The handsome, witty, and devilish protagonist, Dorimant loves the thrill and drama of chasing women but does not want to settle down until he meets his match in Harriet. He is defended by most who know him, although despised by his scorned mistresses, Mrs. Loveit and Belinda. He loves games, flirtation, and disguise, but is a cogent enough critic to recognize another game-player -- Fopling -- goes too far. While not necessarily likeable, it is difficult not to admire Dorimant.
More or less a stand-in for the audience and the playwright, Medley is friends with all of the players but is outside the drama himself. He is witty, wise, and wry, and knows everything that is going on. He is a defender of Dorimant and a critic of Fopling, a supporter of the pairs of lovers, and a smart commentator on events and people.
The father to Young Bellair and brother of Lady Townley, he is an old-fashioned, crass, and crotchety old man. He betroths his son to Harriet and vows to disinherit him if he refuses to marry her; he flirts cruelly with Emilia, his son's actual love. He accepts the reality of the situation by the end of the play, and gregariously invites all to dine with him.
The son of Old Bellair and nephew of Lady Townley, he is secretly engaged to Emilia and later marries her against his father's wishes. He is is more religious and upstanding in his behavior than his friends.
Sir Fopling Flutter
A fop of the most pronounced fashion, Fopling arrives in town and amuses the main characters. He is excessively mannered, artificial, and concerned with his appearance. He feigns humility but is very proud of what he takes to be his strengths. He lacks wisdom and perspicacity. Regardless, he is kind enough, and those around him only tease him gently. He falls for Mrs. Loveit.
A young and beautiful woman secretly engaged (and later secretly married) to Young Bellair. Lady Townley supports her. Her husband's father behaves roguishly toward her. She is also a friend of Harriet's, and a supporter of Dorimant.
A wild, beautiful, and artifice-free young woman who admires Dorimant for his wit and manners. While she does not like to play games, she initially tries to hide her feelings from him in order to test his devotion. She is independently wealthy, but lives in the country. She is well-mannered but rather callous, which is why she is an excellent match for the wily Dorimant.
A passionate and bitter mistress of Dorimant, she flies into a rage and vows revenge when she learns he no longer wants to be with her. She is old-fashioned in that she adheres to outdated codes of chivalry and courtship, which is why she feels so betrayed by him. She is eventually chastened by Harriet, her rival.
Dorimant's young mistress who is first gleefully game to hurt Mrs. Loveit in order to please Dorimant, but eventually comes to feel that he is a terrible person, with whom she does not wish to associate. She is self-serving and does not wish Mrs. Loveit to find out that she is responsible for any of the plot to make her upset.
Harriet's conservative, old-fashioned, and snooty mother. She nurses a hatred of Dorimant, whom she has never met, on the basis of his reputation. She wants her daughter to marry Young Bellair. When she finds out Mr. Courtage is actually Dorimant, she is angry, but eventually comes to accept the others' good impression of him.
Old Bellair's sister, Young Bellair's aunt, and Emilia's friend, with whom she lives. She is wealthy, sociable, and promotes the secret marriage of Emilia and Young Bellair.
Mrs. Loveit's waiting woman, who staunchly defends her mistress and rails against Dorimant.
Harriet's waiting woman, who teases her about loving Dorimant.
A man whom Medley and Dorimant mock at the beginning of the play.
A woman who sells fruit; she tells Dorimant she knows a young woman (Harriet) who finds him attractive and interesting.
The parson who marries Emilia and Young Bellair in secret.
A valet de chambre to Dorimant.
The Man of Mode Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for The Man of Mode is a great
resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.