George Chapman


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Mute character that plays a marginal role in the play. She comes to stage with sowing work together with Wynnifred and she sings.


Captain Fouleweather's servant. Bullaker is a French page that comes to Lady Eugenia's house at the beginning of the play.


Fouleweather is Eugenia's suitor. This French traveler is a Southern captain. He obtained his position by serving Lady Kingcob, who sent him to the Low Countries. However, in society he is considered to be quite boring. Nevertheless, he is invited for breakfast in Barnet by Lady Eugenia.


A "ghost character." He was Hyppolita's husband. He died on their wedding day overwhelmed by the honor of marrying a lady of such a condition.


Clarence is a gentleman, friend to Lord Monford for 20 years. He loves his friend's niece. But, he has no many expectations in that relationship because he realizes that he has less property than his beloved lady. However, to her he writes a letter that is taken by Lord Monford. Under his protection, he will also pretend to be sick to win Eugenia's love, which he gets at the end of the play.


Clement Kingcob is a small character in the play. He is a knight who attends supper.


A "ghost character." She is a noble woman that Lord Furnifall met in the past.


A "ghost character." She is the niece of the Countess of Lancashire, whom she accompanied in a trip where they met Lord Furnifall.


Small character who is to play a role in the trick in the last act. He will talk about Clarence's illness to help him to win Eugenia's love. He says that it is love what is killing the gentleman.


Countess Eugenia is a widow and a noble lady. She is wise and virtuous, enemy of excesses like eating and drinking. Despite being a woman, she is also a good scholar, which amazes her equals. She was also faithful to her husband until his death. Now, she is pretended by some suitors with whom she has supper in Act One. After that, she asks Wynnifred to go to call her uncle Lord Monford to cheer them up because Captain Fouleweather has depressed them. Thus, she is thinking about limiting the number of people that visit her house. However, before going to bed, she asks Jack to invite Captain Fouleweather to accompany her in a trip to Barnet next day in the morning. Meanwhile, she is visited by her uncle, who asks her to write a letter to Clarence and to come to his house. She makes his uncle promise her that he is not trying to make the two youngsters meet. She paints herself in white because she thinks that a pale face makes a heart move. Finding out that it is love for her what is killing Clarence, she accepts the noble gentleman at the end of the play.


A "ghost character." He is now dead but in life he was honored by his loyal wife.


Only mentioned. Mythological character to whom Hyppolita is compared in relation to her purity. Hippolytus was the son of Theseus and Antiope, queen of the Amazons. He was falsely accused of sexual assault by his stepmother Phaedra and, when his deceived father cursed him, he was killed by a monster from the sea.


Small character that sings while Clarence writes a letter to Eugenia because, as Plato said, music is the representation of the soul.


Only mentioned. Mythological character that is invoked during the weddings at the end of the play as he was the son of Apollo, one of the Muses and the god of marriages.


Hyppolita is a virgin lady and a companion to Eugenia. She married a knight called Charles that died on their wedding day. In Act Two, with Penelope, she invites Sir Goosecappe and Sir Rudseby for breakfast in Barnet. In her meeting with Sir Tales and Penelope, she defends Sir Cutbert Rudseby, with whom she is later paired.


A "ghost character" with whom Lord Furnifall spoke in Italian in one of his trips, where he also met the Countess of Lancashire and her niece.


Jack is a page. At the beginning of the play he talks to Will about the money that their lords owe to them. He is Hyppolita's servant. He will tell the gentlemen that the ladies will not welcome them any more. As a soothsayer he is compared to Merlin because he tells what is to happen.


Lady Furnifall is Lord Furnifall's wife. She is often drunk and is afraid of her husband.


A "ghost character." Lady for whom Captain Fouleweather used to work.


Lord Furnifall hosts the ladies with whom he has supper. He tells his guests that he has met the Countess of Lancashire and her niece with an Italian gentleman with whom he spoke in Italian. He is thought to be a great warrior.


