Frederick Tarr, an English artist in Paris engaged to Bertha Lunken. Tired of her stupidity, he breaks the engagement and becomes involved with Anastasya Vasek. When Bertha tells him that she is pregnant by Kreisler, he marries her, though he continues to live with Anastasya. Bertha finally divorces him, but he never marries Anastasya.
Bertha Lunken, a sentimental German art student engaged to Tarr. After he breaks the engagement, she turns to Kreisler, who forcibly possesses her. She informs Tarr of her pregnancy and he marries her out of pity, although he continues to live with Anastasya. Bertha eventually divorces Tarr and marries an eye doctor.
Otto Kreisler, a German artist, chronically short of funds. In love with Anastasya, he makes a fool of himself at a party and then gets involved with Bertha. Seeing Anastasya with Soltyk, he challenges the Pole to a duel and kills him. Fleeing to Germany, he is arrested, and he hangs himself in his cell.
Anastasya Vasek, a beautiful Russian beloved by Tarr, Kreisler, and Soltyk. It is over her that Kreisler and Soltyk fight a duel in which Soltyk is killed. She goes to live with Tarr.
Louis Soltyk, a Pole. Because of his attentions to Anastasya, he is challenged and killed by Kreisler.