant to Sir Plenteous in Chamberlain's Swaggering Damsel. He invites his fellow Hilts to a drink.


Along with Beverley, Bourne and Murley in Munday, Drayton, Hathaway, and Wilson's Sir John Oldcastle, all "friends of Wycliff, and foes of Rome", discusses the best plan for the burgeoning movement. They agree to meet with Oldcastle and several thousand like-minded rebels the following Friday for an uprising. Along with Beverley and Murley, he is captured at Tothill Fields. In interrogation he implicates Oldcastle in the rebellion, but then recants, admitting that his knowledge is based solely on rumor. King Harry orders his execution.


A scholar and magician in Greene's Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay. Friar Bacon takes up residence in Oxford early in the play, determined to continue the necromantic activities for which he is already famous. His chief projects include ringing all England with a wall of brass and creating the Brazen Head that will be capable of delivering philosophic lectures. When the disguised Prince Edward visits him for assistance in his pursuit of Margaret, the friar shows him the magic "glass prospective" in which the prince views the love relationship that has arisen between Margaret and Edward Lacy, the prince's best friend. When King Henry, the Emperor of Germany, and the King of Castile visit Oxford, Bacon finds himself in a magic competition with Jaques Vandermast, the Emperor's magician. Although Vandermast easily bests Friar Bungay by having the Spirit in the Shape of Hercules appear to destroy the magic tree with its fire-breathing dragon that Bungay has created, the visiting magician instantly concedes defeat when Bacon arrives, and the Englishman then orders the Spirit to take Vandermast back to his native Hapsburg. Later, Bacon, with the assistance of Bungay, has nearly completed his work on the Brazen Head when he and his colleague become fatigued from watching the Head around the clock. In order to rest, Bacon commands Miles to attend the Head and to wake him the instant the object speaks, so that the final actions necessary to complete the project may be taken. The foolish assistant, however, neglects to call the friar when the Brazen Head utters "Time is," and again fails to call Bacon when the Head says "Time was." Only after the object utters "Tim is past" and the Hand With the Hammer destroys the Head does Miles summon the friar. Outraged at the loss of what was to be his greatest work, Bacon curses Miles, a curse that is fulfilled a short time later when a devil arrives to take the assistant off to hell. Bacon's final involvement with magic comes when two young friends, both undergraduates at Oxford (the First and Second Scholars) visit the friar with the request to use his "glass prospective" to see how their fathers (Lambert and Serlsby) are doing at home. What the young men view is the duel their fathers fight over Margaret of Fressingfield, and the sight of their parents' deaths incites them to fight and kill one another. Bacon is so distressed by the harm his magic has caused that he destroys the magic glass and commits himself to a life henceforth focused on God alone.
Only mentioned in Jonson's Every Man in His Humour. The Medieval English friar Roger Bacon (1214?-1294?) was one of the earliest and most farseeing of scientists. He stressed the need for observation and experiment as the true basis of science. He believed that knowledge could be more certainly advanced by experimenting with real things than by poring over the books of Aristotle. During the conversation between Cob and Mathew, the water bearer alludes ironically to Mathew's humble origin, since his father was a fishmonger. Thus, Cob says that his nose will be favored with the ghost of herring and of Rasher Bacon. In his self-conceited attempt to seem educated, Mathew corrects Cob, implying that he probably meant Roger Bacon. Cob's pragmatism, however, has the upper hand, and he replies imperturbably that, no, he meant Rasher Bacon. Cob does not allow Mathew to intimidate him by mentioning great philosophers' names, and he sticks to his point, grounded in the immediate reality.


At Eleanor's behest in Shakespeare's 2 Henry VI, the duplicitous priest Hume arranges a séance in which he, Roger Bolingbrook, the priest Southwell, and the witch Margery Jourdain conjure a spirit who will ostensibly help Eleanor to become queen. Hume is working for Cardinal Beaufort and Suffolk, who plan to use Eleanor to discredit her husband, the Duke of Gloucester. With Hume's collusion the séance is interrupted and the participants arrested. King Henry condemns the three men to the gallows, Margery Jourdain to Smithfield where she will be burnt as a witch, and Eleanor to the Isle of Man where she will live in exile after a public humiliation.


A country fellow in the dancing scene in Heywood's A Woman Killed with Kindness.


Present in Chettle, Dekker and Munday's Sir Thomas More when the Earls of Surrey and Shrewsbury discuss the many indignities heaped upon the Londoners by the city's foreign residents, Cholmley remarks that, in some ways, they and the other great lords are at fault for not making the king aware of his subjects' plight.


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


A country gentleman from Sussex in Nabbes' Covent Garden. He arrives in London at the opening of the play with his servants Dobson and Ralph. His "humor" is that of the upwardly-mobile country gentleman, intending to become a city gallant by selling "some few dirty acres" to buy a knighthood and turn his "farm of Dirtall into the manor of No-Place". After asking Mistress Tongall about lodging, he disappears for most of the play before showing up later to take a room at Dasher's tavern. When Mistress Tongall brings in Littleword, whom Dasher fears is a spy, Dungworth tricks Dasher into becoming his servant. In the mock-trial which concludes the play, Dungworth's servant Ralph reads him an impudent but witty indictment as "a gallant out of fashion all the year" who will be "ship't at Cuckolds haven, and so transported into Cornwall".


Roger Formal is Justice Clement's clerk in Jonson's Every Man in His Humour. At Justice Clement's house in Coleman Street, Formal enters following the judge and Knowell. Formal attends on Justice Clement and acts as an intermediary between the judge and his clients, transmitting directives in a formal manner. When Clement gets angry at Cob for having spoken against tobacco, he asks Formal about the rascal's name. In his imperturbable manner, Formal asks Cob about his name and relays the information to the judge. When, finally, Justice Clement's whimsical decision turns out to be in Cob's favor, Formal exits with Cob to give him the warrant for Bobadill's arrest. In a street in the Old Jewry, Formal enters with Knowell. Brainworm/Fitz-Sword enters and sends Knowell off, allegedly to surprise his son during some fictional assignation with a lady. It appears that Formal had been observing the maimed soldier's pose during his conversation with Knowell and, when the old man exits, Formal invites him for a cup of sack. Attracted by the soldier's battered appearance, Formal wants him to tell the story of his war exploits. From his obscure position as a city clerk, Formal likes to live the adventures vicariously, through the soldier's narrative. Formal exits with Brainworm/Fitz-Sword to the Windmill Tavern, but it transpires that the trickster gets Formal drunk and deprives him of his cloak, using it as a disguise. In the final revelation scene, Formal cuts a ridiculous figure when he appears dressed in a suit of armor. He says he remembers nothing, only that he woke up at the tavern in his underwear and the armor was the next best thing he could find by way of apparel. Despite his gullibility, it is understood that Formal participates in the final merriment.


Simon Eyre's "brisk foreman" in Dekker's Shoemaker's Holiday. Together with his fellow shoemaker Firk, he urges his master to hire Hans Meulter without realizing that the Dutch shoemaker is Rowland Lacy in disguise. He thus unwittingly paves the way for the reunion and subsequent marriage of Rowland and his middle-class lover Rose Oatley. He also plays a crucial role in reuniting Rafe Damport and his lawful wife Jane, whose marriage to the wealthy citizen Hammon is violently protested and ultimately prevented by the London shoemakers.


Sir Roger Oatley is the Mayor of London and father of Rose Oatley in Dekker's Shoemaker's Holiday. A staunch citizen who thinks that the nobility is idle, irresponsible and luxurious, he disapproves of his daughter's infatuation with the profligate aristocrat Rowland Lacy, nephew of the Earl of Lincoln, Sir Hugh Lacy. Hoping to marry his daughter to the citizen Master Hammon, he is infuriated when she rejects this profitable match, but realizes that she might have had motives beyond the chastity she has vowed when he learns that Rowland is still in town. He tries to prevent their marriage after the lovers have eloped but is fooled by Firk, who sends him and Sir Hugh to the wrong church on the day of the wedding. Finally, he has to accept his daughter's marriage with an aristocrat when the King of England himself vindicates the match.


Sir Roger is a curate in the service of the Lady in Beaumont and Fletcher's Scornful Lady. He is sent by the Lady to test Welford and to find out whether he is a former suitor using an assumed name. Sir Roger has long been the suitor of Abigail Younglove, and is affronted when she makes advances to Welford.


Searcher in the service of the Rector in Ruggle’s Club Law. He attends Musonius when he comes with a writ to catch Niphle in his lechery with Luce at Tavie’s house. After the searchers find Niphle hiding in a tub with a beggar-wench and parade them to jail in the tub, he helps Purcus to arrest Luce.


Called Trusty Roger in The Characters list of (?)Heywood's A Warning For Fair Women and sometimes in the stage directions, Roger is devoted servant, intimate companion, and trusted advisor to Anne Drewry. George Browne contacts Drewry through Roger, and Roger urges Drewry to procure Anne Sanders for Browne. He admits that Anne is devoted to her husband, but convinces Drewry that she has the skill to win Anne over and presses Drewry to make Browne pay dearly for the service. Roger stalks George Sanders to find a suitable place for Browne to slay him, advises Browne on how to do it and acts as his lookout. After Browne murders Sanders and Bean, Roger urges Browne to flee and carries the bloody handkerchief from Browne to Drewry. He clears Young Sanders and Harry from the Sanders' front door so that Browne might gain access, and he raises funds for Browne's escape. After Drewry and Anne Sanders have pleaded not guilty, Roger is summoned to give testimony refuting theirs, thus condemning them to death.

ROGERO **1604

A Spanish Lord in the Anonymous First Part of Jeronimo. Before it comes to the battle, the two parties attack each other verbally and they agree who is going to fight whom. Rogero should fight against Vollupo, but in the end Alexandro kills Rogero.

ROGERO **1610

Claridiana's long-standing foe and husband of Thais in John Marston's The Insatiate Countess. Like Claridiana, he falls victim to the plot devised by his wife and her friend Abigail and is arrested as a suspect for the attempted murder of Mendoza. To avoid being seen as a cuckold, he also claims to be guilty and is condemned to death, but he is freed after his wife and Abigail resolve the confusion.

ROGERO **1631

Rogero is all that is left of the older comic second in Shirley's The Traitor. When his master Depazzi, conscience-stricken, asks Rogero to accuse him of treason and so allow him to practice his defence, Rogero accuses Depazzi of a series of ridiculous treacheries. When Depazzi ultimately buys his way out of his office for fifteen hundred crowns, Rogero is given the money. He says he will use the wealth to buy himself a place in court.


One of the condemned prisoners in Whetstone's 1 Promos and Cassandra. Recites a prayer for mercy with the other prisoners. As he is led off to be hanged, he begs Jesus for salvation andstates that he is condemned for stealing a purse containing only threehalf-pence.


