THE SCOTTISH HISTORY OF
a synoptic, alphabetical character list
ALEXANDER the GREAT
In the additional chorus that follows Chorus VI in the quarto, though it is headed '2', Alexander the Great enters to weep over the tomb of Cyrus, signifying that even the greatest king will come to dust.
A "ghost character." Alice, daughter of Goodman Grimshave, is mentioned by Slipper as one of the two possible wives he considers but rejects.
Andrew Snoord puts up a 'bill' advertising for employment [sometimes called a si quis] at the same time as Nano and Slipper do, and enters the service of Ateukin with them. He is beaten by Ateukin for the loss of the letters that Slipper stole, and when he discovers that Slipper was the real thief Andrew arranges to have him robbed. He continues as Ateukin's supporter, but, reasoning that the parasite's career is bound to be short-lived, he sends a letter to the King of England to inform him of the treatment meted out to his daughter. When James IV repents of his behavior, he orders Andrew hanged.
The stage direction that opens the Induction specifies simply "an Antic," but because the verb is plural it appears that there are more than one. The Antics dance in the Induction and later with Slipper, and they also rob Slipper at Andrew's instigation.
Ateukin (also sometimes called Gnatho, a generic term for a parasite) is the principal villain of the play. At the outset, he eavesdrops on the King of Scotland's desire for Ida and introduces himself as a student of the stars who can help the king, whom he grossly flatters and repeatedly advises to kill Dorothea. He schemes to bring this about and to ensnare Ida but is foiled when Slipper mistakenly steals the warrant for Dorothea's execution from his pocket. Realizing that his position is hopeless, Ateukin flees; the Scots king orders that he should be hanged if caught.
BISHOP of ST. ANDREW'S
The Bishop of St. Andrew's is one of three Scots magnates who all enter separately brooding about the king's behavior and meet Dorothea and Nano. The Bishop tells Dorothea that he despairs of the king and will leave the court, which he subsequently appears to have done.
Bohan is a misanthropic Scot. He is found in the Induction sleeping in a tomb and dressed (in a conjectural emendation) as 'a Redesdale man'i.e. a Border reaver, one of those who lived in the lawless no-man's-land between Scotland and England and existed principally on the proceeds of cattle theft. He is also the father of Slipper and Nano. Asked by Oberon why he is in the tomb, Bohan says that he is a former courtier who has despaired of the world. Bohan offers to explain to Oberon why this has come to pass by arranging to have the main play presented for his benefit. He returns as a Chorus after each act.
A "ghost character." Bohan's wife is mentioned in the Induction as having died; he wishes she had done so twenty years sooner.
CICELY of the WIGHTON
A "ghost character." She is mentioned by Slipper as one of the two possible wives he considers but rejects.
COUNTESS of ARRAN
The Countess of Arran is the virtuous mother of the equally virtuous Ida, who lives far from court and is happy to preside over the marriage of her daughter to the respectable Eustace.
COUNTESS ELINOR of CARLISLE
A "ghost character." Countess Elinor is mentioned as a friend of Eustace who gave him a picture of Ida and told him to seek her out.
COUNTESS of NORTHUMBERLAND
A "ghost character." Eustace tells the Countess of Arran that he brings a letter to her from the Countess of Northumberland. However, because she is also referred to as "Elinor," this may be a mistake for Countess Elinor of Carlisle.
A "ghost character." Slipper proposes to buy some of his products with the reward he has received for stealing Ateukin's letters.
Probably a "ghost character" because only his tomb is called for. In the additional chorus that follows Chorus VI in the quarto, although it is headed '2', Alexander the Great weeps over the tomb of Cyrus.
This is the name by which Sir Bartram refers to Eustace, apparently as though it were a diminutive or a term of affection.
The lawyer, the Divine and the Merchant discuss the poor state of the nation and each blames the other.
Dorothea is the heroine of the play. She is the daughter of the King of England and the wife of the King of Scotland. (Historically, the wife of James IV was Margaret Tudor, but there is no resemblance of name or character here.) When Dorothea discovers that her husband wants her dead because he is in love with Ida, she escapes disguised as a man and accompanied only by Nano. She is wounded by Jaques and rescued by the Andersons. She reveals herself to them and is taken by Sir Cuthbert Anderson to make peace between her father and her husband.
DOROTHEA'S MOTHER, the QUEEN of ENGLAND
A "ghost character." She is mentioned by the King as having derived comfort from Dorothea's marriage. Historically, she would be Elizabeth of York, but there is no indication that Greene has remembered this or that he is attempting historical verity. Henry VII and Elizabeth of York did not have a daughter named Dorothea, and James IV married their daughter Margaret Tudor.
Along with Morton and the Bishop of St. Andrew's, Douglas is one of the nobles who tells Dorothea how worried they are about the king's behavior. Later he surrenders Dunbar to the King of England.
The English Herald calls the King of Scots to parley.
Eustace is a young Englishman who has been given a picture of Ida by his friend the Countess Elinor of Carlisle. He visits her, persuades her of his sincerity, and eventually marries her. He is also addressed as Dick by his friend Sir Bartram.
An unspecified number of fairies dance in the first chorus, although the stage direction stipulates that another kind of dance would also do.
A generic term for a parasite (derived from the Terence play Eunuchus) and hence applied occasionally to Ateukin.
