Fantomina is the first identity the novel's unnamed protagonist takes on. Fantomina is a playhouse prostitute. This is opposite of who the protagonist really is, because the protagonist comes from a distinguished family. She assumes this identity out of curiosity about how freely the prostitutes can speak to men without being judged. Thinking that she is an actual prostitute, Beauplasir rapes her and then he leaves for Bath when he gets tired of Fantomina.
Celia is the identity the protagonist embodies after Beauplasir moves to Bath. The protagonist follows him and assumes the role of Celia, a country girl working as a maid. She seduces Beauplasir (even though he doesn't realize he's being seduced). Beauplasir quickly grows tired of Celia and departs again.
This is the third disguise the protagonist uses. Mrs. Bloomer is a traveling widow. Beauplasir uses her "grief" to his advantage and "seduces" her (quotes around seduces because he technically is not the one doing the seducing: it was the protagonist's plan all along). They have sex many times (including when they stop for a while at an inn).
The final disguise the protagonist assumes. Incognita is a masked lady. Her ambiguity/mystery signifies a very high-class woman, and in his encounters with her, Beauplaisir is aware that he is being deceived.
Beauplaisir is a wealthy, handsome, aristocratic man. He is a rake who is accustomed to pursuing sexual pleasure and then discarding women when he tires of them. However, he cannot read between the lines, and therefore gets seduced multiple times by the same woman without realizing it. The woman gets away with seducing him by wearing a series of disguises. He eventually gets her pregnant before she is forced to live in a monastery.
The protagonist's mother
The mother of the protagonist abruptly appears late in the novel when she learns that her daughter is misbehaving. She is very shrewd and observant, which makes it difficult for the protagonist to conceal her pregnancy. She is also interested in preserving norms and social conventions, and hopes that she can conceal the illegitimate pregnancy by quickly arranging a marriage between her daughter and Beauplaisir.
The protagonist's aunt
At the beginning of the novel, the protagonist is being supervised by her aunt. However, the aunt is easily fooled and does not place any constraints on her behavior, which leaves the protagonist free to pursue her own desires.
Fantomina Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for Fantomina is a great
resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.