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Last Updated on May 6, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 184

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Axel, an established artist. Married to Bertha, a feminist, he has agreed to live with her not as a husband but as a comrade, each partner with equal rights and freedom to achieve artistic expression in his or her own way. Finally, disgusted by Bertha’s demanding self-assertiveness and conniving, he leaves her for a “womanly woman.”


Bertha, an aspiring artist and ardent feminist married to Axel, with whom she lives as a comrade with equal rights. Less gifted than her husband and envious of his talent, she attempts to assert herself and humiliate him. She finally succeeds in losing him to a more feminine woman.

Dr. Östermark

Dr. Östermark, Axel’s friend and the divorced husband of Mrs. Hall.

Mrs. Hall

Mrs. Hall, Dr. Östermark’s divorced wife. She seeks the help of Bertha in planning revenge on her former husband.


Abel, Bertha’s mannish female friend. An ardent feminist, Abel is in league with Bertha to humiliate Axel.


Willmer, Bertha’s effeminate author friend.

Carl Starck

Carl Starck, Axel’s happily married friend, an army officer.

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