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The Pilgrim's Progress

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Introduction
Contents
>Characters
Places
Library

A directory of characters that have a speaking role in The Pilgrim's Progress are listed below. Several other characters are introduced in the tale, but they are not listed here.

The principal characters are shown in small UPPERCASE

Click either tab below to show the list in alphabetical sequence, or in the order in which the characters are introduced as the journey progresses.



Characters

Alphabetical order Introduced in:
CHRISTIANFlight from the City of Destruction (1.1.1)

First edition title page
(Click image to enlarge)

CHRISTIAN is the protagonist in Part I. His journey to the Celestial City (Heaven) is the plot of the story.

The drawing on the right shows Goodwill (Jesus Christ) opening the Wicket Gate (Salvation) for CHRISTIAN to enter and follow the path to the Celestial City (heaven).

At the House Beautiful we learn that CHRISTIAN's former name was Graceless.

EVANGELIST The EVANGELIST shows CHRISTIAN the way to the Celestial City. He also shows him a book, which we can assume to be the Bible.
Obstinate When CHRISTIAN leaves the City of Destruction, citizens Obstinate and Pliable run after CHRISTIAN to bring him back.
Pliable
HelpThe Slough of Despond (1.1.2)Help rescues CHRISTIAN from the Slough of Despond.
MR. WORLDLY WISEMANMr Worldly Wiseman (1.1.3)MR. WORLDLY WISEMAN resides in a place named Carnal Policy. He persuades CHRISTIAN to discard his burden and leave the straight and narrow path. CHRISTIAN makes the error of following the advice.
Mr Legality Resident of Morality.
Civility Son of Mr Legality
GOODWILLThe Wicket Gate (1.1.4)GOODWILL (Jesus Christ) is the keeper of the Wicket Gate. Through this gate one enters the straight and narrow path to the Celestial City (heaven).
Beelzebub

First edition title page
Beelzebub
(Click image to enlarge)

Not somebody you would wish to meet on a dark night. Indeed, not somebody to associate with at any time, for Beelzebub is a demon, described in Luke 11:15 as chief of the seven princes of Hell.

In the story, as in real life, Beelzebub has built a castle in front of the Wicket Gate. From the battlements he and other demons shoot arrows at those who approach the Wicket Gate.

Beelzebub is also the Lord of Vanity Fair and CHRISTIAN refers to him as the "captain" of APOLLYON.

THE INTERPRETER THE INTERPRETER (Holy Spirit) avails himself for travellers and guides them along the way. He does this through pictures and dioramas.
ManThe Interpreter (1.1.5)Mankind; specifically those who are unsaved.
Shining OnesCross & sepulchre (1.2.1)These are the angels of the Lord of the Hill. One testifies to CHRISTIAN that his sins are forgiven, another replaces his rags with a broidered coat, and the third sets a mark on his forehead and gives him a sealed roll.
SimpleSimple, Sloth, & Presumption; Formalist & Hypocrisy (1.2.2)Christian encourages Simple to wake up and see the danger. But Simple sees no danger and goes back to sleep.
Sloth Christian encourages Sloth to shed his procrastination but Sloth wants just a little more sleep.
Presumption Christian encourages Presumption to wake up and see life as it really is. But Presumption just shrugs his shoulders and goes back to sleep.
Formalist Formalist and Hypocrisy attempt to bypass the Wicket Gate (salvation) and take a short-cut to the Celestial City (heaven), but become lost at the foot of the hill.
Hypocrisy
Lord of the HillThe three ways: Difficulty, Danger, & Destruction (1.2.3)In The House Beautiful, the Lord of the Hill is described as the Son of the Ancient of days (the Alpha and Omega, the Everlasting). He is the Creator, the Conqueror of death. In other words, God.
TimorousTimorous & Mistrust (1.2.4)The timid Timorous and his companion, Mistrust, try to persuade CHRISTIAN to go back for fear of two chained lions near the House Beautiful.
Mistrust
WatchfulThe House Beautiful (1.2.5)The porter of the House Beautiful is named 'Watchful' and is one of the shepherds on the Delectable Mountains.
Porter
Discretion Maidens at the House Beautiful.
Prudence
Piety
Charity
FAITHFUL A fellow pilgrim from the City of Destruction, who meets up with CHRISTIAN.
APOLLYONThe Valley of Humiliation and Apollyon (1.2.6)

