The Queen City Mischief and Magic Festival is here!
To celebrate, we sorted some of our Summer/Fall Season characters into Hogwarts houses.
Rosalind – Gryffindor
“Do you not know I am a woman? When I think, I must speak.” (Rosalind, 3.2)
Gryffindors are known first and foremost for their bravery, next and secondarily for their (often dangerously reckless) impulsivity: they go all-in on big ideas and grand gestures without necessarily thinking through all the ramifications of their actions. Sound like anyone you know? Don’t let her love of words fool you – despite some strong Ravenclaw tendencies, Rosalind is a total Gryffindor. She never hesitates or does anything halfway. Falling in love? Head first. Running away? Cross-dressed and dragging a clown. That house is for sale? Bought it. You want a wedding? HOW ‘BOUT FOUR.
Celia – Hufflepuff
“Rosalind lacks then the love
Which teacheth thee that thou and I am one.
Shall we be sunder’d? Shall we part, sweet girl?
No, let my father seek another heir.
Therefore devise with me how we may fly.” (Celia, 1.3)
Celia’s staunch, unwavering loyalty marks her as a clear Hufflepuff. It doesn’t hurt that she’s also kind, open, perceptive, realistic, grounded, goofy, and honest – Hufflepuff traits, all. And a good thing, too – Celia’s dependability is the perfect counterpart to her cousin Rosalind’s impulsivity. She’s the perfect scene partner, setting Rosalind up for all the hijinks the pair encounter together. Remember, Celia is the one who suggests they run away to the Forest of Arden in the first place. Rosalind’s contribution is to complicate the plan in order to up the intrigue value (such a Gryffindor move), a pattern that repeats throughout the play.
Orlando – Gryffindor
“The spirit of my Father, which I think is within me, begins to mutiny against this servitude. I will no longer endure it, though yet I know no wise remedy how to avoid it.” (Orlando, 1.1)
“Speak you so gently? Pardon me, I pray you,
I thought that all things had been savage here,
And therefore put I on the countenance
Of stern commandment.” (Orlando, 2.3)
Orlando is the most Gryffindoriest Gryffindor to ever Gryffin. He and Rosalind are perfectly suited that way: both too brave to be smart, both stubborn to a fault, both jumping in headfirst without hesitation to any situation they encounter. Orlando literally charges into burning buildings for the sake of honor. He fights a serpent and a lioness in order to save the evil brother who tried to have him killed. He assumes anyone he meets in the forest will be savage and rather than inquire he comes in stabbing. Quick to rile and quicker to strike, Orlando’s heroic tendencies might veer towards the Slytherin side of things if he weren’t so pure of spirit and bereft of guile. At the end of the day, Orlando’s just a boy in love who won’t back down from a righteous fight.
Emma – Ravenclaw
“I lay it down as a general rule, Harriet, that if a woman doubts as to whether she should accept a man, she certainly ought to refuse him.”
Perhaps a bit too young and immature to be considered wise, Emma Woodhouse nevertheless displays the quickness of wit and general intellectual facility of a true Ravenclaw. Her smarts are her silent, omnipresent partner in crime, a constant contrast to her blunders. She reasons herself into all sorts of corners, and her ability to do so makes her foibles all the more baffling. How can this insanely smart girl, who can solve a riddle before she finishes reading it, be so stupid when it comes to what’s right in front of her? Well… Ravenclaws aren’t exactly prized for their emotional intelligence – which may actually explain why Emma has such a hard time understanding her own feelings. She’s just too darn book-smart to understand that what works in theory and principle hardly ever falls out that way in practice – especially when it comes to affairs of the heart.
Harriet – Hufflepuff
“The summerhouse overlooks the fields where the cows graze. They have eight cows, one a little Welsh cow, a very pretty little Welsh cow — and Mr. Martin said, as I was so fond of it, it should be called my cow.“ (Harriet 1.2)
“Mr. Weston spoke of it to Mrs. Cole, who mentioned it to Miss Nash – and I saw Miss Nash, you know, on my walk here, and as she knows I am your intimate friend, she asked me if I knew anything of Frank Churchill’s attachment to you. Now, of course, even if I did know something I should not say it to her – I would take your secrets to the grave – but I was forced to tell her that I know nothing at all.” (Harriet, 3.3)
Harriet is a more pathetic version of Celia. She’s sweet and loyal and open and just not all that bright, really. Her tastes are homey and simple – a vibe common amongst Hufflepuffs – and she would be totally content to stay however she is were it not for the meddling of her overthinking Ravenclaw companion, Emma. Hufflepuffs also love animals, and Harriet’s affection for the “little Welsh cow” she grew attached to during her stay at the Martins’ farm further supports her sorting.
Richard III – Slytherin
“Since I cannot prove a lover…
I am determined to prove a villain.” (Richard III, 1.1)
“I am subtle, false, and treacherous” (Richard III, 1.1)
“The secret mischiefs that I set abroach
I lay unto the grievous charge of others.
