The narrator and protagonist of the story. Although Lemuel Gulliver’s vivid and detailed style of narration makes it clear that he is intelligent and well educated, his perceptions are naïve and gullible. He has virtually no emotional life, or at least no awareness of it, and his comments are strictly factual.

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Richard Sympson

Gulliver’s cousin, self-proclaimed intimate friend, and the editor and publisher of Gulliver’s Travels

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Mary Burton Gulliver

Gulliver’s wife for whom Gulliver appears to have little, if any, affection. The most important facts about her in Gulliver’s mind are her social origin and the income she generates.

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James Bates

An eminent London surgeon under whom Gulliver serves as an apprentice after graduating from Cambridge.

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The Lilliputians and the Blefuscudians

Two races of miniature people whom Gulliver meets on his first voyage. The two races have been in a longstanding war with each over the interpretation of a reference in their common holy scripture to the proper way to eat eggs.

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The Emperor

The ruler of Lilliput. Like all Lilliputians, the emperor is fewer than six inches tall. His power and majesty impress Gulliver deeply, but to us he appears both laughable and sinister.

The Brobdingnagians

Giants whom Gulliver meets on his second voyage. Brobdingnagians are basically a reasonable and kindly people governed by a sense of justice, though they tend to treat Gulliver as a plaything.

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The Queen of Brobdingnag

The queen of Brobdingnag, who is so delighted by Gulliver’s beauty and charms that she agrees to buy him from the farmer for 1,000 pieces of gold.

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The King of Brobdingnag

The king of Brobdingnag, whose thoughtfulness and intellectual prowess mark him as a contrast to the emperor of Lilliput.

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The Farmer

Gulliver’s first master in Brobdingnag. Generally, the farmer represents the average Brobdingnagian of no great gifts or intelligence, wielding an extraordinary power over Gulliver simply by virtue of his immense size.


The farmer’s nine-year-old daughter, who is forty feet tall. Glumdalclitch becomes Gulliver’s friend and nursemaid, a function she performs with great seriousness and attentiveness.

The Laputans

Absentminded intellectuals who live on the floating island of Laputa, encountered by Gulliver on his third voyage. During Gulliver’s stay among them, they do not mistreat him, but are generally unpleasant and dismiss him as intellectually deficient.

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Lord Munodi

A lord of Lagado, capital of the underdeveloped land beneath Laputa, who hosts Gulliver and gives him a tour of the country on Gulliver’s third voyage.

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The Yahoos

Unkempt humanlike beasts who live in servitude to the Houyhnhnms.

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The Houyhnhnms

Rational horses who maintain a simple, peaceful society governed by reason and truthfulness. They are the masters of the Yahoos, the savage humanlike creatures in Houyhnhnmland.

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Gulliver’s Houyhnhnm Master

The Houyhnhnm who first discovers Gulliver and takes him into his own home. 

Don Pedro de Mendez

The Portuguese captain who takes Gulliver back to Europe after he is forced to leave the land of the Houyhnhnms.

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Abraham Pannell

The commander of the ship on which Gulliver first sails, the Swallow. Traveling to the Levant, or the eastern Mediterranean, and beyond, Gulliver spends three and a half years on Pannell’s ship. Virtually nothing is mentioned about Pannell, which heightens our sense that Gulliver’s fascination with exotic types is not matched by any interest in his fellow countrymen.

William Prichard

The master of the Antelope, the ship on which Gulliver embarks for the South Seas at the outset of his first journey, in 1699. When the Antelope sinks, Gulliver is washed ashore on Lilliput. No details are given about the personality of Prichard, and he is not important in Gulliver’s life or in the unfolding of the novel’s plot. That Gulliver takes pains to name him accurately reinforces our impression that he is obsessive about facts but not always reliable in assessing overall significance.


The Lord High Treasurer of Lilliput, who conceives a jealous hatred for Gulliver when he starts believing that his wife is having an affair with him.


The Principal Secretary of Private Affairs in Lilliput, who explains to Gulliver the history of the political tensions between the two principal parties in the realm, the High-Heels and the Low-Heels.

Skyresh Bolgolam

The High Admiral of Lilliput, who is the only member of the administration to oppose Gulliver’s liberation. Gulliver imagines that Skyresh’s enmity is simply personal, though there is no apparent reason for such hostility. 

The Tramecksans

Also known as the High-Heels, a Lilliputian political group reminiscent of the British Tories. Tramecksan policies are said to be more agreeable to the ancient constitution of Lilliput, and while the High-Heels appear greater in number than the Low-Heels, their power is lesser. Unlike the king, the crown prince is believed to sympathize with the Tramecksan, wearing one low heel and one high heel, causing him to limp slightly.

The Slamecksans

The Low-Heels, a Lilliputian political group reminiscent of the British Whigs. The king has ordained that all governmental administrators must be selected from this party, much to the resentment of the High-Heels of the realm. Thus, while there are fewer Slamecksan than Tramecksan in Lilliput, their political power is greater. The king’s own sympathies with the Slamecksan are evident in the slightly lower heels he wears at court.