Thomas Dekker


As it was plaied before the Queenes Majesty this Christmas, by the Right Honorable the Earl of Nottingham, Lord High Admiral of England his Servants.

[? based on the anonymous I Fortunatus of circa 1580–1596; a play (now lost) that was revived by the Lord Admiral's Men at the Rose on 3 February 1596]
This play could represent Dekker's earliest work.

Henslowe's payment 9–30 November 1599

a synoptic, alphabetical character list


Daughter to Athelstane. Teases Orleans, who, like the Prince of Cyprus, loves her. At the bidding of her father, she steals the purse from Andelocia while he sleeps. In retaliation, Andelocia tricks her into going with him into the wilderness where she then tricks him by climbing the tree of Virtue in order to retrieve an apple and, wearing the magic hat, returns to the Court. She is given the fruit, grows horns, and in duress, begs a cure from the disguised Andelocia, who cures her (with fruit from the tree of Virtue) once he receives his purse and hat back, and again she is taken away by Andelocia.


Eldest son to Fortunatus. Unlike his younger brother, Andelocia, he is careful with his money. After their father's death, Ampedo takes the magic hat, while his brother takes the purse. Once he is reunited with Andelocia, he burns the hat and purse so that they can do no more mischief. He is arrested by Longaville and Montrose, who accuse him of complicity in the disappearance of Agripyne; soon after, he dies.


Younger son of Fortunatus. Loses much of his money gambling and carousing, and after the death of his father, he takes the magic purse and, with Shadow, travels to England. After Agripyne steals his purse (and after giving all his money and treasures away as gifts to the court of England), he plots to steal his brother's magic hat. Once he does, he takes Agripyne to a wilderness, where he plans to live with her forever. In the wilderness, they stand before the trees of Vice and Virtue, and Agripyne tricks him into giving her the hat to protect herself from the sun, at which point she wishes she were back in England, and she is magically transported back to the Court leaving Andelocia stranded. Andelocia pleads for a shortened life, which Fortune denies him, but she does direct him to take fruit from the trees of Virtue and Vice and to return with them to the English Court. There he will be able to use them to retrieve his hat and purse. Returning to the Court, along with Shadow, both now disguised as Irish fruit-mongers, Andelocia sells horn-inducing apples to Montrose and Longaville. He then enters disguised as a French Doctor, agreeing to remove the horns in exchange for money and his magic items, which he receives. After this he again disappears with Agripyne. Arrested and tortured by Montrose and Longaville, he dies asking forgiveness from Virtue.


Receives Andelocia at his court. Plots to use his daughter, Agripyne, to steal the magic purse from Andelocia. Ultimately he discovers that he is subservient to Fortune.


Performs for Orleans, who quickly bids him to depart.


Mute character. Crowned as a king by Fortune.


Noble at the Court of England. He receives gifts from Andelocia. He also introduces Andelocia, who is disguised as a French Doctor.


In act II, the chorus reminds the audience of the necessity of believing that the stage is able to represent the whole "circumference of heaven." In act IV he gives exposition for the travels of Andelocia.


Noble at the Court of England. He enters with news to the Prince of Cyprus that Fortunatus's son, Andelocia, has arrived bearing gifts.


Echo repeats the words of Old Fortunatus in the opening scene of play as he wanders through the forest.


A poor knight who opens the play wandering in the woods. Upon lying down to sleep, Fortune enters with a large party, including a Carter, a Tailor, a Monk and a Shepherd, all crowned as kings. After various members of the party praise Fortune as the true ruler of the world, Fortunatus wakes and mistakes Fortune for Queen Elizabeth. Fortune corrects him and offers to make him rich and powerful if he will worship her as the true Empress. After debating with himself, Fortunatus agrees to her deal. Fortune gives him a purse that promises to produce all the gold he could desire. After giving several bags of coins to his sons Ampedo and Andelocia and their servant Shadow, Fortunatus leaves for Babylon, where, through trickery, he receives the magic hat which allows the wearer and a companion to travel anywhere in the world. After returning to tell his sons of his adventures, Fortune enters and tells him he is soon to die, which he does after bequeathing his magic items to his sons–the purse to Andelocia and hat to Ampedo.


Fortune gives Fortunatus a magic purse in exchange for his submission. She plants trees of Virtue and Vice, telling them she cares not which one flourishes or withers. She returns to tell Fortunatus that he is soon to die and refuses his pleas to live. Later, she refuses to shorten Andelocia's life, but she helps him plan a way in which he can use the fruit of the two trees to retrieve his magic items. She returns after the death of Andelocia and Ampedo and reminds all the members of the court that they are mortal and therefore under the dominion of Fortune. In the end, she acknowledges that the Queen (Elizabeth) has sole command of Fortune and Virtue, and which point Vice leaves in defeat.


They curse Fortune for the injustice she has done to them.


Noble at the Court of England. Friend to Orleans; tries to persuade Orleans to give up on his love for Agripyne.


A Spanish lord at the court. He dances at the request of Agripyne.


Noble at the Court of England. He receives gifts from Andelocia.


French lord at the court. He receives gifts from Andelocia. Later, he buys fruit (from the tree of Vice) from Andelocia and Shadow. Like Montrose, he grows horns. He agrees to give the disguised Andelocia all his money in exchange for the removal of his horns. Along with Montrose, he arrests Ampedo, Andelocia and Shadow.


Mute character. Crowned as a king by Fortune.


Noble at the Court of England. He buys fruit (from the tree of Vice) from Shadow and Andelocia and grows horns. He gives fruit to Agripyne, who also grows horns. He agrees to give the disguised Andelocia all his money in exchange for the removal of his horns.


These noblemen come to the aid of the Soldan when he realizes that his hat has been stolen.


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


Sings a song as the trees of Virtue and Vice are planted, exclaiming that Virtue is exiled in every city, but Vice is victorious everywhere.


A suitor to Agripyne. Later, he gives up his suit when he sees she has grown horns.


Opening the play, the prologue asks the audience to imagine the stage as representing the whole world, which is necessary if the play is to represent the history of Fortunatus. Possibly the same character that comes back as "Chorus" in later acts.


Mute character. She is acknowledged directly twice in the play as a member of the audience, once at the beginning and at the end when Vice yields to her power.


Take away Fortunatus's body after his death. Later, perform music for Fortune, Vice, and Virtue.


A servant to Fortunatus and his sons. After the death of Old Fortunatus, he travels with Andelocia.


Mute character. Crowned as a king by Fortune.


Offers to show Fortunatus the miracles and wondrous sights of the entire world in exchange for his magic purse. In the Soldan's possession is a magic hat that allows the wearer to travel anywhere. Fortunatus tricks the Soldan into letting him wear the hat, at which moment he disappears to his desired destination, Cyprus, where his sons are.


Mute character. Crowned as a king by Fortune.


They work for Fortune; mute characters throughout.


While traveling to the temple of Eliza, or Gloriana, they discuss the virtue and goodness of Queen Elizabeth.


Sworn enemy of Virtue. He decides to put horns on the heads of any person who eats from the newly planted tree of Vice.


Sworn enemy of Vice. She vows to cure those who eat fruit from the tree of Vice.