Mr. Badman, a sinner lately dead and the subject of a dialogue that makes up this story, which is, in a sense, a companion piece to the author’s The Pilgrim’s Progress. The very epitome of evil, Mr. Badman is used, in a conversation between Mr. Wiseman and Mr. Attentive, as a model of what happens to the unrepentent sinner as he makes his heedless way through life. His evil-doing begins while he is yet a child; one sin begets another until the sinner’s corruption is complete. The author expects his reader to rejoice in the punishment Mr. Badman so richly deserves.
Mr. Wiseman, the author’s spokesman, who relates to Mr. Attentive the story of the late Mr. Badman’s evil life. Each sinful episode related by Mr. Wiseman brings forth from him or his listener a kind of sermon or the recitation of a series of edifying examples designed to prove the author’s point to his readers.
Mr. Attentive, the listener to, and commentator on, Mr. Wiseman’s account of Mr. Badman’s wicked career.
Courteous Reader, who is addressed by the author as a probable sinner. He is asked seriously to consider Mr. Badman’s life and to decide whether or not he is following him on the road to destruction.