Imprisoned, John Bunyan is finishing his Pilgrim’s Progress. The book is about Bunyan’s dream. The Pilgrim from his dream appears with a heavy burden on his back. Evangelist points the Pilgrim in the direction of the Wicket Gate. Four neighbours –Pliable, Obstinate, Mistrust and Timorous – warn him of the dangers that lie ahead. The Pilgrim,however, ignores them and follows Evangelist’s instructions to find the Celestial City. The Pilgrim asks for his burden to be eased. Three Shining Ones greet him and relieve him of his burden. The Pilgrim knocks at the door of the House Beautiful and is greeted by the Interpreter and the House’s occupants. Following an initiation ritual, the Pilgrim enters the House. Watchful prays for all who rest within the House Beautiful. A Herald wants to know who will take the King’s highway. The Pilgrim steps forward and is made ready for his journey. The Doleful Creatures, who inhabit the Valley of Humiliation, surround the Pilgrim. Apollyon challenges the Pilgrim and they fight. Though victorious, the Pilgrim is exhausted and Two Heavenly Beings (the Branch Bearer and the Cup Bearer) restore his energies. Evangelist appears and presents the Pilgrim with the Staff of Salvation, the Roll of the Word and the Key of Promise. He warns him of the temptations to be found in the town of Vanity. At Vanity Fair, everything the world can offer is available for sale, including the souls of men. Lord Lechery offers women. When the Pilgrim enters, he is surrounded by the crowd, among whom are Judas Iscariot and Pontius Pilate, and well-known figures who succumbed to the lure of gold or power. Madam Bubble, Madam Wanton and Lord Lechery tempt the Pilgrim with carnal pleasure and power. He dismisses them and defies their Prince Beelzebub. After hearing evidence against the Pilgrim, Lord Hate-Good sentences him to prison and death.
Alone in prison, the Pilgrim feels abandoned. He remembers the Key of Promise given to him earlier by Evangelist, and uses it to escape and resume his journey. The Pilgrim interrupts a Woodcutter’s boy to ask how far it is to the Celestial City.He encounters Mister and Madam By-Ends who refuse to accompany him. The Pilgrim sets out alone for the Delectable Mountains. The Pilgrim meets Three Shepherds. He asks them if he is on the right path to the Celestial City. They invite him to rest for a time with them and the voice of a bird is heard. A Celestial Messenger appears and tells the Pilgrim that he must prepare to cross the river before he can reach the City. Anointed by the Shepherds, the Pilgrim passes through the waters. Voices from the Celestial City are heard and the Pilgrim enters the City. The Pilgrim’s story has ended. John Bunyan is seen in prison again.