John Tatham



a synoptic, alphabetical character list


A shepherd searching for a lamb. Alexis in the opening scene hears groans and finds Clinton asleep in a grove suffering a nightmare. Alex awakens him and Clinton tells Alexis that he has killed Florida out of jealousy and came to the grove to hide. Alexis urges Clinton do holy works as acts of contrition. Later in the play, Alexis encounters Leon, senior, and tells him to have courage in his search for Gloriana.


A young woman. On a walk with Florida in a dangerous area of the countryside, Claudia hears groans and discovers Lysander stabbed and bleeding to death. The two of them carry Lysander off, and he is instantly healed. When Lysander thanks Claudia's "hand divine" for saving his life, she replies that "the gods," not she, saved his life.


A young man. Hiding in a grove and groaning with a nightmare when the play opens, Clinton is awakened by Alexis to whom he confesses to having murdered his beloved Florida in a jealous rage. Urged by Alexis to do holy works in contrition, Clinton assumes the life of a hermit, bearded and with an aged appearance. In this role he encounters Gloriana grieving the death of Lysander and tries to console her. In the final scene he rejoices that a "celestial matron" had restored Florida's life, and as the play closes it appears that Clinton and Florida will marry.


A shepherdess. Pursued by the Lustful Shepherd, shepherdess CloŽ calls for help, and Lysander rescues her by chasing the Lustful Shepherd away. Smitten by his heroism, CloŽ asks Lysander to take her. She cannot understand why Lysander rejects her because the other shepherds always chase her, but she offers to be his servant and cook. Singing a love song, CloŽ runs into the woods where she encounters Daphnes who greets her as his love. She rejects Daphnes and runs off to sing more about her love. The Nymphs appear and carry CloŽ off to Florida's dwelling where they all work to make Lysander well. Reunited with Daphnes, the two appear headed for marriage as the play closes.


A young man. In love with CloŽ but rejected by her, Daphnes declares "What fickle things are women!" but admits that his energetic pursuit of CloŽ may have turned her away. As the play closes CloŽ is at his side and marriage seems in store.


Personified fates. Appearing when Gloriana and Lysander unexpectedly fall asleep while gathering flowers, the bloodthirsty Destinies sing to the couple to "sleep on," decreeing that Gloriana and Lysander "must bleed" and hoping that they "never rise" again.


A young woman. Left for dead by a jealous Clinton who thought he slew her, she recovers and later finds Lysander bleeding to death in a field. Together, she and Claudia carry Lysander off to help, and when he recovers, he asks her whether she had seen Clinton since his rage had left her for dead. She said she wanted to see Clinton, whom she still loves deeply. Reunited in the final scene, Florida and Clinton seem on the verge of marriage as the play closes.


Francisco loves Gloriana. Gloriana rebuffs him because she is in love with Lysander. After observing the couple kissing in "Lover's Valley," Francisco vows to separate them and get revenge. Disguised, he and two villains attack Lysander and Gloriana when they are out gathering flowers, stabbing Lysander and carrying off Gloriana. Later, feeling guilty and in despair, he worries about going to hell for murder, and later still, he meets Lysander whom he at first thinks is a ghost. Once Lysander assures him that he is alive, Francisco asks for and receives Lysander's forgiveness. At the end of the play, he reveals that he left the court when Leon, senior, was banished in order to woo Leon's daughter, Gloriana.


Daughter of Leon, senior and sister presumably of the enigmatic Leon, junior. Gloriana is in love with Lysander who is also in love with her. Consequently, she rebuffs Francisco's advances and tells him that she hopes never to see him again. She meets with and kisses Lysander on several occasions during the play, including on the fateful afternoon when Francisco and his villains stab Lysander and abduct Gloriana. During the attack she begs them to kill her and spare Lysander. Later, when Lysander is miraculously healed and forgives Francisco, she does so, too. As the play closes with the Latin expression "love crowns the end," she and Lysander are about to be married.


After the Destinies decree that the sleeping Lysander and Gloriana "must bleed," the Heavenly Messenger, dressed in white, intervene briefly to counteract the Destinies' spell. Singing that for "love's sake" they "must not bleed," the Heavenly Messenger wakes Lysander and Gloriana in time to confront Francisco's brutal attack..


Appearing only once and without warning, Leon junior addresses Leon senior as father, consoling him that his missing daughter, Gloriana, might be found safe and unmolested.


Banished by the duke. His lands confiscated, "good old Leon" fled court with his daughter, Gloriana. Pisander (Lysander's real name) and Francisco followed, both seeking Gloriana's hand. After Francisco abducts Gloriana in disguise, Leon worries that she is lost, "deflower'd" by "some savage." In the end Leon learns that the duke has died and his lands are restored. As the play closes Leon is preparing for the marriage of Gloriana to Lysander.


The Lustful Shepherd chases after CloŽ, wanting to kiss, embrace, "and do the thing shepherds do at wrasteling." After CloŽ screams for help, Lysander chases off the Lustful Shepherd. Later, attired like a satyr and out to ravish "wenches," the Lustful Shepherd encounters Scrub who confronts him and chases him away.


A courtier whose real name is Pisander. Lysander answers CloŽ's call for help by chasing off the Lustful Shepherd. Although he says she is fair, he rebuffs the shepherdess CloŽ's advances because he is in love with Gloriana. In a place of green myrtles and roses marked "Lovers' Valley," Lysander and Gloriana declare their love for each other and kiss. On another outing together, the Destinies declare that the two "must bleed," and Lysander is stabbed and left for dead. During the struggle he tries to protect Gloriana, but he collapses. Saved by Claudia and Florida and healed by divine intervention, he helps reconcile Florida and Clinton. In the end he forgives Francisco and is preparing to wed Gloriana.


The wood Nymphs sing to the love sick CloŽ about love and tell her not to despair because she is young and fair. They take her away to Florida's dwelling where together they heal the wounded Lysander.


Pisander left court when Leon, senior, was banished by the duke, seeking the love of Leon's daughter, Gloriana. When he left court, he assumed the name of Lysander.


Appearing in the woods from time to time looking for his master, Scrub on one occasion encounters the Lustful Shepherd and runs him off. As the play comes to a close, Scrub finds all the principals assembled and asks whether any of them have met Pisander, Leon, or Francisco. He declares that the duke is dead and that Leon's lands have been restored. The three identify themselves, explain why they have settled in the rural place, and tie the play's loose ends together.


At least two Villains accompany the disguised Francisco to kill Lysander and carry off Gloriana. The Second Villain, at least, joins Francisco in stabbing the unarmed Lysander.