Characters Discussed

(Great Characters in Literature)


Heinrich (HIN-rihkh), (A Study in Scarlet)a bell-founder who symbolizes the artist against the world. Trying to carry a bell to a mountain church, he is injured by the spirits of wood and water, and his bell is pushed into a lake. He is saved by the mountain sprite Rautendelein, and they fall in love. A rescue party carries him home, but he returns to Rautendelein. His efforts to make a superlative bell are frustrated by the dwarfs. His wife dies, and her dead hand rings the sunken bell. Dying, and renounced by Rautendelein, he tries to reach a flaming cathedral-castle. Wittikin gives him the wines of life and of the questing spirit; Rautendelein, the wine of aspiration. Embraced by Rautendelein, he dies, hearing the chimes of the sun.


Magda (MAHG-dah), his wife.


Rautendelein (row-TEHN-deh-lin), a mountain sprite. She is intended as the bride of the Nickelmann but falls in love with Heinrich. When he is taken home dying, she revives him. Renounced by Heinrich, she marries the Nickelmann but returns to Heinrich as he dies.


Wittikin (VIHT-tih-kihn), a sorceress and the grandmother of Rautendelein.

The Nickelmann

The Nickelmann, a water spirit whom Rautendelein marries.

The Vicar

The Vicar, representing spirit.

The Schoolteacher

The Schoolteacher, representing mind.

The Barber

The Barber, representing body.