The king of Rhodes
The king of Rhodes, who is to all appearances a just, if undistinguished, ruler. He is, in fact, a man who does not scruple to use those around him ruthlessly for his own ends. He brings bloody death upon himself by his dishonoring of Evadne and by his despicable treatment of Amintor, a courtier.
Evadne (eh-VAD-nee), a noblewoman, mistress to the king, who arranges her marriage to Amintor. She shows herself almost completely self-centered in the opening scenes, in which she coldly reveals her duplicity to her husband and tells him that she is simply using him to conceal her relationship with the king. The force with which she vows to be his wife in name only suggests the strength of character that makes her a tragic figure. Confronted by her brother with the dishonor she has brought upon herself, her husband, and her family, she recoils in horror from the hell in which she has placed herself, begs forgiveness of Amintor, and resolves to “redeem one minute of my age or, like another Niobe . . . weep till I am water.” She finds this redemption in tying the king to his bed and stabbing him to death as she accuses him of villainy. When she returns to her husband, she feels herself purged, free at last to offer herself as his wife. Death is the only recourse left to her when Amintor, horrified by the slaying of an anointed king, repulses her.
Amintor (eh-MIHN-tohr), Evadne’s ill-used husband. He is, from the moment of his marriage,...
(The entire section is 660 words.)