Characters Discussed

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Harry Domin

Harry Domin, the general manager of Rossum’s Universal Robots (R.U.R.). He is dedicated to the idea that humans ought to be completely free from the slavery of work.

Helena Glory

Helena Glory, the daughter of the president of R.U.R. and later the wife of Harry Domin. Concerned both over the robots’ living conditions and over the millions of people out of work, she believes that the robots should be given souls. When this plan proves disastrous, she burns the formula for making robots.

Dr. Gall

Dr. Gall, the scientist who is persuaded by Helena to give souls to the robots.

Mr. Alquist

Mr. Alquist, the head of the R.U.R. works department. He recognizes that human idleness is not the perfect goal Domin thinks it to be. Because, like the robots, he works with his hands, he is the only human being in the world spared after the uprising of the robots. He is, however, unable to duplicate the formula for robot manufacture.


Primus, a robot.


Helena, a robot made in Helena Glory’s image. In some miraculous way, Helena loves and is loved by Primus. With humankind destroyed and robot manufacture no longer possible, these two completely human robots remain as the only hope for the reproduction of new life.


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Mr. Alquist Alquist is an architect and the Head of the Works Department at R.U.R. He is older and a traditionalist. He reveals in Act II that he prays that the manufacture of robots will cease and that the world will return to the way it once was. Alquist sees the manufacture of robots as a profitable venture that is evil at its core. He escapes death because Radius pronounces a sentence that Alquist should finish out his life as a laborer, a slave for the robots. In the Epilogue, Alquist tries unsuccessfully to recreate the formula to create more robots. At the play’s conclusion, he finds that there are two robots who have become humans and Alquist sends them out to repopulate the earth.

Consul Busman As the General Business Manager at R.U.R., Busman is concerned with the bottom line. When Miss Glory asks about giving the robots a soul, Busman replies with estimates of increased cost. He anticipates that eventually robots will replace all workers and that the cost of manufacturing goods will decrease steadily. When the robots attack, Busman continues working on his accounts, almost in denial. Busman decides that he can buy the humans’ freedom, but when he goes to speak to the robots, he touches the fence and is electrocuted.

Harry Domin Domin is the General Manager at R.U.R. Domin is an idealist who envisions that robots will help create a paradise on earth for man, who will have robots to do the work and free man to simply enjoy life. He envisions men as the new gods with a world to rule and robots as the servant class. At their first meeting, Domin claims to have instantly fallen in love with Helena Glory and asks her to marry him. In the end, Domin is murdered by the robots.

Mr. Fabry Fabry is the Engineer General, Technical Controller of R.U.R. Like almost everyone else, Fabry is murdered during the robot rebellion.

First Robot This robot is one of the group in the Epilogue who demands that Alquist create more robots.

Dr. Gall Dr. Gall is head of the Physiological and Experimental Department at R.U.R. When the play opens, he is working on giving the robots pain receptors so that they will be more careful...

(This entire section contains 975 words.)

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and less likely to damage themselves. When the robots revolt, Dr. Gall reveals that he changed the robots, made them more human he actually made them better than human. During the revolt, Gall, too, is murdered by the robots.

Helena Glory Helena is the daughter of the President. She initially meets Harry when she comes to inspect the R.U.R. factory. On her first visit to the factory, Helena is aghast to discover that the robots, which appear so human to her, are treated as mindless drones. Even ten years after her marriage to Domin, Helena cannot be at ease amongst the robots. She pleads with Gall to make them more human, to give then each a soul. In the rebellion that follows, she is murdered by the robots.

Dr. Hallemeier Dr. Hallemeier is head of the Institute for Psychological Training of Robots. Hallemeier tells Miss Glory that the robots are not capable of love. According to him, they have no soul or passion or will of their own. He tells Miss Glory that occasionally the robots suffer from something called ‘‘robot’s cramp,’’ a breakdown in their mechanism that resembles rebellion. In the revolt, Hallemeier is murdered by the robots.

Helena Helena is a robot. Dr. Gall created her in Helena Glory’s image, but she is only a poor copy of the original. In the Epilogue, Helena the robot is revealed to be human-like. She is one of the last robots created by Gall, and she is capable of love and emotions. Alquist sees her as the next Eve.

Marius Marius is a robot. He works at the plant office for Domin.

Nana Nana is Miss Glory’s servant. She has come to the island to take care of Helena, who wants a human being to be close to her and not a robot. She helps Helena burn the formulas and is murdered with everyone else.

Primus Primus is a robot, created on the same day as the robot Helena. When Alquist threatens to dissect Helena, Primus comes to her defense. Alquist realizes that Primus is human and thinks that he has discovered the next Adam, who with his Eve will repopulate the earth.

Radius Radius is a robot in charge of the library. In Act II, he appears to be the latest victim of ‘‘robot cramp.’’ Radius has a better brain than most other robots and he does not want to take orders. He tells Helena Glory that he wants to be a master and give orders. After an examination by Dr. Gall, it is revealed that Radius’s attack is not the typical ‘‘robot cramp.’’ Instead, it appears that he has become more human. When all the robots rebel, it is Radius who leads them. In the Epilogue, Radius realizes his folly in murdering his creators. He demands that Alquist create a formula to make more robots, and is willing to sacrifice himself to aid in the research.

Second Robot This robot is one of the group in the Epilogue who demands that Alquist create more robots.

Servant In the Epilogue, the servant waits upon Alquist, who has been trying to recreate the formula.

Sulla Sulla is a robot; she functions primarily as Domin’s secretary or typist. She appears like any other young woman, and is so convincing that Helena Glory cannot, at first, accept that Sulla is not human.

Third Robot This robot is one of the group in the Epilogue who demands that Alquist create more robots.




Critical Essays