Possibly an earlier play revised
a synoptic, alphabetical character list
Silvio's uncle, Captain of the Citadel, and husband to Rodope. He attempts to woo Isabella, but escapes when Lopez discovers him. Called to witness Lopez' accusations of Isabella, and her protestations of innocence, he threatens Lopez into apologizing. Visiting Isabella again, he is discovered and embarrassed, and reconciles with his wife. Participates as a dancer in the wedding masque for Silvio and the hag.
"A virtuous Princess," the Duchess of Florence's only daughter, in love with Silvio. She is in protective custody in the Citadel because of the Duke of Milan's abduction attempt. Discovered meeting secretly with Silvio, she pretends to be penitent and to agree to marriage with the Duke of Siena. She wheedles from her mother the answer to Silvio's riddle and escapes. Disguised as a hag, she convinces Silvio to let her follow him into battle, and exacts from him a promise to grant her request in return for the answer to the Duchess' riddle. After Silvio answers it correctly, she appears before the court in disguise and claims his hand in marriage. During the wedding masque, she appears in the "guise" of Belvidere and demands that Silvio choose whether he wishes her to be beautiful and unfaithful, or haglike and faithful. When he defers to her will, she rewards him with her true self.
"An enemy to Watches and May-Poles." A cobbler who plays the Hobby-Horse in Soto's Morris Dance, he regrets his participation and condemns all such entertainments, but is again coerced into dancing by Soto.
Two singing chimney-sweeps who reveal the hidden Bartello to Lopez and Rodope.
Conscripts the Farmer's son, Soto, to fight against the Duke of Siena.
Until he reveals his passion for Belvidere, he is Silvio's best friend. When Silvio shoots at the disguised Soto (mistaken for Claudio), he resolves to let Silvio think he's dead. Disguised as a merchant named Rugio, he pays Penurio in food to allow him access to his sister, Isabella, who does not recognize him, and begins a lengthy seduction. Entrapped by her into agreeing to murder her husband, he reveals that he is actually her brother, who only pretended to attempt her seduction in order to prove her virtue. Participates as a dancer in the wedding masque for Silvio and the hag.
Spelled "Clarke" in
: an official at Silvio's trial.
Preside over Silvio's trial for the capital offense of soliciting Belvidere's love.
Non-speaking attendees of the trial and the masque.
DUCHESS of FLORENCE
A beloved and virtuous ruler and mother to Belvidere. Touched by the unselfish love he expresses for Belvidere at his trial, she commutes Silvio's death sentence and banishes him for a year to find the answer to a riddle in order to win her daughter's hand. Fooled by Belvidere's seeming penitence, she tells her daughter the answer to Silvio's riddle, and proclaims Silvio a traitor when her daughter escapes. She honors the disguised conqueror of the Duke of Siena; upon learning that he is Silvio, however, she arrests him, but allows him to answer the riddle she gave him a year ago. When the hag (Belvidere in disguise) claims his hand in marriage, the Duchess compels Silvio to honor his promise. Upon the revelation that the hag is Belvidere, the Duchess forgives the Duke of Siena and gives herself to him in marriage.
DUKE of MILAN
A "ghost character" whose attempt to abduct Belvidere occurs before the play begins.
DUKE of SIENA
The monarch to whom Belvidere's hand is promised. Learning of her escape, he wages war on Florence. Conquered by the disguised Silvio, he submits penitently to the Duchess and is rewarded with the Duchess' hand.
Soto's father and unwitting employer of the disguised Silvio.
Isabella's cousin, brought in by Lopez to witness his accusation of her infidelity.
Men of the town who offer Penurio food in exchange for access to prostitutes.
Neighbors brought in by Lopez to witness his accusation of Isabella's infidelity.
