The Pilgrim’s Progress

The Pilgrim’s Progress

by

John Bunyan

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The Pilgrim’s Progress Characters

Christian

Christian is Christiana’s husband and the protagonist of the story. He is an “Everyman” character—in other words, he’s an ordinary stock character with whom a broad audience is expected to identify. As such (and… read analysis of Christian

Faithful

Like Christian, Faithful comes from the City of Destruction. He and Christian meet and begin journeying together at the end of the Valley of the Shadow of Death. Faithful has a conversation with Talkativeread analysis of Faithful

Hopeful

Hopeful, from the city of Vanity, witnesses Faithful’s brutal execution in Vanity Fair and is encouraged to follow Christian from then on; they become companions for the rest of their pilgrimage. While he and… read analysis of Hopeful

Christiana

Christiana is Christian’s wife. In the book’s first part, she mocks Christian’s faith and refuses to go on pilgrimage with him. In the second part, she repents and decides to follow him to the… read analysis of Christiana

Evangelist

Evangelist gets Christian on the path to repentance and salvation. In answer to Christian’s distress, Evangelist gives him parchment roll that reads, “Fly from the wrath to come” and directs him to the Wicket-Gateread analysis of Evangelist
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Pliable

With Obstinate, Pliable tries to force Christian to return to the City of Destruction, but unlike Obstinate, Pliable is moved by Christian’s description of Heaven and travels with him for a short distance. However… read analysis of Pliable

Mr. Worldly Wiseman

Mr. Worldly Wiseman, from the town of Carnal Policy, meets Christian as Christian is walking toward the Wicket-Gate. Mr. Worldly Wiseman denounces Evangelist’s advice to go to the Wicket-Gate because Christian will encounter… read analysis of Mr. Worldly Wiseman

Legality

Legality is Civility’s father. He’s a resident of the village of Morality whom Mr. Worldly Wiseman cites as an honest man, skilled at removing the burdens of people like Christian. Later, Evangelist explains… read analysis of Legality

Good-will/Keeper of the Gate

Good-will is a solemn figure who guards the Wicket-gate. However, when Christian knocks and introduces himself as a sinner, Good-will gladly opens the gate for him. He then directs Christian on the straight and… read analysis of Good-will/Keeper of the Gate

Shining Ones

The Shining Ones are angels who minister to Christian throughout his travels—for example, giving him new clothes and a sealed roll after he loses his burden of sin at the Cross. A Shining One also… read analysis of Shining Ones

Simple

Simple is one of three men, their feet bound with chains, whom Christian meets after the Cross. He would rather sleep than stay alert to the devil’s attacks. Later, when Christiana passes by the sameread analysis of Simple

Sloth

Sloth is one of three men, their feet bound with chains, whom Christian meets after the Cross. He would rather sleep than stay alert to the devil’s attacks. Later, when Christiana passes by the same… read analysis of Sloth

Presumption

Presumption is one of three men, their feet bound with chains, whom Christian meets after the Cross. He would rather sleep than stay alert to the devil’s attacks. Later, when Christiana passes by the same… read analysis of Presumption

Formalist

Formalist is a man who climbs over the wall of Salvation to access the narrow way, instead of entering the prescribed way, through the Wicket-gate. Christian warns him and Hypocrisy that he is a… read analysis of Formalist

Hypocrisy

Hyocrisy is a man who climbs over the wall of Salvation to access the narrow way, instead of entering the prescribed way, through the Wicket-gate. Christian warns him and Formalist that he is a… read analysis of Hypocrisy

Apollyon

Apollyon is a horrible winged fiend whom Christian meets after he leaves Palace Beautiful. He tries to persuade Christian to become his subject again. When Christian refuses, Apollyon tries to shame him for his past… read analysis of Apollyon

Adam the First/Moses

Adam the First is an honest-looking old man whom Faithful meets at the foot of the Hill Difficulty. Adam the First invites Faithful to live with him in the town of Deceit and work for… read analysis of Adam the First/Moses

Talkative

Talktaive is a man whom Christian and Faithful meet on their journey between the Valley of the Shadow of Death and Vanity Fair. He is from the City of Destruction, and Christian is familiar with… read analysis of Talkative

By-ends

By-ends comes from the wealthy town of Fair-speech and is going to the Celestial City. Christian and Hopeful encounter him after they leave Vanity Fair. Christian recognizes By-ends and warns Hopeful that he’s a hypocrite… read analysis of By-ends

Giant Despair

Giant Despair lives in Doubting Castle, somewhere between Vanity Fair and the Delectable Mountains, with his wife, Diffidence. After wandering off their path to the Celestial City and getting stranded in a storm, Christianread analysis of Giant Despair

Shepherds

The Shepherds tend their flocks in the Delectable Mountains of Immanuel’s Land, overlooking the Celestial City. They show kindness to Christian and Hopeful after the two men escape from Doubting Castle, and they later provide… read analysis of Shepherds

