A CHRISTIAN TURNED TURK, or
THE TWO FAMOUS PIRATES
a synoptic, alphabetical character list
n.b. there is an attribution issue concerning Alizia and FranciscoQ gives an important scene to Francisco while the latest editor (Vitkus) attributes the lines to Alizia/Fidelio, for some sound internal reasons. The following notes have duplicated the material under both characters and leave the decision to the researcher. The scene works as it originally stands, but whichever character has the lines gains depth and credibility in the encounterthe honourable pirate, or the cross-dressed heroine?
Turkish woman, sister to Crosman and Voada, and wife to Benwash, the Jew turned Turk. She seems to have been given in marriage as a reward for his conversion and she appears dissatisfied. Lascivious, like her sister, she enjoys bawdy gossip with the servant Rabshake. She arouses her husband's jealousy. Rabshake is ordered to watch her and guard her chastity, in which he is unsuccessful. Agar desires Gallop, Ward's mutinous officer, at first sight. He assumes she is a prostitute. She is furious at the watch kept over her; with her sister's help, she plans to outwit her guard. Agar demonstrates her fidelity by giving her husband a purse of gold allegedly given by Gallop to buy her favors, but rejected. It is actually her gift to entice and encourage Gallop to proceed, when Benwash angrily but complacently 'returns' it to him. Next seen at her balcony, like an adulterous Juliet, pining for Gallop and fearing his constancy. He arrives, climbs up to her room, where two sailors intent on burglary interrupt their sexual liaison. Benwash discovers the stolen goods, including her lover's breeches and confronts her with her guilt. Agar is terrified, knowing her life is forfeit to her outraged husband. He promises to spare her if she agrees to help him take revenge by murdering Gallop. She plays her part by arranging another meeting with Gallop, but is strangled by Rabshake on her husband's orders.
French gentleman, who, together with Ferdinand is abducted by Ward the pirate, who is lacking in manpower to crew his ship. Sufficiently gullible to have been tricked into an on-board session of dice and cards with a stranger, and distracted by the excitement of gaming while the ship sails away leaving him helpless. He is resigned to his fate when Ward refuses their offers of ransom to. Next seen at the house of Benwash, where they have caught up with the mutineers, he attempts together with Ferdinand to intercede for the release of the Raymond family. Ward refuses their offered ransom, prayers and appeals to family loyalty, and in anger sells them into slavery too. Seen later with Ferdinand and the two sons of Raymond 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. Dansiker later ransoms Albert and Ferdinand, who travel back to Marseilles with him, then return in his service to Tunis. They are present at his death, and appear to survive, although their fates are uncertain.
Sister to Lemot, a French gentleman, and betrothed to Raymond junior, she is travelling to her wedding when Ward captures their ship. To avoid the threat of rape, she disguises herself as a boy, using the name Fidelio, but declares that she would choose death rather than dishonor if the disguise fails. Horrified at her brother's summary murder on Ward's orders, she is still grieving when brought to Tunis and the house of Benwash, where the rebel pirates Gallop and Gismund sell their captives into slavery. She is consumed with grief for her brother, wishing to die, and unaware that Voada desires her at the first sight of her male disguise. (The script is unhelpful but) Alizia appears to be present when her fiancé's family is also brought captive by Ward to Benwash's house, when neither she nor young Raymond recognize each other. As some point she becomes Ward's pageboy. [the following section is a debated scenethe quarto has FRANCISCO acting as dissuader, the Vitkus editor argues for 'Fidelio' being the intended character. Thes notes have duplicated the content, as the reallocation makes sense. It significantly enhances Alizia's agency in the play, but there are doubts that it can be fully justified, ed.] When Ward decides to turn Turk, Alizia, as Fidelio, pleads with him to reconsider, begging on her knees that Ward resist the temptation to sell his soul and deny his redeemer. Her eloquence troubles Ward's conscience and he briefly recants his decision, before being quickly turned again by Voada, furious at the intervention and forcing Fidelio from the room. Presumably present at the fire in Benwash's house, when Voada contrasts her hatred for Ward with her passion for his page. Her relationship with Voada is developed offstage: Fidelio agrees to sleep with Voada on condition that his 'brother' (really, her fiancé, Raymond) is ransomed. She warns Ward of Voada's lust for 'Fidelio'. Ward grants Fidelio freedom as a reward for his honesty, and Alizia is unaware that she is being tricked into her own murder. Planning to escape with Raymond, they have arranged the code word 'Fidelio'. When Alizia arrives to meet Raymond, he has already been shot by Voada. Dying, he denounces Alizia as a whore, but they are reconciled and swear mutual constancy. She stabs herself against his wishes and they die together.
