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Characters

Meet the Cast

Lemuel Gulliver

Gulliver the ManAs you might expect, Lemuel Gulliver is the star and central character of Gulliver's Travels. In fact, he narrates the novel himself, and he is the only genuinely developed characte...

Mary Burton

Gulliver marries Mary Burton in the first chapter of his travels, but he never exactly spends a lot of time with her. In fact, even though she expressly asks him not to go back to sea at the end of...

Mr. James Bates

As with all the characters in Gulliver's Travels except for the title character, Mr. James Bates exists mainly as a name, without any particularly distinctive traits. He helps Gulliver set up his m...

The Lilliputians

The Lilliputians inhabit the first island Gulliver visits. They all stand about six inches tall, with proportionally tiny buildings and trees and horses. The Lilliputians are ruled by an Emperor wh...

The Lilliputian Emperor

Swift is definitely playing with fire with this one: the Lilliputian Emperor represents the King of England at the time of the publication of Gulliver's Travels, George I. George was a strongly pro...

Flimnap and Skyresh Bolgolam

Flimnap is the treasurer of Lilliput; he quickly takes against Gulliver thanks to some totally absurd rumors floating around court that Gulliver is having an affair with Flimnap's wife. Seriously,...

Redresal

Redresal is principle secretary of Lilliput and also styles himself Gulliver's friend – when Bolgolam and Flimnap are agitating for Gulliver's death by poison, Redresal suggests the kinder al...

The Brobdingnagians

The Brobdingnagians are giants: they average around 60 feet tall, and their lands and animals are correspondingly huge. Gulliver is incredibly vulnerable in this country, which is why it makes sens...

The Brobdingnagian King

As opposed to the Lilliputian Emperor, who primarily uses Gulliver as a weapon against Blefuscu, the Brobdingnagian King wants Gulliver to teach him English governance in case there's something wor...

The Brobdingnagian Queen's Dwarf

The Queen employs a little person who is 30 feet tall. This person is thrilled to have a man at court even smaller than he is and delights in torturing Gulliver. As always in this novel, no charact...

Glumdalclitch

Glumdalclitch is Gulliver's kindly 9-year-old nurse. She carries him about Brobdingnag in a box meant for his protection, sews his clothes, and generally treats him like a pet. A lot of the humor i...

The Laputians

The Laputians are a race of weirdos whose heads are always leaning to the right or left and whose eyes never focus on the world around them. They live on a floating island controlled by a central m...

The Laputian King

Just like the Lilliputian and Brobdingnagian leaders, the Laputian King is the same as all of his people except more so: he is a representative model Laputian. This means that he is more than usual...

Lord Munodi

Lord Munodi is the one sensible man in all of Laputa. You know that saying, "in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king"? Lord Munodi is proof that that is not true: in the land of the blin...

The Projectors

The people who make Lord Munodi's life hell are these guys, the Projectors, who believe in pursuing science and philosophy without too much regard for practical outcomes. Swift definitely seems to...

Glubbdubdrib

Gulliver can't immediately find a ship to take him from Balnibarbi to the island of Luggnagg. He's lucky, though: he makes two random friends (whose names we never even learn) in the port city of M...

Luggnagg

Luggnagg is basically a stop on Gulliver's way home to England via Japan. It doesn't get much love from Gulliver. He says it's a nice place and people are polite to strangers, but the main ornament...

The King of Luggnagg

Gulliver's stopover in Luggnagg is the result of a bureaucratic snafu. He's not allowed to leave the island until he has received official permission to do so after meeting with the Luggnaggian Kin...

The Struldbrugs

The struldbrugs are totally unique to Luggnagg. Gulliver is introduced to this term by "a person of quality" (3.10.2). (Gulliver loves speaking to people of quality, i.e., people of the upper class...

Japan

Gulliver takes a lot of time to situate the different imaginary islands he visits: Brobdingnag is in the Pacific, between California and Japan. Lilliput is off the coast of Van Diemen's Land, what...

Houyhnhnm Land

Like Brobdingnag, Houyhnhnm (pronounced "whinim") Land is completely cut off from other nations – no one on Houyhnhnm Land has ever visited another country. This kind of isolation appears to...

The Master Horse

The Master Horse is the gray horse whom Gulliver first meets when he's being attacked by Yahoos upon his arrival in Houyhnhnm Land. Gulliver thinks of himself as serving the Master Horse. The main...

The Sorrel Nag

The sorrel nag is the Master Horse's servant. When describing horse colors, "sorrel" means reddish brown, and "nag" means run-down or not as good as a thoroughbred horse. This horse loves Gulliver,...

The Yahoos

Beyond the discovery that we humans are all Yahoos, the main point of interest in Gulliver's long descriptions of these people is the comparison between European and Houyhnhnm Land Yahoos. Gulliver...

Don Pedro de Mendez

Don Pedro de Mendez is the Portuguese captain who finds Gulliver on his island and encourages him to return to England. He is truly a lovely guy. He prevents Gulliver from killing himself in despai...

Captains

Gulliver is careful to tell us all the names of these captains who basically never speak. These details add a touch of tongue-in-cheek "realism" to the novel. And here they are:Abraham Pannel, Capt...
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