Sganarelle (zgah-nah-REHL), a gentleman entrusted with the guardianship of Isabelle, who was orphaned by the death of her father. Scorning his brother Ariste’s leniency in the upbringing of Léonor, Isabelle’s sister, Sganarelle attempts to govern his ward by severity and keeps her confined at home in preparation for marriage to him. In spite of his surveillance, Isabelle manages to fall in love with Valère and to trick her guardian into arranging a marriage ceremony for her and her lover.
Ariste (ah-REEST), Sganarelle’s brother and the guardian of Isabelle’s sister, Léonor. Disapproving of his brother’s strictness in bringing up his ward, Ariste governs by affection and allows freedom to Léonor, whom he loves enough to leave to her the choice of a husband. Returning from a ball, she declares that she loves only her guardian and wishes to marry him immediately.
Isabelle (ee-zah-BEHL), Sganarelle’s ward. Confined at home and strictly guarded by her guardian, she manages nevertheless to fall in love with Valère. By a series of deceptions, the lovers trick Sganarelle into arranging meetings and, finally, their marriage.
Léonor (lay-oh-NOHR), Isabelle’s sister and Ariste’s ward. Allowed the freedom to come and go at will by her lenient guardian, she learns to love him and confesses her willingness to marry him whenever he wishes.
Valère (vah-LEHR), Isabelle’s lover, with whom she deceives Sganarelle.