Rohon is Phillis' father in the anonymous Guy Earl of Warwick. After Phillis marries Guy, King Athelstone promises to cease using Rohon's land as his own. Rohon dies while Guy is abroad on his pilgrimage.


A French gentleman attending the Embassy in Chapman's The Conspiracy of Charles, Duke of Byron. He notes the honors done Byron in the Archduke's court in I, and observes that Picote is the most likely candidate to be the tempter of Byron. He reports to Henry on how Byron was received in Brussels, comparing him to a wife tempted to adultery by the flattery of noblemen.


Ralph Roister Doister is a cowardly, conceited braggart enamored of the widow Dame Custance in Udall's Ralph Roister Doister. With encouragement from the parasite Matthew Merrygreek, he attempts to woo her, even though it is commonly known that she is devoted to the absent merchant Gawin Goodluck. When all of his overtures (a love letter, a ring and token, serenades before her house) are rebuffed, he takes Merrygreek's advice and confronts the woman directly in what degenerates into a comic battle royal between his servants and those of the widow. Because most people cannot stay angry with him for long, he is forgiven at the end of the play by the newly returned Gawin Goodluck and is invited to attend the feast in the happy couple's honor.


The proper name of the Host in Fletcher, Ford, Massinger and Webster's The Fair Maid of the Inn. He is almost always referred to merely as "Host."


Rolfo is a drawer in Burnell's Landgartha. He gives beer to Cowsell and Radger when they are drinking in the taverns in Act Four.


He is a Belgian Gaul who has fled from the Romans first to Germany and now to Britain in Fisher's Fuimus Troes. In Troynovant he has become a servant to Lady Landora, and Hirildas forces him to let Eulinus into his lady's rooms at night. As a soldier, he is the typical miles gloriosus. Before both invasions he is the first to inform Cassibelane of the approaching Roman fleet. As soon the Romans have landed and the battle starts, he is afraid. He meets a Roman officer, Laberius, and tries to flee. When Laberius leaves, he brags to have put him to flight. Laberius then calls an ensign to witness, so that Rollano has to fight. But now Rollano yields immediately. Laberius, who despises him as a coward, treads on his head, beats him with his own sword and leaves him. When Eulinus, Androgeus and Belinus come, he tells them that he has made the strongest captain of the Romans flee, but he has to run away again when he sees Laberius reenter. After Nennius' funeral he is the first to have a tankard and a leg of capon at the banquet.

ROLLO **1619

Duke of Normandy, elder brother of Otto 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 on the rule of primogenitor and will not acknowledge his brother’s share in the dukedom. He is reconciled to his brother through his mother Sophia’s strong persuasions. Immediately afterwards, Latorch succeeds privately in turning Rollo against his brother again. Rollo is incensed when Otto will not eat or drink, believing Otto suspects him of trying to poison him at the banquet, and leaves with Latorch. He breaks into his mother’s room where he slays Otto and has his brother’s blood smeared on his shirt. He sends out the rumor that Otto attacked him in his bed and he killed him defending himself. When Gisbert will not speak on his behalf, he as the Chancellor beheaded and his body left unburied. When Baldwin likewise refuses to excuse him, he orders his tutor’s death but at Edith’s entreaty sends to have him spared. His order arrives too late to save Baldwin, and Rollo orders the old man be given all honorable funerary rites. When the citizens arrive to view Otto’s body, he curries favor by promising to execute those men who practiced to poison his brother at the banquet. He tells Latorch that he favors Edith and would have her and is pleased by Latorch’s resolution to win the girl for him. He has a banquet with Edith and weeps, confessing his crimes and the guilt he feels for them. Hamond bursts in to murder him, but Rollo grabs the knife Edith intended for him and uses Edith as a shield. In the fight, he wounds Hamond, but Hamond kills him.


Rollyardo is the assumed identity of Philenzo in Shirley's The Bird in a Cage. He boasts of his ability to do anything provided sufficient means. This boasting so incenses the Duke of Mantua that the latter challenges him to gain access to Eugenia, locked and guarded in her castle/prison. The Duke will give him one month and unlimited spending privileges, but if Rollyardo fails, he dies. Rollyardo attempts to bribe Perenotto, the Captain of the Guard, who takes his gifts but provides no service. Having lost hope, Rollyardo determines to perform good works to gain prayers after his death; he pays the debts of all who are imprisoned for debt. This act liberates Bonamico, who returns the favor by building a birdcage in which Rollyardo conceals himself. Bonamico presents the cage to the Duke who in turn sends it to his daughter. Delivered in this fashion, Rollyardo reveals himself as Philenzo to Eugenia. However, when Rollyardo appears before the Duke and claims to have won the wager, The Duke condemns him anyway, and condemns him again for treason when he reveals himself as the banished Philenzo. Only when the Duke's own plans for Eugenia's marriage fall through does he repent his actions and give the order to stay Philenzo's execution. Philenzo's life has been spared through the use of a potion that makes him appear dead. When he awakes, the Duke promises him Eugenia's hand in marriage.


At Milford Haven, a Roman captain tells Caius Lucius that reinforcements, headed by Iachimo, are on their way in Shakespeare's Cymbeline. When Caius Lucius discovers the "lifeless" body of Imogen, still disguised as a boy, it is the captain who confirms that "he" is sleeping, not dead.


The seven Roman citizens in Shakespeare's Coriolanus, in their conversations with and discussions about Coriolanus, remind the audience of the contradictory responses elicited by the hero. At times the citizens generally see Coriolanus as the "chief enemy of the people," but they occasionally admit that his service to the state should not be ignored. In the end, the citizens play into the hands of the tribunes Brutus and Sicinius and demand the banishment of Coriolanus.


Unnamed Romans meet early in the Anonymous Tragedy of Nero and denigrate Nero's behavior. They scorn his exhibitionism and compare him unfavorably to his noble predecessor, Augustus. Other unnamed Romans grieve over the bodies of their relations, which Nero observes and relishes as part of the entertainment the fire affords him. Two other unnamed Romans bring Nero news of the death sentence passed on him by Galba, and quickly escape, to let him die alone.


Romanello, the reasonably well off son of a merchant in Ford's The Fancies Chaste and Noble, is the brother of Flavia and the suitor of Castamela, whom he has known from childhood. However, he is too quick to judge both of them, refusing to speak to Flavia after her remarriage. He also assumes that Castamela has fallen into disgrace once he has learned about the Bower of Fancies, which he penetrates disguised as Prugniolo. He has a chance to rectify both errors when Flavia and Livio visit him in the same scene; however, though he is reconciled with Flavia, he scornfully refuses Livio's offer of Castamela, and publicly repeats the rejection at the Marquis's supper. When he learns the chaste truth about the Bower and hears that Castamela is to marry Troylo-Savelli, he angrily proclaims that he has been tricked, but the Marquis tells him that he, along with Camillo and Vespucci, is free to court Floria or Silvia instead.


A "ghost character" in Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale. One of the three unnamed gentlemen reports that Paulina plans to show Leontes a statue of Hermione crafted by "that rare Italian master Giulio Romano."

ROMANS **1595

Two Romans in the anonymous Caesar and Pompey greet and praise Caesar on his return to Rome and subsequently lament at his funeral.

ROMANS **1621

Only mentioned in Middleton's Anything for a Quiet Life. When Knavesbee tries to persuade his wife Sib to have an affair with Lord Beaufort, the lawyer claims that, as a husband, he will make his being cuckolded look like an act of fortitude, in the manner of a virtue the Romans possessed. It is possible that this is an allusion to a similar situation in the Roman world, when Cato the younger loaned his wife Marcia to Hortensius.


A wealthy merchant in Webster's The Devil's Law Case. When Romelio learns that his ships have been lost, he casts about for means of recovery. Disguising himself as a Jew, he convinces Contarino's surgeons that he is a physician and will include them in a plot to alter Contarino's will. Gaining access to Contarino, he stabs him, but rather than killing him, unwittingly lances the very infection that threatened Contarino's life, allowing Contarino to recover. Meanwhile, thinking Contarino dead, he hatches a plan that would see a bastard child of his substituted for that of Jolenta and Ercole so that his family may inherit Ercole's fortune. To gain Jolenta's consent, Romelio invents a story that Contarino and their mother Leonora had planned to enjoy an affair after his marriage to Jolenta. Soon after, he is called into court and accused by his mother of being a bastard, a charge that is proven false. He is then charged by Ercole with the murder of Contarino, a charge that is to be decided by a duel with Ercole. Before the duel, Romelio begins to have second thoughts about his deeds and on learning that Contarino is still alive, gladly vows to act justly in his dealings and to marry the woman he has impregnated.


The son of Montague in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Initially doting on Rosaline, Romeo falls in love with Juliet at the Capulet feast. Though she is of the house of Capulet, the enemy of the Montagues, Romeo secretly marries her. When Romeo slays Tybalt to avenge the death of Mercutio, he is banished from Verona. In Mantua, Romeo hears the false report that Juliet has died, but not having received Friar Laurence's message via Friar John that would have explained that Juliet has merely been made to appear dead, he immediately resolves to kill himself. He buys poison from a poor apothecary and returns to Verona. Romeo reluctantly slays Paris in a duel at Juliet's tomb and kills himself by drinking the poison, never realizing that Juliet is, in fact, alive.


The false name that Flattery assumes in his disguise as a Pardoner in Lindsay's Satire of the Three Estates.


Lord of Navarre and father of Martiro in Montague's The Shepherd's Paradise. Romero had been entrusted with the government of Pamplona and the care of two of the children of the King of Navarre. He arrives at the Shepherd's Paradise in order to find Saphira, but recognizes, by means of a jewel on their arms, the long-lost Miranda and Pallante.


Romero enters with the Spanish group in the anonymous A Larum for London. He reports that Don Emanuel has entered the city through another door and goes into the castle. He participates in the battle, killing Champaigne and threatening Egmont. He reports that the deaths of defenders of Antwerp rise to seventeen thousand and of the Spanish forces to three hundred.


A madam in Wilson's The Inconstant Lady. She entertains both Lord Busario and his son, Pantarbo, Romilia ends up as Pantarbo's wife when she declares before the Duke of Burgundy that he is her husband and Pantarbo is forced to admit that this is true.


Charalois' loyal, albeit somewhat blunt, friend in Field and Massinger's The Fatal Dowry. A valiant soldier who clings to chivalric ideals of honor and virtue, he is at times extremely emotional and both verbally and physically aggressive. His outspoken defenses of his friend lead to his brief imprisonment, from which the well-meaning Rochfort frees him. Witness to the amorous encounters of Beaumelle, who is by that time Charalois' wife, and her paramour Young Novall, Romont tries to expose them first to her father, Rochfort, and then to her husband; neither believes him, however, and they dismiss him. Romont obtains a writ from Young Novall in which he promises to abandon his pursuit of Beaumelle. Although he immediately breaks this vow, his letter later serves as evidence for Young Novall's insincerity and sinfulness and contributes to Charalois' acquittal. As a final act of loyalty to his friend, Romont kills Pontalier, who murders Charalois after his acquittal.


