The Minister’s Black Veil


Nathaniel Hawthorne

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The Minister’s Black Veil Characters

Reverend Hooper

The protagonist of “The Minister’s Black Veil,” Hooper is a young, mild-mannered preacher in the town of Milford. However, one day, without giving an explicit reason, he begins wearing a black veil that covers his… read analysis of Reverend Hooper


Elizabeth is Hooper’s fiancée at the beginning of the story. After he begins wearing his veil, she is the only person in Milford who isn’t immediately afraid of him. When Hooper refuses to… read analysis of Elizabeth

The young woman

The young woman, who is being buried on the day that Hooper first wears his veil, has no lines in “The Minister’s Black Veil,” but it’s been suggested by some readers that she… read analysis of The young woman
Minor Characters
Mr. Joseph Moody
Another clergyman who wears a veil. Hawthorne explains that Moody, a minister of a town in Maine, does so because he accidentally killed his friend as a young man. Hawthorne adds, cryptically, that Hooper’s veil has a different meaning than Moody’s.
Reverend Clark
Reverend Clark, a young priest from the nearby town of Westbury, is standing by Hooper’s bedside when he dies. He asks Hooper what crime caused him to hide his face, and listens in shock and amazement to Hooper’s response.
Squire Saunders
An old member of the Milford community who usually invites Hooper to dine with him after services, but doesn’t do so in the story because, it is strongly implied, once Hooper starts wearing the veil.
The physician
The physician thinks that Hooper is insane when he first puts on the veil, but also notes, perceptively, that men are sometimes afraid to be alone with themselves, foreshadowing Hooper’s discussion of sin and guilt.
The sexton
The first person to notice that Hooper is wearing the veil, the sexton quickly draws the entire town’s attention with his shocked response to Hooper’s changed appearance.