THE BATTLE OF ALCAZAR
(possibly the same play as Muly Molloco presented at the Rose 20 or 21 February 1599)
Printed in London by Edward Allde for Richard Bankworth, 1594.
a synoptic, alphabetical character list
A "ghost character," Abdallas is the traitorous elder brother to
Abdelmelec, Abdelmunen, and Muly Mahamet Seth. After reigning his rightful
time, Abdallas wrongs his brothers by disregarding the "perfect law" of
succession developed by his father, Muly Xarif, and ordering the murder of
his brothers to assure the wrongful succession of his son, Muly Mahamet, to
the throne of Barbary after his own death.
Abdelmelec, the uncle to the Moor and one of the two younger sons of Muly
Xarif, is the true successor to the throne of Barbary. Abdelmelec sent for
aid from the great Amurath to avenge his brother Abdelmunen's death. He is
a courteous and honorable king and the most heroic figure in the drama.
Amurath's soldiers install Abdelmelec in his royal seat after their victory
in the early civil war. Abdelmelec dies in the Battle of Alcazar.
Abdelmelec is frequently referred to as Muly Molocco or Muly Morocco.
A non-speaking character, the Moor's uncle Abdelmunen is strangled by his
nephew because of the Moor's eagerness to wear his father's crown.
Abdelmelec's good Queen gives encouragement and gratitude to those who aid
her husband's cause.
Only mentioned, Aquilaz conducts the third battalion of King Sebastian,
which mainly consists of German soldiers.
ALVARO PERES de TAVERO
Only mentioned, Alvaro Peres de Tavero leads the first of the Portuguese
battalions, which consists of light-armed horse and garrisons from
AMBASSADORS FROM THE MOOR
The Moor's ambassadors beseech Sebastian, King of Portugal, to aid Muly
Mahamet in reacquiring his royal seat. The ambassadors engage in a grim
branding ceremony in order to prove their loyalty to King Sebastian.
AMBASSADORS OF SPAIN
King Philip's ambassadors promise aid to Sebastian in the form of men,
ammunition, and war supplies.
A "ghost character," Amurath, the mighty Emperor of the East sent great aid
to Abdelmelec. The son to Sultan Solimon, king of the Turks, Amurath sent
Bassa to aid Abdelmelec. The "god of earthly kings" received abundant
praise after his aid helped Abdelmelec win the civil war.
Also known as Bassa Calcepius, Bassa is the leader of a trusty band of men
that carefully attend Abdelmelec's people in their camp-his men are
soldiers comparable to the guard of myrmidons that kept Achilles tent.
Sent by Amurath, the king of Turks, to repay Abdelmelec's service in
Amurath's father's dangerous war, Bassa's duty is to invade the Moor's
realm and seek revenge, and to install the proper emperor to the throne.
Given tokens of gratitude after helping Abdelmelec's people win the war
against the brutish Moor, Bassa returns to his home "as glorious as Great
Pompey in his pride."
After her husband loses the war, Calypolis, wife to the Moor, fears famine
until her husband brings her the meat of a lioness. She contributes very
little except a comment on the Moor's treachery.
Celybin is another follower of Abdelmelec who reports the enemy's
whereabouts to the rightful ruler of Barbary.
CHRISTOPHER de TAVERN
As Sebastian prepares his battalions, Christopher de Tavern beseeches
Sebastian to employ him in the war, Sebastian names him next unto himself,
and he tells Christopher that they shall "live and die together."
Death allegorically appears to Sebastian, Muly Mahamet, the Duke of Avero,
and Stukley in the fourth dumb show.
The Governor of Portugal's capital, Diego Lopis welcomes the Irish Bishop,
Tom Stukley, and Stukley's men to his city, which he calls, "the most
reverent primate of the Irish Church."
DON de MENYSIS
The governor of Tangier welcomes the fleet of Portuguese and the troop of
Moors to his land.
DUKE OF AVERO
The Duke of Avero is Sebastian's loyal servant-the duke even tells
Sebastian that he lays his life before the king's feet. Sebastian orders
the Duke of Avero to call in Stukley's Englishmen that landed in Lisbon;
Sebastian gives him the charge of taking the muster of the Portugal's and
bravest bloods of all the Country. The Duke is finally slain in the Battle
DUKE OF BARCELES
The Duke of Barceles is sent to Antwerp to hire mercenary men for
Sebastian. Sebastian recognizes that the Duke's ancestors have always been
loyal to Portugal.
