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Hakon Werle - the realistic father of Gregers Werle. He and his
son do not get along because of their opposite approaches to life.
He is a wealthy merchant and manufacturer, who is now going
blind. During his youth he was quite a philanderer and allegedly
drove his wife to death by having affairs in his own home. He
arranges the marriage between Gina, his cast off mistress, and
Hialmar. There is a strong suspicion that Hedvig is his daughter. It
is also implied that he and Ekdal, his former partner, were equally
responsible for the Hoidal Forest swindle even though Ekdal was
blamed entirely and sent to prison. In order to assuage his
conscience, Werle financially helps Ekdal's son, Hialmar. At
present, he intends to marry Mrs. Sorby, his housekeeper. Both
have told each other about their past and their relationship is the
only truthful one in the play.
Old Ekdal - the previous business partner of Werle, known as
Lieutenant Ekdal. He alone has served a jail sentence for illegally
appropriating lumber from government owned land in the Hoidal
Forest even though Werle was also involved. Ekdal is now a
broken old man who lives with his son and daughter-in-law and
does some minor jobs for Werle. He manages to cope with his
altered circumstances by drinking whenever he can arrange for it,
by converting the attic into a "forest," and by shooting rabbits.
Gina Ekdal - Hialmar's wife, Hedvig's mother, and Werle's cast
off mistress. She cooks, washes, sweeps, and carries on the
photographic work which is actually her husband's business. She
fusses over Hialmar and fosters his illusions to keep him happy.
She is the only one in the family who does not enter into the
mystery of the wild duck.
Mrs. Sorby - Werle's housekeeper. She has had an immoral past,
like Gina; since she tells Werle the truth about her past, he accepts
her for what she is and makes her his wife. Werle and Mrs. Sorby
have the perfect marriage and achieve happiness.
Relling - a realist who fosters the "life illusion" in people to help
them cope with life. He knows Gregers is going to ruin the peace
and happiness in the Ekdal household and warns him not to carry
his "claim of the ideal" on his sleeve. He is unsuccessful in
changing Gregers or preventing Hedvig's suicide.
Molvik - a student of theology. Relling has invented a "demonic"
nature for him so that he does not feel guilty about his excessive
Others - others appear only in the first act to comment on the
characters or to complete the impression of a party.
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