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Last Updated on May 7, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 201

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Characters Discussed


Leander (lee-ahn-DEHR), a rogue with gentlemanly qualities who impersonates a rich, mysterious nobleman. Although he is in love with Silvia, he does not want to marry her under false pretenses.


Crispin (krees-PEEN), Leander’s accomplice, who pretends to be his servant. He arranges Leander’s marriage by playing the self-interest of one creditor against another.

Silvia Polichinelle

Silvia Polichinelle (poh-lee-chee-NEHL-yeh), a rich young woman who convinces Leander that they are united by the greatest bond of interest, love.

Signor Polichinelle

Signor Polichinelle, Silvia’s miserly father, who is forced to agree to the marriage and dowry.

Signora Polichinelle

Signora Polichinelle, Silvia’s mother, who despises her husband as a vulgar tradesman.

Doña Sirena

Doña Sirena (see-REH-nah), an aristocratic but penniless widow who foresees making money for arranging Silvia’s marriage.


Columbine (koh-lewm-BEE-neh), the maid and confidante of Doña Sirena. She is won over by Crispin.

An innkeeper

An innkeeper, who is deceived by Crispin’s rudeness into thinking that Leander is an important noble.


Harlequin, an impoverished poet in love with Columbine and befriended by Crispin in the name of Leander.

A captain

A captain, a down-at-the-heels rogue, also befriended by Crispin.




Critical Essays