A Modest Proposal and Other Satires

A Modest Proposal and Other Satires Character List

The Father

In A Tale of a Tub, the man the story begins with in Section 2, the father of the three sons, who represents God. The coats he gives to them represent their respective Bibles.


Named for St. Peter, he represents Roman Catholicism in A Tale of a Tub.


Named for Protestant reformer Martin Luther, he represents the Church of England in A Tale of a Tub.


Named for John Calvin, he represents the dissenting Protestant denominations in A Tale of a Tub.

The Spider

He represents the faction of Moderns in "The Battle of the Books."

The Bee

The Bee represents the faction of Ancients in "The Battle of the Books."

"A Very Knowing American"

This is the man who tells the narrator of "A Modest Proposal" that infant flesh is delicious. He later assures the narrator that the flesh of fourteen-year-olds is too tough for consumption.

"A Very Worthy Person"

The man in "A Modest Proposal" who suggests to the narrator that the Irish also consume children of fourteen, as he has heard from the writer George Psalmanazar.

Mr. Whiston

The character who, in "A True and Faithful Narrative," deviates from his planned lecture to make a prediction that a comet will strike the earth.