Lord Monford is a noble man and Eugenia's uncle. He has a very close friendship with Clarence. Thus, when his friend informs him about the love that he feels for Eugenia, Lord Monford gets very happy. When he visits his niece, he tells her good things about Clarence. He will support economically his friend because for him one person is rich when he has a good heart. He leaves the house promising that they will meet again in two or three days. On that day, he will give his niece the letter that Clarence wrote to her. He asks her to dictate him an answer to Clarence and he will write it. He adds some lines to the text and invites Eugenia for supper, but he has to promise her that Clarence will not bother her there. He invites the rest of the gentlemen to his house. There, he plans to make Clarence pretend that he is very sick to win Eugenia's love. That will defeat the attempts of the other suitors to impress the lady.


Only mentioned. Character of the Arthurian literature to whom the pages are compared. He was thought to have great visionary powers and, as the messengers, he could tell what was to happen.


At the beginning, he announces the arrival of Wynnifred to Lord Monford. Later, in the last scene, he announces, the arrival of the doctor with Clarence.


A "ghost character." The minister was the priest who married Hyppolita and Charles.


A "ghost character." He used to be Hyppolita's suitor.


Mute group of characters. However, they play instruments in the presence of Clarence.


Penelope is a virgin lady and a companion to Eugenia. She invites the gentlemen to Barnet for breakfast. One of them, Sir Gyles Goosecappe, will be matched with her.


Only mentioned. One of the most important Classical philosophers. Pupil to Socrates, Plato (427 BC–347 BC) carried on much of his former teacher's work and eventually founded his own school, the Academy, in 385. The most famous of Plato's dialogues is an immense dialogue called The Republic, where he deals with the central problem of how to live a good life. In the play, he is the reason why Horatio sings as he said that the music was the representation of the soul.


A "ghost character." He is believed to restrict the entrance to Eugenia's house.


Sir Rudseby is a blunt knight. The pages identify him as a Western or Northern man. He is thought to be a gallant and he wears a bush beard. He makes 2,000 a year. He is invited for breakfast in Barnet. At the end, he is paired with Hyppolita.


Sir Goosecappe is a foolish knight. He is settled down in Essex, although his ancestors come from London. He has 20 miles of property. He is thought to be brave in battle. With Sir Rudseby, he goes to Barnet for breakfast. He is thought to be good at dancing, gardening, poetry and distinguishing perfumes. He sows in front of everybody at the end of the play to impress Eugenia but he is finally matched with Penelope. However, first, he has to recite a poem. Thus, he invokes Hymen.


Group of "ghost characters." Part of Sir Goosecappe's family that came from London. They were members of the nobility.


He is a Kentish lord as his ancestors came from Canterbury. He is the youngest of 10 brothers. He was christened as Decem Tales. Lord Tales is Sir Gyles Goosecappe's cousin as he is related to the family through his mother. He praises his relative in front of Penelope.


"Ghost characters." They are Tales Kingcob's relatives and they are thought to have come from Canterbury.


A "ghost character." He christened his son as Decem Tales.


Will is a page that talks to Jack about their salary in the Act One. He is Eugenia's servant. With Jack, he will tell the suitors that the ladies are not to welcome them in Barnet to test them as they want to know who the most patient is. Also, they inform them that the ladies are going to have supper at Lord Furnifall's. Together with Jack, he is compared to Merlin.


Wynnifred is a gentlewoman to Eugenia. She goes for Lord Monford at her lady's request.


I.i: The French page, Bullaker, enters in front of Eugenia's house. The lady's pages mistake him for a performing baboon. They describe their masters. Bullaker says that Foulweather is the suitor to Lady Eugenia. Foulweather's nickname is Commendations. He became a captain at Lady Kingcob's recommendation because his ability to brush silk made her think he could "curry" the enemy. Because he won his captaincy by recommendation, his nickname is apt. He is a Francophile and a buffoon and will do nothing that is not also done in France. With him are two other men. Sir Giles Goosecap, a foolish knight, and Sir Cuthbert Rudesby, a blunt knight, are wooing the ladies Penelope and Hippolyta, Eugenia's companions.

