William Rowley
(and another?)
("William Shakespeare and William Rowley" on title page)
(Shakespeare Apocrypha)

(based on the lost Admiral's play
of 29 April 1597, UTHER PENDRAGON?)

(circa 1620 sometimes urged)

a synoptic, alphabetical character list


An apparition of Achilles conjured by Proximus (q.v.).


The proper name of the Hermit (q.v.).


A spirit in flame-coloured attire who leads in the apparition of Hector summoned by Proximus (q.q.v.). He is sent back to Hell by the Hermit's heavenly power.


A devious princess sent by the Saxons as ambassador to Britain. Aurelius (q.v.) falls in love with her, and makes her his queen, but she sows dissension in the British ranks by seducing Uter, and then accusing him of conspiring with the British lords to abduct her. In the war that follows, she is captured, and laughs defiantly, even as the Britons devise imaginative methods of killing her.


Aurelius is the King of Britain. Weak and petulant, he is instantly captivated by the Saxon princess Artesia, and marries her, ostensibly to further a truce between the two nations. Artesia manipulates him into siding with the Saxons against his own subjects, and he banishes Uter (q.v.) and the Britons to Wales. Once Aurelius is no longer useful to them, the Saxons poison him.


Intends to perform the marriage of Constantia and Cador (q.q.v.), and is supportive to her when she decides to become a nun instead.


A British courtier and soldier, and suitor to Constantia (q.v.). He also fights in the war against Vortiger. A colourless, purely functional character.


The brother of Joan (q.v.). He helps her to search for her child's father. Once the child's father is found, he contributres little to the plot. A typical clown figure, his earthy comedy undermines a number of otherwise serious scenes, such as Uter's speech about Artesia (q.q.v.), and Merlin's prophecy about Britain's future.


Sister of Modesta. She is expected to marry Cador (q.v.), but on their wedding day, Modesta persuades her to follow her into a convent instead.


An apparition conjured by Merlin to represent King Arthur's successor.


An incubus (rather than the Devil) who fathers Merlin by seducing Joan (q.q.v.). He learns from Lucina (q.v.) that Merlin has been gifted with the art of prophecy. When the Devil returns to Joan to claim her soul, Merlin protects her by using his magic to enclose the Devil in a rock.


A lord in the British court, and father of Modesta and Constantia. He plans for his daughters to marry Edwyn and Cador (q.q.v.), but they decide to become nuns instead. Although disappointed by their decision, Donobert decides to embrace the suitors as sons-in-law regardless, and divide his estate between them.


A patriotic general, who utters speeches filled with blood and thunder. He is disgusted by Aurelius' marriage to Artesia (q.v.), and demands that the Britons wage war against the Saxons. He leads the troops in the battle against Vortiger (q.v.).


A British courtier and warrior in the British court, son of Gloucester (q.v.), and suitor to Modesta (q.v.). Although Modesta admires him, she turns down his suit in favour of becoming a nun. He fights in the war against Vortiger (q.v.).


Non-speaking roles. The three Fates accompany Lucina when she is summoned by the Devil (q.q.v.). They are responsible for endowing Merlin with Knowledge, Arts, Learning and Wisdom, in order to give him the power of prophecy.


Two gentlemen sent by Vortiger to find Merlin (q.q.v.).


A British courtier, and father of Edwyn (q.v.).


Non-speaking role. An apparition of Hector of Troy, conjured by Proximus (q.v.).


Named Anselm (q.v.), but referred to as 'Hermit' throughout. A Christian divine with heavenly powers, his miraculous apparitions terrify the Saxons. His divine magic defeats the demonic magic of Proximus (q.v.), and he supports Modesta and Constantia in their bid to defy their father and become nuns.


A simple country girl, sister of the Clown (q.v.). She is pregnant after a hazily-remembered encounter with a well-dressed gentleman, and, with the help of her brother, searches for the father. It transpires that the father is the Devil, and the child is Merlin (q.q.v.). In the latter half of the play, Joan's comic innocence changes into eloquent repentance for her sin. The Devil tries to claim Joan for his own, but Merlin rescues her, and builds her a bower where she is expected to repent until her death. He promises that when she is dead, he will build Stonehenge in her memory.


An apparition conjured by Merlin (q.v.) to illustrate his prophecy of Britain's future.


Conjured by Merlin to play prestidigitatory tricks on the Clown.


The 'Queen of the Shades', summoned by the Devil (q.v.) to prophesy Merlin's future.


The child of Joan and the Devil (q.q.v.). Absurdly precocious, he is born with a beard and the power of prophecy. He prophecies the downfall of Vortiger (q.v.), and the future of Britain, and also defeats the Devil in order to save his mother's soul.


Daughter of Donobert (q.v.), Modesta is expected to marry the noble Edwyn. Instead she decides to become a nun, with the encouragement of the Hermit (q.v.). She justifies her decision with a number of speeches about the transitory nature of life, and the need to devote it to a higher purpose. Her speeches encourage her sister Constantia to join with her, and they leave together for a convent.


A lawyer who demands money from the Clown (q.v.) in return for advice about how to conduct a paternity suit. When the Clown threatens to accuse him of being the father, Sir Nichodemus says his name is 'Nothing', thereby adapting a joke as old as The Odyssey.


A Saxon general who accompanies Artesia to the British court, and encourages Aurelius to doubt the Hermit's power.


A Saxon nobleman who accompanies Artesia to the British court, and encourages Aurelius to doubt the Hermit's power.


A British courtier. A functional character, little more than a device for carrying messages and making announcements.


A spirit in black attire who leads in an apparition of Achilles summoned by Proximus (q.q.v.). He is sent back to Hell by the Hermit's heavenly power.


A Saxon magician who engages in magical contests with the Hermit and Merlin (q.q.v.). He is defeated in both contests, and is killed when Merlin causes a large rock to fall on him.


Non-speaking role. The Spirit is conjured by the Devil (q.v.) to capture Joan (q.v.), but is defeated by Merlin.


A British courtier. A functional character, little more than a device for carrying messages and making announcements.


A British prince, the brother of King Aurelius (q.v.). A man of quick temper and impetuous behavior, he falls in love with Artesia (q.v.) after catching sight of her in a forest. He is consumed with jealousy when he arrives at court to find Aurelius married to her. Artesia flirts with him, and although Uter wrestles with his conscience, he is seduced nonetheless. Artesia then causes a split between Aurelius and the other Britons by accusing Uter of plotting to abduct her. Uter leads the Britons to Wales where they defeat Vortiger (q.v.), and he becomes King when the Saxons poison Aurelius. Merlin then prophecies that Uter will be the father of King Arthur (q.v.).


The King of 'Welsh Britain' lives in exile for the murder of Aurelius' precursor on the throne. He is deluded by Proximus (q.v.) into thinking that Merlin's blood will make his castle impregnable, but when Merlin demonstrates superior magical powers, Vortiger believes Merlin's prophecy that he will be defeated in battle. Nonetheless, he fights the Britons when they attack, although he spares Uter's (q.v.) life in order to atone for the murder of his brother. He is defeated by the Britons.


One of Artesia's ladies-in-waiting, who brings Uter a jeweled crab from her lady, and explains its symbolism.