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Characters / The Robbers

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     The von Moor family 

Karl von Moor

The old count's eldest and favourite son as well as his sole heir, a passionate young man. Karl starts out as a rebellious student but becomes the captain of a band of robbers early during the play. Renamed Charles in some translations.
  • The Chains of Commanding: leading the robbers takes its toll on his conscience.
  • Distinguishing Mark: when he returns to the castle in disguise, Daniel recognises him by a scar on his arm which he got as a child.
  • Just Like Robin Hood: what he aspires to as a robber. "His third of the booty, which belongs to him of right, he gives away to orphans, or supports promising young men with it at college." Still, he cannot keep the rest of his robbers from acting far less nobly.
  • The Leader: of the band of robbers, most of which look up to him.
  • List of Transgressions: when a monk lists some of his and his men's deeds to him, he reacts by expanding the list himself.
  • Price on Their Head: a thousand gold coins, which was an almost unimaginabily high sum in Schilles's day.

Franz von Moor

The old count's second and least favourite son. A smart, but cold-hearted young man, determined to replace his older brother as their father's heir. Renamed Francis in some translations.

Count Maximilian von Moor

The reigning count of Moor and widowed father of Karl and Franz.

     Associates of the von Moors 

Amalia von Edelreich

An orphaned young noblewoman, taken in by the old Moor as to be raised like his own daughter. She is also Karl's fiancee and deeply in love with him.


The count's faithful old manservant, deeply religious and very fond of Karl.
  • I Warned You: When Franz (an atheist) gets so panicked he tries to pray, Daniel (a christian) doesn't spare him a "Told you so!"
  • Old Retainer: he has been with the von Moor family at least since Karl was a small child.


Bastard son of a nobleman, accomplice of Franz and in love with Amalia.

Pastor Moser

A cleric Franz debates with at the end of the play.


     The robbers 

Moritz Spiegelberg

The one of Karl's friends from Leipzig who first has the idea of starting a band of robbers. He is angry when the others choose Karl over him as a leader, and soon follows his own agenda.
  • Ambiguously Jewish: the question whether he is or isn't jewish has created quite some debate among scholars of German literature.
  • Leader Wannabe: "Captain, did you say? Who made (Karl) captain over us? Has he not, in fact, usurped that title, which by right belongs to me?"
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Spiegelberg becomes the robbers' top recruiter, acquiring seventy seven new members. Most of them are, however, "ruined shopkeepers, rejected masters of arts, and law-clerks. They are a rare set of fellows, brother, capital fellows, they will steal you the very buttons off each other's trousers in perfect security. I don't know, but I think I must be endowed with some magnetic property, which attracts all the vagabonds on the face of the earth towards me like steel and iron."
  • The Starscream
  • Toxic Friend Influence: without him, the others would never have become robbers.


Karl's closest friend among the robbers. He is captured and sentenced to hang during the play.


Another of Karl's close and loyal friends.
  • The Big Guy: at one point he, and this is the official stage direction, "very coolly" throws Spiegelberg against a wall.
  • Number Two: there is no official hierarchy among the robbers apart from Karl being The Leader, but Schweizer seems to come closest to "second in command", at least after Roller's death.
  • Undying Loyalty: he will do anything for Karl.


A violent robber who takes part in the torching of the city.
  • Killed Offscreen: he is chased away in the second act. We are later informed via Schweizer that he has been hanged in Swizerland.
  • Would Hurt a Child: during the torching of the city.

Ratzmann, Schwarz, Grimm

Other members of Karl's band of robbers.
  • Bear Hug: When Ratzmann encounters Spiegelberg, his reaction is quite heartfelt. "Oh, let me squeeze thee into a jelly, my dear heart's brother!"


A young soldier and nobleman who joins the robbers after suffering great injustice.
  • The Woobie: treated like this in-universe. He has been wrongfully thrown into jail, his girlfriend has been abducted and forced to become another man's mistress, his possessions have been seized... Karl, who at first wants to discourage him from becoming a robber, soon understands the poor man's motivation.