The allegorical figure of Fame appears in the final dumb show. He enters
like an angel and hangs the crowns upon a tree.
Hercules is a captain in Tom Stukley's service.
The Bishop has been sent to Ireland by Pope Gregory to conquer the land for
the Pope and restore it to the Roman Faith. When Sebastian asks the Bishop
to join forces with Mahamet, the Bishop replies that to turn away from
conquering Ireland in order to aid the Moor of Barbary would betray his
vows to the Catholic Church.
ISABEL, PRINCESS OF SPAIN
A "ghost character," Isabel is offered in marriage to King Sebastian by her
father, King Philip; however, they never marry.
Only mentioned, the Janissaries are the soldiers given to Abdelmelec by
Jonas is another captain in Stukley's service.
The Legate conveys King Philip's offer of his daughter Isabel to Sebastian.
LEWES DE SYLVA
Sebastian dispatches Lewes de Sylva with letters to Philip, king of Spain,
to tell him the Portuguese crave his aide in their behalf.
LORD LODEVICO CAESAR
Only mentioned, Lodevico Caesar has the chief charge of the Portuguese
battalions-the fourth legion that consists solely of Portuguese soldiers.
A messenger appears in Act I to warn the Moor of the threat of his uncle
Abdelmelec and Amurath's soldiers.
The malevolent Muly Mahamet is frequently referred to as simply the Moor.
MULY MAHAMET, THE MOOR'S SON
The boldly spoken young prince promises to aid his father in threatening
the unjust and partial gods who deny reign to his father and himself. He
is dutiful and reassuring to his mother while they are in exile. The Moor
gives his son to Sebastian as a hostage, and Sebastian replies that he will
use the prince as a pledge of honor. During the Battle of Alcazar, the
Moor's son warns him and gives him a horse to flee upon.
MULY MAHAMET, THE MOOR
Ambitious and tyrannical, Muly Mahamet, the Moor is doubtlessly the villain
of the Battle of Alcazar. The Moor usurps the royal crown of Barbary. He
viciously murders his two young brothers and his uncle, Abdelmunen, in
eagerness to wear the crown of his father, Abdallas. The Moor withholds
the kingdom from his uncle Abdelmelec, or Muly Molocco, the rightful
Emperor of Barbary. The Moor is exiled in the wilderness of Mount Clario
after defeat in a civil war with his uncle Abdelmelec, and from the
wilderness he sends his embassy to seek aid at the Portuguese court. He
promises Sebastian, the King of Portugal, that he will resign the royalty
and kingdom of Morocco to Portugal in exchange for Sebastian's aid in
regaining the throne. Sebastian joins forces with the Moor against
Abdelmelec in the Battle of Alcazar. During the battle, he realizes that
defeat is imminent and attempts to flee on horseback. This attempt to flee
leads the Moor to his accidental, shameful death by drowning.
MULY MAHAMET SETH
Muly Mahamet Seth is one of the two younger sons of Muly Mahamet Xeque. As
a result of the victory against his nephew Muly Mahamet in civil war, he is
named the true successor of the crown after Abdelmelec.
MULY MAHAMET XEQUE
A "ghost character," Muly Mahamet Xeque is the father of Abdallas,
Abdelmunen, Abdelmelec, and Muly Mahamet Seth. During his lifetime, Muly
Mahamet Xeque created the "perfect law" which stated that his eldest son
would inherit the crown, but that he would in turn be succeeded by the next
eldest brother, not by his own son. Thus, all the brothers may wear the
A "ghost character," Muly Xarif, or "Sheriff," is the father of Muly
Mahamet Xeque and the grandfather of Abdallas, Abdelmunen, Abdelmelec, and
Muly Mahamet Seth. A descendant of the line of Mahomet, Muly Xarif left
his native Arabia with a store of gold and treasure, and planted himself in
Barbary as the first of the Moors that have reigned over Barbary.