Only mentioned in Burnell's Landgartha. In the masque he is described as having founded the city of Rome with his brother Remus.


Ronaldo is a Tuscan gentleman who serves Castracagnio in Davenant's The Siege. He brings a letter to the general from the Duke. The letter orders the immediate sacking of Pisa by the Tuscans.

RONCA **1615

A thief in Tomkis’ Albumazar. It is first Ronca’s job to praise Albumazar’s astrological skill to Pandolfo. He shows Pandolfo some of Albumazar’s wonderful instruments: a “Perspicill" that allows the old man to see an audience in Cambridge and an “Otacousticon" (a pair of ass’s ears that allows him to hear them laugh from fifty miles away). After the transformation ceremony, Ronca pretends to recognize Trincalo as Antonio and gives him ten pounds to “repay" a bail that he says Antonio stood for him before going to Barbary. Disguised in a beard and eye patch, he greets Trincalo as Antonio and cuts his purse containing the remaining five pounds that Harpax did not get. When Trincalo/Antonio goes to Bevilona, Ronca pretends to be her husband and upon discovering “Antonio" at his home feasts him. Once Pandolfo’s goods are collected, Ronca, Harpax, and Furbo turn on Albumazar and refuse him a share, taunting him with his own counsels, and the astrologer vows to be revenged upon them. Offstage, Upon intelligence from Albumazar, Cricca takes a Constable to a tippling house where Ronca, Harpax, and Furbo are arrested and all of the stolen goods is recovered. Pandolfo, however, pardons them all because they brought about the right ending to the family’s difficulties.


An Ambassador of Savoy at Paris in Chapman's The Conspiracy of Charles, Duke of Byron. He appears in the opening scene.


A favorite of the tyrant Ferrand in Fletcher and Massinger's The Double Marriage. Ronvere infiltrates a group, led by Virolet, that is conspiring to assassinate the king. Pretending his own discontent has caused him to be disloyal, Ronvere gathers information about the attack, captures most of the conspirators, and reveals the plot to Ferrand. Ronvere prompts Ferrand to order severe restrictions on Naples' citizens, forbidding them to talk or write to each other in order to prevent assassination attempts. Hearing that Juliana has been divorced by Virolet, Ronvere plots to pursue her himself. He later hires Sesse and his crew, believing them to be Swiss guards, to guard Ferrand, then offers to help Martia take revenge on Virolet. Ronvere introduces Martia to Ferrand, who is smitten with her. The three of them watch Castruchio's comic royal banquet. Ronvere appears to be among the followers of Ferrand killed during Sesse's coup.


‘Page unto Claribel’ in Percy’s Cuckqueans and Cuckolds Errants. He is heartbroken to leave Janekin when his master must leave Aruania. He and Rafe are at Olivel’s lodge when they are ambushed (offstage) by Latro and Hare, who steal their masters’ horses.


A groom of the wardrobe in Rowley’s When You See Me. Sometimes mistakenly spelled Kookesbie in the text. Henry sends Compton for him to come to court. He is accused of cheating Hopkins and hiding behind his livery. He denies it before Henry, who calls him a liar and strips him of his rank and livery. He orders him to go to the counter and redeem Hopkins at once and pay all his debts.


  1. Family name of Rooksbill and his children, Lucy and Nicholas in Brome's The Weeding of Covent Garden.
  2. A wealthy real-estate speculator responsible for the new Covent Garden. Despairing of his wastrel son, Nicholas, Rooksbill hopes for a socially advantageous marriage between his daughter, Lucy, and either of Crosswill's two sons. He is delighted in the marriage of Lucy to Mihil, is reconciled with his son, and, to Crosswill's irritation, glows in the prospect of grandchildren.


The wife of Master Roper in Chettle, Dekker and Munday's Sir Thomas More, Mistress Roper is More's elder daughter Margaret. (Historically, More had three daughters-Margaret, Elizabeth, and Cecily-but the play speaks of only two.) Like her step-mother Lady More, she has a premonitory dream the night before her father resigns the chancellorship, telling her husband that she saw More praying in the rood loft at Chelsea church when it suddenly collapsed leaving him bloody. She accompanies her husband, sister, and step-mother to visit More in the Tower, and there assures him that even at such a late moment the king would spare him, if only he would submit to the Oath of Supremacy.


Master William Roper is married to Margaret, More's elder daughter in Chettle, Dekker and Munday's Sir Thomas More. He is present when the Lord Mayor's party is treated to a partial performance of The Marriage of Wit and Wisdom. After More resigns the chancellorship, Roper comments how good it will be for the family to be out of the public eye. When More rejects the final chance to submit to the king, Roper attempts to calm the distressed Lady More and her step-daughters, and he accompanies them to visit More in the Tower where he urges his father-in-law to relent and "yield to the opinion of the state."


A doctor and sometime resident of Fairyland in Dekker's The Whore of Babylon, now in the service of the Empress of Babylon. He represents the famous Jewish doctor, Lopez, who ministered to Francis Walsingham, Leicester, and even Queen Elizabeth herself. Employed by the Empress to assassinate Titania, he vows to use physic to do so; he is unaware that the Empress intends to kill him once he has served her purpose. He makes his way into Titania's service and is on the verge of killing her with a poisoned draught when Fideli discovers his treason. Presented with proof of his crimes, he confesses and is condemned to death.

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.


Rosabella is a Venetian courtesan in Shirley's The Gentleman of Venice. Her establishment becomes the meeting place for thieves and would-be murderers Malipiero, Thomazo, Bernardo, and Marcello.


See also ROSSALIN, ROSALINE, ROSLIN, and related spellings.


Rosalind is Duke Senior's daughter in Shakespeare's As You Like It. When her uncle Duke Frederick seizes power, she is soon banished. Celia, Duke Frederick's daughter and her dear friend, chooses to accompany Rosalind to the forest of Arden. With Touchstone, Duke Frederick's jester, the two women set off, Celia disguised as the inconspicuous maiden Aliena and Rosalind as a young man, Ganymede. In the forest, they meet Corin, a shepherd, and arrange to purchase the cottage, pasture and flock he oversees. They also encounter Orlando, who is living in the forest after discovering that his brother Oliver intends to have him killed. Rosalind and Orlando had fallen in love at first sight when they met at his wrestling match with Charles (just before her own banishment). When Rosalind arrives in the forest Orlando is demonstrating his love by hanging tributes to her on all the trees in the form of doggerel verse. Rosalind chooses to remain disguised as Ganymede, and promises Orlando that she will cure him of love. Although he does not want to be cured, Orlando agrees to court Ganymede as though "he" were Rosalind. Meanwhile, while she is tormenting and testing her real lover, Rosalind inadvertently attracts the romantic attentions of Phebe, a local shepherdess. Rosalind controls the action of the play almost from the moment she enters the forest of Arden, and through her cleverness manages most of the happy ending. In the end, Rosalind tricks Phebe into marrying her loyal suitor Silvius, and Hymen unites Rosalind with Orlando in the quadruple wedding that closes the play. The boy actor who has played Rosalind speaks the epilogue.


Rosaline, Maria, and Katherine are ladies attending the Princess of France in Shakespeare's Love's Labour's Lost. At the end of the play, when the death of the princess' father, the King of France, summons the ladies back to France, Rosaline like the other ladies imposes conditions on her lover. If Berowne wants to win Rosaline, he must spend one year telling jokes in a hospital.


A "ghost character" in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet; the niece of Capulet and, initially, loved by Romeo. She is invited to the Capulet feast, which prompts Romeo to want to attend as well.


Alternate spelling of Rossaline in Marston's Antonio and Mellida.


Daughter of Nantolet in Fletcher's Wild-Goose Chase. In love with Belleur, but after he discovers her true shrewish nature, he abandons her. Out of love for him, along with Lugier, she devises a scheme to win him back, mainly by abusing him to the point where he learns to respect women. Along with a group of four other women, she threatens him at knife point, forcing him to pledge not to disrespect women. The plan backfires and he again abandons her, only to accept her at the end of play when she vows to be an obedient wife.


A "ghost character" in (?Chettle and) Munday's Downfall of Robert Earl of Huntington. John refers to her and to Queen Elinor as cursed by her.


A lady and friend of Honoria in Shirley's The Ball, Rosamond finds that both she and her friend desire to wed Lord Rainbow. She and Honoria play havoc with undesired suitors Sir Ambrose Lamount and Sir Marmaduke Travers; the ladies pass the gentlemen's love back and forth so that neither appears a clear winner of either lady.


Only mentioned in (?)Shipman’s Grobiana’s Nuptials. A rare beauty of yore whom Grobiana disdains.


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" in Chettle's(?) Looke About You. Rosy-cheeked Rosamund, whom Leicester names daughter of Clifford, is already dead at the onset of the play. She was the old King's mistress, but was murdered by Skinke on the bidding of Queen Elinor and the young King. This is the direct reason for the Queen's imprisonment.


The daughter of Alsonso in Shirley's The Doubtful Heir. Rosania is the betrothed of Ferdinand and accompanies him to war disguised as his page Tiberio. Captured and imprisoned with Ferdinand, Rosania refuses to reveal her identity and thus save herself. When Ferdinand is pardoned and subsequently weds Olivia, Rosania is eventually discovered: she is sentenced by Olivia to die alongside Ferdinand. Leandro's proof of Ferdinand's true kingship, however, stays the execution, and Rosania is free to wed Ferdinand as his marriage to Olivia becomes invalid.


Rosara is Hellena's maid in Heywood's A Challenge for Beauty. She claims to have inadvertently thrown Bonavida's ring out with the bath water, but in fact she has been seduced by Centella and Pineda and has stolen the ring for them. When she gives them the ring, they renounce the promises of preferment they had made her, so she returns to Hellena and tells her the truth. She then travels to Spain with Hellena, disguised as her page. They see Bonavida on the scaffold, cursing Hellena and all women, and Rosara supports Hellena's revelation of the truth.


Servant to Polymetes in May's The Heir. His loyalty to his master does not prevent his witty and observant asides at the unfolding of the action. He is first to suspect that his master's scheme to contrive the rich Count Virro as a husband for Leucothoë may be hindered by the lady's pre-existing love for an unknown other. He suggests that they suborn her maid, Psecas, with gold to reveal her mistress's secrets. Polymetes is greatly indebted to and influenced by Roscio, calling him his 'Oracle, brain, soul and being.' His advice becomes more sinister and his influence becomes more clearly corrupting as the play proceeds. He advises Polymetes not to murder Philocles for fear of the law, but instead to feign ignorance until the couple elopes, then prosecute him for abducting an heiress, for which the sentence is certain death. This plan succeeds. Roscio attends the trial of Philocles with his master, where he sees his plots disintegrate.

