An upper-class soldier called a cavalier, Willmore is loyal to the English monarchy, and has therefore been exiled from his homeland (the story takes place during Oliver Cromwell’s reign in England after the execution of… (read full character analysis)
The strong, witty, brave heroine, and sister to Florinda and Don Pedro, Hellena starts the play determined to venture out into the Carnival and fall in love, although her brother Don Pedro wishes for… (read full character analysis)
A beautiful and wealthy courtesan, Angelica is desired by all men in Naples, including Don Antonio, Don Pedro, and Willmore, all of whom duel over her at various points throughout the play… (read full character analysis)
The sister of Hellena and Don Pedro, Florinda is ladylike and modest, in contrast to her sister’s nontraditional forwardness. She is in love with the cavalier Belvile, who saved her from rape at… (read full character analysis)
The main antagonist of the play, the rigid and controlling Don Pedro wishes for his sister Florinda to marry his friend Don Antonio, and for his sister Hellena to become a nun, in order… (read full character analysis)
An English gentleman who is good friends with Willmore and Belvile, Frederick is the common sense of the group, often trying to get his friends out of scrapes and duels. Even he, however, can… (read full character analysis)
An English gentleman like Frederick, Blunt is an oafish idiot, mocked and disdained by his friends, and valued only for his money. During the play, he believes himself in love with Lucetta, a… (read full character analysis)
Cousin to Florinda and Hellena, Valeria is braver than the former, but more ladylike than the latter. Providing her relatives with masks and helping them in their romantic schemes, she eventually finds herself in love with Frederick, and marries him in a double ceremony with Florinda and Belvile.
The prostitute who tricks Blunt out of his clothes and money, Lucetta is a scheming, wily, and seductive woman; exactly the kind of woman whom the men of the play fear and loathe.
The elderly servant of Angelica, and a former prostitute herself, Moretta hates all men, and is dismayed when her mistress succumbs to Willmore’s charms.
The softhearted governess of Florinda and Hellena, Callis initially allows them to go out to the Carnival, despite Don Pedro’s orders to the contrary. Later in the play, when she tries to stop the girls from leaving, Valeria locks her in a wardrobe.
Lucetta’s pimp, who helps her to rob Blunt.
In love with Lucetta despite the fact that she is a prostitute, Philippo helps to fool and rob Blunt.
Although he never appears onstage, Vincentio is the wealthy but elderly man whom Florinda’s father (also never onstage) wishes her to marry. Hellena repeatedly mocks both his age and his dark complexion.
The servant of Don Antonio, but an ally to Florinda, for whom he occasionally lies.
Biskey and Sebastian
Angelica’s servants (called “bravoes”), who put the pictures of her outside her house and report about the various men who stop to admire them.
Don Antonio’s page.
The servants of Hellena and Willmore.
In a comic scene, Blunt’s manservant attempts to help him dress in Spanish clothes, to ridiculous effect.
Officers and soldiers
During a duel outside Angelica’s house, these keepers-of-the-peace part the fray and mistakenly arrest Belvile (when in fact it was Willmore who caused the disturbance).
A priest who is fetched at the end of the play in order to marry Valeria and Frederick and Belvile and Florinda.