Characters Discussed

(Great Characters in Literature)

Effi von Briest

Effi von Briest (fon breest), only child of Ritterschaftsrat von Briest and his wife. Married at sixteen to Baron von Innstetten, she goes with her husband to a small town on the Baltic Sea. Bored and depressed by the formal stiffness of her new home, she is attracted to Major von Crampas. With this relationship a burden on her conscience, she is happy to move to Berlin, her husband’s new post. There old letters from von Crampas come to light. She is divorced by her husband, socially ostracized, and dies at her parents’ home believing that her husband, in divorcing her, has done the right thing for his honor.

Baron von Innstetten

Baron von Innstetten (fon IHN-shteht-tehn), Effi’s formal, disciplined husband. Discovering a packet of love letters written six years before by Major von Crampas to Effi, he avenges his honor by killing von Crampas in a duel and divorcing his wife.

Major von Crampas

Major von Crampas (fon KRAHM-pahs), Effi’s carefree, witty admirer, who is killed in a duel by Baron von Innstetten.

Annie von Innstetten

Annie von Innstetten, the daughter of Baron von Innstetten and Effi.


Roswitha (rohz-VEE-tah), Effi’s maid and faithful friend.

Ritterschaftsrat von Briest

Ritterschaftsrat von Briest (RIH-tehr-shahfts) and

Frau von Briest

Frau von Briest, Effi’s parents.