The setting is Germany in the early 1800s. A rich guy ("man") is hosting a dinner party at which his wife ("woman") is openly flirting with their four male guests ("youth" and "three gentlemen"). The amorous guests think this is just awesome, but hubby isn't exactly having a swell time. Then there's a fifth guest, a mysterious shadow puppeteer. After his puppet show, things quickly get out of hand. The man catches his wife cheating on him with the youth. Consumed by a jealous rage, he plots his murderous revenge. Or does he?
This film has the examples of:
- All Just a Dream: Everything that happened after the shadow play was a dream/hallucination/vision conjured up by the shadow master in order to Scare 'Em Straight.
- Bridal Carry: The youth imagines doing this with the woman.
- A Deadly Affair: The cuckolded man has his wife killed for cheating on him.
- Destination Defenestration: After he makes them take part in killing his wife, the guests throw the man out the window to his death.
- Master of Illusion: The shadow master, naturally.
- Nameless Narrative: All the characters are nameless. The opening credits identify them as "man," "woman," "youth," etc.
- Rage Against the Reflection: After killing his wife, the man has a My God, What Have I Done? reaction. He sees his reflection in a mirror and smashes it.
- Show Within a Show: The shadow puppet show
- Title Card: Averted, unusually for a silent film. The film contains no intertitles other than the opening credits.
- Victoria's Secret Compartment: The woman stuffs a handkerchief in here.