The minor characters

Antonelli and Gasparo

Antonelli and Gasparo are friends and confidantes of Lodovico. However, they are not afraid of telling him the truth, as we see in Act 1 scene 1. Lodovico considers that he has been treated unfairly by being banished. However, they point out to him that he had committed murder and that punishment might do him some good:


‘This gentle penance may both end your crimes
And in the example better these bad times.'

This does not mean that they are admirable characters. They join the conspiracy between Lodovico and Francisco to take vengeance on Vittoria and Brachiano. Gasparo also takes part alongside Lodovico in the murders of Brachiano, Flamineo, Vittoria and Zanche.

Pedro and Carlo

Pedro and Carlo are attendants of Lodovico who take part in the murders of Brachiano, Vittoria, Flamineo and Zanche.


Hortensio is an attendant of Brachiano. He overhears Francisco and Lodovico plotting vengeance and alerts Giovanni's forces so that Lodovico is brought to justice.

Doctor Julio and the Conjuror

Doctor Julio is a quack doctor who provides Brachiano with the poison he uses to kill Isabella. The conjuror produces the two Dumb Shows in Act 2 scene 2 which allow Brachiano and the audience to witness the murders of Isabella and Camillo.

The ambassadors

Ambassadors from various countries are present in some of the public scenes of the play, particularly the trial of Vittoria and the election of the pope. They are there as witnesses that everything proceeds fairly.

In the trial scene the English ambassador remarks that Vittoria ‘hath a brave spirit' adding some objective moral judgement to the very biased trial. The English ambassador, in particular, represents justice. He appears again at the end leading the guards against Lodovico and his fellow conspirators, whilst protecting young Giovanni.

The presence of the ambassadors en masse adds spectacle to the public scenes. They may also be part of the ‘and others' who are said to be present at Vittoria and Brachiano's wedding in the stage directions of Act 5 scene 1.

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