The Broken Jug Characters
by Heinrich von Kleist

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Characters Discussed

(Great Characters in Literature)

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Adam (AH-dahm), the village judge. In an attempted seduction of Eve, a village girl, he is surprised by her betrothed, beaten by him, and forced to jump out of her window to escape recognition by his attacker. In spite of his invention of a series of unlikely stories designed to conceal his identity from the townsfolk and explain away the scars of battle, he eventually is found out, exposed before his court, and forced to flee the village to escape another beating.

Martha Rull

Martha Rull (MAHR-teh rool), a village woman. She is in Adam’s court carrying a broken jug and furiously demanding justice.


Ruprecht (REWP-rasht), Eve’s suitor, who is accused by Martha Rull of breaking her pitcher. Under duress, he finally testifies that he broke the jug during an altercation with Eve’s would-be seducer.


Eve (AY-fa), Martha Rull’s daughter, who is engaged to Ruprecht and is the object of Adam’s attempted seduction.


Brigitte (bree-GIH-teh), Ruprecht’s aunt and a witness to the would-be seducer’s hasty retreat from Eve’s house. Her appearance in court with a wig dropped by the fleeing lover establishes Adam’s identity as the culprit.


Walter (VAHL-tehr), a counselor of the High Court, who is on a tour of inspection, during which he finds Adam’s court in a state of chaos.


Licht (lihsht), the clerk of the court.

Veit Tümpel

Veit Tümpel (fit TEWM-pehl), Ruprecht’s father.