Angellica is a famous courtesan in Spain. She is the mistress of a once-powerful, deceased Spanish general, and she has returned to Naples to put herself up for sale. Her monthly fee is 1,000 Spanish crowns, and her primary potential suitors are Don Pedro and Don Antonio. Angellica is a beautiful woman, who, we are led to believe, would have no problem securing the monthly fee for which she has put herself on the market. Don Pedro and Don Antonio both agree to pay the sum, however Angellica falls in love with Willmore, to whom she promises her heart. When she discovers that Willmore has not been true to her, she confronts him with a pistol, and threatens to kill him with it.
Belvile is an English colonel who is madly in love with Florinda, a Spanish noblewoman that he met at a siege in Pamplona, where he protected her from danger. He is a generally calm and level-headed man prepared to do nearly anything to be with Florinda. He is sad at the beginning of the play because his prospects of marrying Florinda are grim; he is a poor foreigner competing with a wealthy friend of the family for Florinda’s hand in marriage. However, Belvile remains loyal to Florinda throughout the entirety of the play, and eventually marries her against the wishes of her brother, Pedro (however, Belvile eventually secures his blessing). Florinda is deeply in love with Belvile.
Blunt is a foolish English country gentleman who gets duped by Lucetta, a Spanish whore. Initially, Blunt is the most well-off financially of all the Englishmen (Belvile, Frederick, Willmore); by the end of the play he has lost all of his possessions, right down to his underwear. Throughout the play, Blunt makes obvious the fact that he is an outsider with his attention-grabbing behavior-- he eventually suffers the consequences of this behavior, as he is preyed upon by a practiced tease and thief. It becomes apparent throughout the course of the play that Blunt is a naive and shortsighted character with irrational motives and cruel intentions.
Callis is the governess of Florinda and Hellena. Charged with the oversight of the noble sisters, Callis must make sure that the young ladies stay out of trouble. She is easily convinced to let both Hellena and Florinda attend the Carnival, however, and is easily manipulated later on in the play when Valeria successfully locks her in a chest to keep her from preventing the marriage of Florinda and Belvile.
Don Antonio is the Viceroy’s son. He is a wealthy and young Spaniard who is good friends with Don Pedro, and has been selected by Pedro as a prospective husband for his sister, Florinda. Despite agreeing to marry Flroinda, however, Don Antonio is strongly attracted to Angellica Bianca and makes an effort to purchase the reputed courtesan.
Don Pedro, brother of Florinda and Hellena, is a noble Spaniard and friend of Don Antonio. He is a very controlling brother, set on marrying Florinda to his friend, Antonio, and ensuring that Hellena enters the nunnery. Don Pedro spends much of his time chasing after his two sisters, who continually disobey and evade him. When he is not checking up on his sisters, he puts his energy toward acquiring Angellica Bianca, in whom he takes a notable interest. Initially opposed to either of his sisters marrying Englishmen, he eventually gives in to both of their decisions, granting them his blessing.
Florinda, sister of Hellena and Don Pedro, is a Spanish noblewoman who has been ordered by her father to marry Don Vincentio, a wealthy, old Spanish man. She is outspoken and stubborn, and refuses outright to marry Don Vincentio, whom she hates. Florinda also refuses to marry Don Antonio, the good friend of her brother, Pedro. She is madly in love with Colonel Belvile, an Englishman whom she met in Pamplona, and resolves to marry no one else but him. Florinda is a confident, independent, and stubborn woman. Though not as outspoken as her sister, Hellena, she is nevertheless a very determined woman.
Frederick is an Englishman and friend of Belvile, Blunt, and Willmore. He takes a liking to Valeria, and the two eventually end up together. Frederick proves himself to be a dangerous and cruel character when he agrees to beat and rape Florinda with Blunt toward the end of the play; however, it is also he who puts a stop to the attack when uncertain as to whether she might be Belvile's love.
Hellena, sister of Florinda and Pedro, is a Spanish noblewoman and prospective nun. She is an outspoken, confident, and curious young woman set on making her own decisions. She is very critical of religion and the path that has been chosen for her by her father and brother. Of all the characters, she is most cunning, clever, and boldly defiant. Hellena sets her sights on Willmore, and eventually convinces him to marry her.
Lucetta is a conniving Spanish whore. She cheats Blunt of all of his clothes and belongings.
Moretta is Angellica’s lady in waiting; she gives counsel and attends to the famed courtesan. Moretta is a strong believer in economically advantageous relationships, and disdains Angellica’s decision to give her heart to Willmore for free.
Phillipo is Lucetta’s gallant; he helps her dupe Blunt, and sleeps with her.
Stephano is one of Don Pedro’s servants; he spends most of his time throughout the play either at Pedro’s side, or completing tasks for him.
Sancho is Lucetta's pimp.
Valeria is kinswoman to Florinda. Valeria often accompanies Florinda to the Carnival, and helps her scheme against and hide from her brother, Pedro. Valeria plays an important role distracting Pedro toward the end of the play so that Florinda is able to successfully marry Belvile without her brother’s interference.
Willmore is “The Rover”; he is a man who spends most of his days at sea, moving from place to place without fixed route or destination. It is implied that Charles II is onboard the ship that Willmore captains, which indicates that Willmore is a royalist. Throughout the play he is an inconstant character, committing to one woman, and then moving on to the next moments later. His disloyal character is thus emphasized via his interaction with the women that he encounters throughout the course of the play. He is also a notably hotheaded and rash character, always quick to draw his sword.
The Rover Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for The Rover is a great
resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.