Orlando Characters

Orlando Character List


Orlando is the main character of the book. In the beginning, Orlando is a young man coming from a noble family who dreams of exploring the world and having many adventures. Orlando’s life is a continuous quest for fulfillment but he is unable to find happiness that lasts for more than a few years. Orlando is changed into a woman and that allows her to experience the world through a man’s eye and through a woman’s. Orlando finds love but it never lasts long enough. For her, literature is the only thing that is stable in her life and she always comes back to it.

Marmaduke Bonthrop Shelmerdine

Shel is the man who finds Orlando near the lake after she broke her ankle. Orlando and Shel fall in love and they get engaged almost immediately. After Shel finds that Orlando was a man, he confesses that he is not a man but a woman in disguise. They spend a little time together but Shel leaves when the winds change meaning that she has to sail again. Just like in the case of many other characters, Shel is torn between her love for Orlando and her love for the sea.

The Countess of R-

The Countess of R- is a wealthy woman in London. She is known for organizing lavish parties and Orlando goes to her parties as well. It is during her parties that Orlando meets with Pope and other influential writers.


Nelly is a prostitute who mistakes Orlando to be a man. Nelly meets Orlando in a park and when she finds that Orlando is a woman, Nelly tales Orlando with her anyway.


Pope is one of the characters that appear in the novel. He is the British writer Pope with whom Orlando meets while she is in London. Pope ends up disappointing Orlando because she had high expectations for him but he ended up being the complete opposite of what she expected. Instead of being the great writer of the age, his appearance and his manner disappointed her greatly.


Sasha is a Russian princes Orlando meets during the great frost. Orlando sees her one day skating on the frozen lake and he is immediately attracted by her power and masculinity. They begin a relationship but Sasha grows tired of Orlando soon thus proving that Sasha is a dynamic character, interested in adventures and excitement. If Orlando is unable to provide those things for her, then for Sasha Orlando becomes useless. In the end, Sasha runs away with another man, breaking Orlando’s hart.

Nick Green

Nick Green is a writer whom Orlando admires. However, Nick Green proves to be the complete opposite of what Orlando expected him to be. Mr. Green is bitter and unhappy with the situation he is in while also considering that there are no great writers in his time and that all the great writers are dead. After he meets with Orlando, Green writes a parody based on Orlando’s character which pushes Orlando to stop wanting to maintain


Euphrosyne is the woman Orlando chooses to marry while he is at court. He chooses Euphrosyne because she is the member of a noble family and because he believes that her status will help him as well. The relationship between Orlando and her doesn’t lasts long however because Orlando cheats on her with Sasha.

Queen Elizabeth I

Queen Elizabeth I is the first female character that appears in the biography. She meets Orlando for the first time when he was just sixteen and was enchanted by him. A few years later, she made him her steward and treasurer thus offering him a privileged position. It is hinted that maybe the Queen liked him more than just a servant and it is because of this that she got mad when she found Orlando kissing another girl. The Queen died after a few years after Orlando’s arrival at the court and her successor was King James I.


Sukey is a woman of questionable character with whom Orlando was caught with by the Earl of Cumberland.

King Charles II

The narrator mentions another King in the second chapter, shortly after she tells the reader that King James was the deceased Queen’s successor. About King Charles it is said that he is the one who sent Orlando to Constantinople as an ambassador.

Rosina Pepita

Rosina is a dancer mentioned in the third chapter of the book. It is also mentioned that Orlando married her and then sneaked her into his house.

The Lady of Purity

The Lady of Purity is one of the spirits that appear in Orlando’s room in Constantinople and try to claim him.

The Lady of Chastity

The Lady of Chastity is another spirit who appears in Orlando’s room and tries to claim him but is unsuccessful.

The Lady of Modesty

The Lady of Modesty is one of the three spirits who appeared in Orlando’s room and tried to claim him.

Captain Nicholas Benedict Bartolus

He is the captain on the ship that takes Orlando from Constantinople to England.


Harriet is a Romanian archduchess and a cousin with the Queen with whom Orlando falls in love with. Because of her, he asks the King to send him to Constantinople. When Orlando returns back to England, he meets Harriet again but finds that Harriet is actually a man named Harry who wanted to get close to Orlando. Since Orlando changed into a woman, Harry revealed his true gender. Harry asks Orlando to marry him but gives up on the idea after he realizes that they don’t have many things in common.

The Earl of Cumberland

The Earl is a servant at the Queen court who one day stumbles upon Orlando in a compromising position with a girl called Sukey.

King James I

King James is the successor of Queen Elizabeth I. After he comes at the court, Orlando loses the King’s favor and he is exiled.


Clorinda is one of the girls Orlando thought to marry with but decided against it when he realized that Clorinda was trying to change who he was by reforming him of his sins.


Favilla is another girl Orlando considered as being a suitable match for him. Orlando changes his opinion about her after he sees her whipping a spaniel.

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