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 full character analysis)
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 full character analysis)
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, 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.
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 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 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.