ROSCIUS **1630

A player in Randolph's Muses' Looking Glass. He tells Bird and Flowerdew that play-acting is not lewd but rather morally improving and invites them to stay and witness the play for their instruction. He then acts as a guide, showing them first a masque of the seven deadly sins, and then presents for their edification a series of comic interludes to scourge the sinful extremes of such noble virtues as "Comitas, or courtesy" (Colax/Dyscolus); "Fortitude" (Deilus/Aphobus); "Temperance" (Acolastus/Anaisthetus); "Liberality" (Asotus/Aneleutherus); "Magnificence" (Banausus/Microprepes); "Magnanimity" (Chaunus/Micropsychus); "Meekness" (Orgylus/Aorgus); "Truth" (Alazon/Eiron); "Pride of apparel" (Philotimia/Luparius); "Modesty" (Anaiskyntia/Kataplectus); "Justice" (Nimis/Nihil; Plus/Parum); "Urbanity" (Agroicus/Bomolochus). He finally presents the mother of virtue, Mediocrity, and thereby converts Bird and Flowerdew to his point that the stage is the arbiter of virtue and not the promoter of vice.


A character in the ill-defined subplot of the anonymous Dead Man's Fortune. Asspida's maid.

ROSE **1641

A “ghost character" in (?)Shipman’s Grobiana’s Nuptials. One of Ursin’s bears along with the white bear, Nan Stiles and Tearthecoat.


The daughter of the Lord Mayor of London, Sir Roger Oatley, in Dekker's Shoemaker's Holiday. She is in love with Rowland Lacy, the nephew of Sir Hugh Lacy, the Earl of Lincoln. Her father, a staunch citizen, who thinks that the nobility is idle, irresponsible and luxurious, disapproves of his daughter's infatuation with an aristocrat, trying instead to marry her to the wealthy city gentleman Master Hammon. Rose, still in love with young Lacy, balks at this proposition and vows chastity. During a reception given by her father, where Simon Eyre's journeymen perform a morris dance, Rose discovers Rowland, disguised as the Dutch journeyman Hans Meulter, amongst the dancers. With the aid of her loyal maid Sybil and the cunning journeyman Firk, the two lovers are reunited and secretly married. Although undertaken against the will of Rose's father and Rowland's uncle, the match receives its vindication by the King of England himself during Eyre's Shrove Tuesday breakfast.


Richard Rose in Dekker and Webster's Sir Thomas Wyatt delivers to the Duke of Northumberland the letters from newly installed Queen Mary ordering that he discharge his troops and appear at court. Sensing that his life is forfeit and knowing that his former colleagues on the royal council have shifted their allegiance to the new queen, the duke asks Rose if there have been many deaths at court recently. When Rose assures him there have not, Northumberland sarcastically says he must be mistaken, for once the duke had five hundred friends there but now they are all gone.


A "ghost character" in the anonymous July and Julian. Robart Rose is mentioned by Chremes when he explains that he needs to sell Julian to the Merchant, because, that way, the latter will meet the debt he had contracted with Sir Robart Rose. Later he is mentioned again by Wilkin, under the identity of the Vndershreve.


Pecunia's chambermaid in Jonson's The Staple of News. Her name refers the red wax seals used to legalize contracts.


Family name of the Ordinary keeper and his wife Mill in Mayne’s City Match.


One that keeps an Ordinary in Mayne’s City Match. Quarterfield beats him when he again asks that the reckoning be settled. He accompanies Frank in the last trick and assures Warehouse that the ‘whore’ Dorcas is already married.


A young nobleman and courtier in Ford's Love's Sacrifice, kinsman to Petruchio and Fernando, banished on the Duke's orders at the start of the play. He is incredulous at the disgrace, proud of his descent from a long line of nobles renowned for their loyalty to the state. Roseilli's fault is to have been too attentive to the Duke's sister Fiormunda, who, indifferent to his love, has contrived to bring him into disfavor. The Duke's command to leave court is delivered to him by the Machiavellian D'avolos, and is later revealed to have been grossly exaggerated by the messenger for reasons of his own. Believing himself in serious disfavour, Roseilli is first hidden at court by his kin. The Duchess is moved to plead for his pardon, leading the Duke to realise that his order has been wilfully misinterpreted, but D'avolos persists in stressing the danger Roselli poses to the Duke as an alleged malcontent. Threatened with death if he fails to deliver Roseilli, D'avolos continues to slander him in his assumed absence, provoking the Duke's further anger with false news that Roseilli has defected to the court of Spain. Underestimating D'avalos, Petruchio informs Roseilli that his only enemy at court is Fiormunda and advises him to overcome his passion for her. Roseilli agrees to the unspecified plan proposed by Petruchio, and subsequently takes on the disguise of a natural fool, for love (like Antonio in The Changeling). It remains unclear whether this was the proposed plan, or Roseilli's own idea, as the strategy is aimed at remaining near to his indifferent beloved. As the unnamed Fool, he is given by Fernando to the foolish Maurucio, and passed on by him to Fiormunda as his own love-token. Roseilli makes no progress in his romantic strategy but being believed incapable of proper speech and understanding, becomes privy to information of plots against his kin. He learns, variously, that his pursuit of Fiormunda is hopeless, and of the danger to his kinsman of D'avolos's plots. On several occasions, both in coded fool's gibberish and private conversation he warns Fernando of their enemy's strategies. As the Fool he is a participant n the masque of antickes when Ferentes is murdered, but his assumed mental incapacity exempts him from the Duke's fury. He anticipates Fernando's danger and downfall and is unable to prevent it. After the Duchess's death, Roseilli visits Fiormunda undisguised and again offers her his love. She accepts his proposal declaring that she now repents her previous behaviour honors him. After the Duke's suicide, she endows her new husband with the dukedom: his first abrupt decisions demonstrate his dedication to justice. Roseilli condemns D'avolos to death and declares that their marriage will be celibate. Fiormunda accepts his decision with humility and the Abbot blesses the new dispensation.


Maidservant to Ariola in Davenant's The Platonic Lovers. Like Amandine with Eurithea, she tries to encourage her mistress to think less platonically about love.


Alternative spelling of Rossella in Fletcher and Massinger's The Sea Voyage.


Rosencrantz, with Guildenstern, are the pair of school friends that Claudius sends to spy on Hamlet, a duty they accept with obsequious haste in Shakespeare's Hamlet. They first suggest to Hamlet that he is melancholy because of thwarted ambition, but Hamlet reveals nothing, although he is pleased when they tell him about the coming of the players. It is Rosencrantz who adds the detail that the adult players travel because child players have taken over the profession in the city. He and Guildenstern are present at the play within the play. After the play is broken up, they again appeal to Hamlet, asking him to tell them what is upsetting him. He is more openly scornful of them and again refuses to tell them anything. In Q2 only, they enter with Claudius immediately after Polonius' murder, only to be asked to withdraw by Gertrude. They return a moment later and are told to find and arrest Hamlet, which they do. They are given the task of escorting Hamlet to England (although this has been decided earlier since both Hamlet and Gertrude mention it in the closet scene). They continue on to England after Hamlet is taken aboard the pirate ship, unaware that he has changed their commission to ensure their deaths. The Ambassador arrives in the closing moments to announce that they have been put to death as the letter instructed. His name is spelled Rossencraft in Q1 and variously spelled Rosencraus (Q2–4; except II.ii.34 where it is Rosencrans), Rosincrane (F1 primary spelling), and Rosencrance or Rosincran (F1 secondary spellings).


Rosia, Artesio's daughter in Quarles' The Virgin Widow, is married to Formidon. Like her sister Marina, she is shrewish, vain, and maliciously jealous of Kettreena.


Only mentioned in Beaumont's Knight of the Burning Pestle. On his first entrance as the grocer in The Grocer's Honour portion of the play, Rafe reads from Palmerin d'Oliva (misidentified in the s.d. as Palmerin of England) in which this character is named.


Only mentioned in Beaumont and Fletcher's Philaster, or Love Lies A-Bleeding. Rosicleer is a typical name for a brave knight who destroys giants.


Only mentioned in Jonson's The New Inn. When Lovel praises the noble education he received from Lord Beaufort, he distinguishes between the teaching of frivolous courtly manners and the profound righteousness inherited from the great classical epitomes of morality. Lovel illustrates the two types of education with examples from chivalric romance and classical antiquity. Deprecating the frivolity of chivalry, Lovel says his noble tutor taught him no such things, because his education had no Rosicleers. Rosicleer is a typical name for a brave knight who destroys giants. This name appears in The Knight of the Burning Pestle and Beaumont and Fletcher's Philaster, or Love Lies A-Bleeding. The heroes of chivalric romance are considered public nothings, abortive notions of the fabulous, sent out to poison courts and infest manners. Lovel uses the name Rosicleer deprecatorily.


A "ghost character" in Shirley's The Maid's Revenge. Montenegro mentions Rosicleere to Catalina and describes the gentleman as a "puff."


A Danish lord attendant on King Zweno in [?]Wilson's Fair Em, the Miller's Daughter. He informs Zweno that Blanch, not Mariana, was stolen by 'Robert.' He accompanies Zweno during his confrontation with King William in the play's conclusion.


A "ghost character" in (?)Jeffere's The Bugbears. Rosimunda, referred to once in Buggbears as Rosimunda di Medici, is married to and pregnant by Formosus, facts unknown to her father, Brancatius, who contracts her in marriage to the elderly Cantalupo. Although a key figure in the plot, she does not appear in the play.


The musician in Jonson's A Tale of A Tub whose band is hired for Audrey Turfe and John Clay's wedding. He also is hired to provide music for Squire Tripoly Tub's masque.

ROSINDA **1633

Rosinda is a princess and daughter to the king of Sicily in Shirley's The Young Admiral. She accompanies her father and the troops to their encampment, recognizing that her unrequited love for the Neapolitan prince Cesario forms the basis for this Sicilian invasion. She is instrumental in luring Cesario to the Sicilian camp; she also presents herself a willing prisoner to Naples. Her forthcoming wedding to Cesario secures a peace between the two cities.

ROSINDA **1639

Disguised throughout the play as Tandorix, Polidacre's servant in Cokain's The Obstinate Lady. Rosinda's actual identity is revealed first to the audience, when she explains that she sent a false announcement of her drowning to her family, then arrived in the disguise of Tandorix to follow and observe her husband, to see if he would adhere to his vow to remain single if she should die. Tandorix delivers a letter of rejection from Lucora to Carionil, and she sympathizes with his situation, revealing that she favors him as a husband for her daughter. As Tandorix, she is present when her husband woos Antiphila, and vows to interfere with this suit. Still in disguise as Tandorix to the play's characters, Rosinda pities Lucora as she is pressured to wed Falrous. She dismisses the enmity between her family and Carionil's and wishes her daughter could marry him. When her son Philander challenges her to a duel, having been misled into believing Tandorix is contracted to Antiphila, she reveals her identity to him and vows him to secrecy. Her son is overjoyed at the recovery of his mother, and agrees to keep her secret. She enters masked at the end of the play, accompanied by Philander. he disrupts the wedding announcement of Polidacre and Antiphila by revealing her identity at last, is joyfully reunited with her two daughters, and forgives her husband for his frailty.


