What the Butler Saw Characters

Joe Orton

Characters Discussed

(Great Characters in Literature)

Dr. Prentice

Dr. Prentice, a middle-aged psychiatrist. Prentice is an unscrupulous man who does not hesitate to use his position as a doctor to seduce Geraldine Barclay, who is applying for a job as his secretary. He also refuses to tell the truth, despite the trouble this causes Geraldine with Dr. Rance. It was this same lustful lack of scruples that led him to interfere with an unknown chambermaid at the Station Hotel many years before, resulting in her conception of Geraldine and Nick.

Dr. Rance

Dr. Rance, a psychiatrist sent from the government to check on how psychiatric clinics are being run. He is a brutal, power-mad doctor, and he tries to certify everybody as insane, though it is obvious that he is the only one who is truly mad.

Mrs. Prentice

Mrs. Prentice, Dr. Prentice’s wife. During a brief stint as a chambermaid at the Station Hotel, she was raped in a linen cupboard during a power outage (hence her inability to recognize her attacker as her fiancé, Dr. Prentice). She is a blasé, disillusioned woman who belongs to a lesbian women’s group. The failure of the Prentices’ marriage is attributed to the fact that Mrs. Prentice refused to consummate their marriage during their wedding night.

Nicholas (Nick) Beckett

Nicholas (Nick) Beckett, a page boy from the Station Hotel, now an applicant for the job as Dr. Prentice’s secretary. Nick is an...

(The entire section is 466 words.)


(Drama for Students)

Geraldine Barclay
Geraldine is the daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Prentice and the sister of Nick. At the beginning of the play, she...

(The entire section is 1011 words.)