Ignorance

Ignorance is a young man whom Christian and Hopeful meet after they descend from the Delectable Mountains. Unlike the other Christian and Hopeful, Ignorance has no scroll with which to gain entrance to the Celestial… read analysis of Ignorance

Temporary

Temporary is a man from the town of Graceless whom Christian and Hopeful discuss. At one time, Temporary felt convicted of his sins, but he went astray after befriending a man named Saveself. Temporary is… read analysis of Temporary

Mercy

Mercy, a young woman, is Christiana’s neighbor. Mercy agrees to go on pilgrimage with Christiana out of concern both for her neighbor and herself. She is a tender-hearted and compassionate person; she is also… read analysis of Mercy

Feeble-mind

Feeble-mind is a weak but determined pilgrim whom Mr. Great-heart rescues from Slay-good the giant. Feeble-mind’s health is poor, and he often receives special help from other pilgrims. He is Mr. Fearing’s nephew. He… read analysis of Feeble-mind
Minor Characters
Obstinate
Obstinate, a neighbor in the City of Destruction, tries to force the fleeing Christian to return home. When Christian, tries to persuade Obstinate to flee with him, Obstinate decides Christian is insane to leave the world behind and returns to the city.
Help
When Christian is struggling in the Slough of Despond, Help appears and pulls him out.
Civility
Civility is Legality’s son. Like Legality, he purports to help remove people’s burdens but instead just increases them.
Interpreter
After passing through the Wicket-gate, both Christian and Christiana visit the Interpreter’s House, where the Interpreter shows them various signs and curiosities whose meanings help the pilgrims on their journeys.
Timorous
Timorous is a fearful pilgrim who flees the lions in the path and tries to get Christian to turn back.
Mistrust
Mistrust is a fearful pilgrim who flees the lions in the path and tries to get Christian to turn back.
Porter/Mr. Watchful
The Porter, or Mr. Watchful, guards the entrance to Palace Beautiful and encourages Christian not to fear the lions along the path.
Discretion
Discretion is a girl who interviews and admits Christian to Palace Beautiful.
Piety
Piety is a resident of Palace Beautiful who encourages guests with her hospitality and conversation. She is especially focused on religious reverence.
Prudence
Prudence is a resident of Palace Beautiful who encourages guests with her hospitality and conversation. She is especially focused on wise judgment. When Christiana and her sons arrive, she asks Christiana’s sons catechism questions to test their religious understanding.
Charity
Charity is a resident of Palace Beautiful who encourages guests with her hospitality and conversation. She is especially focused on love.
Shame
Shameful is a figure whom Faithful meets while passing through the Valley of Humiliation. Shame tries to convince Faithful that it’s shameful to be religious in the current day and age—after all, most of the rich and powerful don’t worry about religion, but only the poor and ignorant.
Beelzebub
Beelzebub, a devil, is the King of Vanity.
Envy
Envy witnesses against Faithful in his trial in Vanity Fair.
Superstition
Superstition witnesses against Faithful in his trial in Vanity Fair.
Pickthank
Pickthank witnesses against Faithful in his trial in Vanity Fair.
Lord Hategood
Lord Hategood is the judge of Faithful’s trial in Vanity Fair.
Demas
Demas leads pilgrims astray by inviting them to dig for treasure in his silver-mine in the hill called Lucre.
Diffidence
Diffidence is Giant Despair’s wife. She eggs on Giant Despair in his cruelties toward Christian and Hopeful. Mr. Honest later slays her.
Flatterer
Flatterer is a sinister figure who offers to lead Christian and Hopeful to the Celestial City but actually takes them in the opposite direction, getting them helplessly lost. The Shepherds had warned the pilgrims about the Flatterer, but they failed to heed the warning.
Atheist
Christian and Hopeful meet Atheist on their pilgrimage, and Atheist laughs mockingly when he hears that the pilgrims are headed to the Celestial City. Atheist claims that he spent 20 years searching for the Celestial City and never found any sign of it.
Mr. Sagacity
When the narrator begins dreaming the second part of the book, he initially journeys with a figure named Mr. Sagacity. Sagacity tells the narrator the early part of Christiana’s story.
Secret
Secret is a figure who visits Christiana in the City of Destruction with a letter from the King of the Celestial City, inviting her to follow in Christian’s footsteps.
Mrs. Timorous
Mrs. Timorous is Timorous’s daughter and Christiana’s neighbor. She pleads with Christiana not to follow Christian’s footsteps by going on a pilgrimage, arguing that the hardships are too great.