First edition title page
CHRISTIAN's combat with APOLLYON
(Click image to enlarge)

APOLLYON is an archdevil, the antichrist, the angel of spiritual death. 'APOLLYON' is Greek for 'Destroyer' and appears as a dragon-like creature with scales, wings and bear's paws. He is described in Revelation 9:1-11 as the king of scorpions which had locust wings and the teeth of lions.
PopeThe Valley of the Shadow of Death (1.2.7)Pope is a giant, but very much a 'has-been'. Once all-powerful, Pope is now too old, feeble, crazy, sitting in the mouth of his cave biting his nails.
Pagan Like Pope, Pagan was once a powerful giant, but now an extinct dinosaur.
WantonFaithful (1.3.1)Tries to tempt Faithful to abandon his journey to the Celestial City.
Adam the First Adam tries to persuade Faithful to abandon his journey to the Celestial City and instead, live with his three daughters: Lust of the flesh, Lust of the eyes, and Pride of life.
Moses Shows no mercy to those who break the law. Spares nobody: "neither knoweth he how to shew mercy to those that transgress the law".
JOSEPH CHRISTIAN and CHRISTIANA's third son. He marries Mr Mnason's daughter, Martha.
TalkativeTalkative (1.3.2)From Prating Row in the City of Destruction. He talks incessantly about religion but does not support what he says with action. In other words, he is a hypocrite.
Lord Hate-goodVanity fair (1.3.4)The judge at the trial of Faithful in Vanity Fair.
Envy First witness against Faithful at the trial of Faithful in Vanity Fair.
Superstition Second witness against Faithful at the trial of Faithful in Vanity Fair.
Pick-Thank A 'Pick-Thank' is an officious person, flatterer, sycophant, yes-man. He was the third witness against Faithful at the trial of Faithful in Vanity Fair.
HOPEFULBy-ends & his friends (1.4.1)HOPEFUL is the replacement of FAITHFUL as the travelling companion of CHRISTIAN. The allegory is that faith is the basis for hope for the future.
Mr By-Ends A "by-end" is the secret and selfish purpose of a pursuit that is achieved indirectly. This character is a hypocrite; pretending to be honest but his real agenda is for financial gain through religion.
Mr Hold-the-world Three co-conspirators with Mr By-Ends.
Mr Money-love
Mr Save-all
DemasThe plain "Ease", Demas, & the silver mine (1.4.2)The son of Judas, who betrayed Jesus. Demas tries to deceive the pilgrims at the Hill Lucre to dig for earthly riches. Demas is another biblical character who is a companion of the Apostle Paul during his first imprisonment at Rome (Phil. 1:24; Col. 4:14), but then succumbed to the temptation of material wealth and deserted Paul (2 Tim. 4:10).
GIANT DESPAIRBy-path Meadow & Giant Despair (1.4.5)He owns Doubting Castle, where Christians are trapped and killed. He himself is later killed off by GREAT-HEART.
Mrs Diffidence The wife of GIANT DESPAIR. She is later killed by OLD HONEST.
KnowledgeThe delectable mountains (1.4.6)The four shepherds of the Delectable Mountains, who teach and guide the pilgrims.
Experience
Watchful
Sincere
IGNORANCEIgnorance (1.5.1)Comes from a place called Conceit and follows the King's Highway via the crooked lane. He joins up with CHRISTIAN and HOPEFUL who try to teach him the error of his ways. They fail, and when IGNORANCE tries to enter the Celestial City, he is dispatched straight to hell.
The FlattererThe Flatterer (1.5.3)A false apostle and hypocrite, who takes the opportunity to try to deceive the pilgrims when their guard is down.
AtheistAtheist (1.5.4)Not only is the Atheist convinced that neither God nor the Celestial City exist, but he also mocks the pilgrims who do exist.
TemporaryThe story of Temporary (1.5.7)
MERCYThe Author's Way of Sending Forth His Second Part of the Pilgrim (2.0.1)A neighbour and companion of CHRISTIANA on her pilgrimage.