Lamia's servant and pimp in Whetstone's 1 Promos and Cassandra. Alerts Lamia to the court's sentence on Andrugio and urges her to abandon her business and "be quiet." She agrees, vows to live chastely, and tells Rosko to seek employment elsewhere. Rosko knows no one in this climate will take on a former prostitute's servant, so he quickly backpedals and entices her to abandon her fresh vow of chastity in favor of another plan. He suggests that she seduce Phallax, for with his protection no one will dare turn her in. He is arrested with Lamia, but Phallax frees the pair in hopes of seducing Lamia. When he fetches Phallax and escorts him to Lamia's house, he reveals that he has skill in barbering. He uses this skill to help Grimball primp for his rendezvous with Dalia, creating an opportunity for Rowke to steal Grimball's purse.
Lamia's servant and pimp in Whetstone's 2 Promos and Cassandra. Suspects that Lamia and Phallax are falling in love, but continues to find clients for Lamia. He looks forward to the wealth that clients from the royal court will bring Lamia's house, and him by extension.

ROSS **1590

The Earl of Ross is with Dorothea when Sir Bartram shows her the warrant for her death in Greene's James IV. He promises to provide her with man's disguise.

ROSS **1606

A thane of Scotland in Shakespeare's Macbeth. Ross acts primarily as a messenger in the play. Along with Angus, he is sent by Duncan to escort Macbeth to meet with the King. They also inform Macbeth that Duncan has made him Thane of Cawdor as reward for his bravery, loyalty, and skill in battle. At first loyal to Macbeth, Ross later turns against him. He reports to Lady Macduff that Macduff has fled to England, and later joins him there, reporting the murder of Macduff's household. He returns to Scotland with the English forces, and tells Siward of Young Siward's honorable death at Macbeth's hands.

ROSS, LORD **1588

Ross is named as one of the conspirators against John in the anonymous 2 Troublesome Reign of John.

ROSS, LORD **1593

A nobleman who, along with the Earl of Northumberland, Harry Percy and Lord Willoughby, joins Bolingbroke's army to fight against the king in Shakespeare's Richard II.


Rossa is a solider and a friend of Florello in Davenant's The Just Italian. When Florello pretends to be Dandolo, he introduces Rossa as his parasite. After their tricks are revealed, all three return to their original clothes. With Molard, he is approached by Dandolo, Punto and Staccato, who do not recognize them, to help kill Florello. They capture all three and present them to Florello. After all the couples have been united, Molard and Rossa appear in Dandolo's clothes, and announce that they have put Dandolo and his champions naked on a mule and sent them out of town.


Son of John of Bordeaux, banished along with this father and mother in ?Greene and Chettle's John of Bordeaux. Disguises himself in order to help protect his banished mother, whom he vows to save from the Emperor's imprisonment. Along with his father and Friar Bacon, he frees his mother from imprisonment.


See also ROSALINE, ROSALIND, and related spellings.


Wife of John of Bordeaux in ?Greene and Chettle's John of Bordeaux, she fights off the advances of Ferdinand, but is banished as a result of Ferdinand's plots to ruin her husband's reputation and good standing with the King. Despite the hunger of her children after her banishment, she still refuses the advancements of a now desperate Ferdinand. Along with Bacon she is captured by the Emperor but is saved by the combined efforts of Rossacler, John and Bacon.


Piero's niece and Mellida's cousin in Marston's Antonio and Mellida. Rossaline's opinions are witty, perceptive, and biting. In dialogue laden with sexual connotations, she tells Mellida why her suitors, Galeatzo and Matzagente, are unsuitable as husbands and lovers. Similarly, she demolishes all four Venetian courtiers seeking her hand. She judges the singing contest at the prenuptial dinner and scolds Mellida for looking sad. When Piero inquires, she says that she will only marry when men abandon jealousy, smoking, and long beards. However, when Mellida and Antonio are betrothed and her uncle asks again, she says she might find the suitor with "the best parts" and "prick him down for my husband."


Rossella [Rosella or Rosellia] is the wife of Sebastian, the mother of Clarinda and the leader of the Portuguese women in Fletcher and Massinger's The Sea Voyage. Rosella, Clarinda, Crocale, Hippolita and Juletta were marooned on the fertile island after the pirate attack and, believing their husbands to be dead, set up an Amazonian society modeled on that of the women they encountered there. When her followers find Albert, Rosella agrees to their demands to rescue his comrades, dictating that they can each pick one of the Frenchmen for a husband and can enjoy them for one month. After that time they must break contact. Any daughters will be kept and any sons will be returned to the men. Having told the men that they can take their choice, Rosella is surprised to be chosen by Tibalt. Rosella is outraged by the attempt on the part of the men to woo them with their own lost jewels and orders the women to attack them. She plans to sacrifice them on the anniversary of her marriage to Sebastian. Rosella eventually agrees to give the men a banquet in the hope that they might disclose whether they have any association with the men who attacked their ship. She is about to sacrifice Albert and Raymond when Crocale and Tibalt return with Sebastian and Nicusa. Sebastian and Rosella are reunited, and Rosella relinquishes her power and authority to her husband.


Spelling of Rosencrantz in Q1 of Shakespeare's Hamlet. See ROSENCRANTZ.


Condemns Angelica's choice of Orlando over the other suitors in Greene's Orlando Furioso.


Roughman is a typical Elizabethan swaggerer and "roarer" in Thomas Heywood's The Fair Maid of the West, Part One who attempts to abuse Bess and her staff at the Windmill tavern in Foy. When Bess disguises as a man, confronts him, disarms him without a fight, and forces him to lie on the ground while she demonstrates her superiority by stepping over him, he promises to stop bothering the people at the Windmill. His subjugation by the disguised Bess changes him, and he learns to be truly courageous. He accompanies Bess and Goodlack on their mission to find the corpse of what they suppose to be Spencer in the Azores, and serving as a lieutenant under Captain Goodlack, he goes with them to Morocco.
In Thomas Heywood's The Fair Maid of the West, Part Two, when Tota, Mullisheg's queen, becomes angry over her husband's infatuation with Bess and decides to have her revenge by taking Spencer as her own lover, she approaches Roughman, with threats and promises, to make the arrangements for her. His revelation of this request to Goodlack, who has a similar commission from Mullisheg regarding Bess, prompts the captain to suggest the "bed trick" (bringing king and queen together) that should allow the English visitors time to escape from Morocco. In Italy, he is wounded in the bandit attack upon Bess, and, thinking her most likely to have been raped and murdered, he determines to take revenge upon the Captain of the Banditti. After killing the Captain, he takes the man's head to Florence, claims the reward the Duke has promised, and is happily reunited with Spencer and Goodlack.


Rousard is the elder son of D'Amville and brother to Sebastian in Tourneur's The Atheist's Tragedy. After arranging for Castabella's beloved Charlemont to go to the wars, D'Amville negotiates a marriage between Rousard and Castabella, Be forest's daughter, as a way to enhance the wealth and prestige of his family. Weak, sickly, and impotent at the beginning of the play, Rousard declines steadily throughout and eventually dies shortly after his younger brother Sebastian is killed by Belforest, thus dashing forever D'Amville's plan to ensure the greatness and the fortune of his line. Rousard is remarkable in being one of the very few characters in Renaissance tragic drama (discounting histories) to die a natural death during the course of his play.


A "ghost character" in Shakespeare's Henry V. He is reported among the French dead on the Agincourt battlefield.


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


Alternate name for Cross in Sampson's The Vow-Breaker.


A companion to Rosko in Whetstone's 1 Promos and Cassandra. He leads Grimball to Rosko for barbering and steals Grimball's purse while Rosko is cleaning his face.

ROWLAND **1604

A "ghost character" in Shakespeare's Measure for Measure. A lord of Vienna and friend to Duke Vincentio. When the Duke decides to "return" to Vienna in his own guise, he has Friar Peter deliver letters to Rowland, Crassus, Flavio, and Valentinus, telling them to meet with him.


Servant to Andrugio in Beaumont and Fletcher's The Coxcomb. A mute character.

ROWLAND **1611

Livia's beloved Rowland fails to persuade her to elope with him early in Fletcher's The Woman's Prize and despairs that she will marry Moroso. Consumed with lust he spars verbally with Pedro, Jaques, and Sophocles, and complains to Tranio that women are devils. As the women demand equality, he tells Tranio that he will not become a slave and bets him that he will not love woman again. Knowing that Rowland still loves Livia and she him, Tranio accepts the bet and maneuvers the two back together, despite Rowland's rejection of Livia and return of her gifts. When Tranio and Biancha trick Petronious and Moroso into signing a contract permitting Rowland to marry Livia, Rowland is first incredulous and then ecstatic in his rush to marry and bed his beloved. In the closing lines he promises his reconciled father-in-law, Petronious, to make him a grandfather within a year.

ROWLAND **1625

A non-speaking character, possibly a singer in Fletcher's The Chances. Along with Musicians, provides the song "John Dorrie" at the Surgeon's for Antonio.

ROWLAND **1640

Rowland is a servant to Sir Plenteous and always goes with Roger in Chamberlain's Swaggering Damsel.


A "ghost character" in Shakespeare's As You Like It. The late Sir Rowland de Boys is the father of Oliver, Orlando, and Jaques de Boys. Duke Senior remembers him fondly, while Duke Frederick recalls that Sir Rowland was his enemy. This enmity is what causes Duke Frederick's displeasure when he learns Orlando's lineage after the wrestling match.


The nephew of Sir Hugh Lacy, the Earl of Lincoln in Dekker's Shoemaker's Holiday. He is in love with Rose Oatley, the daughter of the Lord Mayor of London, a liaison of which his uncle, who deems Rose too low a match for his nephew, disapproves. Rowland pretends to heed his uncle's wish that he join the military campaign against France, but remains in London to marry his middle-class lover. Under the name of Hans Meulter, he is hired by Simon Eyre, and it is in this guise that he is discovered by Rose at a reception held by her father. With the aid of Rose's waiting woman Sibyl and the cunning journeyman Firk, the lovers elope and are secretly married. The match is finally vindicated by the King of England himself during Eyre's Shrove Tuesday breakfast.


