Pilgrim's Progress

Characters

Main characters are in capital letters.

First Part

  • CHRISTIAN, who was born Graceless, the protagonist in the First Part, whose journey to the Celestial City is the plot of the story.
  • EVANGELIST, the religious man who puts Christian on the path to the Celestial City. He also shows Christian a book, which readers assume to be the Bible.
  • Obstinate, one of the two residents of the City of Destruction, who run after Christian when he first sets out, in order to bring him back.
  • Pliable, the other of the two, who goes with Christian until both of them fall into the Slough of Despond. Pliable escapes from the slough and returns home.
  • Help, Christian's rescuer from the Slough of Despond.
  • MR. WORLDLY WISEMAN, a resident of a place called Carnal Policy, who persuades Christian to go out of his way to be helped by a Mr. Legality and then move to the City of Morality.
  • GOODWILL, the keeper of the Wicket Gate through which one enters the "straight and narrow way" (also referred to as "the King's Highway") to the Celestial City. In the Second Part we find that this character is none other than Jesus Christ Himself.
  • Baal Zevuv, literally "Lord of the Flies," is one of Satan's companion archdevils, who has erected a fort near the Wicket Gate from which he and his soldiers can shoot arrows of fire at those about to enter the Wicket Gate. He is also the Lord and Prince of Vanity Fair. Christian calls him "captain" of the Foul Fiend Apollyon.[8]
  • THE INTERPRETER, the one who has his House along the way as a rest stop for travellers to check in to see pictures and dioramas to teach them the right way to live the Christian life. He has been identified as the Holy Spirit. He also appears in the Second Part.
  • Shining Ones, the messengers and servants of "the Lord of the Hill," God. They are obviously the holy angels.
  • Formalist, one of two travellers on the King's Highway, who do not come in by the Wicket Gate, but climb over the wall that encloses it, at least from the hill and sepulchre up to the Hill Difficulty. He and his companion Hypocrisy come from the land of Vainglory. He takes one of the two bypaths that avoid the Hill Difficulty, but is lost.
  • Hypocrisy, the companion of Formalist. He takes the other of the two bypaths and is also lost.
  • Timorous, one of two men who try to persuade Christian to go back for fear of the chained lions near the House Beautiful. He is a relative of Mrs. Timorous of the Second Part. His companion is Mistrust.
  • Watchful, the porter of the House Beautiful. He also appears in the Second Part and receives "a gold angel" coin from Christiana for his kindness and service to her and her companions. "Watchful" is also the name of one of the Delectable Mountains' shepherds.
  • Discretion, one of the beautiful maids of the house, who decides to allow Christian to stay there.
  • Prudence, another of the House Beautiful maidens. She appears in the Second Part.
  • Piety, another of the House Beautiful maidens. She appears in the Second Part.
  • Charity, another of the House Beautiful maidens. She appears in the Second Part.
  • Apollyon, literally "Destroyer;" the lord of the City of Destruction and one of the devil's companion archdevils, who tries to force Christian to return to his domain and service. His battle with Christian takes place in the Valley of Humiliation, just below the House Beautiful. He appears as a dragon-like creature with scales, mouth of lion, feet of bear, second mouth on his belly, and bats' wings. He takes fiery darts from his body to throw at his opponents.
  • Giants "Pope" and "Pagan," allegories of Roman Catholicism and paganism as persecutors of Protestant Christians. "Pagan" is dead, indicating the end of pagan persecution with Antiquity, and "Pope" is alive but decrepit, indicating the then diminished power and influence of the Roman Catholic pope. In the Second Part, Pagan is resurrected by an evil spirit from the bottomless pit of the Valley of The Shadow of Death, representing the new age of pagan persecution, and Pope is revived of his deadly wounds and is no longer stiff and unable to move, representing the beginning of the Christian's troubles with Roman Catholic popes.
  • FAITHFUL, Christian's friend from the City of Destruction, who is also going on pilgrimage. Christian meets Faithful just after getting through the Valley of The Shadow of Death. He dies later in Vanity Fair for his strong faith and first reaches the Celestial City.
  • Wanton, a temptress who tries to get Faithful to leave his journey to the Celestial City. She may be the popular resident of the City of Destruction, Madam Wanton, who hosted a house party for friends of Mrs. Timorous.
  • Adam the First, "the old man" (representing carnality) who tries to persuade Faithful to leave his journey and come live with his 3 daughters: the Lust of the flesh, the Lust of the eyes, and the Pride of life.