An old, wealthy, Jewish merchant, trading in stolen goods and slaves. He has turned Turk and is married (as a reward for his conversion) to Agar, sister of Crosman. First mentioned as the intended victim of Dansiker's plot to firebomb his house, resort of pirates, in the plan to destroy all the pirate ships in Tunis harbor. Benwash keeps open house to pirates, making them free of the company of his wife. He believes this is good business practice, but it makes him extremely jealous of her honour. First seen haggling with Gismund over the sale of the French captives, he notices Gallop's interest in his wife and sets his servant Rabshake to watch over her. He reflects that he originally turned Turk to preserve his wife's honour from assault by Turks; he is now concerned at the threat from Christian pirates. Agar demonstrates her fidelity by giving him a purse of gold allegedly given by Gallop to buy her favors, but rejected. It is actually her gift to entice and encourage Gallop to proceed, when Benwash angrily but complacently 'returns' it to him. Crosman later cites his brother-in-law as an example of a prosperous convert to Ward, Benwash arguing that, if God had been offended by Islam, its followers would have been destroyed. Instead, they prosper. Having relaxed his guard over his wife, Benwash is unaware that she is committing adultery with Gallop at the time his house is fired by Dansiker's agent. He raises the alarm and coincidentally finds Gallop's stolen gold and breeches, which incriminate the lovers. He prevents Ward from rescuing his own property stored with Benwash, more intent on his wife's betrayal than his material losses. He agrees to spare his guilty wife's life if she helps him to murder Gallop, but this is a pretense. His revenge is comprehensive. Rabshake strangles Agar on his orders and he himself kills Gallop. To make the murders look like the work of outsiders, he orders Rabshake to wound him sufficiently and then persuades Rabshake to let him tie him up. He strangles Rabshake too, and calls for help. He accuses the disguised Dansiker of being the murderer, who stabs him before revealing his true identity. Dying, Benwash admits his guilt and recants his own conversion, preferring to die a Jew.
A French gentleman, friend of Lemot and travelling with him to Alizia's wedding. Also captured by Ward and briefly the blinded Lemot's guide and support. After Lemot's murder, remains captive with Alizia and Fredericke, and continues to say very little of consequence. Together they are brought to Tunis and sold in to slavery by Gallop before Ward appears to claim the profits on their sale. He does not reappear.
First presents the Prologue, which combines a description of Ward - the baseborn Englishman turned pirate and later, Turk. Warns of the bloody adventures to follow, and provides an explanation of the opening scene. The Chorus's second appearance is to narrate the ceremonies of Ward's formal conversion, reminding the audience that what they see is historical fact, not the author's invention. The third and final Chorus speech narrates Dansiker's reception and surrender in Marseilles, with the stipulation insisted in by French merchants that Dansiker atone by capturing Benwash.
A non-speaking Turkish captive who plays a symbolic role in the rites of Ward's conversion. After Ward has sworn his allegiance and donned his Turkish robes, the Christian offers him wine. Ward symbolically rejects the cup and abuses him.
Captain of the Janissaries at Tunis, a senior commander in the élite Turkish army. Brother to Agar and Voada, he is first seen at the house of Benwash, his brother-in-law. He embodies the belief that the Turks encouraged aliens to convert for mercenary reasons only, but never trusted or respected their converts afterwards. Absolutely unscrupulous with his sisters' honour and prepared to utilize their feminine attractions to further his power. He encourages Agar to betray her husband (a Jewish convert to Islam) and sleep with Gallop, which she agrees to do, but only for his fortune. Ward's reputation has impressed him as 'half a Turk already', and he uses Voada's sexuality, and the promise of marriage to her, to persuade Ward to a formal conversion when all other enticements have failed. It is not made clear whether brother or sister originally conceived the plot. Crosman cites his brother-in-law as an example of a prosperous convert to Ward. Finally, he spurs his sister on to persuade Ward by any means to convert for her sake, which succeeds. His Janissaries are later reported re-taking the castle which has been gifted to Ward as a reward for his conversion, and seen pursuing Ward, which is the final proof he needs of the Turks' treachery.
