Mother Courage—She earned her name in Riga when she ran through a bombardment in order to sell her loaves of bread. She has three children, Eilif, Swiss Cheese and Kattrin whom she tries to take care of and protect throughout the play. She loses all three children while following the war around Europe and ends the play alone with her wagon. Brecht said that as a character she learns nothing during the course of the play.
Kattrin, her dumb daughter—She is mute but very emotional. She is killed near the end of the play because she takes a drum and beats it to warn a town that an army is approaching.
Eilif, her elder son—He is brutish and loves the war. He is recruited into the army in the first scene and quickly advances because of his ability to kill peasants and steal their livestock. However, when peace briefly arrives, he is executed for committing the same acts of brutality.
Swiss Cheese, her younger son—He is honest and unwilling to break his promises. He is forced to become the money-carrier for the army and dies when he refuses to tell the opposing army where he has hidden the money-box.
The Cook—The cook for the Swedish Commander. He first appears when Mother Courage haggles with him over the price of a capon. He is the man whom Yvette Pottier fell in love with, thereby causing her to follow the army as a prostitute for five years.
The Chaplain—The religious leader of the Swedish Army. He later joins Mother Courage’s wagon and lives with her, switching religions depending on which army they are selling to.
Yvette Pottier—A prostitute in the army, she followed the army after falling in love with the Cook. After the Catholics arrest Swiss Cheese, she picks up a Colonel and convinces him to give her money with which to buy Mother Courage’s wagon. However, Swiss Cheese dies and she does not get the wagon.