Captain Foulweather employs the adjective "emphatical" for everything. Goosecap describes most everything with the term "mortal" and is always referring to "tickling the vanity on" anything. Rudesby, as his name suggests, is a rude fellow. He eats garlic before courting and is a blunt speaker.

Jack and Will, the two English pages, describe their mistresses. Eugenia is a scholarly woman. Hippolyta is a chaste maid whose husband died at the altar. Penelope is not discussed because the supper breaks up and the pages must go in.

I.ii: Rudesby and Goosecap complain that the supper ended much too early. The ladies are obviously bored to death by the three foolish men. Eugenia sends for her uncle Momford to come to her. He will refresh her spirits, she hopes. They bid the three men goodnight and retire.

The knights observe that Foulweather did not get on with Eugenia well. Foulweather derides the English women by saying they are nothing like the good French women.

I.iii: The three pages enter and play a joke on the three men. They tell the men that the ladies are going early in the morning to Barnet (some ten miles away), and they wish the three men to meet them there. Not accompany them, meet them. The men decide that they fared better in their wooing than they had at first imagined. They determine to go to Barnet to meet their ladies in the morning.

I.iv: Clarence, Momford's best friend and bedmate, is pining away for love of Eugenia. When Momford discovers his best friend's love for his niece, he swears to make the match. Clarence is reluctant because he is a poor gentleman. Marriage to him would require Eugenia to marry beneath her. Momford says that she is a scholar and so is Clarence, therefore the match is inevitable. A messenger enters and bids Momford to Eugenia's house. Momford engages in a witty repartee with Winifred, a surly young woman.

II.i: Clarence, now at Eugenia's house, broods over his hopes at winning Eugenia, even though he is a scholar. Momford hides him in the room as Eugenia enters. He tells Eugenia that Clarence loves her. Eugenia is not pleased at the news. She has turned away many suitors-many rich. She is pleased to remain a widow, does not wish to marry beneath her station, and is shocked that her own favorite uncle would attempt to persuade her to a match. Clarence's intelligence is not enough to win her. Momford withdraws and tells Clarence-who heard nothing-that all is proceeding well and that Eugenia favors him.

The pages tell the ladies of their prank at sending the three men on a wild chase up to Barnet. When Hippolyta asks how the pages will excuse themselves to the foolish men, Will answers that they will devise something new with which to gull them.

Lord Tales (of Canterbury) and Sir Clement Kingcob enter. Tales is Goosecap's kinsman. Tales attempts to endear Goosecap to Lady Penelope by telling her of his good parts. He can mix perfume, knows the price of gloves, can sew, can turn pieces on a lathe. And that is about all Goosecap can do, although Tales holds that to be much in a man.

III.i: Near Barnet the three men have lost their horses while riding pell mell down a frost-slick hill. They are now on foot. Foulweather excuses his unhorsing. He was riding in the French manner, from which nothing-not even the sure knowledge of a fall-could dissuade him. Again Foulweather says the English women are not equal to the French. Will and Jack enter. They tell the men that they overheard the women saying that they sent the men to Barnet on a fool's mission on purpose. They are anxious to see which of the gallants is the more patient. Each has, according to Jack and Will, wagered on her man's patience. The three men agree not to mention the incident ever in order to prove each is a patient man.

The three are invited to Furnivall's party. Furnivall throws parties in order to get Lady Furnivall drunk because that is the only condition in which she is agreeable. Foulweather tells them that Furnivall loves a good fool better than anything, and Will promises to bring a fool to the party. Rudesby ends up frustrated with his companions.

III.ii: In Momford's house, Clarence composes a letter to Eugenia. Momford promises to deliver it.

IV.i: In Eugenia's house, Tales is still trying to persuade Penelope to love Goosecap. Hippolyta suggests they see Goosecap sew a little first. We learn from Kingcob that Goosecap is well landed, having some twenty miles together. Rudesby is also wealthy with an annual income of two thousand pounds.

