Wilhelm Meister's Travels Characters

Johann Goethe

Characters Discussed

(Great Characters in Literature)

Wilhelm Meister

Wilhelm Meister (VIHL-hehlm MIS-tur), a philosophical gentleman who, upon becoming a Renunciant, has pledged to wander the earth, never stopping any one place for more than three days. Meister, having deserted the world of commerce and the stage, is trying to form some spiritual conclusions. The novel’s end finds him still on the road, furthering his final purifying sacrifice.


Felix, Meister’s son, who travels with his father except for a period of years spent in a school learning the value of labor and art. He injures himself in a fall and is last seen receiving medical attention from his father.


Lenardo (lay-NAHR-doh), Meister’s friend, who discovers that part of the money an uncle had given him to use in traveling had come from a farmer and his daughter whom the uncle had found it necessary to dispossess. The Nut-Brown Maid, the farmer’s daughter, becomes a point of conscience for Lenardo, and he spends a great deal of time traveling in an effort to learn what has become of her. Meister, fortunately, discovers her and sends word to Lenardo that the girl is well and safe; Lenardo is then free to return home.


Hersilia (hur-SIHL-yah), Lenardo’s cousin, much admired by Felix. When Hersilia...

(The entire section is 547 words.)