"An hasty non-proficient" in Hawkins's Apollo Shroving. Retro is the son of Geron. For his scholarly hastiness, he has previously been punished by Apollo with a distorted tongue and limbs and, for the past two years, he has been tended to by his father. Geron begins to conduct Retro to Apollo's court to (hopefully) gain Apollo's favour. Since only two years (of his three year sentence) have passed thus far, the old man is beginning to lose hope that he will live until the full restoration of Retro's faculties. Retro implies that he wants Geron to entreat Museus to intercede on his behalf in Apollo's Court but Geron, afraid to approach the Priest, retires to rest and "recollect [his] spirits" while Museus and Philoponus converse. Geron later reveals himself and begs Philoponus to "intreat Museus for [his] childe." Philoponus does so, and Museus provides Geron with some hope that Apollo will "remit the remaining yeer" of Retro's punishment. Retro is present at the sentencing of disobedient characters at the play's end and, after his father asks Museus to have mercy on him, Museus claims that Apollo has "accepted [Retro's] submission, and cuts off the third yeere of [his] punishment." Museus pronounces that Retro's "tongue may now runne right," the scholar thanks him, and Museus warns him to "holdst the schollars even path" in the future.


A gallant, cousin of Colinet in Chapman's An Humourous Day's Mirth. He is the first to arrive at Verone's tavern to view the jewels he has for sale.

ROXANE **1638

Eurymendon’s sister in Mayne’s Amorous War. She fell in love with Archimdamus and ran away with him to Bithynia and so brought on the current war. She rankles at being placed safely on an island and petitions her new husband to allow her to remain and help fight the war. Roxane and Barsene are captured and like Orythia, Thalaestris, Menalippe, and Marthesia trussed like Amazons in golden fetters pinioned with silken cords. She is a conspirator with her brother in the capture, but her aim was to bring Eurymedon and Barsene together so he could woo her. As part of Barsene’s plan, she colors her face “a comely brown" and poses as Hippolyta, the Amazon queen, in league with the Bithynians. In her disguise, she complains to Archimdamus that he has wronged them by making his camp soft for women, saying Amazon women prefer the virile, rough life that men embrace. Barsene and Roxane test Archidamus’s love by offering to let him choose between the two “Amazon princesses" to be his queen. He chooses to remain true to Roxane and when he prepares to fight with Eurymedon, both Roxane and Barsene appear, undisguised, to plead for peace, and all are reconciled happily as two priests sing the nuptial song over the new-made couples.


Roxena is the daughter of Hengist who secretly follows him to Britain in Middleton's Hengist. She is also secretly the lover of Horsus, Hengist's captain. With his aid, she becomes Vortiger's wife and Queen of Britain. Because she is a pagan, the Britons rise up and claim Vortiner, Vortiger's son by Castiza, as king. Roxena plots the murder of Vortiner. She dies, apparently burned up by the ghost of Vortiner.


Also spelled Roxano in T.D.'s The Bloody Banquet. Roxona is charged with guarding the Queen of Cicilia. In Act One, he accepts his Queen's request to organize a dangerous meeting between her and Tymethes. He boasts to us that he receives gold because of this "Pander" role. In Act Two, when disguised as a beggar, he seduces Tymethes into accepting an offer to meet an anonymous, delectable lady (the Queen in disguise). In Act Three, he accepts gold from Mazeres–a bribe to kill Mazeres. He attempts but fails to poison Tymethes. In Act Four, he again leads Tymethes to the Queen. This time, however, she is surprised and her identity becomes apparent to Tymethes. Roxona is then impersonated by Mazeres–the latter kills him, with the Queen thinking that it is Roxona who has informed her husband of her adulterous conduct.


The apothecary in Barnes's The Devil's Charter who mixes and then sells the poison that Alexander and Caesar Borgia plan to use to kill Cardinals Modina and Cornetto, possible competitors to Caesar's power. Caesar hires the assassin Baglioni to shoot Rozzi once the poison exchanges hands. Baglioni kills Rozzi and drags his body away.


Ru is a waiting-maid of Venus in Wilson's The Cobbler's Prophecy. With Ina, she looks after Ruina, the bastard child of Venus and Contempt.


The "maid-servant to Mistress Gingle" in Hawkins's Apollo Shroving. Jugge Rubbish is ordered about and insulted by Indulgence. She helps her Mistress to prepare for her appearance in Apollo's Court on Captaine Complement's behalf and, after Indulgence expresses her hate for scholars, Jugge claims that she does not feel the same and "could fine in [her] heart to marry Philoponus at a venture."


Ruben Rabshake, servant to Benwash the Jewish merchant turned Turk in Daborne's A Christian Turned Turk. He is witty and observant, part clown, part satirist. He compares Turks, Jews and Christians in a long comic analysis, then turns his wit to doctors and lawyers. Made guardian of Benwash's wife Agar, who is suspected of adultery. He is an anxious and incompetent guardian, given to bawdy chatter and gossip with his mistress and her sister Voada. He soon realizes that he is powerless to outwit Agar's determination to take a lover. The watch on Agar is later relaxed–while she is being unfaithful to her husband and his house burns, Rabshake brings news that the harbor is aflame with the destruction of every ship but Ward's own. He is blamed for Agar's infidelity but points out that she has done her husband a favor: he no longer suffers from pointless jealousy (because she has provided grounds in reality for his paranoia). Assists his master in murderous revenge for his wife's adultery. He strangles Agar on Benwash's orders, and agrees to stab his master as part of the plot to make the murders look like the work of an intruder. He is fearful of being bound as part of the plan, saying he has seen the play of Pedringano (i.e. The Spanish Tragedy). Like Kyd's character, he is then murdered himself, the penalty for failing to preserve his mistress's honor.


A "ghost character" in the anonymous Timon of Athens, a name given by Gelasimus to his lately deceased father. (IV.2)


Rubin Archis is Abdelmunen's raging widow in Peele's The Battle of Alcazar. She lives for the sole purpose of gaining vengeance for her husband's murder. Rubin's madness is emphasized when she sacrifices her son to Amurath in return for his aid in Abdelmelec's brief victory in the first civil war.


A non-speaking character in Peele's The Battle of Alcazar, the young son of Rubin and the late Abdelmunen is sacrificed to Amurath by his mother after Amurath's soldiers help Abdelmelec win the civil war. Bassa tells Rubin that Amurath will joyfully receive her son.


Only mentioned in Jonson's The New Inn. Sir Rud Hughdibras is a semi-legendary pre-historic king of Britain. The genealogy of English kings records Rud Hughdibras as the son of Leil and father of Bladud, father of Leir, whose daughters were Gonerilla, Regan, and Cordeilla. Since the legendary British king is known as a good swordsman, Fly boasts that Host has an ancient sword in his house, made of Cornish blade, supposed to have belonged to Sir Rud Hughdibras. Thus, Fly shows that Host comes from an ancient family, which foreshadows the final revelation that Host is Lord Frampul.


There is a rabble of rude fellows that torments Wat in Brome's The Damoiselle. They want to throw him to the Thames. They want to teach a lesson to this gentleman who had lived a life of excess. They are going to go their own way until they meet together with the Ordinary.


A title that Puck gives to the Athenian swains who intend to present their play of Pyramus and Thisbe before Theseus and Hippolyta's nuptial celebration in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. There are six of them:
  • Nick Bottom, a weaver, takes the role of Pyramus.
  • Francis Flute, a bellows mender, is given the part of Thisbe.
  • Peter Quince, a carpenter, is script master and director. Originally casting himself in the part of Thisbe's father, Peter Quince ultimately assumes the part of Prologue.
  • Tom Snout, a tinker, is originally cast as Pyramus' father but ultimately portrays Wall.
  • Snug, a joiner, takes the role of the Lion.
  • Robin Starveling, a tailor, plays the part of Moonshine although he is earlier allotted the role of Thisbe's mother.


Sir Rudseby is a blunt knight in Chapman's Sir Giles Goosecap. The pages identify him as a Western or Northern man. He is thought to be a gallant and he wears a bush beard. He makes 2,000 a year. He is invited for breakfast in Barnet. At the end, he is paired with Hyppolita.


Only mentioned in Jonson's The Alchemist. The Emperor Rudolph II of Germany is mentioned in relation to the alchemist Edward Kelly, whose patron and dupe he was. When Mammon wants to ingratiate himself with the mysterious lady he is courting (Dol Common in disguise), he tells her that Subtle is an excellent alchemist, a man whom the Emperor has courted above Kelly.


Sir Robert Rudstone (Rodston in the speech headings in Dekker and Webster's Sir Thomas Wyatt) reports the arrival of the forces of Norfolk and Arundel, and he receives orders from Sir Thomas Wyatt about how to position their musketeers, pike men, archers, and cavalry.


A ruffian soldier in Preston's Cambises, Ruf, along with Huf and Snuf, fights briefly with Ambidexter, only to make up with the realization that Ambidexter can help them in their desire to gain from the war.


Rufaldo is an old merchant and father of Hilaria in Shirley's The School of Compliment. Gorgon and Gasparo gull him into believing that he has miraculously become younger looking, and he presses his suit with Selina. Reneging on her ill-considered promise to wed Rufaldo, Selina disappears, leaving her disguised brother Antonio to take her place and wed Rufaldo. Rufaldo quickly learns that his new bride is to be neither bedfellow nor submissive wife. By the end of the play he discovers the trickery and gives his daughter Hilaria to Antonio.


A character in the Anonymous Band, Ruff, and Cuff. He represents the large circular, stiffly starched, pleated collar popular during the reigns of Elizabeth I, and to a lesser degree, James I. Ruffs are generally made from linen, lawn, or cambric, in the form of a frill radiating from the neck. The stiffly pleated ruff was popular until about 1610, although the less fashionable continued to wear it for another decade. Starched folds called sets are formed by heating a setting or poking stick and applying it to the starched fabric. Strips of wire or bone are used to support and prop up these types of ruffs. After about 1615, the falling ruff became fashionable, a style in which the ruff is gathered or pleated in several layers but not set, and falls loosely upon the shoulders. Ruff's character in the play is somewhat hot-tempered, and leaps to the challenge when Band tries to instigate a fight.


A young gentleman in Sharpham's The Fleire. He rejects Felecia and consequently is the target of a murderous attack by the gullible Havelittle and Piso. Fortunately for him, he is given only a sleeping potion and, thought to be dead, he later awakes having experienced a vision of hell. In the end, he is united with Susan who has helped save his life.


Guards the door of Mistress Apricock's house in The London Prodigal.


Two Ruffians figure in Greene and Lodge's A Looking Glass For London And England:
  • Called Peter by the Clown, the First Ruffian argues with his companion the Second Ruffian during a night of carousing and is stabbed by him.
  • The Second is a companion to both the Clown and the First Ruffian, the Second Ruffian stabs the latter during a drunken argument.


