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In some works of literature a character who appears briefly or does not appear at all has a significant presence. Even though a character may not be present in a play, does not mean that they have no importance. In fact, these characters have more of an influence over the way the other characters act and speak. Two plays that exhibit this are Miss Julie, by August Strindberg and Mourning Becomes Electra, by Eugene O'Neill. …

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…this may cause her to do it at the end. When the Count returns at the end of the play, he calls Jean to clean his boots, Jean nervously obeys him, from this you can see how much of an affect he has on all of the characters. Therefore you can see from these examples how even though characters may not appear in a story, or they only appear briefly, they do have a significance.