Melchior Gabor (MEHL-shee-ohr gah-BOHR), a promising high school student. He is beginning to feel the effects of sexual phenomena. In a note, he imparts his knowledge of sex to his friend, Moritz Stiefel. When Moritz commits suicide and the note is found, Melchior is condemned for moral corruption. His mother upholds him until she is confronted with the fact of his classmate Wendla Bergmann’s pregnancy, for which he is responsible.
Moritz Stiefel (MOH-rihts STEE-fehl), a friend of Melchior Gabor. Plagued by sexual urges and fear of failure in his studies, he commits suicide.
Wendla Bergmann (VAYN-dlah BEHRG-mahn), a fourteen-year-old who conceives a child by Melchior Gabor. She dies during an attempted abortion.
Mrs. Bergmann, Wendla’s mother. She evades the truth in answering her daughter’s questions about love and sex.
Mr. Gabor and
Mrs. Gabor, Melchior’s parents.
Thea, friends of Wendla, with whom she exchanges confidences about love and sex.
Ilse (IHL-seh), a prostitute who attempts to seduce Moritz Stiefel.
Mr. Stiefel, Moritz Stiefel’s father, a pensioner.
Dr. Von Brausepulver
Dr. Von Brausepulver (BROW-seh-pool-fur) and
Mother Schmidt, abortionists whose concoctions cause Wendla Bergmann’s death.
A muffled gentleman
A muffled gentleman, who appears to the ghost of Moritz Stiefel and the living Melchior Gabor as they converse among the graves. He upbraids Moritz for his attempt to lure Melchior into the land of the dead. He and Melchior withdraw together.