Pirate captain preparing to leave his life of crime for an amnesty offered by Henri IV, King of France. His wife's letter explaining this reaches him in Tunis, where Ward and Francisco are headed in pursuit of the mutinous Gallop and Gismund. Dansiker will be pardoned if he agrees to turn his talents to the service of France, and wishing to return to his wife and children after four years of outlawry, he is prepared to submit. Unlike Ward, he has retained important ties to family and a sense of honor to admit the wrong he has done as a thief, while remaining justly proud of his reputation for valor and prowess as an adventurous pirate. His honor dictates that he cannot merely make a show of repentance for his past, but must offer to do some worthy deed to balance his account, even at the cost of his life. His crew unanimously agrees with him. He plans to destroy all the pirate ships in Tunis harbor - a grand gesture to be achieved by setting fire to a house in the city to provide a distraction for their escape. The victim is to be the 'renegade Jew', Benwash. The plan is revealed to have an ulterior motiveby destroying Benwash's house and escaping, he will avoid repaying the huge debt owed to the Jew. With his captain, Sares, at the house of Benwash, he flirts with Voada, who has already revealed her interest in him to her sister, before she falls in love with Fidelio (Alizia) at first sight. Here he meets Ward, and is disgusted by his inhumane treatment of the captive Raymonds ('I hate this villain'). Ward and Dansiker come to blows over Voada's favors and are parted by her brother, Crosman. Despite their hostility and his contempt for Ward, he cannot believe the rumor of Ward's conversion, until Sares gives him eyewitness confirmation. He plans to redeem the men sold into slavery by Ward (Albert and Ferdinand) and has prepared their ransom. Dansiker causes every ship in the harbor to be burned, except Ward's vessel, and that he uses for his own escape. Arrived in Marseilles, the Chorus narrates the dumbshow of Dansiker's surrender, humble penitence and petition for pardon. The amnesty agreed on is void since the death of the king, and Dansiker must swear to atone for his wrongs by returning to Tunis and capturing Benwash. He is allowed to greet his wife and family. Next seen back at the house of Benwash, accompanied by Sares, Ferdinand and Albert, all in disguise. Benwash blames his own murders on the 'strangers', whereupon Dansiker stabs Benwash and reveals his identity. He refuses to save his life by turning Turk, admits the justice of his fate and commits suicide with many pious words.
A "ghost character". Mentioned once by Dansiker as the captain of another ship in Tunis who is to join their escape. It in unclear whether he is another reformed pirate.
French gentleman, together with Albert, abducted by Ward the pirate, who is lacking in manpower to crew his ship. Sufficiently gullible to have been tricked into an on-board session of dice and cards with a stranger, and distracted by the excitement of gaming while the ship sails away leaving him helpless. More outspoken than his companion in trying to persuade Ward to accept a ransom for their freedom. He deplores piracy, extortion and slavery, the terms of the new life he is doomed to follow. Accused of cowardice by Gismund, he is quick to anger and prepared to fight him. He accepts his ill fortune and serves Ward with loyalty henceforward. Fails to comfort Ward on the death of a friend, and in a soliloquy reflects on the pirate's imperfect judgment and lack of faith. Where Ward blames his fate, fortune and heaven for his misfortunes, Ferdinand sees only the results of Ward's bad choices in life. In Tunis he attempts, together with Albert, to intercede for the release of the Raymond family. Ward refuses their offered ransom, prayers and appeals to family loyalty, and in anger sells them both into slavery too. Seen later with Albert and the two sons of Raymond 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. Ferdinand prophesies a 'hell of lust' if Ward remains constant to his conversion. Dansiker later ransoms Albert and Ferdinand, who travel back to Marseilles with him, then return in his service to Tunis. They are present at his death, and appear to survive, although their fates are uncertain.