Also refered to as Murderers in Yarington's Two Lamentable Tragedies. Hired by Fallerio to murder Pertillo. They are to take Pertillo, on the pretext of accompanying him to university, murder him in a grove and leave his body in a ditch. After Pertillo has bid farewell to Fallerio and his family, the Ruffians take him into their custody. One Ruffian asks Fallerio if he still wants the boy murdered, based on the oath Fallerio made to Allenso; when Fallerio reaffirms his commitment, the Ruffians exit with Pertillo. As they travel in the woods Pertillo persuades the Ruffians to allow him to rest. As he sleeps the second Ruffian begins to argue with the first Ruffian about whether to kill Pertillo or not. While the second Ruffian advances the claims of conscience, pity, and religion, the first Ruffian refuses to back down, even when the second Ruffian offers him his share of the money. They begin to fight, awakening Pertillo. The second Ruffian warns him that the first Ruffian means to murder him, and after Pertillo offers to give up his inheritance and thereby remove any reason to murder him, the first Ruffian stabs him to death. They then fight and the second Ruffian kills the first, receiving serious injuries in the process. After the deaths of the first Ruffian and Pertillo, the wounded second Ruffian is discovered by Allenso and the Duke of Padua's hunting party. The Duke apprehends Allenso on suspicion of involvement in the crimes, but the second Ruffian reveals that Fallerio had organized Pertillo's murder and that Allenso was innocent. The second Ruffian then dies of his wound.


A band of ruffians kidnap Evadne in Rawlins's The Rebellion after she has been banished by Machvile. The bandits tie Evadne to a tree, but are chased away by Sebastian before they can molest her.


Rufflit is a courtier who owes Crasy money but refuses to repay him in Brome's The City Wit. He hopes to make his fortune by marrying Josina, Crasy's estranged wife; Crasy uses this ambition to trick Rufflit out of the money he owes.


With Shacklesoule and Lurchall, Ruffman is one of Pluto's devils in Dekker's If It Be Not Good. Disguising himself as the courtier Shalkan Bohor, he goes to Naples under Pluto's orders to corrupt the new King of Naples and his court. Assuring the King that all rulers pursue pleasure, he encourages the King to rewrite his decrees. In place of the honest entertainment offered to the court by the Soldier, Scholar, and Seafarer, he presents a special effects lightshow. When the Duke of Calabria marches against the city, Ruffman tries and fails to persuade the King of Naples to kill himself. At the priory, Ruffman finally reveals the devils' true identities before they drag Bartervile to hell, where he joins Shacklesoule and Lurchall in triumphing over the souls they have won.


An experienced soldier in the Anonymous The Faithful Friends, Rufinus is enraged by Martius' advancement of Tullius, and especially by the latter's appointment as general of the army sent to put down the Sabines. He plots revenge, first by aiding Martius in the attempt on the virtue of Tullius' bride, Philadelpha, then by sending a letter to Tullius' accusing Philadelpha of infidelity, finally by proposing to the Sabine leader in Martius' name that the Sabines pretend to negotiate the terms of peace and then kill Tullius when he comes to accept the surrender. All these plots fail because of the faithfulness of Tullius, Philadelpha, and their friends, and when they are exposed the totally unrepentant Rufinus is sent off to be executed at the emperor's behest.


Master Rufford is one of many petitioners seeking money or redress from Mistress Jane Shore in Thomas Heywood's 1 Edward IV. Jane refuses his request for license to sell English corn to foreign powers, causing a long-lasting enmity in Master Rufford.
Rufford is a mean-spirited and vengeful man in Thomas Heywood's 2 Edward IV who taunts Jane Shore in her disgrace. He obtains writs from Gloster that allow him to arrest those who would give aid to the outcast mistress of the former king. He also forges Gloster's signature on letters that give permission for the sale of English goods to foreign nations. He is arrested and sent to be drawn and quartered as punishment for forgery.

RUFUS **1603

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

RUFUS **1624

A "ghost character" in the Anonymous Tragedy of Nero. Captain of the Guard, said by Piso to be in support of their conspiracy against Nero.


Along with Lucius Geta, Rufus Crispinus commands the Praetorian Guard until he is dismissed at the instigation of Agrippina in May's Julia Agrippina. He is also married to Poppaea until Nero orders her given to Otho, on which Crispinus retires to the country.


Rufus Laberius Crispinus is the offending poetaster in Rome in Jonson's Poetaster. Probably Jonson modeled him to lampoon his fellow playwright, John Marston. At Albius's house in Rome, Crispinus enters, apparently to visit his cousin, Cytheris, but actually to study Chloë and dedicate her a poem commissioned by Albius. Albius announces the arrival of important guests and the poets and their ladies enter. After light conversation and music, the guests depart for the banquet hall. On the Via Sacra in Rome, Crispinus sees Horace and wants to ingratiate himself with the great poet. Though Horace is visibly displeased with the poetaster's irritating company, Crispinus insists that Horace should introduce him to Maecenas. Horace is saved when Minos enters with Lictors to have Crispinus arrested for debt. In his turn, Crispinus is saved by the boisterous entrance of Captain Tucca, who threatens and cajoles Minos, finally persuading him to be content with half of Crispinus's debt. At Albius's house, Crispinus enters with his host, followed by Demetrius and Tucca. Crispinus sings his love poem, apparently inspired by Chloë as Canidia, but the poets present discover that the poem is plagiarized from Horace. Crispinus is diplomatically silent, and he exits with the others to the ball at court. Disguised as Mercury, Crispinus 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. When the angry Caesar enters and interrupts the revelry, Crispinus says he is a poor gentleman poet and exits meekly. While Caesar is holding his court with the poets, Crispinus enters with Demetrius. When Aesop and Lupus are chased in disgrace, Crispinus and Demetrius are charged with calumny and plagiarism. They sit a trial and are pronounced guilty. As a punishment, Crispinus is given an emetic to throw up the difficult words that had overloaded his vocabulary. After he vomits superfluous words, Crispinus's sentence is to be locked in a dark place in solitude. Crispinus and Demetrius are made to swear they will never publicly detract Horace or write against him.


John is a servant to Dr. Caius in Shakespeare's The Merry Wives of Windsor. Mistress Quickly laments his worst fault, which is being somewhat addicted to prayer.


Ruge-Crosse is a Scottish herald in J.W.'s The Valiant Scot who relays messages, and escorts the English herald to Wallace.

RUGIO **1620

The false name Claudio assumes while disguised as a merchant in Fletcher's Women Pleased.

RUGIO **1624

Rugio, along with Friar Marco in Fletcher's A Wife for a Month, watches over Alphonso, usurped King of Naples, who before the play begins has been stricken with a melancholy silence. Alphonso's illness had occurred at the very second that his father died, and the play suggests that the melancholy was a result either of grief or possibly having been drugged by his ambitious brother Frederick, who assumed the throne, and Frederick's wicked helper, Sorano. When, in IV.i, Sorano comes to the monastery that houses Alphonso, claiming to have an antidote to heal Alphonso, Rugio and Friar Marco refuse to let him in, knowing that Sorano is trying to kill the usurped king. When Sorano sneaks in anyway and gives the poison to Alphonso, Rugio and Friar Marco blame themselves. However, the potion that Sorano had intended to kill Alphonso actually does prove to be an antidote, and Rugio and Friar Marco rejoice when Alphonso is restored to health and his throne.

RUGIO **1635

Eulalia's servant in Brome's The Queen and Concubine. He is banished from court when his mistress is banished.


Ruin accompanies Warre in Marston's Histrio-Mastix.


The bastard child of Venus and Contempt in Wilson's The Cobbler's Prophecy. Ruina is named after the waiting-maids Ru and Ina who look after her.


Sir Ruinous Gentry is a decayed knight who, along with Lady Ruinous and Priscian, makes a living from robbery in Middleton and Rowley's Wit at Several Weapons. Wittypate hires the gang to gull Sir Perfidous. In their first trick, Ruinous disguises as a begging soldier, while Wittypate, disguised as a passer-by, pretends to be convinced by his far-fetched stories. In their second trick, Ruinous disguises first as a robber, then as a constable, in order to make Credulous Oldcraft believe that he has arrested for assisting in a robbery. Finally, Ruinous and the gang disguise as musicians to gull more money out of Sir Perfidious. In the play's conclusion, both Wittypate and Cunningham offer financial help to the Ruinous's.


Lady Ruinous is the wife of Sir Ruinous, the decayed knight in Middleton and Rowley's Wit at Several Weapons. Along with her husband and Priscian, she makes a living from robbery, and specialises in male disguise. Wittypate hires the gang to gull Sir Perfidous. In their second trick, Lady Ruinous disguises as a gentleman whom the others pretend to rob, in order to make Credulous Oldcraft believe that he has assisted in a robbery. When Sir Ruinous dresses as a constable and 'arrests' Credulous, Lady Ruinous, still disguised as the 'victim' demands 100 marks from Sir Perfidious in compensation. During the masqued ball, Sir Perfidious is distracted into thinking Lady Ruinous is his Niece so that the latter can elope with Cunningham. In the conclusion, both Wittypate and Cunningham offer financial help to the Ruinouses.


Segasto's servant in the Anonymous Mucedorus.

RUMFORD **1599

'Headsman' or member of the Corporation along with Colby and Cipher in Ruggle’s Club Law. He is “hot spurred" and quick to anger. “He begins or ends every speech, with well said: break their crag: strick their teeth into their throats: de’ele ha’ my saul: wack her wele." After Colby and Niphle are arrested, he wants vengeance against the “Athenians" to keep the students from crowing over them. He conspires with Tom Catch to hide poles in Colby’s storehouse to use in beating the students. He names Tavie leader. In the fight, he bests Monsieur Grand Combatant. After the fight, he decides to take to horse and ride to complain to the duke. He and Colby plan to go together. He is glad that Niphle is of the same mind but grows angry when Brecknocke persuades Colby and Niphle to reconsider. He reluctantly agrees to Niphle’s compromise plan to appear to make peace with the students and look for an opportunity for revenge.


Rumford's son in Ruggle’s Club Law. He is on hand to help the townsmen beat the “Athenians."

RUMOR **1564

Appears after Apius demands Virginius bring Virginia to him in [?]Bower's Apius and Virginia to announce that he has spread abroad the news that Claudius was hired by Apius to claim Virginia as his daughter so that Apius would be able to take custody of Virginia and satisfy his lust.

RUMOR **1570

He enters running in the Anonymous Clyomon and Clamydes. He informs Clyomon that Thrasellus has kidnapped Neronis, her father has died of grief, and the pregnant queen is in a power struggle over the crown with her brother-in-law Mustantius. Alexander the Great is to decide the issue of who receives the crown.
Rumor is the name given to the abstract character that presents the Prologue in Shakespeare's 2 Henry IV. He represents the abstraction of gossip and admits that his office is to spread falsehoods about the condition of the royal family and the true outcome of the battle of Shrewsbury.


See "RUMOR."


Runs in Shirley's Hyde Park against an Irishman, Teague, in the Hyde Park foot race, losing.

