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Dramatis Personae

Chorus[1]: RAYNULPH, [2] monk of Chester
CONSTANTIUS, King of the Britons
VORTIGER
HENGIST, King of Kent
AURELIUS and UTHER, brothers to Constantius
HORSUS
[3]
DEVONSHIRE and STAFFORD, two lords
LUPUS and GERMANUS,
[4] two monks
CASTIZA,
[5] daughter to Devonshire
ROXENA, daughter to Hengist
Two LADIES
SIMON, a tanner, Mayor of Quinborough
OLIVER, a fustian
[6] weaver
Three GRAZIERS
GLOVER
BARBER
TAILOR
FELLMONGER
[7]
BUTTONMONGER
Honeysuckle, a BRAZIER
Petitioners
GENTLEMEN
[8]
AMINADAB, a clerk
FOOTMAN
SAXONS, soldiers, captain, guard, and officers
MONKS
Villains
[9]
Vortimer, son of Vortiger
British lords
CHEATERS,
[10] including a CLOWN

NOTES

[1] "The rhymed choruses and the two songs in the play are written in the rather stilted and artificial complimentary style which Middleton adopted for his civic shows and entertainments, and which is easily distinguishable from the more direct and natural style of his plays" (Bald). The rhymed couplets in iambic tetrameter and the occasional archaic spelling are meant to evoke the antique style of earlier chroniclers.
[2] Raynulph Higden (d. 1364), Benedictine monk in the Abbey of St. Werburg, Chester. The Polychronicon, largely a compilation of others' writings, was a historical account of the world from the Creation to his own present time.
[3] Spelled Hersus in the text and Hers. in the speech prefixes, although spelled Horsus in the d.p. I have preferred this more traditional spelling.
[4] St. Germain (378?-448), Bishop of Auxerre, is supposed to have visited Britain in 429 and 447, accompanied by Lupus, who was also canonized, in order to combat the spread of Pelagianism, which denied the doctrine of Original Sin, and asserted that of their own free will humans are capable of good without the assistance of the grace of God.
[5] Her name means chaste. According to Bromham and Bruzzi's The Changeling and the Years of Crisis, 1619-1624 (1990), which examines the politic subtexts of Middleton's later plays, she may be seen to represent the Church of England in her rejection by Vortiger (read James I) and his embracing of Roxena, the "foreign invader" (read Church of Rome). Also cf. Margot Heinemann's Puritanism and Theatre: TM and Opposition Drama under the Early Stuarts (1980).
[6] thick, twilled cotton and flax cloth; the word became an adjective describing speech full of inflated, high-sounding words and phrases, which Simon puns on when he alludes to Oliver's "fustian fume"
[7] a dealer in animal skins and hides, especially sheepskins, and sometimes wool. Feltmonger (Q), but as Bald explains, "the N.E.D., however, does not record the word, and the usual term for a maker of and dealer in felt was 'felter."
[8] The various unnamed gentlemen in this play include: 1) two gentlemen in Constantius's court, whose ambitious characters distinguish them from the other gentlemen and are comic foils for Constantius, 2) one from Vortiger's court in II.ii and II.iii, and who has sided with Aurelius in V.ii, 3) the "Gentleman Saxon" identified as such in L, who appears in II.iii, III.iii, IV.iii, and V.i, and 4) one who escorts Castiza onto the stage in V.ii but has no lines.
[9] the murderers of Constantius; like Vortimer, they appear only in a dumb show.
[10] in Thieves' Cant, those who win money by false dice; cf. The Roaring Girl V.i. Although only two Cheaters besides the Clown have lines, there are likely to be more of them, especially if they are posing as a troupe of players. Variations between L and Q call attention to this issue: In L, the Second Cheater's first line in The Cheater and the Clown and Simon's subsequent remark refer to the plural "fellows in arms"; in Q it is singular.

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