Momford gives Eugenia Clarence's letter (from III.ii) privately. She must be persuaded to take it, then to read it, and finally to respond. When Eugenia refuses to respond, Momford says he'll take dictation from her or write the response himself. Eugenia finally relents and dictates a cold response to which she affixes her signature only to discover that Momford has inserted a promise that Eugenia shall marry Clarence. Momford says she has signed it and must go through with it. Momford says it is a jest and invites her to sup with him and his guests. He assures her Clarence will not be at the party because he is desperately ill. On the condition that she will not be thrown together with Clarence, Eugenia accepts the invitation.

IV.ii: At Lord Furnivall's house Furnivall is bragging to the three foolish men. Goosecap makes a fool of himself; he does not know the difference between "comparison" and "caparison;" "odious" and "odorous." Goosecap makes up outrageous lies about the fool that is being brought, pretending to know the fool well. Jack and Will enter with the sad news that the fool will not be able to come because he is too wise for the company, but they offer another fool in his place. And Goosecap, they say, knows this fool well. The original fool begs Goosecap to be content because he will not come. To tell the truth, the fool is dead. Goosecap says that it isn't possible, the fool would have written him in such an event. The three men and Furnivall are invited to Momford's party.

IV.iii: In Momford's house Momford tells Clarence that Eugenia requires coaxing and tells him about the lie that Clarence is sick. It is agreed between them that the doctor will call on Clarence during the party and Eugenia will be brought close to the chamber in order to hear Clarence's commendations of her to the doctor.

V.i: At Momford's party Goosecap displays his sewing (it depicts foolish scenes); he talks of feeding his glow-worms on charcoal and fire so they may be used to kindle his tobacco and otherwise makes a fool of himself before the ladies. All the while Tales interpolates the fool's banter into wise meanings, but the ladies are not fooled. Goosecap is anxious to marry because there is an annual football game between the bachelors and married men and all his friends are on the married men's side. Rudesby also courts Hippolyta in his blunt style.

The Doctor arrives and taken to Clarence. The news of Clarence's illness causes everyone in the room to speak on Clarence's good points, which Eugenia must hear.

V.ii: The doctor discovers that there is no physical ailment in Clarence. The party is conducted through the gallery above in order to view Momford's artwork. From there they all eavesdrop upon the doctor and Clarence. They hear Clarence praising Eugenia.

Eugenia, Penelope, and Hippolyta break away from the party and go to visit Clarence. Eugenia plays a trick upon her uncle. She hopes Momford will think she has left the party. He will be frustrated with her, thinking he has failed, and she will be visiting his sick friend with whom he hopes to match her. It becomes apparent that Eugenia is relenting and liking Clarence more and more. She suggests that she has been partial to Clarence all along. She expresses her feelings to Clarence.

The pages come in searching for the ladies. Momford comes in distracted that he should be so abused by his niece. Eugenia draws the curtains on Clarence's room and confesses that they are betrothed. Momford surprises her by making Clarence his heir, thus making him a substantial man. She is not marrying beneath her after all. Furnivall makes Foulweather his consort. Foulweather is satisfied since the woman he loves will be marrying a man who has lived in France. Goosecap reads a foolish sonnet and gets Penelope to marry him. They all retire to supper.


The characterization is rather flat. The three foolish men are distinguished, but are only character types: the Francophile fool, the roaring fool, the natural fool (Foulweather, Rudesby, Goosecap).

Eugenia is barely sketched in. Her scholarship does not seem to make her wise and in the end she seems to be swayed more by her emotions than her intellignece.

The two virgins, Hippolyta and Penelope, are mirror images. Hippolyta seems better written, but they both seem to be there only to give Foulweather's foolish companions a reason to be in the play.

Clarence is simply a brooding lover and a rather uninteresting one.

Momford is single minded. One wonders what Eugenia sees in him when he is so solicitous in the furtherance of Clarence over her initial objections.

The pages, Will, Jack and Bullaker, are the best chance for a unifying plot, but they fade into the background shortly after they play their trick on the men.

Tales is fun, but he also has a two-dimensional character that seems to exist only to try to make Goosecap palatable to Penelope.

The other characters are under-drawn.

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