Last Updated on May 7, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 527
Simo (SIH-moh), an aged Athenian. An outspoken, philosophical man, Simo has arranged a marriage between his son Pamphilus and Philumena, the daughter of his friend Chremes. Chremes breaks the engagement when it is discovered that Pamphilus is enamored of Glycerium, the sister of a courtesan. To test his son’s fidelity, Simo goes ahead with preparations for the wedding. Advised of this ruse, Pamphilus pretends to agree to the marriage, but to his distress, Chremes renews the offer of his daughter’s hand. Chremes then discovers that Glycerium has borne Pamphilus’ son and again breaks the engagement. Simo is berating his son for disgracing the family name when Crito, an Andrian, reveals that Glycerium is the long-lost daughter of Chremes. Overjoyed, Simo and Chremes order the marriage of Pamphilus and Glycerium to proceed.
Pamphilus (PAM-fih-luhs), Simo’s agreeable and moderate young son. He has fallen in love with Glycerium, made her pregnant, and promised to marry her. Simo’s abrupt order that he marry Chremes’ daughter leaves Pamphilus facing a dilemma: He must either disobey his father or betray his beloved Glycerium.
Davus (DAH-vuhs), Simo’s servant. Deciding that his love for Pamphilus is stronger than his fear of Simo, Davus, in spite of Simo’s warnings, tries to disrupt the marriage plans. When Pamphilus, acting on Davus’ advice, finds himself in a dilemma, Davus cleverly contrives to inform Chremes that Glycerium has borne Pamphilus’ child. Simo has Davus imprisoned for his effrontery, but he is freed when all turns out well.
Sosia (SOH-see-uh), a former slave whom Simo had freed in appreciation of Sosia’s faithfulness. Simo reveals to Sosia his plan to test his son’s character.
Glycerium (glih-SEE-ree-uhm), Chremes’ daughter, originally named Pasibula. Shipwrecked with her uncle in Andros, Glycerium had grown up there as the daughter of an Andrian family.
Chremes (KRAY-meez), a wealthy Athenian and Simo’s friend. He is the father of both Glycerium and Philumena.
Chrysis (KREE-sihs), a beautiful young Andrian who had become a courtesan after her arrival in Athens. Glycerium, reared as Chrysis’ sister, had come to Athens with her. On her deathbed, Chrysis had made Pamphilus swear to marry Glycerium.
Charinus (ka-RI-nuhs), a young Athenian in love with Philumena. Pamphilus promises he will try to win Philumena for Charinus.
Crito (KRI-toh), a native of Andros who comes to Athens to attend to the estate of his dead cousin, Chrysis. After a sharp exchange with Simo, who thinks Crito is a confidence man, Crito convinces Simo and Chremes that Glycerium is really Chremes’ daughter.
Byrrhia (BIH-ree-uh), Charinus’ servant. Overhearing Pamphilus agree to marry Philumena, Byrrhia thinks his master is being betrayed.
Philumena (fih-luh-MEE-nuh), Chremes’ daughter.
Mysis (MEE-sihs), Glycerium’s maidservant. Davus stages an argument with Mysis to reveal to Chremes that Glycerium has borne Pamphilus’ child.
Lesbia (LEHS-bee-uh), the tippling midwife who is called to attend Glycerium.
Dromo (DROH-moh), a servant called by Simo to carry off Davus.
Phania (FA -nee-uh), Chremes’ brother. Pasibula, later named Glycerium, had...
(The entire section contains 774 words.)
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