Who are the characters in The Man Who Would Be King by Rudyard Kipling?

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The Narrator

The narrator, an unnamed newspaper correspondent, is the story's main protagonist . He initially meets Peachey Carnehan on a train, where he learns of the strange man's propensity for pretending to be things he is not—like a newspaper correspondent. He agrees to help Carnehan by delivering a strange...

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The Narrator

The narrator, an unnamed newspaper correspondent, is the story's main protagonist. He initially meets Peachey Carnehan on a train, where he learns of the strange man's propensity for pretending to be things he is not—like a newspaper correspondent. He agrees to help Carnehan by delivering a strange message to another man with a giant red beard on a train eight days later. The narrator does not have a well-developed personality, but he serves as a crucial go-between for Carnehan and Daniel Dravot and as a sort of geographic adviser for the pair, and he is, in the end, who Carnehan returns to tell the story of the pair's briefly successful, but ultimately tragic, tenure as kings.

Peachey Carnehan

Carnehan is the first of these two men the narrator meets. He is also the sole survivor of the pair's stint as kings. Carnehan is a planner, drawing up a contract about how he and Dravot will have to behave in their quest to become kings, and he is the one who sticks to it. He remains loyal to Dravot, despite Dravot's growing pride and eventual violation of their contract. Carnehan seems to care so deeply for Dravot that he continues to carry around his friend's decapitated head, with its crown, long after Dravot has been killed.

Daniel Dravot

Dravot is the more creative half of the pair. While Carnehan plans and schemes, Dravot is the real actor. He is imaginative, fantastical, and quite proud—and it is his pride, in the end, that does him in. He wants a wife, and so he breaks the contract with Carnehan in order to gain one. He seems to think of himself as an all-powerful deity rather than as just a man, and this mistake leads to his ruin.

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