Nemesis, a non-speaking character, is the "high mistress of revenge, that
with her scourge keeps all the world in awe." The Greek goddess of fate
and punisher of extravagant pride appears in the allegorical dumb shows
that precede each act. Nemesis awakens the god of war and summons the
furies to inflict vengeance upon the Moor after he brutally murders his
uncle and the two young princes. Her duty is to inflict vengeance upon
Muly Mahamet for his sins. On one occasion, the Moor addresses Nemesis and
asks her to ride her fiery cart and sprinkle gore amongst the war and to
take the mangled body of Abdelmelec to her tormenting hell. Nemesis is
once referred to by her surname, Ramnusias.
PHILIP, KING OF SPAIN
King Philip is called upon by his nephew, King Sebastian, to aid Portugal
on behalf of the Moor. Philip promises aid to Sebastian, and he promises
his daughter to Sebastian in marriage. However, King Philip does not
maintain his promises to Sebastian because Abdelmelec sends letters telling
Philip that a Catholic king should not assist a careless Christian prince
in such an unjust quarrel and offers him seven holds.
The Presenter is a Portuguese man who acts as a chorus figure. He
acquaints the audience with the causes of strife amongst the Moors and
foreshadows the catastrophe to come. The Presenter also presents the dumb
shows that precede each act and interprets the significance of these shows
for the audience.
Only mentioned, Pluto is the Roman god of the dead and ruler of the
underworld. Abdelmelec tells Rubin that the rites to Abdelmunen's ghost
have pierced to Pluto's grave below and that the bells of Pluto ring
Only mentioned, the Pope sent the Bishop and others to Ireland to conquer
the land and restore it to the Roman faith.
Rubin Archis is Abdelmunen's raging widow who lives for the sole purpose of
gaining vengeance for her husband's murder. Rubin's madness is emphasized
when she sacrifices her son to Amurath in return for his aid in
Abdelmelec's brief victory in the first civil war.
RUBIN'S YOUNG SON
A non-speaking character, the young son of Rubin and the late Abdelmunen is
sacrificed to Amurath by his mother after Amurath's soldiers help
Abdelmelec win the civil war. Bassa tells Rubin that Amurath will joyfully
receive her son.
SEBASTIAN, KING OF PORTUGAL
Sebastian aids the barbarous Moor in the Battle of Alcazar-an attempt for
the Moor to gain a throne that was never rightly his. The king of Portugal
sent a promise to aid Muly Mahamet and his cause after the Moor begged the
king to aid him in exchange for the kingdom of Morocco after victory.
Sebastian and his four battalions travel to the crusade, where the king
believes he will win the kingdom over for Christ. During the bloody
battle, Sebastian dies "with many a mortal wound" and his corpse is brought
to the new ruler Muly Mahamet Seth by two of his own Portuguese
A "ghost character" under whose colors Amurath served in the field. Sultan
Solimon is the father of Amurath.
Three devils threateningly appear in the Third dumb show.
The non-speaking furies-Alecto, Megaera, and Tysiphone-are summoned by
Nemesis to cry, conspire, complain and moan until Abdelmunen's grieved
ghost gains revenge for his murder.
The ghosts of Abdelmunen and the two young princes murdered by the Moor
appear in Act II crying that their murders be justified.
The British adventurer arrives in Ireland with six thousand soldiers, seven
ships, and two boats. Stukley is a natural leader who looks to be a king
someday. He says that he would rather be the king of a molehill than the
richest subject of a monarchy. Persuaded/forced to joined forces with
Sebastian and, along with his men, to join in the expedition to Barbary;
Stukley fought valiantly at Alcazar until he realized that death among the
Moors was inevitable. Then he begged two Italians to kill him, and they
do. Stukley lives just long enough to share his life story with his
Two unspecified men bring in the body of Muly Mahamet, the Moor, and give
to Muly Mahamet Seth an account of his shameful death.
Two murderers aid Mahamet in the murders of the Moor's uncle and the two
The two unspecified Portuguese men bring Sebastian's body to Muly Mahamet
Seth and one of his lords.
TWO YOUNG BROTHERS OF THE MOOR
The two non-speaking Princes are smothered in bed by their older brother
Muly Mahamet so he may be certain that they will not ascend to the throne.