Note: Miss Julie features only three characters. The Count never appears onstage.
The play's twenty-five-year-old tragic heroine, she is doomed to a cruel demise. Fresh from a broken engagement—an engagement ruined because of her attempt to master her fiancé—Miss Julie has become "wild", making shameless advances to her valet, Jean. Miss Julie's behavior is supposed to signal sickness. Raised by a shockingly "feminist" mother, Julie is simultaneously disgusted by and drawn to men. Julie is sado-masochistic. She wants to enslave men, but she also desires her own fall.
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The other major character of the play, Jean is the manor's thirty-year old valet, chosen as Miss Julie's lover on Midsummer's Eve. Though initially coarse, he pretends to be gallant when seducing Miss Julie. His cruelty reveals itself after he has slept with her. Jean suffers from class envy. He simultaneously idealizes and degrades Julie. Eventually, he becomes a sadist, reveling in Julie's ruin.
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A relatively minor character, Christine is the manor's thirty-five year old cook and Jean's fiancé. She gossips with Jean about Miss Julie, and believes wholeheartedly in the class system.
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Miss Julie's dog, she is said to look like her mistress. Diana symbolizes Julie, for she has sex with a mongrel dog that belongs to the gatekeeper.
Miss Julie's canary, she is beheaded by Jean. Her decapitation symbolizes the way Jean injures Julie.