William Davenant

Lic. 17 November 1638

a synoptic, alphabetical character list


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


A courtier who advises the King about his personal and political affairs and explains the court situation to Thorello. He also discovers the body of Amadore after his duel with Oramont, saves his life, and keeps his continued existence a secret at the request of the Queen.


The son of the Tuscan general. He has become friends with Oramont, effected his ransom, and visits him in Naples in disguise. Seeing that his friend is distraught about his sister Eumena's supposed unchastity, Amadore offers to question her. At the end of his conversation with her, he is utterly convinced of her innocence, and also in love with her. Refusing to explain matters to Oramont–because to explain would suggest that her behavior required an explanation–Amadore instead fights a duel with him. He is injured and seems to be dead, but actually he is still alive. Aleran discovers him and saves his life. Amadore reconciles with Oramont and marries Eumena at the end of the play.


The fair favorite of the title. Beloved of the King before his marriage, she encourages him to treat the Queen kindly and prays that his marriage may be happy. The favors lavished on her by the King and her considerable political influence have given her an undeserved bad reputation with many people, not the least of which is her brother Oramont. She continually protests her innocence and tries to use her influence for good purposes. In her meeting with Amadore, she finds herself becoming fond of him, bears her summary dismissal by the King with patience, and marries Amadore at the end of the play.


Eumena's waiting woman. Quite unlike her extremely virtuous mistress, she is an endless source for court fashion and gossip.


The King of Naples. Very much in love with Eumena, he was nevertheless manipulated into marrying the Queen, thinking Eumena was dead. Finding instead that she is alive, he neglects his Queen, refusing to consummate the marriage and spending his time platonically with Eumena. His Queen is quite patient with him, but his infatuation causes much trouble elsewhere. He periodically tries to transfer his affections from Eumena to the Queen, without success, and attempts to punish Eumena by summarily withdrawing his favors. Convinced that Eumena actually loves Amadore, he permanently transfers his affections to the Queen at the end of the play.


Three ladies figure in the play:
  1. The First Lady of the court, at one point called named Olari and at another Alari, is remarked upon by Thorello for her shortness and her disguising the fact by wearing chopines.
  2. The Second Lady of the court, who enters with a book, and curtsies to everyone but Saladine, does so presumably either because of a previous quarrel or to hide their real relationship.
  3. The Third Lady of the court enters wearing white. Thorello remarks on her terrible breath.


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


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


A statesman. He advises the King and tries to reason with him about his behavior and his marriage.


Another statesman. He also advises and admonishes the King.


A boy. He sings a song for Eumena in Act II.


A courtier. He tells Thorello who is who in the court and who flirts with the court ladies. He is rebuffed by the third court lady, but the reason remains unclear.


An old traveler. Recently arrived at court, he is a curious observer of the unusual situations that prevail.


The former Princess of Otranto. She is beloved of Oramont. The Queen was married to the King for political reasons. She, however, is in love with him. She is patient about his love for Eumena, hopeful when he attempts to reconcile with her, and at one point, ready to resign her pretensions and to enter a convent. She persuades Oramont to behave better, engineers the return of Amadore, and is finally rewarded by the love of the King, her husband.