Claudio's sister, married to the usurer Lopez. She complains that he keeps her locked up and starving. Unaware that the disguised Claudio is her brother, she agrees to a tryst with him, which is interrupted by Bartello, who also woos her, but against her will. Nearly discovered by Lopez while waiting for Claudio, she pays Jaquenett to receive Lopez' beating and then uses the deception to prove her innocence to Bartello, the Gentleman, and Gentlewomen. She then gains Lopez' trust by convincing him that she was merely trying to expose Bartello's unwanted advances. Her plot to entrap Bartello succeeds, and Lopez is reconciled with her and their neighbors. She arranges a final meeting with "Rugio" (Claudio) and entraps him into promising to murder Lopez; at his exposure she learns that he is her brother and has engineered the whole thing to prove her virtue. Participates as a dancer in the wedding masque for Silvio and the hag.
Isabella's clever maid (also spelled "Jaquenet"). She agrees to substitute herself for Isabella in order to receive a beating from Lopez intended for her mistress. Participates as a dancer in the wedding masque for Silvio and the hag.
"A sordid Usurer, the jealous husband of Isabella." A miser, he starves his wife and servant; he also keeps Isabella locked up and ignores her complaints. When Isabella pays Jaquenett to receive Lopez' beating and then uses the deception to prove her innocence to Bartello, the Gentleman, and Gentlewomen, Lopez is forced to forgive her. He believes her tale that she was merely trying to expose Bartello's unwanted advances, and pretends to make love to Rodope in his own parlor to entrap Bartello. When he is discovered, Lopez forgives him and is reconciled with Isabella. He agrees to her plan to entrap Claudio, and, upon learning that Claudio is her brother, promises to love his virtuous wife henceforth. Participates as a dancer in the wedding masque for Silvio and the hag.
LORDS of FLORENCE
Attendants on the Duchess who inform her that Belvidere has fled.
LORDS of SIENA
Attendants on the Duke who witness Silvio's betrothal to the hag.
A maid in Lopez' household with only one line. Unlisted in the
, so possibly Jaquenet erroneously identified.
Dancers in the wedding masque for Silvio and the hag; among them are Bartello, Lopez, Claudio, Isabella, Rodope, Soto, Penurio, and Jaquenett.
Performers at Soto's father's May revels.
A part-time pander and Lopez' always-hungry servant, he assists Claudio's wooing of Isabella. Participates as a dancer in the wedding masque for Silvio and the hag.
The two masquers who deliver the speeches.
Belvidere's attendant, Bartello's wife and Silvio's aunt (sometimes erroneously called his niece in the play text). 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.
The false name Claudio assumes while disguised as a merchant.
A well-born man, in love with Belvidere. He threatens his friend and rival Claudio, who also love Belvidere. Mistaking the disguised Soto for Claudio in the dark, he shoots at him. He persuades his aunt, Rodope, to let him see Belvidere, but is captured by Bartello. At his trial, his willingness to die to save Belvidere's honor touches the Duchess, who banishes Silvio for a year to find the answer to a riddle in order to win Belvidere's hand. Silvio hides, disguised as a farmhand and, when the Captain orders the Farmer to send his son Soto to war, Silvio volunteers to take his place. He encounters a hag (Belvidere in disguise) who convinces him to let her accompany him to battle and, when he succeeds in capturing the Duke of Siena, exacts his promise to grant her request in return for the answer to the Duchess' riddle. Knighted and then arrested by the Duchess on his triumphant return, he demands to answer the riddle and, secretly aided by Belvidere, does so correctly. He is dismayed when the hag (Belvidere) claims his hand in marriage. When Belvidere offers him the choice of a beautiful, unfaithful bride or a haglike, faithful one, he gives her the choice, and is rewarded with Belvidere restored to her true self.
Guards of Belvidere's tower.
Claudio's comic servant and the son of the farmer who employs the disguised Silvio. Claudio sends him, disguised, to woo Belvidere at her tower. Shot at by Silvio, who mistakes him for Claudio, Soto is luckily unhurt. Visiting his father's farm, he organizes the May revels, which are interrupted by the Captain. Called to war, he gratefully allows Silvio to take his place. Returning to his Morris Dance, he coerces the reluctant Bomby into playing the Hobby-Horse. He announces Silvio's return to the Duchess' court, and participates as a dancer in the wedding masque for Silvio and the hag.
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