The Trial
The Trial
by Franz Kafka
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The Trial Characters

Meet the Cast

Josef K.

Outlaws, rebels, anti-heroes, iconoclasts – they're such staples of pop culture and Hollywood blockbusters that you can understand why, as the guard says in Kafka's The Trial, the law is attr...

Huld

If your defense lawyer always meets with you in his bedroom, chances are he's probably not the man you want defending you from imminent execution. Sadly, K. is so wrapped up in Leni's charms that i...

Titorelli

A painter, and a terrible one at that, might seem to be the worst person to seek legal advice from, but in the world of The Trial, the best sources of insight are often the most unlikely ones. On t...

The Prison Chaplain

The prison chaplain surprises K. in the cathedral when he was originally expecting to meet an Italian client. And the prison chaplain's presence may have surprised you, too, even though at this lat...

Block

Block the merchant, another of Huld's clients, repulses K. perhaps because of how similar his situation is to K's. Like K., Block was a successful man before his trial, and like K., Block seems to...

Fraülein Bürstner

Fraülein Bürstner is another tenant in K.'s lodging house, the first of the many women in K.'s life throughout the course of The Trial. Of all the women, however, Fraülein Bürst...

Leni

Leni, another of K.'s women, is Huld's nurse, and perhaps even his mistress. Unlike Fraülein Bürstner, Leni's attraction for K. is hard to pin down. She's presented to us as almost a chil...

The Court Usher's Wife

The court usher's wife is yet another woman associated with the court who throws herself at K. Like Leni, she offers to help K., although it isn't clear whether she's actually helpful. And like Len...

Uncle Karl/Albert

It isn't clear why K.'s uncle is called Karl when he's first introduced, then Albert later on in the novel when he meets with Huld. It may have something to do with the fact that Kafka's novel was...

Franz and Willem

Franz and Willem are the two guards who arrest K. in his bedroom on the fateful morning his trial begins. They're the lowest of the court functionaries, so low that they don't even know what K.'s c...

The Inspector

The inspector makes a brief appearance in the first chapter of the novel to inform K. that he's been arrested, and that's it. K. thinks the inspector has a pretty pathetic job, given that the inspe...

Frau Grubach

To K., Frau Grubach, his landlady, is a simple, naïve woman who trusts him implicitly. He's so confident in her trust in him that he believes that, if he tells her that he assaulted Fraül...

The Examining Magistrate

The examining magistrate conducts K.'s initial court inquiry. K.'s discovery that the examining magistrate's law books are actually pornographic novels confirms K.'s suspicion that his trial is a t...

The Court Usher

When K. meets the court usher, the court usher's wife has just been taken away by a law student, apparently to sleep with the examining magistrate. The court usher's acceptance of his wife's virtua...

The Flogger

The flogger makes a brief appearance in Chapter 5 in the junk closet of K.'s bank. Dressed in leather gear, the flogger mercilessly whips the guards that arrested K. His presence suggests that the...

The Bank Vice President

The bank vice president is a rival of K.'s at his bank. He takes advantage of K.'s distraction to poach a few clients and further his own career.

The Two Gentlemen

Two gentlemen arrive in the last chapter of the novel to escort K. to his execution. Their appearance parallels the two guards who arrest K. in the first chapter of the novel. The executioners' ext...