Characters Discussed

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Last Updated on May 6, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 897

Pyrocles

Pyrocles (PI -rohk-leez), Prince of Macedon. Journeying with his cousin Musidorus, he fights on the side of justice in many countries before he reaches Arcadia and falls in love with a picture of the Princess Philoclea. He disguises himself as an Amazon, Zelmane, to be near his lady,...

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Pyrocles

Pyrocles (PI-rohk-leez), Prince of Macedon. Journeying with his cousin Musidorus, he fights on the side of justice in many countries before he reaches Arcadia and falls in love with a picture of the Princess Philoclea. He disguises himself as an Amazon, Zelmane, to be near his lady, only to find himself tormented by the passion of both her parents.

Musidorus

Musidorus (mew-sih-DOH-ruhs), his cousin and loyal friend, Prince of Thessalia. He masquerades as Dorus, a shepherd, and pretends to court the homely Mopsa in order to win the hand of the noble Princess Pamela, who is finally persuaded to run away with him.

Basilius

Basilius (beh-SIH-lih-uhs), the ruler of Arcadia, who takes his Queen and their daughters into the country to prevent the fulfillment of an oracle’s prophecy, which he fears portends disaster for him. He betrays both his age and his dignity in his passion for his daughter’s companion, Zelmane.

Gynecia

Gynecia (jih-NEE-shih-uh), his young wife, who suffers agonies of conscience for the desire and jealousy she feels for Pyrocles, whose disguise she has penetrated. Resenting his attentions to Philoclea, she is freed from her passion only after she has almost killed her husband with a love potion intended for Zelmane.

Pamela

Pamela, their stately, reserved older daughter, who is wooed and, after much resistance, won by Musidorus.

Philoclea

Philoclea (fih-lohk-LEE-uh), her sweeter, more submissive sister. She responds quickly to Pyrocles’ love, but she lacks the strength with which Pamela meets difficulties.

Amphialus

Amphialus (am-FI-eh-luhs), Basilius’ warrior nephew, who is spurred on by his ambitious mother and by his love for Philoclea to kidnap the princesses and take over the kingdom. Although he deeply regrets the deaths he causes, he cannot restrain his desire for fighting.

Cecropia

Cecropia (seek-ROH-pih-uh), Amphialus’ ruthless mother, who spurs him on his ambitious path to overthrow her hated brother Basilius.

Philanax

Philanax (fih-LA-naks), regent of Arcadia, a man of intelligence and integrity.

Dametas

Dametas (day-MEE-tuhs), a foolish, arrogant shepherd, Pamela’s guardian.

Miso

Miso (MI-soh), the sharp-tongued, jealous wife of Dametas.

Mopsa

Mopsa (MOP-suh), their homely daughter. Her stupidity makes her a useful cover for the blossoming romance between Musidorus and Pamela.

Argalus

Argalus (AHR-guh-luhs), a worthy young lord and a devoted lover and husband. He dies defending the rights of his cousins, Pamela and Philoclea, against Amphialus.

Parthenia

Parthenia (pahr-THEE-nih-uh), Argalus’ gracious wife. Grief-stricken at his death, she arms herself and fights a fatal duel with Amphialus, unwilling to live without her husband.

Demagoras

Demagoras (deh-MA-guh-ruhs), her vengeful rejected suitor.

Evarchus

Evarchus (eh-VAHR-kuhs), King of Macedon, who is judge in the trial after Basilius’ apparent death. He is deeply grieved to learn that he has condemned his son Pyrocles and his nephew Musidorus, but he insists that he must endure his own suffering and uphold law and order.

Helen

Helen, Queen of Corinth. Enamored of Amphialus, she pursues him over the countryside while adoring his picture. She comes to heal his wounds after his combat with Musidorus.

Philoxenus

Philoxenus (fih-lehk-ZEE-nuhs), a suitor of Helen. Jealous of her attentions to his foster brother, Amphialus, he challenges his rival and dies in the ensuing duel.

Timotheus

Timotheus (tih-MOH-thih-uhs), the father of Philoxenus.

Kalander

Kalander (kah-LAN-dur), an Arcadian gentleman who shelters Musidorus after he has been shipwrecked.

Clitophon

Clitophon (KLI-tuh-fon), his son.

Ismenus

Ismenus (ihs-MEE-nuhs), Amphialus’ devoted squire, killed in a battle with Philanax.

Phalantus

Phalantus (fuh-LAN-tuhs), a Corinthian knight who is persuaded by his selfish lady to defend the supremacy of her beauty against all challengers.

Artesia

Artesia (ahr-TEE-shih-uh), Phalantus’ disdainful lady, who spurns him after he loses a battle. Cecropia makes her a tool in her plot against Basilius and finally has her beheaded.

The King of Paphlagonia

The King of Paphlagonia (pa-fluh-GOH-nee-uh), the model for Gloucester in Shakespeare’s King Lear; a ruler blinded and exiled by his bastard son and aided by his more loyal child.

Leonatus

Leonatus (lee-uh-NAY-tuhs), his devoted son.

Plexirtus

Plexirtus (plehk-SUR-tuhs), the bastard usurper, who tries to kill his virtuous brother.

Tydeus

Tydeus (TI-dih-uhs) and

Telenor

Telenor (teh-LEE-nur), allies of Plexirtus.

Erona

Erona (eh-ROH-nuh), a Lydian princess who defies her father to marry the son of her nurse.

Antiphilus

Antiphilus (an-TIH-fih-luhs), her selfish, treacherous husband.

Tiridates

Tiridates (ti-rih-DAY-teez), the cruel king of Armenia, rejected by Erona.

Artaxia

Artaxia (ahr-TAK-sih-uh), his sister and successor.

Plangus

Plangus (PLAN-guhs), the son of the king of Iberia. He joins Telenor’s army after an unfortunate affair with a married woman. When he returns, he finds her wedded to his father. He later takes refuge in Arcadia.

Andromana

Andromana (an-DROH-muh-nuh), his wanton stepmother.

Pamphilus

Pamphilus (PAM-fih-luhs), a knight despised for his inhuman treatment of women.

Dido

Dido (DI-doh), one of his victims.

Chremes

Chremes (KRAY-meez), her miserly father.

Palladius

Palladius (puh-LA-dih-uhs), Plangus’ half brother, the unlucky lover from whom Musidorus took his pseudonym.

Zelmane

Zelmane (zehl-MAY-nee), his sweetheart, who adored Pyrocles and followed him, in the disguise of a page, until her death.

Clinias

Clinias (KLIH-nih-uhs), a smooth-tongued, crafty shepherd in Cecropia’s service.

Anaxius

Anaxius (eh-NAK-shih-uhs), a powerful, gigantic knight who fought with Amphialus’ army.

Zoilus

Zoilus (ZOY-luhs) and

Lycurgus

Lycurgus (li-KUR-guhs), his brothers, leaders of Amphialus’ army after he is wounded.

Timautus

Timautus (tih-MOH-tuhs), an ambitious nobleman who attempts to oust Philanax.

Sympathus

Sympathus (SIHM-puh-thuhs), Philanax’s articulate supporter.

Kalodulus

Kalodulus (kuh-LOH-joo-luhs), a devoted friend of Musidorus.

Dorilaus

Dorilaus (doh-rih-LAY-uhs), Musidorus’ father, killed in battle.

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