(TITIRUS AND GALATHEA)
(Stationers' Register, 1585?)
a synoptic, alphabetical character list
A "ghost character." This is the monster sent by Neptune to take the most beautiful virgins in the area as a sacrifice. It never appears onstage. It is not clear from the dialogue what sort of monster it is; it may be a personification of a high estuary tidal wave.
This character is clearly a charlatan and speaks in alchemical jargon. His servant is Peter; later, he is served by Rafe.
More an astrologer than an astronomer, this character speaks much impressive astrological jargon and is briefly the employer of Rafe.
This priestly character calls for the sacrifice to Neptune and upbraids the populace with not offering their beautiful daughters.
A "ghost character." This nymph, who has a major role in The Odyssey, is mentioned as a possible cause of the love plague, but she never appears onstage in the play.
A "ghost character." A nymph of Diana. She does not appear in the course of the play, but is mentioned as one of the victims of the love plague, having fallen in love with "Tityrus."
The god of love and Venus's son. Deciding that he is not sufficiently respected by Diana's nymphs, who have forsworn love, he disguises himself as a nymph and proceeds to make all of them fall in love. He is exposed and taken prisoner by the nymphs, who demand that he undo the damage, including a literal series of love knots. His mother, Venus, eventually negotiates his release.
The goddess of hunting and virginity, she rules over the local woods and is most annoyed when all her nymphs begin falling in love. She finds Cupid and takes him prisoner, making him pay for the damage he has caused.
One of three sons of a miller, the other two are Rafe and Robin. All three of them have been to sea and have been shipwrecked on the coast at the beginning of the play. They vow not to go to sea anymore, to seek their fortunes separately, and to meet again in a year.
A nymph of Diana, she falls in love with "Tityrus," really Gallathea in disguise.
Possibly the most beautiful girl in the area, her father Tityrus fears that she will be demanded as the virgin sacrifice to Neptune. In order to prevent this, she has, following his orders, disguised herself as a boy and called herself "Tityrus." Meeting "Melebeus," who is really Phyllida, in the woods, she falls in love with "him," only to realize that "he" is, like her, a girl in disguise. Because her love is not altered by finding that "Melebeus" is really female, Venus takes pity on them. Gallathea agrees to marry her even if that means that she will be changed into a male, something that remains unresolved at the end of the play.
Because both Gallathea and Phyllida have been disguised and other girls have been hidden, this unfortunate young woman is selected as the sacrifice to Neptune. She mourns her early death, but then she is rejected as not beautiful enough, something she also laments.
A nymph of Diana, she helps to capture Cupid but does not appear to have fallen in love with anyone.
Shipwrecked with Dick, Rafe and Robin in the beginning of the play, he quickly has enough of their company and their foolish questions and leaves both them and the play.
A "ghost character." She is mentioned by Diana as a possible cause of the love plague, but does not appear in the play.
A shepherd and the father of Phyllida, he instructs her to disguise herself as a boy. He correctly suspects that his neighbor Tityrus has done the same thing with his daughter. At the end of the play, he is not happy about his daughter possibly being transformed into a boy but cedes to his daughter and Venus's wishes.
The name taken by Phyllida when she disguises herself as a boy.
The god of the sea. Annoyed at being ignored, he has demanded that once every five years, the most beautiful local virgin be sacrificed to him. During the course of the play, he disguises himself as a shepherd to find out why things are going so badly with his sacrifice, and ultimately he negotiates peace terms between Diana and Venus.
NYMPH OF DIANA
This unnamed nymph engages in a dialogue with Cupid in which she explains that she and her companions have forsworn love.
A disguise assumed by Cupid to infiltrate the band of Diana's nymphs in order to wind them in the coils of love.
The alchemist's boyi.e. servant. He is thoroughly tired of his job when we meet him and convinces Rafe to take his place.
Daughter of Melebeus. Like Gallathea, her father has convinced her to disguise herself as a boy in order to avoid being sacrificed to Neptune. In her disguise she calls herself "Melebeus." She falls in love with Gallathea (disguised as "Tityrus"), thinking at first that Gallathea is a boy. At the end of the play she is willing to chance being transformed into a boy in order to marry Gallathea, but this transformation does not take place before the play concludes.
POPULUS, FIRST and SECOND
Two members of a group have individual lines in a crowd scene.
One of three sons of a miller. After being shipwrecked, they determine to seek their fortunes separately. The play follows the adventures of Rafe, who serves first the Alchemist and then the Astronomer in hopes of wealth and power, but he leaves them both.
A nymph of Diana, she is afflicted by the love plague and falls in love with "Tityrus" (Gallathea in disguise).
The third of the three miller's sons. After being shipwrecked, they determine to seek their fortunes separately.
A "ghost character." She is referred to as having been afflicted by the love plague. She falls in love but does not appear in the play.
Neptune disguises himself as a shepherd to find out why things are going so badly with his sacrifice, and ultimately he negotiates peace terms between Diana and Venus
A nymph of Diana. She falls in love with "Melebeus" (Phyllida in disguise).
A shepherd, and Gallathea's father. He convinces her to disguise herself as a boy in order to avoid the sacrifice to Neptune, and he argues with Melebeus about having possibly hidden his own daughter.
Gallathea's name when she is in disguise.
The goddess of love. Concerned about Cupid's whereabouts, she arrives and threatens Diana, who has taken Cupid prisoner. Neptune makes peace between them. Venus then solves Gallathea and Phyllida's problem by offering to turn one of them into a boy, but she does not say which one and says that they will only find out which will be turned at the church door. The audience, therefore, remains ignorant of the conclusion to their love match.