RUPERT **1627

Only mentioned in Randolph's Plutophthalmia. Carion, drunk with glee over his riches, imagines that he will raise an army against the Spanish Inquisition, the Turks, Rupert, and the King of Poland.

RURIUS **1619

A servant to Cleobulus along with Coridon, and a supposed magician in (?)Goffe’s Careless Shepherdess. He pretends to call up a vision of the satyrs capturing the women in the masque that Cleobulus and Bacheus arrange to trick Philaritus and Lariscus. He is later discovered bound, along with Coridon, when the actual satyrs break in and capture the women.


The disguise assumed by Shacklesoule in Dekker's If It Be Not Good when he infiltrates the Neapolitan priory.


A part played by Fungus in an after-dinner masque in Chapman's The Gentleman Usher.

RUSSE **1619

Spelled Rufee in the dramatis personae to Fletcher’s Bloody Brother. One of the five cheating rogues (called mathematicians, they are fraud astrologers) along with Norbrett, LaFiske, DeBube, and Pippeau. They call him Friar. He is overly fond of his wine. He and the others take Latorch’s money and tell him whatever horoscope he wishes to hear. Aubrey orders the “mathematicians" whipped for their knavery and also orders them to witness Latorch’s hanging.


Family name of Jane and her father (Lady Ager's brother) in Middleton and Rowley's A Fair Quarrel:
  1. See "JANE RUSSELL."
  2. Russell is a conventional avaricious merchant. He is the brother of Lady Ager and uncle of Captain Ager. He will not let his daughter Jane marry the poor gallant, Fitzallen, and plans to marry her instead to the rich fool, Chough. Russell is a pragmatist and cannot understand the dueling obsession of Ager and the Colonel. He confiscates their swords when they quarrel in his house, and this renders them powerless to prevent him from having Fitzallen arrested for debt. Later, Chough learns that Jane has had a baby and rejects her. Jane admits to her father that she has a child. Russell is touched that he is now a grandfather, but is desperate to get marry off his 'tainted' daughter, so he decides to marry her to Fitzallen. His plan is complicated when Chough warns Fitzallen that Jane is a 'whore.' Russell, in desperation, offers Fitzallen a large dowry, which Fitzallen accepts before revealing that he was married to Jane all along and the baby is his. Russell, realizing that he has been thoroughly gulled, invites everyone home for a feast.


Administers justice on Anthony Sherley in Day, Rowley and Wilkins's The Travels of the Three English Brothers.


At Caecilius's suggestion Comastes dons a Clown's habit and a country dialect in Wilde's Love's Hospital. He does this in order to disguise himself as a Rustic so that he may enter Lepidus's house undetected and woo Facetia in his father's favor. Under this disguise he creates a fictitious wife and children as well as a life in which he has a good lease and well stocked land, and is ordered by Lepidus to transport Facetia to St Clares where she is supposed to wed Lysander.


Four rustic figure in Brome's Love-Sick Court. Believing a rumor started by Stratocles that Philargus and Philocles (two popular candidates for successor to the throne) were killed at Delphi, the people of Thessaly nominate four rustics to petition the King to name Stratocles his heir. The King identifies them as Head Carpenter, Head Smith, Head Plowman and Head Shepherd, but there is no clear indication which occupation corresponds to which rustic. Upon learning that Philargus and Philocles are alive, the second, third and fourth rustics endorse Philargus, Philocles and Stratocles respectively. The first rustic entreats the King to make a speedy decision. In act four, six rustics of Tempe appear and help Philargus and Philocles apprehend Matho and Stratocles. Only three of these rustics speak. In the fifth act, Geron enlists four rustics to dance at the Princess's wedding. Their dance ends the play. These may or may not be the same characters reappearing throughout the play, but they were presumably played by the same actors.


First Rustic is the peasant who saves Sordido's life in Jonson's Every Man out of His Humour. When Sordido tries to hang himself on the branch of a tree, First Rustic sees him and calls for help. He cuts the cord and resuscitates him. The other four Rustics enter and, when they realize who he has helped, they curse the First Rustic for saving such a villain. However, when Sordido miraculously repents his miserable life and starts speaking of salvation and grace, the four rustics repent and are moved by his apparent change of heart.


A “ghost character" in the anonymous Pathomachia. One of the twenty-five vices that are the extremes of the eleven virtues. Rusticity and Scurrility are the extremes of Urbanity.


A comic country clod, associated with Hortano, Acuto, and Vulcano in the Anonymous Two Wise Men and All the Rest Fools. He wants to stop the observance of holy days because it interferes with work. Later he avers that the way to manage a shrewish wife is to let her do what she wants; when his own wife, Lamia, beats him on the ground that he needs to purge himself from sin, he thanks her, then makes a foolish will.


See under 'Neighbours'; they are referred to as 'Rustics' in the stage directions of The Valiant Welshman.


Rusticus, encouraged by the Vice in Pickering's Horestes, fights with Hodge over the death of his pig. After they make friends they go to Rusticus's for a quart of brown ale.


Junius Rusticus is a senator in Massinger's The Roman Actor. For his opposition to Domitian he is tortured and executed along with Palphurius Sura, though their stoic resolve under torture terrifies Domitian and makes him realize his own guilt. His ghost (and Sura's) returns to haunt Domitian.


Lady Lodestone's family doctor, a lascivious and profane man in Jonson's The Magnetic Lady. He prescribes "cures" for Placentia's "dropsy" or swelling, which he attributes to flatulence, perhaps knowing full well that her malady is pregnancy. He cooperates with Polish in her plan to marry Placentia to Sir Diaphanous Silkworm. After it is revealed that Placentia is Polish's daughter and not the heiress, he is angered and accuses Polish. His accusations are lost in the confusion of Tim Item's and Needle's pretended madness, and Rut mightily impresses Sir Moth Interest by "curing" the madmen.


A Roman gentleman, older brother to Arnoldo and travelling with him to the unknown 'country' of the title in Fletcher and Massinger's Custom of the Country. A promiscuous and cheerful bachelor of thirty, he is an unruly, outspoken but endearing hero. His loyalty to Arnoldo, despite his bawdy teasing, is first proven during their escape from Zenocia's homeland; his courage, in fighting pirates against overwhelming odds, and his resilience in the various adventures that befall him after the brothers swim to destitute refuge in Lisbon, where they part company. With his skills as a swordsman, and sense of honor, he intervenes in a strangers' quarrel and defeats Duarte in a fair fight to defend an unarmed man, apparently killing him. Rutillio, now frankly terrified, takes refuge from the law in a nearby house and by chance is given sanctuary by Guiomar, his victim's mother. Her unswerving piety, in honoring her given promise to protect him, and generosity in giving him money with which to escape, demonstrate to him a strength of character, in an older woman, which has previously been unknown to the feckless philanderer. He is deeply impressed, and grateful to her. Dissolute habits dying hard, however, he is next seen under arrest, having celebrated his escape with a drinking binge and fallen into an open cellar containing the city's munitions. The charge of spying and the threat of dire punishments to follow fill him with tipsy indignation: Sulpitia intervenes and bails him on the spot as a likely recruit for her male brothel. He is in the mood to make light both of his financial debt to her and of his promised future as a sex-worker. Rutillio anticipates nothing but delight in the unlimited and varied sex this will provide, and does not for a moment doubt his own stamina. Sulpitia is impressed by his abilities, little inclined to go easy on her best and newest worker, whose virility has turned round her ailing business. Next seen, though, he has been worked to exhaustion, bewilderment and total revulsion for the insatiable appetites of his customers. Three former prostitutes visit him, pox-ridden and invalided out of the trade themselves, and show his what his future will hold if he does not escape. He begins to long for honest marriage for the first time in his life, but has no money to pay Sulpitia for his release. He is befriended by the disguised Duarte, having unknowingly earned his gratitude for the near-fatal injury, which has reformed the errant braggart. Rutillio sends Duarte with a presumptuous love-letter to Guiomar, not knowing that she is the mother of his new benefactor. He proposes to woo her honestly, if smugly, but has again underestimated a woman's capacity, this time for maternal grief and revenge. Her invitation is a trap but she now falls in love with him at first sight, further moved by his honest gratitude and confession of guilt. He shows a noble willingness to die to give her justice: Duarte's revelation solves everything and allows them to be married - Guiomar taking the initiative of claiming him- to both their contents. Rutillio is reunited with his equally happy brother, foreswearing his profligate life and admitting his conversion to the state of contented wedlock.


Edmund, Earl of Rutland is the son of Richard, Duke of York in Shakespeare's 3 Henry VI. Before he is slain by Lord Clifford to avenge the death of Clifford's father, Rutland begs for his life, but to no avail.
A "ghost character" in Shakespeare's Richard III. Young son of York and brother of Edward IV, Clarence, and Richard III. Clifford murdered Rutland, and Margaret soaked a handkerchief in the boy's blood, which she then gave to York before he was killed.


A Roman nobleman and warrior who attends on Maximinus in William Rowley's A Shoemaker a Gentleman. Rutullus is given responsibility for erecting beacons on the coast, and for taking the Queen to prison. He is sent to aid Dioclesian in the Gaulish wars, and recruits Crispianus to the army while pressing in Kent.

RUY DIAS**1621

A Captain in the Portuguese army, uncle to Pyniero, and suitor to the Princess Quisara in Fletcher's The Island Princess. When the Princess, who initially claims that she loves the valiant Ruy Dias, makes a proclamation that she will marry the man who rescues her brother the king, Dias hesitates too long and in so doing, loses face with the Princess who decides that he is a coward. To make up for the insult, and because he is jealous of Armusia, he challenges the latter to a duel. Armusia bests Dias, but stops short of killing him. After that, Dias recognizes the noble character of Armusia and fights alongside him. When Armusia is imprisoned for professing his Christian faith, Pyniero and Ruy Dias together attack the kingdom of Sidori with the intention of rescuing Armusia. Together, however, they reveal the Moor-Priest's true identity, thereby saving the kingdom instead of destroying it.


A fictional character within Dekker's 2 Honest Whore. As Bots attempts to strike up a conversation with Candido's Bride in hopes of corrupting her, he tells her the lady in the shop (the bawd, Mistress Horseleech) has a gentlewoman in waiting named Ruyna who is the Bride's niece. The Bride disavows knowing any such relative and rejects Bots's attempt to get her to leave with him, saying only that the alleged relative would be welcome in the shop at any time.


A "ghost character" in Shakespeare's Two Noble Kinsmen. Rycas the weaver is described as a friend of the Second Country Person and will be attending the Duke's games.


An alternate spelling of Rinaldo, used in the original Quarto of Chapman's All Fools.


Alternate name for Perecell, used only by Bertie and Erasmus in Drue's The Duchess of Suffolk.


Erasmus' Latin form of Perecell's alternate name, Feris De Ryviers in Drue's The Duchess of Suffolk.