(Great Characters in Literature)

Characters Discussed


Lorenzo (loh-REHN-zoh), the kinsman of Duke Alexander of Florence. Eager to unseat Alexander and succeed him, Lorenzo uses the ruler’s lustful attraction for Amidea to lure her brothers into a plot against the duke. Foiled at first, he tries again and kills Alexander when the duke comes to visit Amidea, who is already dead. He himself is killed by Amidea’s angered brother.


Alexander, the young duke of Florence. Forgetting safety of person and security of position, the young duke is absorbed by his pursuit of Amidea. When he realizes that she died rather than submit to him, he welcomes death.


Amidea (ah-MEE-deh-ah), a chaste young woman who is betrothed to Pisano and is the innocent and unwilling object of Alexander’s lust. She shames the duke into repenting at first, then dies at the hands of Sciarrha rather than be shamed.


Sciarrha (skee-AHR-rah) and


Florio (FLOH-ree-oh), her brothers and avengers. Allied with Lorenzo, Sciarrha murders Pisano and kills his own sister rather than let her be shamed. After Duke Alexander’s murder, Sciarrha kills Lorenzo but is himself mortally wounded.


Pisano (pee-ZAH-noh), a young man who is betrothed to Amidea. Influenced by Petruchio and Lorenzo, Pisano breaks his marriage contract with Amidea to marry Oriana and is murdered by Sciarrha.


Cosmo, his friend. To please Pisano, Cosmo breaks his engagement to Oriana. After the bloodbath, Cosmo assumes the rule of Florence.


Oriana (oh-ree-AH-nah), who is loved by Pisano. She was formerly betrothed to Cosmo.


Morosa (moh-ROH-sah), Oriana’s mother.


Petruchio (peh-TREW-kee-oh), Pisano’s servant, hired by Lorenzo to help kill Duke Alexander.


Depazzi (deh-PAHZ-zee), one of Lorenzo’s conspirators.