Micio (MEE-shee-oh), an easygoing Athenian bachelor. After adopting Aeschinus, the son of his austere brother Demea, he becomes an indulgent, permissive parent. His wise handling of Aeschinus’ escapades finally convinces his brother of the wisdom of ruling by kindness rather than by fear.
Demea (DEE-mee-uh), Micio’s unyielding brother, who is dedicated to strict discipline in the upbringing of children. He is the father of Ctesipho, and his severity makes the boy fearful of his parent. Learning through experience the folly of trying to rule by fear, he tries leniency and generosity, to the gratification of all concerned.
Aeschinus (EHS-kih-nehs), the son of Demea adopted by Micio. A report that Aeschinus has entered a house and abducted a woman causes the distressed foster father to be accused of parental overindulgence. When the break-in is finally and satisfactorily explained, the foster father’s leniency is justified and Aeschinus is permitted to marry Pamphila.
Ctesipho (TEH-sih-foh), Demea’s son. He is in love with a slave girl he cannot afford to buy. Angered by his father’s severity, he, with the help of his brother Aeschinus, abducts the girl in defiance of parental restraint. His father, finally realizing the error of his disciplinary methods, gives his approval to Ctesipho’s passion.
Sostrata (SOHS-trah-tuh), Pamphila’s mother.
Pamphila (PAM-fih-leh), Sostrata’s daughter, loved by Aeschinus.
Sannio (SA-nee-oh), a slave dealer.
Hegio (HEE-jee-oh), an old Athenian and a friend of Demea.
Syrus (SIH-ruhs) and
Phrygia (FRIH-jee-uh), slaves freed by Micio.