PROMOS AND CASSANDRA
a synoptic, alphabetical character list
A young gentleman and Cassandra's brother. He has been hiding in a cave in
the woods, living off his own hunting. John Adroins happens to meet him
and tells him of the King's sentence on Promos. After singing a song of
Thanksgiving to God, Andrugio disguises himself and goes into Julio to see
the proceedings. He overhears Cassandra imploring Ulrico to help her save
Promos. He is distressed by his sister's grief and decides to reveal
himself in an effort to save Promos. Once Promos is reprieved, he tells
his story to the King, Cassandra, Polina and the assembled. The King
forgives his offense on condition that he marry Polina and Andrugio
A gentleman. He and Bruno patronize Lamia's house.
BEADLE OF THE MERCHANT TAILORS
A minor official of the Merchant Tailors' guild. He asks Phallax where the
Merchant Tailors can set up their show for the King's welcome. He
expresses displeasure when Phallax assigns them to an area rife with
beggars, but goes off to deliver the answer to his guild.
Two minor officials of the city of Julio. They assist Gresco in
rounding up knaves after the King's public court.
Three law officers. They lead Lamia to her judgment. They also lead Promos
A gentleman. He and Apio patronize Lamia's house.
A young gentlewoman and Andrugio's sister. She has told the King how
Promos offered to free Andrugio in exchange for sex and, after she
capitulated, broke his word and ordered Andrugio executed. The King
returns to Julio with her to investigate, but they part ways before
entering the city so that Promos will not suspect the King's reason for
visiting. At the King's public court, Cassandra arrives wearing a blue
gown as a sign of adultery. She states her case against Promos and he
confesses. The King orders Promos to marry Cassandra and restore her
reputation, then face execution. Once they are married, Cassandra's hatred
turns to pity and she begs the King to spare Promos' life. The King pities
her but refuses her request. As Promos goes to execution, Cassandra vows
to take her own life upon his death. After the husband and wife say
farewell, Ganio appears and informs Cassandra and Polina that Andrugio
Two citizens of Julio. In response to the royal proclamation on corrupt
officials, they complain to Ulrico that Phallax has bonded them for failing
to repay a debt by a vague deadline. They also tell Ulrico that Phallax
A poor man of Julio. He approaches the King with a grievance at the end of
public court, and the King refers him to Ulrico. He sings a song
praising King Corvinus for defending his poor subjects.
King of Hungary. Cassandra has gone to King Corvinus and complained that
Promos forced her to sleep with him in exchange for Andrugio's life, then
ordered Andrugio executed anyway. The King decides to visit Julio and
investigate her accusations. The city greets him with a lavish welcome.
Once settled, he makes a royal proclamation ordering any citizens who have
been wronged by corrupt or criminal government officials to come forth and
report the wrongdoing. They are to report corruption to the privy
counselor Ulrico and serious crimes to the King himself in a public court.
He holds the public court, beginning by finding Gonsago guilty of
corruption but granting him grace, with a promise of harsh punishment if he
should offend again. Ulrico then brings a complaint against Phallax.
Phallax sees he is undone and confesses. The King does not punish his
person, but strips him of his post and orders Ulrico to seize all of his
possessions and disperse them among those whom he wronged. Next Cassandra
appears and makes her case against Promos. When Promos confesses, the King
rages that his deputy was so corrupt. He orders Promos to marry Cassandra
(in order to repair her honor) and then face execution. After the two are
married, Cassandra has a change of heart and begs the King to spare
Promos. From exposition, we learn that the King pities her, but declines
her request in favor of upholding legal justice. When Andrugio reveals
himself, the King pardons Promos. He admonishes Promos to be just in his
rule and restores him to the position of King's deputy in Julio.
COUNSELLORS TO THE KING
Mute characters. Members of the King's retinue.
A carpenter. He is foreman for the building of the stages and other
structures used in the Pageant of the Nine Worthies. He takes orders
directly from Phallax.
Boy servant to Andrugio. He informs Cassandra and Polina that Andrugio
lives and Promos is reprieved.
An officer under Promos. When he hears of the royal proclamation, he
worries that the King will uncover his corruption and punish him. At the
public court, the King does find him guilty of corruption but grants him
grace, with the understanding that if he offends again he will be severely
Two performers in the King's welcome pageants. They are dressed as green
men and carry sticks of fireworks. Their job is to keep a passage clear in
the street so that the King and his retinue can get through.
An informer for Phallax. He and Rapax bring John Adroins in to stand trial
for various offenses. The three get into a brawl, eventually broken up by
Phallax. With Phallax's encouragement, Gripax and Rapax let John go in
exchange for a bribe.
An officer of the watch. On the orders of the mayor (who has been
chastised by the King for his disorderly city), Gresco assists in a
round-up of knaves. Among those he arrests is Lamia.
A country clown. Rapax and Gripax arrest him for kissing his father's
servant, an offense punishable by death. He fights with them and Phallax
intervenes. Phallax has mercy on him and instructs him to bribe Rapax and
Gripax, thus buying his freedom. Later, he wanders into the woods
searching for his horse and meets Andrugio, although he does not recognize
the supposed dead man. In an amusing scene of repeated miscommunication,
he tells Andrugio about the King's sentence on Promos. He then heads into
Julio to witness Promo's execution.
