Robinson Crusoe Important Characters

Robinson Crusoe

Robinson Crusoe was born in York, England in the year 1632. His family was middle class, because they neither had great wealth nor were they impoverished. His father felt a suitable career for Robinson would be law, so he made sure his third son had enough education to pursue this goal. Unfortunately, he had forgotten to ask Robinson what career he had wanted to pursue, because if he had, he would have found out that Robinson's dream was to go to sea.

Robinson went to sea against his parents' wishes and immediately regretted his decision, because the ship he was on became embroiled in a storm. The whole crew and the passengers had to be rescued by a lifeboat from another ship. Robinson needed a few days to recover from this adventure, but he decided to continue his life on the sea. He did this in an unusual way, instead of being a sailor, he would always sail as a paying passenger. He did learn a bit about sailing, but he was never a captain of a ship.

His misadventures included being captured by pirates, thus becoming the pirate captain's personal slave and being stranded on the island for twenty-eight years. He did manage to sail a fishing boat to escape from the pirate captain, but his rescue from the island was as a passenger on an English ship.

The most remarkable transformation for Robinson came on the island, after he was stricken with a malaria type illness. He, who had never been a particularly religious man, suddenly became very devout. He began to read the Bible and to look at its teachings in a whole new light, because of his isolation from civilization and the temptations it presents. He sees he has squandered his life, in the pursuit of riches and adventure, when all he really needed was faith in God, food, clothing, and shelter. He, after his rescue from the island, returns to civilization a changed man. He now was a man who wanted to share his wealth with those who had helped rescue him from his troubles and his family. He was wealthy due to the sugar and tobacco plantations he had left behind in Brazil to travel to Africa, for the purpose of procuring slaves for himself and three other plantation owners. After his return to civilization, he was made aware of the value of his plantation and how wealthy he was. Robinson Crusoe was a man tried by circumstance and his own bad judgement, who in the end, lived his remaining life a better man than he would have, if he had heeded his father's advice.


Friday was from the country of Caribs, which was at war with several other nations around it. He came to the island as a prisoner from a battle in the war. He, along with the other prisoner who was taken along with him to the island, was to be killed and eaten by the warriors who had taken them prisoner. The other man perished, but Friday was not closely guarded by the warriors and ran away towards the spot that Robinson stood watching the men. Robinson, who dreamt about just such an event, was ready to give any aid he could to Friday. Robinson shot at the warriors who were pursuing them and together they were able to free Friday from the hands of his captures.

Robinson named him Friday, because that was the day of the week in which Robinson helped him escape from his captures. Friday and Robinson had a master and servant relationship. They were also very loyal to one another and became trusted friends. Robinson not only taught Friday to speak English, he also converted him to Christianity. Friday gladly fought alongside Robinson when cannibals came to island with the intent of killing a Spaniard and Friday's father. He also traveled to England, Portugal, Spain and France with Robinson, the trip from Spain to France being a very dangerous one. This was because they had to pass through mountains in the winter and they were attacked by wolves.

Friday took a large leap of faith when he decided to become Robinson's servant, because he did not know what type of man Robinson was. Robinson could have abused Friday instead of treating him kindly, but Friday's intuition told him Robinson could be trusted. He also was smart; this is evident in his ability to learn English and also in his willingness to look at another religion. Most people from his culture would not be willing to look at another form of worship, but Friday was willing to listen and try to make sense of what he was being told. He also made a conscious choice to embrace Christianity, which showed he could assimilate information and make critical decisions.

Portuguese Ship's Captain

The Portuguese ship's captain was the man who rescued Robinson from the pirate captain. He spotted the fishing boat Robinson was in and decided to take Robinson and his fellow prisoner, Xury aboard his ship. He did purchase Xury, but agreed to give him his freedom after ten years of service. The ship's captain was a very honorable man, who insisted in honest dealings with Robinson. After Robinson had been rescued from the island, the captain was one of the first people Robinson contacted. He explained to Robinson the fate of his plantation, due to his supposed death, and helped him regain his ownership of the land. The profits from the land had been divided up between the King and the Church, but the captain provided Robinson with written proof that he was, in fact, alive. This gave Robinson the necessary means to regain control of the plantation. He also helped Robinson with the sale of the plantation, and for his help Robinson provided him with a yearly grant of money. After the captain's death, Robinson gave some money to the captain's son.

The kindly captain was rewarded for his honesty and his loyalty to Robinson. Even though he thought Robinson was dead, he still would not claim his rightful inheritance because he could not prove Robinson had died. The man was one of integrity and valor, which were attributes Robinson tried to emulate.

The Spaniard

The Spaniard had been brought to the island by the warriors from Friday's country to be killed and eaten. Robinson and Friday saved him from this fate and he in turn was loyal to Robinson. He told Robinson of the 16 other Spanish men who had been marooned on Friday's island after a storm had wrecked their ship. He and Robinson made a plan to build a large enough boat to return all of them to civilization. The Spaniard and Friday's father returned to the mainland to gather the men, but before they could return, Robinson and Friday had been rescued by the English ship's captain. The men along with the mutineers from the English ship lived the rest of their lives on the island.

English Ship's Captain

The English ship's captain was rescued from his mutinous crew by Robinson and Friday. Robinson, decided it would be best if the captain himself regained control of his ship, which he did by killing the sailor who had made himself the new captain of the ship. In return for Robinson's help he returned Robinson and Friday to England, which made it possible for Robinson to reconnect with the remaining members of his family. Robinson was also able to travel to Lisbon to see the Portuguese captain and regain control of his plantation. The English captain did not always agree with Robinson's decisions regarding the punishment for the men who mutinied, but he did go along with Robinson's decisions. He, too, was an honorable man who saw to it that Robinson was rewarded by the ship's owners for his role in putting down the mutiny.

Related Links:

Robinson Crusoe Quotes
I Go to Sea - I Go on Board in an Evil Hour Summary
I Furnish Myself with Many Things - The Journal: It Blows a Most Dreadful Hurricane Summary
Robinson Crusoe Summary
Robinson Crusoe Quiz
Robinson Crusoe I Go to Sea - I Go on Board in an Evil Hour Quiz
Robinson Crusoe I Furnish Myself with Many Things - The Journal: It Blows a Most Dreadful Hurricane Quiz
Robinson Crusoe I Am Very Ill and Frighted - I Am Very Seldom Idle Quiz
Robinson Crusoe I Make Myself a Canoe - I See the Shore Spread with Bones Quiz
Robinson Crusoe I Seldom Go from My Cell - I Call Him Friday Quiz
Robinson Crusoe We Make Another Canoe - We Plan a Voyage to the Colonies of America Quiz
Robinson Crusoe We Quell a Mutiny - I find My Wealth All About Me Quiz
Robinson Crusoe We Cross the Mountains - I Revisit My Island Quiz
I Am Very Ill and Frighted - I Am Very Seldom Idle Summary
I Make Myself a Canoe - I See the Shore Spread with Bones Summary
I Seldom Go from My Cell - I Call Him Friday Summary
We Make Another Canoe - We Plan a Voyage to the Colonies of America Summary
We Quell a Mutiny - I find My Wealth All About Me Summary
We Cross the Mountains - I Revisit My Island Summary
Literature Summaries
Daniel Defoe Facts

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