And thus do I clothe my naked villainy
With odd old ends stol’n forth of Holy Writ,
And seem a saint, when most I play the devil.” (Richard III, 1.3)
Not all villains are Slytherins, and not all Slytherins are villains. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, Richard III embodies the textbook trope of the Slytherin Villain so thoroughly we should probably just call him Voldemort. Yes, he’s ambitious – he tells us in Henry VI, Part 3 he wishes his older brothers would quit popping out heirs to “cross me from the golden time I look for” and admits “I’ll make my heaven to dream upon the crown… and yet, I know not how to get the crown / for many lives stand between me and home” (3.2) Since he’s not actually next (or third or fourth or fifth) in line for the crown, he resolves to kill everyone ahead of him or die trying, and that’s where we pick up with him at the start of Richard III. He values loyalty, but not like a Hufflepuff; he’s more concerned with who’s loyal to him (and who isn’t) and what he can get from his loyalty to others rather than what he can do for them. As he points out to Queen Elizabeth in Act One, Scene Three: “Ere you were Queen, ay, or your husband king, / I was a pack-horse in his great affairs… to royalize his blood, I spent my own” (1.3). He’s evil, absolutely, no doubt about it, but that’s not what makes him a Slytherin – his ambition, his cunning, and his determination set (and sort) him apart.
Margaret – Ravenclaw
“O, that your young nobility could judge
What ‘twere to lose it and be miserable.” (Margaret 1.3)
“Teach me to be your queen and you my subjects;
Oh, serve me well and teach yourselves that duty.” (Margaret 1.3)
Margaret goes through a lot in the full tetralogy – you could maybe argue a different House for each of the plays (Hufflepuff – Part 1, Slytherin – Part 2, Gryffindor – Part 3). But in Richard III, it’s the end of the line and she achieves a zen-like Ravenclaw wisdom in the twilight of her story. Other characters flock to her to learn from her misfortunes. After everything she’s been through, all she has to show for it is a collection of lessons learned. I also think that Margaret is, overall, a Ravenclaw. Her wisdom is long in the making, but her love of learning and intellectual facility are present throughout the first tetralogy. Even as a Hufflepuff, she’s rapid-fire in her repartee with Suffolk in part 1. Even as a Slytherin, she’s not overly or overtly ambitious: she only schemes to keep what she already has or what she perceives to be hers by right, never to advance herself further. Even as a Gryffindor, she expresses her passionate furies and sorrows with unmistakable logos; a ribbon of rhetorical reason runs through the fabric of her speeches. For example, her speech to York on the mole-hill touches every possible exposed nerve: dead children, bloody napkins, decapitation. One could hardly classify the subject matter as reasonable. And yet, the argument boils down to a simple, totally logical formula: we had a deal, and you went back on it, and I will (Shylock-like) have my bond. She walks us through the argument so cleanly that even her uses of pathos feel more like weirdly meta-pathetic appeals to the idea of pathos than anything else. Her overriding traits are Ravenclaw ones.
Sir Fopling Flutter – Gryffindor
“Would thou hadst spent the last winter in Paris with me. When thou wert there, La Corneus and Sallyes were the only habitudes we had; a comedian would have been a bonne fortune. No stranger ever passed his time so well as I did some months before I came over. I was well received in a dozen families, where all the women of quality used to visit. I have intrigues to tell thee more pleasant than ever thou read’st in a novel.” (Sir Fopling, 4.2)
Gryffindors love to stand out, and their individualism tends to nudge them towards prominent positions of leadership. Or sometimes, as the case may be, towards prominent positions of… well, prominence. Sir Fopling Flutter is certainly prominent, and he lets you know it. No one dresses like Fopling, no one excesses like Fopling, and no one expresses their own excellences like Fopling. Such self-assured confidence is its own form of bravery, and though Fopling is “just generally a self-absorbed idiot” (as it says in our program) and comes out if his exchanges looking like one, nobody can claim he has anything less than complete courage in his convictions.
Mr. Dorimant – Slytherin
“Most infinitely; next to the coming to a good understanding with a new mistress, I love a quarrel with an old one; but the devil’s in’t, there has been such a calm in my affairs of late, I have not had the pleasure of making a woman so much as break her fan, to be sullen, or forswear herself these three days.” (Dorimant, 1.1)
The Slytherin tendency towards self-preservation is strong in Dorimant. The man cares for little but himself and employs his considerable cunning to manipulate multiple scenarios to ensure favorable outcomes for the people he cares about most, who are (in no particular order): himself, himself, and himself. That means he always has somebody else to blame (usually women, occasionally Sir Fopling) when things go poorly. He’s slippery, subtle, sly, and strangely sexy — both a snake and a rake. He’s a Slytherin through and through.
Mrs. Loveit – Hufflepuff
“You take a pride of late in using of me ill, that the town may know the power you have over me, which now (as unreasonably as yourself) expects that I (do me all the injuries you can) must love you still.” (Mrs. Loveit, 5.1)
Mrs. Loveit takes her Hufflepuff loyalty to a whole new level when she gets caught up in Dorimant’s web. She is an honest woman who, with the exception of her interactions with Sir Fopling, speaks simple truths — which makes her stick out like a sore thumb in this play of doublespeak and deception. Her dogged belief that people are (or should be) as they seem gets her in trouble and breaks her heart, but she stays true. On the one hand, it’s sort of sad. On the other hand, she’s perhaps the only “good person” in The Man of Mode — which is sadder still, given how the play (and the real world) rewards goodness. When she refuses to fulfill the final humiliation Dorimant has planned for her and he accuses her of being unwilling to “satisfy [his] love,” Mrs. Loveit replies, “I would die to satisfy that; but I will not, to save you from a thousand racks, do a shameless thing to please your vanity” (5.1) — and then, of course, she does a shameless thing to please his vanity and ends the play a broken, bitter woman. “There’s nothing but falsehood and impertinence in this world,” she tells Bellinda. “All men are villains or fools. Take example from my misfortunes. Bellinda, if thou wouldst be happy, give thyself wholly up to goodness.” Advice we would all do well to follow.