The protagonist of Candide. He is a simple man with good judgment and a pure heart, who spends the novel in search of his beloved Cunégonde. During his journey, he goes back and… (read full character analysis)
A beautiful young woman, daughter of the Baron of Thunder-ten-tronckh. She is pursued by Candide throughout the novel, during which time she passes into the possession of a long sequence of men: the Bulgarian Captain… (read full character analysis)
Candide's teacher, a philosopher who follows the teachings of the philosopher Leibniz. Pangloss argues that this world is “the best of all possible worlds,” and none of his many misfortunes—including enslavement, hanging, and losing… (read full character analysis)
Cunégonde's brother, and the heir to the Barony of Thunder-ten-tronckh. Almost killed by the Bulgarians, he revives and becomes the Jesuit Reverend-Commander in Paraguay. Though Candide rescues him and his sister several times, he fanatically… (read full character analysis)
An impoverished scholar whom Candide meets in Surinam and takes on as a traveling companion. The polar opposite of Pangloss, Martin is a pessimist, who believes that everything in this world is for the worst.
The Old Woman
A servant to Don Issachar who helps reunite Candide and Cunégonde, and who afterwards becomes Cunégonde's constant companion. The Old Woman is wise from a long and difficult experience of life: she was born a Princess, but became a servant.
He is Candide's valet, a native Peruvian who ends up in Spain. Cacambo is worldly, and knows something about everywhere and everything. He goes with Candide to El Dorado, where he acts as a translator. He also locates Cunégonde at the very end of the novel.
She is a chambermaid in the castle of Thunder-ten-tronckh. During a lesson in “experimental natural philosophy”—i.e. sex—she gives Pangloss syphilis. She reappears in the novel in Venice, where she is working as a prostitute and is seen by Candide and Martin with Giroflée.
He is a Venetian friar of the Theatin Order, who hires Paquette for her services as a prostitute.
Jacques the Anabaptist
An altruistic character, who takes in Candide and Pangloss when they are impoverished in Holland. He dies on the trip to Lisbon, left to drown by a sailor he has just rescued.
A rich Venetian Senator visited by Candide and Martin. Though he is incredibly wealthy, he is indifferent to all of his possessions, and seems unhappy. His name means “cares little,” reflecting his blasé attitude and indifference.
Governor Don Fernando d'Ibaraa, y Figueora, y Mascarenes, y Lampourdos, y Souza
He is the Governor of Buenos Aires. When Candide and Cunégonde arrive there, he takes Cunégonde as his mistress.
The Abbé of Perigord
The Parisian companion of Candide and Martin when they are visiting the city. The Abbé tricks Candide out of some money by writing fake letters from Cunégonde, as well as arranging a fake reunion.
The Marchionness of Parolignac
A Parisian woman who seduces Candide and takes two of his diamond rings in the process.
The King of El Dorado
A wise and kind ruler who is puzzled when Candide and Cacambo want to leave his perfect and happy kingdom. Nevertheless, he helps them depart.
The Old Man of El Dorado
An old man who teaches Candide and Cacambo about the laws and customs in El Dorado.
The Grand Inquisitor
Along with Don Issachar, one of the two men who share Cunégonde while she is in Portugal. He organizes the auto-da-fé in which Candide is whipped and Pangloss is hung. He is murdered by Candide when he comes to see Cunégonde.
A Jewish merchant, one of the two men who share Cunégonde while she is in Portugal. He is killed by Candide when he comes back to his house to see Cunégonde.
The Six Kings
A group of six exiled or deposed kings who Candide and Martin meet in Venice at an inn.
A wise Turkish mystic and philosopher. When Pangloss and the others come to ask him about the meaning of life, he slams his door in their faces.
The Old Turkish Man
An old farmer who inspires Candide and the others to find meaning to life in their work.
The Baron of Thunder-ten-tronckh
He is Cunégonde's father, and the ruler of Thunder-ten-tronckh. When he finds Candide kissing his daughter, he literally kicks him out of the Barony. He is killed by the Bulgarians.
The Baroness of Thunder-ten-tronckh
She is Cunégonde's mother.
The Bulgarian Captain
He kills the soldier raping Cunégonde, and then takes possession of her. He sells Cunégonde to Don Issachar.
The Bulgarian King
He pardons Candide for deserting from the army.
The Protestant Orator
He asks Candide if he believes the Pope is the antichrist. When Candide says that he does not know, he curses him.
A Dutch merchant and slave owner who steals Candide's sheep in Suriname and then sails away. He is killed, later, in a battle with a French warship.
The African Slave
He is Vanderdendur's slave. Candide and Cacambo come across him while traveling to Suriname. When he tells them about slavery, Candide is horrified.