Ill-Favored Ones
The Ill-Favored Ones attempt to assault the women pilgrims (Christiana and her group) soon after the latter depart from the Wicket-gate, until they are chased off by a Reliever.
Reliever
Reliever comes from the Gate-House to rescue the women pilgrims from the Ill-Favored Ones.
Mr. Great-heart
Mr. Great-heart is the guide and defender, assigned by Interpreter, who accompanies Christiana and her fellow pilgrims from the Interpreter’s House all the way to the banks of the River of Death. He defeats giants, leads and protects the women, and gives spiritual advice.
James
Christian’s and Christiana’s youngest son and Joseph, Samuel, and Matthew’s brother. He later marries Gaius’s daughter Phebe.
Joseph
Christian’s and Christiana’s second-youngest son and Matthew, Samuel, and James’s brother. He later marries Martha Mnason.
Samuel
Samuel is Christian’s and Christiana’s second-oldest son and James, Joseph, and Matthew’s brother. He later marries Grace Mnason.
Matthew
Matthew is Christian’s and Christiana’s eldest son and James, Joseph, and Samuel’s brother. He gets deathly ill after eating some stolen fruit, but a doctor named Mr. Skill saves him. While staying at Gaius’s Inn, he marries Mercy.
Mr. Brisk
Mr. Brisk, a worldly man, is Mercy’s suitor while she is staying at the Porter’s House. When he finds out that Mercy spends her spare time making clothes for the poor, he rejects her.
Mr. Skill
Mr. Skill is a doctor who makes a purgative potion for Matthew.
Maul
Maul is a giant whom Mr. Great-heart defeats in the Valley of the Shadow of Death.
Mr. Honest
Mr. Honest is an elderly pilgrim who joins Christiana’s group. He comes from the town of Stupidity. Mr. Fearing journeyed with him for a while.
Mr. Fearing
Mr. Fearing is a pilgrim who constantly feared whether he would be accepted by God, thus making his journey needlessly difficult. God mercifully removed many obstacles throughout his pilgrimage, and his crossing of the River was easy.
Mr. Self-Will
Mr. Self-Will is a pilgrim who interpreted the Bible in order to excuse his own vices. Because of this, Great-heart doubts that Self-will was a genuine pilgrim.
Gaius
Gaius is a kindly innkeeper who houses Christiana and her group for a month, having known Christian’s family for a long time. He advises Christiana to find godly wives for her sons and even encourages a match between Matthew and Mercy. He warmly praises women’s faithfulness as pilgrims.
Slay-good
Slay-good is a fearsome, flesh-eating giant who almost eats Feeble-mind before being slain by Great-heart.
Phebe
Phebe is Gaius’s daughter, who marries James.
Mr. Ready-to-halt
Mr. Ready-to-halt is a pilgrim who is infirm and uses crutches; he joins Christiana’s group of pilgrims as they’re setting out from Gaius’s Inn. He and Feeble-mind are good friends.
Mr. Mnason
Mr. Mnason is a disciple from Cyprus who lives in Vanity. Christiana and her fellow pilgrims lodge in his house during their extended stay in that town. He has daughters named Grace and Martha.
Grace
Grace is Mr. Mnason’s daughter, who marries Samuel.
Martha
Martha is Mr. Mnason’s daughter, who marries Joseph.
Mr. Contrite
Mr. Contrite is Mr. Mnason’s friend, who lives in Vanity and helps Mr. Great-heart slay the dragon that harasses the town.
Mr. Dispondency
Mr. Dispondency, Much-afraid’s father, is a pilgrim who is found imprisoned in Doubting Castle and taken under Mr. Great-heart’s protection.
Much-afraid
Much-afraid is a pilgrim who, with her father, Mr. Dispondency, is found imprisoned in Doubting Castle and taken under Mr. Great-heart’s protection. When the time comes for her to cross the River of Death, she sings a joyous song.
Mr. Valiant-for-Truth
Mr. Valiant-for-Truth is a brave pilgrim from Dark-land whom Christiana’s group meets just beyond the Delectable Mountains. Despite his family’s opposition, he embarked on his pilgrimage after hearing about Christian. Before Christiana crosses the River, she places her children under his care.
Stand-fast
Stand-fast is a pilgrim who joins Christiana’s group in the Enchanted Ground, escaping Madam Bubble’s temptations.
Madam Bubble
Madam Bubble is an evil witch who has led many pilgrims astray in the Enchanted Ground, though Stand-fast escapes her temptations.
Little-faith
Little-faith is a character in a story Hopeful tells, who was robbed on his pilgrimage and spent the rest of his journey discouraged, though he made it to the Celestial City.
The Narrator
The book’s unnamed narrator falls asleep and dreams of Christian’s and Christiana’s respective journeys. These dreams make up the bulk of Pilgrim’s Progress.
John Bunyan
Bunyan is the author of Pilgrim’s Progress. In the “Apology” at the beginning of the book, he offers a self-defense for writing about religious themes in a fictional and allegorical style.