The name used by Alizia while in boy's disguise.
A pirate captain and rival to Ward. Has been pursuing Monsieur Davy's ship himself when it is taken by Ward instead. Sends an indignant message demanding half the proceeds as the custom of the sea, and is willing to challenge Ward to a duel for his share. Ward and Francisco meet and insult each otherFrancisco reminds Ward of his low birth and infuriates him. They fight and Ward loses, to his own amazement, and cannot believe that his opponent has not used 'enchantments' to defeat him. The two pirates become allies, swearing brotherhood and co-operation henceforward. Accompanies Ward on the trail of their shared prize, to Tunis. [the following section is a debated scenethe quarto has FRANCISCO acting as dissuader, the Vitkus ed. argues for 'Fidelio' being the intended character. The note has duplicated the content, as the reallocation makes sense for two textual reasonsWard calling the character 'boy', and Voada's fury at the 'boy's interference. The change significantly enhances Alizia's agency in the play, but there are doubts that it can be fully justified.] When Ward decides to turn Turk, Francisco pleads with him to reconsider, begging on his knees that Ward resist the temptation to sell his soul and deny his redeemer. His eloquence troubles Ward's conscience and he briefly recants his decision, before being quickly turned again by Voada, furious at the intervention and forcing Francisco from the room. He later intervenes in Ward's troubled marriage, angering him with the news that his wife is a whore. He does persuade Ward that his castle is under threat of occupation by the Janissaries, and that his conversion has gained him nothing but contempt. He flees when Janissaries arrive to arrest Wardthanks to his warning, Ward manages to hide from them. Francisco returns and shows great loyalty, calling him brother. Ward fears that flattery, not pity moves him, but is persuaded his compassion is genuine. Ward repents his life of blood and blasphemy, regrets his lost life of simple content as a fisherman. Francisco warns him not to fall into the mortal sin of despair. (Some confused offstage plotting must be inferred from this point.) Ward blames (the absent) Francisco for the failure of his own plot to have Voada shoot Fidelio. The Governor of Tunis later reports that Francisco has been executed by the common hangman of the city, for crimes unspecified.
French gentleman travelling on Monsieur Davy's ship when Ward attacks it. Not speaking in early scenes, his status and relationship to Lemot's wedding-party is unclear. One of the few survivors of the raid, captured by Ward and brought to Tunis for sale to Benwash, together with Carolo and the disguised Alizia. He does not reappear.
One of Ward's officers, first seen boarding Monsieur Davy's captured ship. Conspires in mutiny with Gismund, who defers to his decisions, he is more able in naval strategy than his private life, where he is revealed later as a gullible and incompetent lecher. His precise motives for revenge against Ward remains obscure, but can be explained by his veniality. Gallop and Gismond disable the two pirate ships and sail to nearby Tunis with the captured vessel. Takes his French captives to the house of Benwash, to sell as slaves: Benwash's wife Agar desires him at first sight. He mistakes her for a prostitute, and is unaware her husband has noticed his attraction to her. He plans to buy her favors soon. Being greedy for money, he cheats his crew of their agreed share in the profits, and only gives them money for drink. Gismund protests at this oath-breaking and vows revenge. Sares, who took him for a fool at first sight, revises his opinion: Gallop is both a fool and a cheat. He is stunned by the quick arrival of Ward and Francisco on their trail, together as allies, when he last saw them dueling to the death. He is equally unprepared for the return of Gismund and his crew intent on punishing him for cheating them. Their fight is interrupted by Ward's arrival; significantly, Agar does not witness his cowardice. Gallop grovels to Ward and escapes with his life after offering to hand over all the gold he has earned from the sale of the stolen ship and passengers. Now poor again, he feels that his courage will return, as his recent cowardice must be blamed on his temporary riches. Agar now demonstrates her fidelity by giving Benwash a purse of gold allegedly given by Gallop to buy her favors, but rejected. It is actually her gift to entice and encourage Gallop to proceed, when Benwash angrily but complacently 'returns' it to him. His amorous liaison with Agar is interrupted by two sailors intent on burglary, who make off with both his gold and his breeches. He is furious at Agar's suggestion that he escape detection half-naked through the sewers. Unknown to him, Benwash has discovered their liaison and forced his wife to summon him to another meeting, where he is murdered.
