Ate, the ancient Greek goddess of folly and ruin. In each, Ate introduces and explicates a dumbshow; the play''s five dumbshows feature symbolic figures and animals, or personages of classical mythology. In the first, an archer kills a lion; the second shows Perseus and Andromeda, and the third, a snake stinging a crocodile. The fourth dumbshow features Hercules and Omphale; the final dumbshow depicts Medea''s murder of Jason and Glauce. Ate returns for a sixth and final appearance at the play''s conclusion.
The aged Brutus, the leader of the Trojans in Britain, before his courtiers, including his three sons, Locrine, Camber, and Albanact. Brutus knows he is dying, and attempts to order the kingdom''s affairs; among other points, he decrees that Locrine marry Guendoline, the daughter of his loyal general Corineus. The scene ends with Brutus''s death. Locrine obeys his father''s behest and marries Guendoline.
Meanwhile, the invading Scythians arrive for their (totally unhistorical) incursion into the British Isles, led by their king Humber, with his wife Estrild and their son Hubba. Subsequent scenes depict a back-and-forth combat between Trojans and Scythians. When his apparent victory turns to sudden defeat, the Trojan prince Albanact commits suicide; Albanact''s ghost appears through the remainder of the play, calling for revenge. The Trojans are eventually victorious. Estrild, the Scythian queen, is captured and brought to the Trojan court, where Locrine quickly falls in love with her. Corineus warns his royal son-in-law to remain faithful to Guendoline. Locrine does not follow this advice, though he sequesters Estrild in a subterranean hideaway for seven years. Once Corineus dies, Locrine brings his affair into the open; Guendoline''s brother Thrasimachus vows revenge.
The defeated Humber has been living in seclusion and grinding privation for seven years since his defeat; when he kills himself, the ghost of Albanact exults. Corineus''s ghost also appears to witness Locrine''s fate; defeated in battle by the forces of Guendoline and Thrasimachus, Locrine and Estrild commit suicide, and their daughter Sabren eventually drowns herself. Guendoline has her husband buried royally, next to his father, but consigns Estrild to an obscure grave.
Strumbo, Trompart, and Dorothy. Strumbo the cobbler marries Dorothy, but is impressed into the army along with his servant Trompart, to fight the Scythians. Strumbo survives battle by counterfeiting death:
Later Strumbo has an encounter with Humber, just before the latter''s suicide. Strumbo is prepared to feed the starving Humber, but is frightened away by Albanact''s ghost.