"Charles's Friend" (or the "second boy") referred to a character depicted as the best friend of the hero of a romantic comedy or melodrama. Generally more worldly and cynical than the idealistic hero, he generally represented the comical or common-sense viewpoint of the hero's high-flown sentiments. Often he would attempt to dissuade the hero from his romance, though he would generally end by supporting him. Occasionally though not always, he formed a second romantic couple with the "second girl" or the "soubrette," generally a friend of the heroine. A typical example is Captain Hawtree from Thomas Robertson's "Caste" (1867).

Last edited by Tannhaeuser; 10/07/12 10:50 PM.