One of Ward's officers, a violent and treacherous pirate. Prominent in the abduction of Ferdinand and Albert, distracting them with dice and cards while their ship sails. Gloats over the new captives, accuses Ferdinand of cowardice for denouncing their life of crime and is prepared to fight him until prevented by Ward. Conspicuous in the raid on Monsieur Davy's ship, opening cannon-fire when they are too slow to surrender. Rallies the pirate crew when Ward is distracted by the death of a friend, he seems even more ruthless than the pirate captain himself. Defies Ward's plan to drown the survivors of the battle in revenge and challenges his authority. Becomes mutinous and conspires with fellow-officer, Gallop. In Tunis, takes the captives for sale to the house of Benwash, where he conducts the deal while Gallop is distracted by the sight of Agar. Gallop then cheats his crew of their agreed share in the profits and Gismund takes great offence. He promptly returns with his crew to punish Gallop, but the fight is interrupted by Ward's arrival, and he escapes. He does not reappear.
GOVERNOR of PROVENCE
Who accepts the surrender of Dansiker and his men, depicted in a dumbshow. Presides as French merchants insist that their formal penance is not atonement enough for their crimes, and that they must swear to return to Tunis to capture Benwash.
GOVERNOR of TUNIS
Supports Crosman's plan to tempt Ward to turn Turkmake a formal conversion to Islamas a means of securing his service and obedience. Plays host to the formal visit where Ward is praised for his valor and flattered with promises of wealth and divine favor. Reappears to witness the murders at the house of Benwash and reports the recent execution of Francisco for crimes unspecified. Both Voada and Ward appeal to him for justice; he grants Ward's request for a private interview with his wife, during which Ward kills her and then himself. The Governor pronounces final sentence on Ward's corpse, which is to be dismembered and thrown into the sea.
HENRI IV, KING of FRANCE
A "ghost character". The amnesty offered to Dansiker to leave his life of crime and turn his talents to the service of France is issued on Henri's order, and accepted. Later, his assassination aborts the deal and Dansiker is forced to surrender to the Governor of Provence on the less favorable terms of the new regime, which lead ultimately to his death back in Tunis.
Under the command of Crosman, they are reported as occupying the castle formerly gifted to Ward as a reward for his conversion. They confirm Francisco's warning of Turkish treachery when they arrive to arrest Ward, who hides from them.
French gentleman, brother to Alizia, travelling with her to her marriage to Raymond junior, when Ward attacks their ship. He advises Alizia to disguise herself as a boy, grieving for her misfortune and threat to her chastity, while encouraging the crew to trust in justice and put up a bold resistance to the pirates. His call to arms inspires them to a courageous fight, but he is blinded in the fight. Ward mercilessly has him thrown overboard, showing courage and defiance to the last. Grief for her lost brother remains one of Alizia's preoccupations through much of the play.
An unnamed officer in Dansiker's employ. The spokesman for his loyal crew, agreeing to accept the French amnesty offered to them, and to follow Dansiker in any daring but worthy deed which will redeem their honour, even if it costs their lives. Later reports to Dansiker that he has successfully planted the firebomb at Benwash's house.
Master of the French merchant ship on which Lemot's party is travelling when captured by Ward on the way from Marseilles. Davy has been trying to outrun the pirate Francisco when intercepted by Ward. Lemot takes charge of their defense while Davy comforts Alizia, promising to preserve the secret of her boy's disguise and denouncing pirates in particular and general. It seems that he dies in the defense of his ship and passengers, as only five survivors are mentioned: four other characters and an unnamed sailor subsequently appear.
The Mufti presides in the dumbshow depicting the formal rites of Ward's conversion, assisted by many other Turks. He takes Ward's oath and robes him in Turkish style and supervises Ward's ritual rejection of wine, and humiliation of a Christian. He reappears to witness the aftermath of the murders at the house of Benwash.
A Turk of Tunis, who accompanies the Muffty to the house of Benwash to witness the aftermath of the murders there. Presumably the Turk who demands the bastinado and large fine for Ward's alleged assault on Voada.