KING'S GENTLEMAN USHER
A mute character. A member of the King's retinue.
A prostitute. In a soliloquy, she explains how she is profiting from the
new, strict laws against prostitution. All the other prostitutes have
ceased their trade, but she can carry on under the protection of her
powerful lover Phallax; thus she has a monopoly and can charge dearly.
When the King demands a round-up of all the wrongdoers in Julio, Gresco
arrests Lamia. He and the three billmen bring her to trial.
A "ghost character." Ulrico mentions him when talking to Pimos, indicating
that he is the man with whom Pimos is having a dispute.
MAID TO POLINA
A mute character. She accompanies Polina and Cassandra as they bid Promos
farewell when he goes to execution.
An agent of the King. Ulrico presents him with Promos' death warrant and
orders him to oversee the beheading. He escorts Promos to his execution.
Mayor of Julio. He greets the king with a short speech of welcome.
Through exposition, we learn that the King chastises him for all the crime
and corruption in Julio and, in response, the Mayor orders a round-up of
A messenger in the service of King Corvinus. He notifies Promos that the
King is coming to Julio.
Instrumentalists and singers that make music for the King's welcome pageant
as he enters Julio. The text specifies: "Five or six-the one half men,
the other women-near unto the music, singing, on some stage erected from
A member of the King's retinue. In the streets of Julio, he reads the
royal proclamation regarding corrupt officials.
Principal officer to Promos. He oversees the preparations for the
entertainments to welcome the King, including the Pageant of the Nine
Worthies. In a soliloquy, Phallax proudly declares that he has managed to
put together an impressive entertainment even though the King gave but one
day's notice of his visit. He arranges for some of the King's court to
enjoy the services of Lamia's house. After the royal proclamation is read,
he fears that his corruption will be revealed and the King will punish
him. His guilt and fear compel him to act more mercifully toward the
people of Julio and encourages Rapax and Gripax to take John Adroins' bribe
and free him. He is brought before the King at public court. Ulrico
accuses him of lending money to the poor under vague contracts, then taking
precious objects as payment when they fail to produce money on demand.
Phallax sees he is trapped and confesses. The King does not punish his
person, but strips him of his post and orders Ulrico to seize all of his
possessions and disperse them among those whom he wronged. Stripped of
title and goods, Phallax leaves Julio to seek his ill-gotten fortunes
A young gentleman. He is involved in a dispute over compensation with
Lyros. Ulrico mediates their dispute.
A young gentlewoman. She and her betrothed, Andrugio, were found guilty of
adultery for having sex before marriage. Polina's punishment is wearing a
blue dress, a mark of her crime. She believes Andrugio was executed and
visits his tomb daily to mourn. In the opening scene of the play, we see
her at his tomb wishing for her own death. Next we see her meeting Promos
as he goes to execution. He asks her forgiveness for Andrugio's death and
she grants it. As she attempts to comfort Cassandra, Ganio appears and
informs the two women that Andrugio lives. The King forgives Andrugio's
offense on condition that he marry Polina and she willingly agrees.
Corvinus' deputy in the city of Julio. He attempts to defend Phallax to
the King at the public court. When Cassandra accuses him at the public
court, he confesses. He begs the King for mercy on his death sentence, but
to no avail. On the King's order, he marries Cassandra to restore her
honor, then prepares for execution. As the Marshall and Billmen lead him to
execution, he voices his repentance and resignation. Then he sees
Cassandra and Polina and asks their forgiveness-both grant it. Andrugio
prevents his death by revealing himself. King Corvinus pardons Promos.
The King admonishes him to be just in his rule and restores him to the
position of King's deputy in Julio.
PROSTITUTES IN LAMIA'S HOUSE
Four prostitutes. They sing a song of invitation to Apio and Bruno when
they approach Lamia's house.
An informer for Phallax. He and Gripax bring John Adroins in to stand
trial for various offenses. The three get into a brawl, eventually broken
up by Phallax. With Phallax's encouragement, Gripax and Rapax let John go
in exchange for a bribe.
Lamia's servant and pimp. Suspects that Lamia and Phallax are falling in
love, but continues to find clients for Lamia. He looks forward to the
wealth that clients from the royal court will bring Lamia's house, and him
A mute character. He accompanies the King's officer as he reads the royal
proclamation regarding corrupt officials.
Crier for the city of Julio. He gains attention for the King's officer,
who reads the royal proclamation regarding corrupt officials.
A young gentleman. He comes to Julio as part of the King's retinue.
An officer under Corvinus. He investigates reports of corrupt officials
from the citizens of Julio. At the public court, he voices the people's
complaints against Phallax. Ulrico accuses Phallax of lending money to the
poor under vague contracts, then taking precious objects as payment when
they fail to produce money on demand. Phallax sees he is trapped and
confesses. The King does not punish his person, but strips him of his post
and orders Ulrico to seize all of his possessions and disperse them among
those whom he wronged. The King also orders Ulrico to deliver Promos'
death warrant to the executioners. After doing so, he tries to comfort the
grieving Cassandra and stall her from further pleading for Promos' life.