A fictional character, the imagined son of one of the merchantsmerchants who have, according to the Lawyer and the Divine, risen too high in the state.
An unspecified number of Huntsmen meet Ateukin and Jaques in the forest.
The King of Scotland falls in love with the virtuous Ida during his wedding. She retires from court and amuses herself with needlework and virtuous conversations with her mother. Eventually she agrees to marry Eustace.
Jaques is a Frenchman (complete with comedy French accent) hired by Ateukin to kill Dorothea, whom he wounds and leaves for dead. When he hears that Ida is married, he leaves for France.
JAMES III, KING of SCOTLAND
A "ghost character." The father of the present King of Scots is mentioned as having left him a good council and as having ruled peacefully. Historically, this would be James III, though in fact that king's reign was far less successful than that of his son, the real James IV.
JAMES IV, KING of SCOTLAND
Greene's King of Scotland bears little relationship to the historical James IV, being weak-willed and vicious. He falls in love with Ida during his marriage to Dorothea and is subsequently persuaded to arrange for Dorothea's murder. Eventually he repents and promises to behave better in future.
KING of ENGLAND
The father-in-law of James IV was historically Henry VII, but there is no indication that Greene has remembered this. His King of England sails home after Dorothea's wedding and returns at the head of an army when he hears what has happened to her. Eventually the restoration of his daughter persuades him to make peace. Historically, Henry VII's daughter was Margaret Tudor, and her marriage to James IV of Scotland bears little resemblance to that of Dorothea in this play.
An unspecified number of ladies are present when Dorothea learns of the warrant for her death.
Lady Anderson is the wife of Sir Cuthbert, who rescues the disguised Dorothea after she has been wounded by Jaques. Lady Anderson falls in love with "him," not realizing that it is Dorothea in disguise, and is ashamed when she learns her true identity.
Lady Douglas is a neighbor of the Countess of Arran who, along with Sir Egmond, visits her after they have been hunting.
The Lawyer discusses the state of the nation with the Merchant and the Divine.
Lord Percy carries the ceremonial sword when the King of England invades Scotland.
The Merchant discusses the state of the nation with the Lawyer and the Divine.
Morton is one of the three nobles who tells Dorothea about his concerns over the king's behavior. He is subsequently mentioned as having been captured by the King of England.
The dwarf Nano is the son of Bohan and the brother of Slipper. He enters Ateukin's service and is given by him to Dorothea, whom he serves loyally, accompanying her when she flees in man's disguise and fetching Sir Cuthbert Anderson after she is attacked by Jaques.
OBERON, KING of the FAIRIES
In the Induction, Oberon finds Bohan sleeping in a tomb and subsequently joins Bohan as the onstage audience for the main play. He has fallen asleep by the end of Act III but is awake again by the end of Act IV. He intervenes to rescue Slipper when the latter is threatened with hanging, and also promises future blessings on Nano.
The purveyor seeks to requisition Ateukin's horses for the King.
The Earl of Ross is with Dorothea when Sir Bartram shows her the warrant for her death and promises to provide her with man's disguise.
Samles accompanies the King of England on his invasion of Scotland.
The Scout advises the Merchant, the Lawyer and the Divine to break off their debate because the English army is advancing.
Semiramis appears in dumbshow in the additional Chorus that follows Act I in the quarto.
SERVANT of SIR BARTRAM
The servant of Sir Bartram tells him that dinner is ready.
Sesostris appears in dumbshow in the additional Chorus that in the quarto follows Chorus VII but is headed '3'.
A "ghost character." Slipper wants to buy shoes from him with the reward he has received for stealing Ateukin's letters.
A fictional character, the imagined daughter of one of the merchantsmerchants who have, according to the Lawyer and the Divine, risen too high in the state.
Sir Bartram is the elderly Scottish friend and host of Eustace. He has tried to lease land through Ateukin, but Ateukin double-crossed him. Sir Bartram therefore asks Slipper to steal the letters relating to this transaction from Ateukin, but Slipper also accidentally steals the warrant for Dorothea's execution, which Sir Bartram then shows to her.
SIR BARTRAM'S WIFE
A "ghost character." Sir Bartram's wife is mentioned as awaiting Eustace at dinner.
SIR CUTHBERT ANDERSON
Sir Cuthbert Anderson rescues the disguised Dorothea after Jaques has wounded her. He takes her in and subsequently escorts her to make peace between the two kings. As his reward, he asks the Scottish king to recall his exiled nobles.
Sir Egmond is a neighbor of the Countess of Arran who, along with Lady Douglas, visits her after they have been hunting.
Probably a "ghost character" and possibly a fictitious character. Sir Silvester is mentioned as the man to whom Ateukin sold the lease that he had promised to Sir Bartram.
Slipper is the son of Bohan and the brother of Nano, with whom he enters Ateukin's service. However, he shows Ateukin up in front of Ida, and he agrees to steal his letters for Sir Bartram. The King of Scotland condemns him to be hanged, but Oberon and the Antics rescue him.
Slipper's companion dances the hornpipe with him in the second chorus. The stage direction specifies that the companion can be of either sex.
Stabrobates appears in dumbshow in the additional Chorus that follows Act I in the quarto.
A "ghost character." Slipper wants to buy clothes from the tailor with the reward he has received for stealing Ateukin's letters.