Specifically, the Turkish officers who answer Voada's cries for the Watch to assist her and arrest Ward, not for killing his page, but for wounding his wife, a true Turk.
RABSHAKE , RUBEN
Ruben Rabshake, servant to Benwash the Jewish merchant 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 relaxedwhile 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.
Second son to old Raymond, betrothed to Alizia. 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 patchythey 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 Aliziatheir 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.
Raymond senior, a French gentleman. 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.
RAYMOND'S ELDER SON
Unnamed, but captured by Ward, together with his father and younger brother, and brought to Tunis for sale into slavery. 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.
One unnamed sailor brings Francisco's challenge to Ward. Other unnamed sailors in the employ of all the captains supply random curses and agreements in large-scale on board scenes. Two further unnamed Sailors burgle Benwash's house while Agar and Gallop are having sex, making off with both Gallop's gold and his breeches. As Benwash subsequently discovers the stolen property, they must fail to make a successful getaway, possibly because the house is on fire.
Captain in Danseker's employ. May be one of the unnamed sailors who agree to accept the King's amnesty in Dansiker's first scene. Appears as a named character at the house of Benwash, when Gismund and Gallop arrive to sell their French captives. Compliments Benwash on his hospitality, notably the freedom of his women to socialize and flirt with visitors. Overhears the quarrel between Gallop and Gismund over the division of their profits and remarks that, having instantly taken Gallop for a fool, he had underestimated the man, who is both a fool and a cheat. He is shocked by Ward's treatment of the Raymond family, condemning his greed and inhumanity. Later brings Dansiker eyewitness testimony of the full horror of Ward's conversion, although he expresses an opinion that Ward faked his circumcision. Returns to Tunis with Dansiker as part of their agreed penance. Present, in disguise, when Dansiker kills Benwash and then himself. His subsequent fate is uncertain.
A "ghost character" appearing only in the quarto Dramatis Personae. Obviously a misreading and duplication of the character Gismund.
An unnamed Turkish surgeon, called to attend to Benwash's flesh wound, only minutes before he is more efficiently re-stabbed to death by Dansiker.
Notably the participants in the dumbshow depicting the ceremonies of Ward's conversion. They appear in procession, two to carry crescent moon symbols of Islam, a third carrying 'a Mahomet's head'. Two priests escorting the Mufti, others presenting Ward with a turban, robes and sword, displaying a globe and arrow and two knights as escort.
The Governor of Tunis is listed thus in the original Dramatis Personae; his status in the text could cover both descriptions, but he is never seen to invoke the terms of his higher office.
A Turkish lady, sister to Crosman, captain of the Janissaries and to Agar, wife
of Benwash. She embodies sexual incontinence, depravity and dissimulation, and Ward's passion for her is the source of his downfall. Appears to live with her sister, or to be a frequent visitor to their house, the popular resort of all pirates. She first admires Dansiker of all the pirates currently in Tunis, and, as an unmarried woman, immodestly joins in the bawdy gossip of her sister and servant. She desires the captive Fidelio (Alizia) at first sight. Despite this new attraction, she is prepared to flirt with Dansiker, showing early signs of her promiscuity and deviousness. She advises her sister of the best way to succeed in committing adultery. Ward and Dansiker come to blows in rivalry over her and are parted by her brother. Ward's reputation has impressed her brother as being 'half a Turk already', and Crosman uses Voada's sexuality, and the promise of marriage to her, to persuade Ward to a formal conversion when all other enticements have failed. It is not made clear whether brother or sister originally conceived the plot. When Ward confesses his torment of love to her she makes his conversion the condition of her acquiescence. Her dishonesty is made obviousshe acts out a passionate scene of desperate devotion to him but secretly is scheming for his fortune. When Ward decides to turn Turk, Francisco/Alizia [see notes at head of play listing, ed.] pleads with him to reconsider and undoing Voada's hard work. His/her eloquence troubles Ward's conscience and he briefly recants his decision, before being quickly turned again by Voada, furious at the intervention and forcing Francisco/Alizia from the room. After Ward's conversion, it seems likely that they soon marry: during the fire at Benwash's house, she is already hard-hearted with Ward, proclaiming her hatred for him and her love for his page, 'Fidelio' to the audience. Her relationship with Alizia is developed offstage: Fidelio agrees to sleep with Voada on condition that his 'brother' (really, her fiancé, Raymond) is ransomed. Voada declares her deepening hatred of Ward, despising him as a 'false runnagate'. Voada is somehow to be tricked into shooting Fidelio to punish her, but kills Raymond by mistake. (This entire plot sequence is inferred from the plans laid by Ward and their result; the on-stage rationale behind the action is sketchy at best.) Voada is furious to discover Fidelio also dead and refuses to accept that she is not really a boy. She determines to blame Ward for Fidelio's murder (really Alizia's suicide) and attacks him with her own dagger. In the struggle, she is wounded, and summons the watch with cries of murder. The officers who arrive do not care about the alleged murder of an infidel servant, but arrest Ward for the wounding of his wife, a true Turk. She later demands justice before the Governor of Tunis and the Muffty for Ward's alleged crimes against her. During the private interview granted to Ward by the Governor, she derides his profession of faith. She admits that her wound is slight and that she is exploiting the law in revenge for the death of Fidelio, and prepared to ruin him with her lies. Ward kills her.
