Love for Love Characters

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

First produced: 1695

First published: 1695

Type of work: Play

Type of plot: Comedy of manners

Time of work: Seventeenth century

Locale: London, England

Characters DiscussedValentine Legend

Valentine Love for LoveLegend, a young would-be playwright. He loves Angelica. He is also in debt, having wasted his money in high living. Although he falls into disfavor with his father, Sir Sampson Legend, he redeems himself and eventually marries Angelica.

Sir Sampson Legend

Sir Sampson Legend, who decides to disinherit his son Valentine, a wastrel. His plan fails when Valentine feigns madness.


Angelica, a beautiful young woman loved by Valentine. She is both wealthy and clever. Loving Valentine, she puts up with his temporary faults and finally marries him.


Jeremy, Valentine’s clever but knavish servant.


Trapland, a lecherous, elderly scrivener, one of Valentine’s creditors.


Scandal, Valentine’s friend. He plays upon Foresight’s belief in astrology to prevent a marriage between Ben Legend and Prue Foresight. He also flirts with Mrs. Foresight, a young woman married to an old man.

Ben Legend

Ben Legend, Valentine’s young brother, who stands to inherit Sir Sampson’s estate if Valentine is cut off.


Foresight, a foolish old man who believes in astrology and has a young wife. He is Angelica’s uncle. He realizes at last that he is really an old fool and admits it.

Prue Foresight

Prue Foresight, his countrified daughter. She dislikes Ben, whom her father wants her to marry. Although she is fascinated by Tattle, who almost succeeds in seducing her, she ends up wanting to marry Robin, a butler.

Mrs. Foresight

Mrs. Foresight, Foresight’s young, flirtatious wife.

Mistress Frail

Mistress Frail, Mrs. Foresight’s sister. She wants to marry a rich man, but she is finally tricked into marrying Tattle.


Tattle, a talkative young dandy. He is tricked into marrying Mistress Frail.


Buckram, a lawyer working for Sir Sampson.


Robin, a butler who is in love with Prue.

Bibliography:Hoffman, Arthur W. Congreve’s Comedies. Victoria, B.C., Canada: University of Victoria, English Literary Studies, 1993. Chapter on Love for Love focuses on the roles of Valentine and Angelica as romantic hero and heroine, and on Sir Sampson as blocking agent. Shows how Congreve skillfully employs allusions to biblical, classical, and Shakespearean traditions.Markley, Robert. Two-Edg’d Weapons: Style and Ideology in the Comedies of Etherege, Wycherley, and Congreve. Oxford, England: Clarendon Press, 1988. Argues that Congreve is stylistically a transitional figure between earlier satirical comedies and the later sentimental comedies.Novak, Maximillian E. William Congreve. New York: Twayne, 1971. A good, basic overview of Congreve’s life and works. Discusses his various works, with a chapter on Love for Love, and the intellectual, artistic, and moral debates of his period. Useful annotated bibliography of critical works from the seventeenth to the twentieth century.Van Voris, W. H. The Cultivated Stance: The Designs of Congreve’s Plays. Dublin: Dolmen Press, 1965. Discusses Congreve’s social, philosophical, and aesthetic values. Argues that Love for Love represents a chaotic world populated by monsters driven by vanity and self-interest. Valentine and Angelica’s love brings about order, but only ambiguously.Williams, Aubrey. An Approach to Congreve. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1979. Asserts that the world represented on the Restoration stage appears chaotic but is actually ordered by providential design. Finds in Love for Love a pattern of testing, trial, and judgment, at the center of which Angelica stands as judge and reward.
Categories: Characters