Savel Prokofievich Dikoy – a merchant, a significant person in the city.
Boris Grigoryevich is his nephew.
Marfa Ignatyevna Kabanova is a rich merchant.
Tikhon Ivanovich Kabanov is her son.
Katerina is his wife.
Varvara is Tikhon’s sister.
Vanya Kudryash is a clerk of the Wild.
Kuligin – a philistine, watchmaker, self-taught, looking for perpetual mobile.
The action takes place in the summer in the city of Kalinov, located on the banks of the Volga. Kuligin sits on a bench in a public garden, while Kudryash and Shapkin stroll. Curses swearing Wild. Then Savel Prokofievich himself appears, who curses Boris, who obediently listens to him. After the departure of Wild, Boris tells the story of his family. Grandmother Boris disliked his father for the fact that he married a “noble”. Therefore, the parents moved to Moscow and raised children, not denying them Nothing. Boris studied
at the Commercial Academy, and his sister – in a boarding house. But their parents died of cholera. Grandmother in the city of Kalinova, too, died, leaving her grandchildren, which they must pay their uncle when they reach adulthood, but only on condition that they respectfully treat him. Boris does everything that is ordered to him, but does not receive any salary. All households are afraid of the Wild.
Then there are Katerina, Varvara, Tikhon and Kabanova, who complains about her son for not keeping his wife in awe.
Tikhon reproaches Katerina for what he always gets from her mother for her. Leaves.
Left alone with Varvara, Katerina remembers how she lived in her parents’ house. She tells her sister Tikhon what she thinks, as if she is facing an abyss and someone is pushing her there. She admits that she has a sin in her mind. Varvara promises to come up with something after Tikhon’s departure.
A half-crazy lady with two lackeys appears and screams that beauty leads to the abyss, into the pool, and threatens all the gay fire.
Thunderstorm, it begins to rain.
Katerina tells Varvara that she loves Boris. Varvara, in turn, reports that Katerina also likes him.
Tikhon is going on the road. Katerina asks him not to leave or at least take her with him, but he refuses, says that he needs to rest from scandals and in general from all domestic ones. Leaves.
Varvara informs Katerina that she asked to sleep in the garden, where there is a wicket, the key from which she took, having substituted another, gives it to Katerina.
Varvara appoints Boris a meeting in a ravine beyond the Kabanovs’ garden at night. Kudryash plays guitar with the night and sings a song. Boris comes up and starts a dispute with Ivan because of the venue. Then he confesses to Kudryash that he loves a married woman who looks like an angel when she prays in the church. Curly guessed who he was talking about.
Varvara comes, they go for a walk, and Boris and Katerina are left alone. The heroine confesses to him in love.
Tikhon returns from his trip. Varvara tells Boris that Katerina is not walking by herself, and her sister is afraid that she can confess to her husband. Again there is a thunderstorm. Katerina is frightened of this natural phenomenon, considering it a divine punishment, which will certainly fall upon her. Her fears are aggravated also by the heard conversation of people on the street about the fact that the storm has begun without a cause and that it is certain that someone will kill. Katerina replies that she will kill her, and asks in that case to pray for her.
Then the half-crazed lady again appears, and with her two lackeys. She cries to Caterina that she does not hide and is not afraid of God’s punishment, calls on her to pray that God will take away the beauty. Katerina is frightened, she imagines hell fire, and she can not stand it – tells about her betrayal Kabanova and Tikhon. Tikhon complains to Kuligin about the betrayal of his wife, says that he beat her at the orders of her mother, but he feels sorry for Katerina.
The wild one sends Boris away for three years to Siberia to a familiar merchant for some sort of business. Varvara fled with Kudryash, because her mother “began to tyrannize her and lock her up”.
Katerina and Boris meet for the last time. She asks to take her with him, but he looks around worriedly, afraid only of how they would not be caught together. Leaves.
People from the shore scream that the woman rushed into the water from a high shore. Kuligin, along with them, brings the dead Catherine. Tikhon accuses his mother of the death of his wife.