Kentish-born fisherman turned pirate, the Christian who later turns Turk. His officer Gismund introduces him as ' Lord of the Ocean, terror of Kings.' A cunning and completely ruthless outlaw, he has rejected his family, nation and religion for a successful life of crime at sea. A bold opportunist and violent predator. Short of men at the opening of the play, he abducts the French merchants, Albert and Ferdinand, refusing to ransom them, as their service was the point of the kidnapping. He scorns their pleas to be allowed to return home, as he is himself, by choice, homeless and deaf to sentiments of blood and nationhood. Priding himself on this public face of inhumanity, he privately grieves over the body of an unnamed friend killed during the battle to take Monsieur Davy's and his usually hidden emotions are strong. He denounces heaven and curses Fortune and fate before resolving to follow his martial destiny. Ferdinand fails to comfort Ward, and in a soliloquy reflects on the pirate's imperfect judgement and lack of faith. Where Ward blames his fate, fortune, heaven and the stars for his misfortunes, Ferdinand sees only the results of Ward's bad choices in life. Ward's grim passivity and 'atheism' are a warning of his future susceptibility to the tenets of Islam. He is tempted to kill all of Davy's passengers in revenge, but makes do with drowning their leader, the blinded Lemot. Answers Gismund's defiance with blows, but decides to drown his sorrows in drink rather than waste profitable lives. Does not notice that Gismund is becoming mutinous. Ward accepts the challenge from rival pirate, Francisco, to duel for a half share of the captured ship, whose pursuit he has intercepted. Pirate honour is at stake in the combat, and Ward's courage depends again on his defiance of fortune and the authority of others. Ward and Francisco fight. Ward loses, to his own amazement. He cannot believe that his opponent has not used 'enchantments' to defeat him. He agrees to keep their deal and the two pirates become allies, swearing brotherhood and co-operation henceforward. When Gallop and Gismund mutiny and escape with the captured ship, Ward is again amazed at his own failure to anticipate or prevent this defection. Vowing revenge he follows them to Tunis. Confronts and terrifies Gallop at the house of Benwash. After the intervention of Dansiker and Sares, Ward agrees to pardon Gallop in return for the gold from the sale of his abducted captives. (Unclear in the dialogue, at some point Ward takes the enslaved Fidelio as his own pageboy). In pursuit of Gallop to Tunis, Ward has taken another prize and brings his new prisoners for sale at Benwash'sRaymond and his two sons, the younger being Alizia's betrothed. Ward again demonstrates is inhumanity, refusing both Raymond junior's plea for their freedom at the price of their ship and goods, and their father's plea not to be separated from each other in slavery. The father dies of grief, prophesying the revenge of heaven; Ward heartlessly and scornfully proposes a party, before the body is even removed. When the women join the celebration, he instantly desires Voada, both the first sign in him of any human emotion since the death of his friend, and another sign of his inability at judging other people below the surface. Ward and Dansiker come to blows over Voada's favors, and are parted by her brother, Crosman. Ward's reputation as already 'half a Turk already' prompts Crosman and Voada to convert him fully. Ward is presented to the Governor of Tunis, who also tries to persuade him of the material advantages of conversion. Crosman then cites his brother-in-law as an example of a prosperous convert to Ward. Ward confirms his disinterest in divinity, and remains unconvinced of any material benefits to him. The irresistible bait is marriage to Voada herself when other temptations are rejected. Ward confesses his torment of love to hershe makes his conversion the condition of her acquiescence. He is taken in by her passionate act of desperate devotion and agrees to convert for her sake. He rationalizes thus: having already forsworn his name, country and religion, he will gain new 'beauty, command and