Character List


Anna The maid who should have brought K. 's coffee the morning of his arrest.

Assistant Manager K.'s superior at the Bank who becomes his adversary when the manufacturer complains about K. 's treatment of him.

Bertold The student lover of the usher's wife. He is a symbol of the corruption of the Court's hierarchy, himself a pyramid-climber.

Block A tradesman and client of Huld's, whose submissiveness before Huld causes K. to want to dismiss the lawyer.

Fräulein Bürstner A boarder at Frau Grubach's, where K. lives. K.'s arrest takes place in her room. His desire for her and her refusal to deal with him put her in a unique position among the women he meets.

Elsa K.'s girlfriend at the time he meets Leni. She does not appear in the novel.

Erna K.'s cousin who informs her father, K.'s Uncle Karl, of the trial.

Examining Magistrate The indifferent and corrupt judge who presides at K.'s first interrogation.

Frau Grubach The elderly lady who owns the boarding house where K. lives and is arrested.

Hasterer A lawyer friend of K.'s, whom he wants to telephone during his arrest. He does not appear in the novel.

Dr. Huld A key figure in K.'s case. His name means "grace" or "meekness" in German. Through inefficiency and sickness (or perverted religiousness), he prevents K.'s case from getting a fair trial. He stands for the ambiguity of the Court.

Inspector He conducts K.'s arrest with Willem and Franz.

Uncle Karl Worried about K.'s trial because of the shame it brings over the family, he introduces him to his friend Dr. Huld.

Kaminer, Kullich, and Rabensteiner K.'s three colleagues from the Bank whom the Inspector brings along to the arrest. Their presence demonstrates the inseparability of K.'s case from his Bank life.

Captain Lanz Frau Grubach's nephew, K.'s neighbor.

Leni The servant and mistress of Dr. Huld, she reflects the corrupt atmosphere of the Court. She pretends to love K., but tries to seduce him to make him subservient to Huld.

Manufacturer One of the countless mediators. He tells K. about Titorelli, who already knows about his case.

Fräulein Montag Fräulein Bürstner's friend who is moving in with her. She functions as her roommate's mediator with K.

Priest He tells K. the parable "Before the Law" in the cathedral and discusses its meaning with him.

Titorelli The painter whom K. tracks down in his efforts to find outside help. He is the only one to tell K. about the nature of the Court he is up against and about his hopeless case. As the Court painter, he has some knowledge of K.'s case.

Whipper He executes the ancient law that "punishment is just as just as it is inevitable" on the warders.

Willem and Franz The warders who arrest K.

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