STUFF THAT HAPPENS BEFORE THE PLAY
Ptolemy, the King of Egypt, banishes Duke Cleanthes,
whom the Queen loves.
STUFF THAT HAPPENS IN THE PLAY
- Queen Aegiale visits Irus, the Blind Beggar of Alexandria, seeking advice to find her love Cleanthes.
- After she leaves, Irus reveals that he is Cleanthes – and also Count Hermes and Leon the usurer. In reality is he is a trickster fortune-teller and master of disguise.
- Three beautiful sisters – Elimine, Samathis, and Martia – visit Irus to have their fortunes told. Irus gives them false fortunes that will benefit him and his brother Pego.
- As the “mad-brain” Count Hermes, the trickster woos and wins Elimine from another suitor, the Spaniard Bragadino.
- As the rich usurer Leon, the trickster woos and wins Samathis.
- Pego (disguised as the Burgomaster) weds Martia.
- The trickster and Pego scam a rich lord.
- The sisters argue about who has the best husband.
- For sport, the trickster seduces each sister in the other guise.
- Miracles, war, murder, kings, babies, and more tricks ensue.