An Enemy of the People: Character Profiles

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Aslaksen

Aslaksen is a master-printer and the spokesperson for moderation in the town and the play. He is an influential figure locally in that he helps to fund the newspaper and is the chair of the Householders’ Association and an active member of the Temperance society.

Billing

Billing is the sub-editor of The Herald.

Elif and Morten

These are sons of Thomas and Kate.

Captain Horster

Horster is a ship’s master and is one of the few characters to show loyalty to Thomas once the crowd turns against him. He is also one of the few seen to be unafraid of public opinion.

Hovstad

Hovstad is the editor of The Herald and thus has some power in the community.

Katherine (Kate) Stockmann

Kate is the wife of Thomas (Dr Stockmann) and plays the role of the traditional supportive wife.

Morten Kiil

Kiil is the father of Kate and, therefore, the father-in-law of Thomas. He is also the owner of the tannery that Thomas claims is the worst polluter in the area.

Petra Stockmann

Petra is the daughter of Kate and Thomas Stockmann and is notable for both her independent thinking, in that she is characterized as being interested in emancipatory politics, and for the support she offers her father.

Peter Stockmann

This character is the Mayor and brother of Thomas Stockmann. His problematic relationship with Thomas is central to the divisions that arise in the play.

Dr Thomas Stockmann

As the central protagonist, Dr Stockmann is the means by which the play interrogates morality and how this fits with democracy. He is the self-professed voice of the minority and his negative treatment by the ‘solid majority’ exposes how it is possible for the masses to ignore the voice in the wilderness.

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