riches' in adopting a new faith. When Ward decides to turn Turk, Francisco/Alizia [see notes on attribution problem at head of play listing, ed.] pleads with him to reconsider, begging on his/her knees that Ward resist the temptation to sell his soul and deny his redeemer. His/her eloquence troubles Ward's conscience and he briefly recants his decision, before being quickly turned again by Voada, furious at the intervention. The sight of his former captives on their way to the galleys now troubles his conscience tooboth Ferdinand and Raymond plead with him not to convert, offering to forgive him his wrongs, but Voada's spell over him is too strong. Ferdinand prophesies a 'hell of lust' for him. A dumbshow depicts the formal rites of his conversion, in the presence of the Muffty (Mufti) and many Turkish dignitaries. Ward is first humiliated as a Christian, entering bareheaded on an ass. He swears his allegiance, signs his name to the oath and is formally robed as a Turk. He symbolically rejects the wine offered to him by a Christian, and abuses him. His circumcision is not staged, but is narrated by Sares to Dansiker, with the opinion that Ward managed to fake the mutilation. This is not confirmed. In the fire at Benwash's house, Ward looses valuable property stored there. He is now finding Voada hard-hearted with him. It is unclear whether they are now married, but it seems likely. News arrives that every ship in the harbour except Ward's own has been burned, and on that Dansiker has escaped. He still dotes on Voada, despite her contempt for him as a 'false runnagate'. He refuses to listen to Francisco, who denounces her as a whore, but credits his report that troops are about to re-take Tunis castle, given to him as one of the rewards of his conversion. Ward would rather blow up his own castle than relinquish it to his treacherous co-religionists. He is interrupted by the arrival of Janissaries intent on his capture, but manages to hide from them. In a soliloquy he considers his shame, guilt, disgrace and certain damnation. Francisco returns and shows great loyalty, calling him brother. Ward fears that flattery, not pity moves him, but is persuaded his compassion is genuine. Ward repents his life of blood and blasphemy, regrets his lost life of simple content as a fisherman. Francisco warns him not to fall into the mortal sin of despair. Ward revives and declares that seeking revenge against Voada will be his new aim in life. He pretends to accept Fidelio's warning of his wife's lust, and to believe Fidelio innocent of complicity. He frees Fidelio from slavery, but secretly plans to punish Voada by contriving that she shoot and kill the object of her desire. (The plotting which follows is inferred offstage, and sketchily depicted.) Ward laughs to witness Voada's murder of 'Fidelio', before realizing that she has shot Raymond by mistake. Alizia commits suicide and Ward discovers that Fidelio is really a woman. He blames Francisco for these deaths. (The reason is unclear, but probably another example of Ward's inability to take responsibility for his own actions.) Voada refuses to accept that Fidelio, her dead love, was a girl, and attacks Ward with her dagger to avenge Fidelio's death. In the struggle she is wounded and calls for the watch, falsely accusing Ward of murder. The officers who arrive do not care about the alleged murder of an infidel servant, but arrest Ward for the wounding of his wife, a true Turk. Called on to surrender, Ward appears to despair at the injustice he has suffered, and resolves to go madto 'turn cannibal' in their Turkish bedlam. Finally seen demanding justice as a Turk from the Governor and Muffty. He is granted a private interview with his wife and protests his devotion and faith to her. She scorns him. To prevent her ruining him with further lies (and despite lack of a stage directions) he kills her. Denouncing the ingratitude of the Turks he kills himself, praying to be the last Christian renegade, for the reunification of Christendom into a force fit to beat the Turkish Empire, and finally making a profession of belief in the justice of Heaven.
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