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The Alchemist

Paulo Coelho

Character List

Plot Overview

Analysis of Major Characters

Santiago -  An adventurous young Andalusian shepherd determined to fulfill his Personal Legend, which is to find a treasure at the foot of the Egyptian pyramids. He is the book's protagonist.

Read an in-depth analysis of Santiago.

The Alchemist -  A 200-year-old, extremely powerful alchemist residing in the Al-Fayoum Oasis. He dresses in black, rides a white horse, and carries a scimitar, the Philosopher’s Stone, and the Elixir of Life. He often speaks cryptically, but he understands the Soul of the World and the importance of Personal Legends.

Read an in-depth analysis of The Alchemist.

Crystal Merchant -  A struggling merchant who owns a crystal shop on top of a desolate hill. His shop was once popular but lost much of its business as Tangier lost its status as Egypt’s premiere port town. He is a good-hearted, devout Muslim, but has a crippling fear of change.

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Englishman -  A well-educated science student determined to learn the secrets of alchemy by learning from a true alchemist. He is a skeptic and loves reading his books.

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Melchizedek -  The King of Salem. He appears to possess magical powers and helps those pursuing their Personal Legends.

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Fatima -  A beautiful and chaste young "desert woman" who lives at the Al-Fayoum Oasis. She understands that she must allow Santiago to travel in pursuit of his dream.

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Gypsy -  An old women living in Tarifa who interprets dreams. She reads palms and uses black-magic iconography, but she also keeps images of Christ.
Camel Driver -  A friendly former orchard owner and devout Muslim who feels content with his life despite losing his orchard in a flood. He has made the pilgrimage to Mecca and lives his life in service of omens from God.
The Tribal Chieftain of Al-Fayoum -  A strict and ruthless tribal chieftain who lives in luxury. He enforces Al-Fayoum's status as a neutral ground and believes in dreams and omens.
Merchant’s daughter -  The beautiful and intelligent raven-haired daughter of the merchant who buys wool from Santiago.
The Monk -  A welcoming Coptic monk living in a monastery near the pyramids of Egypt.
Merchant -  A merchant who buys wool from Santiago on a yearly basis. He worries about being cheated so he demands that any wool he buys be sheared from the sheep in his presence.

Read an in-depth analysis of Merchant.

Santiago's father -  A kindly, unadventurous family man who hoped Santiago would become a priest but gives him his blessing to become a shepherd.
Young Man -  A scam artist living in Tangier who speaks Arabic and Spanish.
Candy Seller -  A generous vendor in the Tangier marketplace who enjoys his occupation.
Barkeep -  A well-meaning bartender who lives in Tangier and speaks only Arabic.
Caravan Leader -  The bold leader of a caravan traveling across the Sahara Desert from Tangier to Egypt.

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