THE MASSACRE AT PARIS
26 January 1593
(Henslowe enters the date of first performance incorrectly as 30 January)
a synoptic, alphabetical character list
Lord Admiral and friend of Navarre. He is murdered by Gonzago at the beginning of the massacre of Protestants.
A Duke in the court of France and brother to King Charles IX. He supports and participates in the massacre of Protestants. He accepts the throne of Poland on the condition that should he become King of France he will return there to rule. When Charles dies, he returns to France and is crowned King Henry III. (See "HENRY III").
The apothecary prepares a pair of poisoned gloves for Guise.
Friend of Navarre.
Cardinal of Lorraine and brother of Guise. He supports the massacre of Protestants. He is murdered on the order of King Henry III.
Queen mother of France. Mother to Charles, Henry (Anjou), and Margaret. Though others officially wear the crown, she covets power over the kingdom, aiming to remove Charles from power and rule through Anjou and Guise. Her plan fails as Anjou, as King Henry III, turns against her and Guise is murdered. Abandoned and powerless, she can only wish for death.
King of France. Although Charles opposes the massacre of Protestants, he defers to his vicious advisors such as Guise. By the time the massacre is nearly complete, he regrets his inaction, swears revenge against the murderers, but dies before he can act.
Prince of Condé and friend of Navarre.
Captain of the Lord Admiral's guard. Cossin betrays the Lord Admiral to Guise and his men. Later, Cossin betrays Guise to Henry and arranges for the Guise's murder.
A thief who tries to steal the buttons from Mugeroun's cloak. He has his ear cut off, but is spared further punishment by King Henry III.
A Duke in the court of France. The brother of Guise and the Cardinal. He supports and participates in the massacre of Protestants. When his brothers are killed by King Henry III, he plots with a Friar assassinate the king.
A non-speaking part. The English Agent is sent to relate the murder of King Henry III to the English Queen.
An attendant. Epernoun goes to Poland to recall Anjou after the death of Charles. He remains a faithful servant to Anjou when he becomes King Henry III.
The Friar volunteers to murder King Henry III for Dumaine. He stabs the King with a poisoned knife and is stabbed by him in the ensuing struggle.
A supporter of Guise. He participates in the massacre of Protestants.
The Duke of Guise. Brother of Dumaine and the Cardinal. Angered by the marriage of the Protestant Navarre into the French royal family, he plans a massacre of French Protestants. The massacre that ensues took place in history over 24 August, 1572 and came to be called the Massacre of St. Bartholomew's Day. In many cases he kills his enemies himself; other times he orders minions such as Anjou, Dumaine, and Gonzago to carry out the murders. Once the massacre is complete, and with the aid of Spain and Rome, he raises an army in the hopes of destroying Navarre and the Bourbons altogether. The insolence of Guise angers King Henry III, who has Guise murdered.
DUCHESS OF GUISE
Wife of Guise, but in love with Mugeroun. She is turned out by Guise when he discovers a letter she has written to her beloved.
SON OF GUISE
The son of the Duke of Guise is brought in to see the dead body of his father.
The Duke of Anjou takes the title of King Henry III of France following the death of his brother, Charles IX. When Guise raises an army without his consent and builds support in Paris, Henry resolves to have him killed. When that murder is done, he fears Guise's brother the Cardinal and orders his death as well. Meanwhile he repents his role in the massacre of Protestants and reconciles with Navarre. He is killed by a Friar in the service of the Duke of Dumaine. Moments before he dies he names Navarre as his successor.
The Duke of Joyeux leads the French army against Navarre. He is killed in the battle and his troops defeated.
LORD OF POLAND
A non-speaking part. This Lord accompanies the First Lord who discusses the throne of Poland with Anjou.
FIRST LORD OF POLAND
A lord of Poland. He brings the news that Anjou has been elected King of Poland.
A protestant minister murdered by Guise.
A servant to the Duchess of Guise.
A man sent to dispose of the body of the Admiral.
A man sent to dispose of the body of the Admiral. Fearing infection from the dead heretic's body, the second man suggests hanging the body from a tree rather than burning it or dumping it in the river.
A messenger who brings news to Navarre.
A messenger who brings news to King Henry III.
A supporter of Guise, Mountsorrell murders Seroune.
A lord in the service of King Henry III and beloved of the Duchess of Guise. Mugeroun, implicated in an affair with the Duchess of Guise, is killed by a soldier under orders from Guise.
MURDERER, FIRST, SECOND, and THIRD
Three murderers who participate in the killing of Guise and the Cardinal.
The Prince of Navarre and a Protestant. He marries Margaret, sister to King Charles IX of France, but when the massacre begins, he is forced to flee. He gathers his troops, returns to face the French in battle and emerges victorious. Then, when the King of France is forced to battle Guise, Navarre pledges his support to the King. As King Henry III lays dying, Navarre is named heir to the throne of France. [n.b. in history, Henry of Navarre, or more appropriately Henri de BourbonNavarre was destined to become Henry IV of France, the first Bourbon king of France. He converted to Catholicism before ascending the French throne.]
A servant of Navarre.
A Protestant victim of Guise and his men.
A scholar, murdered for his skeptical views by Anjou. The murder is done on Guise's orders.
A supporter of Guise.
Non-speaking characters who serve the King of Navarre. The schoolmasters are murdered by Guise.
A Protestant murdered by Mountsorrell.
Wife of Seroune.
Recruited by Guise to murder the Lord Admiral. Later, Guise employs him to kill Mugeroun.
A surgeon who attends the dying King Henry III. He reveals that Henry has been stabbed with a poisoned knife and will not survive.
Friend of Ramus.