Characters Discussed

(Great Characters in Literature)


Clorin (KLOH-reen), the faithful shepherdess. She lives in a sacred grove beside the tomb of her dead lover, mourning him and cultivating herbs to heal injured shepherds. She finds her chastity a magical defense against all evils of the wood, and her healing arts are effective only when she has purged her patients of lust.


Thenot (tay-NOH), a disillusioned shepherd who loves Clorin for the virtue and constancy that he finds in her alone. He languishes in this passion, which by its very nature cannot be satisfied, until Clorin mercifully decides to free him from it by offering to return his love and forsake her dead sweetheart. His illusions shattered, he leaves her, resolving to choose a lady for her beauty and convinced that no woman can be loved for her merit.


Perigot (pay-ree-GOH), a virtuous young shepherd who gives extravagant assurances of his undying love for Amoret. Deceived by Amaryllis’ transformation, he is horrified to hear her offer herself to him, and he twice wounds the real Amoret, who appears soon afterward, for deceiving him. Clorin restores his faith in his beloved, and they are happily reconciled.


Amoret (AM-oh-reht), Perigot’s sweetheart, whose beauty and innocence win the devotion of a...

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(Great Characters in Literature)

Appleton, William W. Beaumont and Fletcher: A Critical Study. London: George Allen & Unwin, 1956. Appleton equivocates about the merits of The Faithful Shepherdess, but he shows that this play and other tragicomedies, though being hybrids and reflecting a decadent age, are important forerunners of Restoration heroic drama.

Edwards, Philip. “The Danger not the Death: The Art of John Fletcher.” In Jacobean Theatre, edited by John Russell Brown and Bernard Harris. New York: Capricorn Books, 1967. Edwards analyzes what he considers the key elements in Fletcher’s plays: improbable, elaborately complicated plots; prurience; strong scenes; mystification and disguise; and disputation and persuasion.

Ellis-Fermor, Una. The Jacobean Drama: An Interpretation. New York: Vintage Books, 1964. In the chapter on Fletcher and his collaborator Francis Beaumont, Ellis-Fermor treats the tragicomic genre in detail and discusses the strengths and weaknesses of the form in various plays, including The Faithful Shepherdess. Declares that this play has a weak plot but some fine poetry.

Finkelpearl, Philip J. Court and Country Politics in the Plays of Beaumont and Fletcher. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1990. Looking at the plays as dramatic criticisms of the court and monarch, Finkelpearl links Clorin and Pan in The Faithful Shepherdess (which he says is the prototypical Fletcher tragicomedy) with Elizabeth I and James I.

Leech, Clifford. The John Fletcher Plays. London: Chatto & Windus, 1962. Analyzes the pastoral form, language, and poetry of The Faithful Shepherdess, which distinguish it from other Fletcher plays. Shows that Fletcher’s attitude toward human behavior first emerges in this early work. Also discusses similarities between The Faithful Shepherdess and William Shakespeare’s The Tempest (1611).