© 2015 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Oliver Twist

Oliver Twist

  

by Charles Dickens

Oliver Twist Characters

Meet the Cast

Oliver Twist

Oliver might be the main character, but he’s not all that complicated (he's an innocent little dude, after all)… but the way he is interpreted and shuffled around by all the other characters su...

Fagin

Fagin is pretty clearly a bad guy. We're not quibbling with the fact that a dude who thinks, "Ooh! Million dollar idea! Let's turn little boys into crooks!" is basically wearing a sticker...

Nancy

Okay, we try to be detached observers and analysts of literature, but sometimes characters just get under our skin. Like Nancy. We heart Nancy. She's complex, sympathetic, and totally tragic. We're...

The Artful Dodger

The Artful Dodger is one of the most famous and memorable characters in the novel... and it's not because he has the coolest street name in all of London.He provides comic relief in part because of...

Charley Bates

Charley Bates serves the same role as the Dodger—comic relief—but in a slightly different way. The Dodger is funny because he’s so knowing, and knows too much for his age, so that the contras...

Bill Sikes

Is there anything at all likeable about Sikes? Seriously, what does Nancy see in this guy? Sikes is brave and strong, for sure, and he’s a straight shooter. He doesn’t like it when Fagin talks...

Mr. Brownlow

Mr. Brownlow is Oliver’s first friend and mentor. He’s had a rough life—he was going to marry his best friend’s sister (Victorians were fond of doing that… it was the next best thing to m...

Mrs. Maylie

Mrs. Maylie is just so dang good, it’s hard to know what to say about her. She apparently makes a habit of taking in questionable orphans, even though she already had a son of her own. Once, when...

Rose Maylie

Rose is the sweetest, loveliest, most virtuous young lady ever. She’s pretty much a stock Victorian heroine. She’s self-sacrificing, loving, kind to animals and small children, and blonde. She...

Harry Maylie

Harry doesn’t actually appear all that much in the novel, but from what we’re able to gather, he’s the typical Victorian hero: young, attractive, active, devoted to his mother and lover, nice...

Mr. Giles

Mr. Giles is the butler/steward at Mrs. Maylie’s house. This is an odd position: he’s a servant, but he’s kind of at the top of the servant social ladder. (19th Century English Lit pro-tip: S...

Mr. Grimwig

Mr. Grimwig is a typical Dickens character: he's eccentric, and his eccentricity takes the form of a frequently repeated verbal or physical tick. His favorite expression is, "I’ll eat my head!"...

Mr. Losberne

Mr. Losberne is a country doctor and old family friend of the Maylies. He’s unmarried, and if he were young enough, he’d probably have a thing for Rose (heck, he might have a thing for her anyw...

Mr. Bumble

Mr. Bumble is the beadle in the town where Oliver is born. As beadle, he’s responsible for running all of the "charitable" institutions in the parish—including the baby farms and the workhouse....

Mrs. Corney

Mrs. Corney is cautious, distrustful, cruel, and power-hungry. We first meet her when she’s fixing herself tea in her snug little room on a blustery winter’s day. The snugness of her little roo...

Monks

Meet our resident Big Bad: Monks is the primary villain of the novel, in that he’s the one who’s really out to get Oliver, but because he appears in so few scenes, he’s listed lower than some...

Noah Claypole

Noah’s another typical minor Dickens character, in that he’s grotesque, absurd, and exaggerated. He’s skinny, lean, and eel-like, and has a taste for oysters and sneaking. Honestly, he kind o...

Agnes Fleming

Agnes gets the first and the last words of the novel, so even though she’s only alive for about five minutes at the beginning, we figure she’s actually pretty important. Agnes, we later learn,...
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement