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Important character descriptions: Sir Arthur Clarington.
A wealthy knight and the employer of Frank Thorney and Winifred. He has a secret affair with Winifred, and when she gets pregnant, he pushes Frank to marry her in order to cover his own indiscretion.Old Thorney.
Frank Thorney’s father. He is a gentleman who has mortgaged all of his lands. He pushes his son to marry Susan Carter in order to escape his financial difficulties.Old Carter.
The father of Susan Carter and Katherine Carter. He is a wealthy farmer who uses his daughters’ marriages as means to improve his social status.Old Banks.
The father of Cuddy Banks. He beats Mother Sawyer at the beginning of the play for gathering sticks on his land.Warbeck.
Suitor to Susan Carter. A stuffy scholar. He becomes bitter when Susan chooses Frank Thorney over him.Somerton.
Suitor to Katherine Carter.Frank Thorney.
Old Thorney’s son. He marries Winifred because he thinks she is pregnant with his child, enters into a second bigamous marriage with Susan, murders Susan as he attempts to escape with the dowry money, and is eventually executed for his crimes.Young Cuddy Banks.
Old Banks’ son (the clown). A country yokel and Morris-dancer. He makes friends with the Devil-Dog, but due to his innocence and ignorance, he proves incorruptible.Old Ratcliffe.
The husband of Anne Ratcliffe, a woman who is driven insane by the Devil-Dog at Mother Sawyer’s behest.Justice.
The local Justice of the Peace. He passes judgment on Frank Thorney and Mother Sawyer at the end of the play.Dog.
A devil or spirit who has assumed the form of a black dog. Sometimes called ‘Tom’. He performs mischievous acts for Mother Sawyer after she promises her soul to him. He can only be seen by Mother Sawyer and Cuddy Banks.Mother Sawyer
(Elizabeth Sawyer). The ‘witch’ of Edmonton. At the beginning of the play, she is merely a poor old decrepit woman, but she makes a deal with a devil to get revenge on her neighbors when they treat her poorly and accuse her of using witchcraft to spoil their crops and kill their livestock.Anne Ratcliffe.
Old Ratcliffe’s wife. At Mother Sawyer’s bequest, the Devil-Dog drives her insane and causes her to beat her own brains out.Susan Carter.
Old Carter’s eldest daughter. She chooses to marry Frank Thorney rather than Warbeck. Frank murders her when she tries to follow him as he escapes with the dowry money.Katherine Carter.
Old Carter’s younger daughter. She is wooed by and agrees to marry Somerton. While nursing Frank back to health, she finds the bloody knife he used to murder her sister Susan, thereby revealing Frank’s guilt.Winifred.
Sir Arthur Clarington’s maid and Frank Thorney’s first wife. Sir Arthur gets her pregnant and offers Frank money to marry her. When Frank flees after his second marriage, she travels with him disguised as his boy-servant.
I would suggest you reading this short summary of the play too: http://www.rsc.org.uk/whats-on/the-witch-of-edmonton/synopsis.aspx
Prologue, Dramatis Personae and Act I
Dramatis Personae: Major Male Parts:
Sir Arthur Clarington (1.1, 3.4, 4.1, 5.2)
Old Thorney (1.2, 3.3, 5.2)
Carter (1.2, 2.2, 3.3, 4.1, 5.2)
Warbeck (1.2, 2.2, 3.3, 4.1, 5.2)
Somerton (1.2, 2.2, 3.3, 4.1, 5.2)
Frank (1.1, 1.2, 2.2, 3.2, 3.3, 4.1, 5.2)
Old Banks (2.1, 4.1, 5.2)
Cuddy Banks (2.1, 3.1, 3.4, 5.1)
Dog, aka Tom (2.1, 3.1, 3.3, 4.1, 5.1) Major Female Roles:
Mother Elizabeth Sawyer (2.1, 4.1, 5.1, 5.2)
Susan (1.2, 2.2, 3.2, 3.3)
Katherine (1.2, 4.1, 5.2) - (also read Spirit, 3.1)
Winnifred (1.1, 3.2, 4.1, 5.2)Minor Roles:
First Clown (2.1, 3.1, 3.4)
Second Clown (2.1, 3.1, 3.4)
Third Clown (2.1, 3.1, 3.4 - read all)
Fourth Clown (2.1, 3.1, 3.4 - read all)
First Countryman (4.1, 5.2)
Second Countryman (4.1)
Third Countryman (4.1)
Justice (4.1, 5.2)
Constable (3.4) Note: Some of these parts will be doubled up!
Justice / Constable
First Clown / First Countryman
Second Clown / Second Countryman
Third Clown / Third Countryman
Fourth Clown / Sawgut
Old Thorney / Hamluc
You must read both roles!