  • Moses, the severe, violent avenger (representing the Law, which knows no mercy) who tries to kill Faithful for his momentary weakness in wanting to go with Adam the First out of the way. Moses is sent away by Jesus Christ, who can truly save us from our sins.
  • TALKATIVE, a pilgrim that Faithful and Christian meet after going through the Valley of the Shadow of Death. He is known to Christian as a fellow resident of the City of Destruction, living on Prating Row. He is the son of Say-Well and Mrs. Talk-About-The-Right Things. He is said to be better looking from a distance than close up. His enthusiasm for talking about his faith to Faithful deceives him into thinking that he is a sincere man. Christian lets Faithful know about his unsavory past, and in a conversation that Faithful strikes up with him he is exposed as shallow and hypocritical in his Christianity.
  • Lord Hate-Good, the evil judge who tries Faithful in Vanity Fair. Lord Hate-Good is the opposite of a judge, he hates right and loves wrong because he does wrong himself. His jury are vicious rogue men.
  • Envy, the first witness against Faithful who falsely accuses that Faithful shows no respect for their prince, Lord Beelzebub.
  • Superstition, the second witness against Faithful who falsely accuses Faithful of saying that their religion is vain.
  • Pick-Thank, the third witness against Faithful who falsely accuses Faithful of going against their prince, their people, their laws, and the judge himself.
  • HOPEFUL, the resident of Vanity Fair, who takes Faithful's place as Christian's fellow traveler. The character HOPEFUL poses an inconsistency in that there is a necessity imposed on the pilgrims that they enter the "King's Highway" by the Wicket Gate. HOPEFUL did not; however, of him we read: "... one died to bear testimony to the truth, and another rises out of his ashes to be a companion with Christian in his pilgrimage." HOPEFUL assumes FAITHFUL'S place by God's design. Theologically and allegorically it would follow in that "faith" is trust in God as far as things present are concerned, and "hope," biblically the same as "faith," is trust in God as far as things of the future are concerned. HOPEFUL would follow FAITHFUL. The other factor is Vanity Fair's location right on the straight and narrow way. IGNORANCE, in contrast to HOPEFUL, came from the Country of Conceit, that connected to the "King's Highway" by means of a crooked lane. IGNORANCE was told by CHRISTIAN and HOPEFUL that he should have entered the highway through the Wicket Gate.
  • MR. BY-ENDS, a pilgrim met by Christian and Hopeful after they leave Vanity Fair. He makes it his aim to avoid any hardship or persecution that Christians may have to undergo. He supposedly perishes in the Hill Lucre (a dangerous silver mine) with three of his friends, Hold-the-World, Money-Love, and Save-All, at the behest of Demas, who invites passersby to come and see the mine. A "by-end" is a pursuit that is achieved indirectly. For By-Ends and his companions, it is the by-end of financial gain through religion.
  • Demas, a deceiver, who beckons to pilgrims at the Hill Lucre to come and join in the supposed silver mining going on in it.
  • GIANT DESPAIR, the owner of Doubting Castle, where Christians are imprisoned and murdered. He is slain by GREAT-HEART in the Second Part.
  • Giantess Diffidence, Despair's wife known to be cruel, savage, violent, and evil like her husband. She is slain by OLD HONEST in the Second Part.
  • Knowledge, one of the shepherds of the Delectable Mountains.
  • Experience, another of the Delectable Mountains shepherds.
  • Watchful, another of the Delectable Mountains shepherds.
  • Sincere, another of the Delectable Mountains shepherds.
  • IGNORANCE, "a brisk young lad", who joins the "King's Highway" by way of the "crooked lane" that comes from his native country, called "Conceit." He follows Christian and Hopeful and on two occasions talks with them. He believes that he will be received into the Celestial City because of his doing good works in accordance with God's will. For him, Jesus Christ is only an example, not a Savior. Christian and Hopeful try to set him right, but they fail. He gets a ferryman, Vain-Hope, to ferry him across the River of Death rather than cross it on foot as one is supposed to do. When he gets to the gates of the Celestial City, he is asked for a "certificate" needed for entry, which he does not have. The King, then, orders that he be bound and cast into Hell.
  • The Flatterer, a deceiver dressed as an angel who leads Christian and Hopeful out of their way, when they fail to look at the road map given them by the Shepherds of the Delectable Mountains.
  • Atheist, a mocker of CHRISTIAN and HOPEFUL, who goes the opposite way on the "King's Highway" because he boasts that he knows that God and the Celestial City do not exist.