Mr Despondency Imprisoned in Doubting Castle but then rescued.
Mistress Much-Afraid The daughter of Mr Despondency.
Mr VALIANT-FOR-TRUTH A pilgrim descending the Delectable Mountains, showing evidence of being involved in a courageous fight.
Mr SagacityMr Sagacity tells the author about Christiana (2.1.1)Here, the author (John Bunyan) is met by an aged and sagacious narrator in a dream, and who recounts the events up to the arrival at the Wicket Gate.
CHRISTIANA Wife of CHRISTIAN. She is accompanied on the pilgrimage by her four sons and her neighbour, MERCY.
Mrs Timorous Wife of Mr Timorous (Part I), an equally hesitant lady who accompanies MERCY before setting off on the pilgrimage.
Mrs Bat's-Eyes A neighbour of Mrs Timorous from the City of Destruction. Her bat's eyes obscure clear vision of the true nature of CHRISTIANA.
Mrs Inconsiderate A neighbour of Mrs Timorous from the City of Destruction, and appropriately named.
Mrs Light-Mind A neighbour of Mrs Timorous from the City of Destruction, and a lover of gossip.
Mrs Know-Nothing A neighbour of Mrs Timorous from the City of Destruction, knowing very little and reluctant to learn.
Ill-favoured OnesBeelzebub's orchard and the two "ill-favoured" ones (2.1.4)These are two evil characters whom CHRISTIANA and MERCY later meet when they leave the Wicket Gate.
InnocentThe House of the Interpreter (2.1.5)A young maid of the INTERPRETER (Holy Spirit).
Mr GREAT-HEARTMr Greatheart is sent with Christiana & her companions (2.2.1)A co-protagonist with CHRISTIANA, sent by the INTERPRETER, to guide the pilgrims and look after them.
JAMESThe Hill Difficulty (2.2.2)CHRISTIANA's fourth and youngest son.
Giant GrimThe battle with Giant Grim (2.2.3)Keeper of lions and stained with the blood of earlier travellers he had slain. But GREAT-HEART cuts the giant down so the pilgrims may proceed. (The lions, sadly, stay chained up. No animal cruelty intended by this story of course; purely metaphorical.)
MATTHEWThe House Beautiful (2.2.4)CHRISTIANA's eldest son.
SAMUEL CHRISTIANA's second son.
Humble-Mind One of the maidens of the House Beautiful.
Mr Brisk An admirer of MERCY's, until he learns that her labours are for the poor and earns no money from the work.
Mr Skill The doctor who is summoned to treat Matthew. He diagnoses the illness is caused by eating the fruits of Beelzebub.
Giant MaulThe battle with Giant Maul (2.3.3)Another giant that perishes at the hands of GREAT-HEART.
OLD HONESTOld Honest (2.3.4)Another pilgrim who joins the journey and becomes a welcome companion to GREAT-HEART.
Mr FearingThe story of Mr Fearing (2.3.5)A pilgrim who is afraid to venture.
Mr Self-willThe story of Mr Self-will (2.3.6)A man who deludes himself into believing that he can live without God.
GaiusGaius's inn (2.3.7)An innkeeper who not only provides lodging to the pilgrims, but also allows his daughter Phebe to marry JAMES. ('Gaius' is an old Roman forename. It was given to Julius Caesar, amongst many other notable people of the same period.)
Giant Slay-GoodThe battle with Giant Slay-good (2.3.8)Another troublesome giant on the King's Highway.
Mr Feeble-Mind Almost comes to grief at the hands of Giant Slay-Good, but is rescued by Mr GREAT-HEART.
Mr Ready-to-HaltLeaving Gaius's inn (2.3.9)A travelling companion of Mr Feeble-mind.
Mr MnasonVanity Fair (2.3.10)Lives in Vanity and gives lodging to the pilgrims. His daughter Grace marries and his other daughter Martha marries JOSEPH.
Grace Mr Mnason's daughter, who marries SAMUEL.
Mr Contrite Neighbours, who come to Mr Mnason's house to meet the pilgrims.
Mr Holy-man
Mr Love-saints
Mr Dare-not-lie
Mr Penitent
Martha Mr Mnason's daughter, who marries JOSEPH.
Mr Stand-FastMr Standfast (2.4.6)A pilgrim, who prays for deliverance from Madame Bubble.
Madame Bubble As the witch, mentioned Proverbs.