John Mason



a synoptic, alphabetical character list


Amada is Borgias and Timoclea's daughter. Amada is assigned by Borgias to act as her cousin Julia's companion and guard. When Julia is reported to the public as dead, Amada vacillates between her senses of duty and justice. Soon after, Amada is instructed by Borgias to spread the word that Timoclea has died. In addition, Amada is informed that she must marry the Muslim Mulleasses. During a dual courtship scene, Amada refuses to marry Mulleasses on account of her faith while Julia rejects Borgias's incestuous advances. Timoclea surprises Amada by appearing before her. In a jealous rage over the affection of Mulleasses, Timoclea kills Amada.


Bordello is a traveler in Florence accompanied by his page Pantofle. Bordello spends the majority of his energy professing disinterest in women; however, this disinterest fails to dissuade the women of Florence from seeking his company. Eunuchus plots to kill Bordello in order to have a corpse to bury in Timoclea's coffin. Eunuchus tells Bordello that he is being sent to Timoclea's chamber, yet he is actually directed to Borgias's room. Before going to see Timoclea, Bordello is moved upon by Madame Fulsome. When Bordello arrives at Borgias's room, he finds Timoclea's murdered body. The Dukes of Venice and a Lord of Florence charge Bordello for the killing and have him arrested. Venice clears Bordello of the crime at the conclusion of the play.


Borgias is the governor of Florence. He gained control of the city after the Duke of Florence, Borgias's brother, died and left the latter protector over his daughter Julia, the Duchess of Florence. At the beginning of the play, Borgias supports the Duke of Ferrara's suit for Julia's hand in marriage. In doing so, he opposes the senate-supported suit of the Duke of Venice. Borgias publicly announces that Julia has died and invited Ferrara and Venice to stay for the funeral rites. Borgias orders his daughter to spread the word that his wife Timoclea has died. He further informs Amada that she must marry the Muslim Mulleasses. Borgias reveals to the audience that he has betrayed Christianity to secure personal gain. Borgias tells Eunuchus to kill a person to bury in Timoclea's coffin, since Timoclea is to be buried in Julia's coffin. Borgias fails to convince Julia to marry him. After being double-crossed by Mulleasses, who sedates rather than poisons Timoclea, Borgias fakes a suicide so that his enemies will consider him dead. When Ferrara, disguised as Eunuchus, finds Borgias and begins to move him, Borgias stabs the Duke to death. Borgias then appears to Timoclea as an avenging ghost and coerces her to allow him to strangle her. Borgias and Mulleasses mortally wound one another. Borgias confesses his crimes before dying.


Eunuchus is a eunuch in Timoclea's service by the command of Mulleasses. Eunuchus was born free in Cyprus. When his city was sacked by the Turks, Eunuchus was orphaned, enslaved and made into a eunuch. Timoclea's husband Borgias has bribed Eunuchus into serving the Florentine governor's interests. Eunuchus is directed by Borgias to find a corpse to bury in Timoclea's tomb. Eunuchus decides upon the traveler Bordello as his target. The eunuch convinces Bordello to visit Timoclea's chambers, but directs him instead to Borgias's room. Eunuchus believes he is not guilty of murder, since his killings are the result of a direct order by his superior. Borgias directs Eunuchus to summon Mulleasses to Florence. While chasing Bordello through the castle with Timoclea, Eunuchus is fatally stabbed by a wandering and startled Ferarra. Eunuchus dies complaining about the senselessness of his demise. Ferrara then assumes Eunuchus' attire as a disguise before being stabbed to death himself.


The Duke of Ferrara. He is a warlike, masculine suitor to Julia who enjoys the support of her Uncle Borgias at the beginning of the play. After Julia is reported dead, Ferrara agrees to stay in Florence for the funeral. At that time, Ferrara ends hostilities between himself and the Duke of Venice, a competing suitor of Julia's. Ferrara walks alone at night tormented by the sense that Julia wants him to somehow avenge her. When Eunuchus dashes across the stage followed by the ghost-like Timoclea, Ferrara stabs Eunuchus to death. Mistaking Timoclea for Julia, Ferrara then disguises himself as Eunuchus in order to gain access to the secrets of the household. Ferrara comes upon the lifeless body of Borgias after the former has leapt from a ledge and faked his death. When Ferrara lifts the body for removal, Borgias stabs Ferrara to death.


The friar presides over the feigned funeral of Julia.


