Andrey Prozorov (ahn-DRAY proh-ZOH-rof), the son of a high-ranking Russian army officer. He studies to be a professor, but after his marriage he turns to gambling to forget his boorish wife, who takes a lover. He is an ineffective man who accomplishes nothing.
Natasha (nah-TAH-shuh), Andrey’s ill-bred, rude, and selfish wife. She takes a local official, Protopopov, as her lover.
Masha (MAH-shuh), one of Andrey’s sisters and the wife of Fyodor Kuligin. She once thought her husband clever, but she has been disillusioned. She falls in love with Vershinin, though he cannot leave his wife and children for her.
Fyodor Kuligin (FYOH-dohr KOO-lih-gihn), Masha’s husband. He is an ineffective man who teaches in a high school.
Olga Prozorov (OHL-y-guh), one of Andrey’s sisters. She wants desperately to return to Moscow. She teaches languages in the town’s high school and becomes headmistress, but she is unhappy with her lot.
Irina Prozorov (ihr-IHN-uh), one of Andrey’s sisters. Her hopes are dashed when Baron Tusenbach is killed by Captain Solyony in a duel, for she thought she could escape the little garrison town by marrying the baron.
Ivan Tchebutykin (iv-AHN cheh-BOOT-y-kihn), a medical doctor and friend of the Prozorovs. He is an incompetent medical practitioner.
Baron Tusenbach (TOO-sehn-bahch), an army lieutenant in love with Irina Prozorov. He is killed in a duel by Captain Solyony, his rival for Irina’s affections.
Captain Vassily Solyony
Captain Vassily Solyony (vah-SIH-lihy soh-ly-ON-y), Baron Tusenbach’s rival for Irina Prozorov’s love. He kills the baron in a duel over the young woman.
Alexandr Vershinin (ahl-EHKS-andr vehr-SHIH-nihn), an artillery commander. He believes the world and people will get better and better. He falls in love with Masha but cannot leave his family for her.
Protopopov (proh-toh-POH-pof), a local official who becomes Natasha’s lover.