Second Part

  • Mr. Sagacity, a guest narrator who meets Bunyan himself in his new dream and recounts the events of the Second Part up to the arrival at the Wicket Gate.
  • CHRISTIANA, wife of CHRISTIAN, who leads her four sons and neighbour MERCY on pilgrimage.
  • MATTHEW, CHRISTIAN and CHRISTIANA's eldest son, who marries MERCY.
  • SAMUEL, second son, who marries Grace, Mr. Mnason's daughter.
  • JOSEPH, third son, who marries Martha, Mr. Mnason's daughter.
  • JAMES, fourth and youngest son, who marries Phoebe, Gaius's daughter.
  • MERCY, CHRISTIANA's neighbour, who goes with her on pilgrimage and marries MATTHEW.
  • Mrs. Timorous, relative of the Timorous of the First Part, who comes with MERCY to see CHRISTIANA before she sets out on pilgrimage.
  • Mrs. Bat's-Eyes, a resident of The City of Destruction and friend of Mrs. Timorous. Since she has a bat's eyes, she would be blind or nearly blind, so her characterization of Christiana as blind in her desire to go on pilgrimage is hypocritical.
  • Mrs. Inconsiderate, a resident of The City of Destruction and friend of Mrs. Timorous. She characterizes Christiana's departure "a good riddance" as an inconsiderate person would.
  • Mrs. Light-Mind, a resident of The City of Destruction and friend of Mrs. Timorous. She changes the subject from Christiana to gossip about being at a bawdy party at Madam Wanton's home.
  • Mrs. Know-Nothing, a resident of The City of Destruction and friend of Mrs. Timorous. She wonders if Christiana will actually go on pilgrimage.
  • Ill-favoured Ones, two evil characters CHRISTIANA sees in her dream, whom she and MERCY actually encounter when they leave the Wicket Gate. The two Ill Ones are driven off by GREAT HEART himself.
  • Innocent, a young serving maid of the INTERPRETER, who answers the door of the house when Christiana and her companions arrive; and who conducts them to the garden bath, which signifies Christian baptism.
  • MR. GREAT-HEART, the guide and body-guard sent by the INTERPRETER with CHRISTIANA and her companions from his house to their journey's end. He proves to be one of the main protagonists in the Second Part.
  • Giant Grim, a Giant who "backs the [chained] lions" near the House Beautiful, slain by GREAT-HEART. He is also known as "Bloody-Man" because he has killed many pilgrim's or sent them on mazes of detours, where they were lost forever.
  • Humble-Mind, one of the maidens of the House Beautiful, who makes her appearance in the Second Part. She questions Matthew, James, Samuel, and Joseph about their godly faith and their hearts to the Lord God.
  • Mr. Brisk, a suitor of MERCY's, who gives up courting her when he finds out that she makes clothing only to give away to the poor. He is shown to be a foppish, worldy-minded person who is double minded about his beliefs.
  • Mr. Skill, the godly physician called to the House Beautiful to cure Matthew of his illness, which is caused by eating the forbidden apples and fruits of Beelzebub which his mother told him not to but he did it any way.
  • Giant Maul, a Giant whom GREAT-HEART kills as the pilgrims leave the Valley of the Shadow of Death. He holds a grudge against GREAT HEART for doing his duty of saving pilgrim's from damnation and bringing them from darkness to light, from evil to good, and from Satan, the Devil to Jesus Christ, the Savior.
  • OLD HONEST, a pilgrim from the frozen town of Stupidity who joins them, a welcome companion to GREAT-HEART. OLD HONEST tells the stories of Mr. Fearing and a prideful villain named Mr. Self-Will.
  • Mr. Fearing, a fearful pilgrim from the City of Destruction whom GREAT-HEART had "conducted" to the Celestial City in an earlier pilgrimage. Noted for his timidness of Godly Fears such as temptations and doubts. He is Mr. Feeble-Mind's uncle.
  • Gaius, an innkeeper with whom the pilgrims stay for some years after they leave the Valley of the Shadow of Death. He gives his daughter Phoebe to JAMES in marriage. The lodging fee for his inn is paid by the Good Samaritan. Gaius tells them of the wicked Giant Slay-Good.
  • Giant Slay-Good, a Giant who enlists the help of evil-doers on the King's Highway to abduct, murder, and consume pilgrims before they get to Vanity Fair. He is killed by GREAT HEART.
  • Mr. Feeble-Mind, rescued from Slay-Good by Mr. Great-Heart, who joins Christiana's company of pilgrims. He is the nephew of Mr. Fearing.
  • Phoebe, Gaius's daughter, who marries JAMES.
  • Mr. Ready-to-Halt, a pilgrim who meets CHRISTIANA's train of pilgrims at Gaius's door, and becomes the companion of Mr. Feeble-mind, to whom he gives one of his crutches.
  • Mr. Mnason, a resident of the town of Vanity, who puts up the pilgrims for a time, and gives his daughters Grace and Martha in marriage to SAMUEL and JOSEPH respectively.
  • Grace, Mnason's daughter, who marries SAMUEL.
  • Martha, Mnason's daughter, who marries JOSEPH.
  • Mr. Despondency, a rescued prisoner from Doubting Castle owned by the miserable Giant Despair.
  • Much-Afraid, his daughter.
  • Mr. VALIANT, a pilgrim they find all bloody, with his sword in his hand, after leaving the Delectable Mountains. He fought and defeated three robbers called Faint-Heart, Mistrust, and Guilt.
  • Mr. Stand-Fast FOR-TRUTH, a pilgrim found while praying for deliverance from Madame Bubble.
  • Madame Bubble, a witch whose enchantments made the Enchanted Ground enchanted with an air that makes foolish pilgrims sleepy and never wake up again. She is the adulterous woman mentioned in the Biblical Book of Proverbs. Mr. Self-Will went over a bridge to meet her and never came back again.

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