Julia is the Duchess of Florence. Following her father's death, she has been placed under the protection of her Uncle Borgias, Governor of Florence. Julia is as beautiful as she is highborn. Julia is wooed aggressively by the Dukes of Ferrara and Venice. She is placed under the protective custody of her cousin Amada. Borgias publicly states that Julia has died; however, she is actually Borgias's prisoner. A fake funeral is held for Julia, where her suitors pay tribute. Borgias tries to convince Julia to marry him, but she refuses. When Timoclea returns as a ghost, Julia convinces Amada to confer with the ghost alone, leading to Amada's death. Mulleasses plots the deaths of Borgias's family so that he might possess Julia himself. Julia refuses Mulleasses's advances, professing that she could never love a Muslim. At the conclusion of the play, Julia is engaged to the Duke of Venice.


The Lord of Florence is in the Duke of Venice's company when they come upon Bordello standing over the corpse of Timoclea. The Lord arrests Bordello and charges him with Timoclea's murder. The Lord then calls guards to attend Julia as she resists Mulleasses. The Lord leads the questioning of Mulleasses and Borgias as the play unwinds and intersperses his queries with condemnations. The Lord reminds the Duke of Venice at the end of the play that Julia is free and available for matrimony.


Madame Fulsome is the governess of the maids. She is primarily concerned with securing the company of Bordello. Bordello describes her as a court owl, while Eunuchus praises her musicality. Madame Fulsome is frequently accompanied by Phego, an usher. While waiting for Bordello, Fulsome and Phego are frightened off of the stage by the ghost of Timoclea.


Mulleasses is a Muslim Turk expert in sedatives and poisons. Mulleasses orders his servant Eunuchus to attend his lover Timoclea. Mulleasses is engaged in a partnership with Borgias. In exchange for Borgias's daughter Amada, Mulleasses agrees to murder Timoclea. Amada refuses Mulleasses as a suitor. Instead of poisoning Timoclea, Mulleasses drugs her into a deep sleep instead. When he wakes her, he convinces her to seek vengeance against Borgias and Amada. After Timoclea kills her family, Mulleasses rejects her. It is revealed that Mulleasses wishes to possess Julia for himself. As he attempts to force himself upon Julia, Mulleasses is discovered. He and Borgias fight to their mutual death and confess their crimes.


Pantofle is Bordello's beloved page. When Bordello reveals that he intends to leave Florence without settling his bills, Pantofle attempts to convince his master to at least pay the financially struggling tailor.


Phego is a gentleman usher. He is accompanied by two ladies when he encounters Bordello and Madame Fulsome. Eunuchus describes Phego has a particular dresser who favors theory over practice. Phego returns to the stage at the conclusion of the play to witness Borgias and Mulleasses mutual destruction. Phego fetches Philenzo after being chased off of the stage with Madame Fulsome by the supposed ghost of Timoclea.


Philenzo is a gentleman from Ferrara. He is in Florence attending the Duke. He reports to Ferrara on the condition of his camp. Philenzo attacks a dying Borgias after learning of Ferrara's murder.


Prusias is a gentleman from Venice. He reports to the Duke on the positioning of Venetian sentinals. Prusias and the Duke of Venice find Bordello hovering over the corpse of Timoclea.


Timoclea is the wife of Borgias, Governor of Florence. She is also Mulleasses's lover. Timoclea's life is imperiled when Borgias asks Mulleasses to poison her. Borgias plans to bury Timoclea in Julia's coffin. Instead of poisoning Timoclea, Mulleasses drugs her into a deep sleep. Mulleasses wakes Timoclea and tells her that Borgias contracted her death and that Amada has stolen Mulleasses's love. Timoclea is coerced into appearing as a ghost before both family members. She kills Amada and scares Borgias into leaping from a ledge. Mulleasses then spurns Timoclea. Timoclea is subsequently duped by Borgias into believing he is a ghost. In despair, Timoclea allows Borgias to strangle her with her own hair. Bordello finds her body and is temporarily blamed for her murder.


The Duke of Venice is a passionate lover. He begins the play as the senate-endorsed suitor for Julia's hand in marriage. In his courting, he is rivaled by the Duke of Ferrara. When Venice first hears from Borgias that Julia is dead, Venice does not completely trust the report. Venice makes amends with his rival Ferrara and agrees to remain in Florence for Julia's funeral. In a sign of devotion to his lost love, Venice promises to remain chaste for the rest of his life. Venice and others come upon Bordella standing over the dead body of Timoclea and accuse the traveler of her murder. After witnessing the exposure of Borgias and Mulleasses' plots and their deaths, Venice is engaged to marry Julia.