Most of the action takes place in the Hardcastle mansion in the English countryside, about sixty miles from London. The mansion is an old but comfortable dwelling that resembles an inn. A brief episode takes place at a nearby tavern, The Three Pigeons Alehouse. The time is the eighteenth century.
Mr. Hardcastle : Middle-aged gentleman who lives in an old mansion in the countryside about sixty miles from London. He prefers to the simple rural life and its old-fashioned manners and customs to the trendy and pretentious ways of upper-crust London.
Mrs. Dorothy Hardcastle :Wife of Mr. Hardcastle. Unlike her husband, she yearns to sample life in high society. She also values material possessions and hopes to match her son (by her first husband) with her niece, Constance Neville, in order to keep her niece’s inheritance in the family.
Charles Marlow : Promising young man who comes to the country to woo the Hardcastles’ pretty daughter, Kate. His only drawback is that he is extremely shy around refined young ladies, although he is completely at ease—and even forward—with women of humble birth and working-class status. He is a pivotal character in the play, used by author Goldsmith to satirize England’s preoccupation with, and overemphasis on, class distinctions. However, Marlow’s redeeming qualities make him a likeable character, and the audience tends to root for him when he becomes the victim of a practical joke resulting in mix-ups and mistaken identities.
Kate Hardcastle : Pretty daughter of the Hardcastles who is wooed by Charles Marlow. When he mistakes her for a woman of the lower class, she allows him to continue to mistake her identity, thus freeing his captive tongue so she can discover what he really thinks about her.
Tony Lumpkin : Son of Mrs. Hardcastle by her first husband. He is a fat, ale-drinking young man who has little ambition except to play practical jokes and visit the local tavern whenever he has a mind. When Tony comes of age, he will receive 1,500 pounds a year. His mother hopes to marry him to her niece, Constance Neville, who is in line to inherit a casket of jewels from her uncle.
Tony and Miss Neville despise each other.
George Hastings : Friend of Marlow who loves Constance Neville.While Marlow is busy with Kate, Hastings is busy with Constance. Hastings hatches a plan to elope with Constance and receives the help of Tony, who wants to erase Constance from his life—and his mother’s constant efforts to match him with Constance.
Constance Neville: Comely young lady who loves Hastings but is bedeviled by Mrs. Hardcastle’s schemes to match her with Tony. Constance, an orphan, is the niece and ward of Mrs. Hardcastle (who holds Miss Neville’s inheritance in her possession until she becomes legally qualified to take possession of it) and the cousin of Kate.
Sir Charles Marlow : Father of young Charles. Servants in the Hardcastle Household
Maid in the Hardcastle Household Landlord of the Three Pigeons Alehouse
First Fellow, Second Fellow, Third Fellow, Fourth Fellow : Drinking companions of Tony Lumpkin.
ASSIGNMENT :WRITE BRIEF CHARACTERIZATION NOTE ON THE FOLLOWING CHARACTERS IN THE PLAY. TONY LUMPKIN, MR HARDCASTLE, YOUNG MARLOW