The Cowardly Lion

Cowardly Lion illustration

The Cowardly Lion is a character in the fictional Land of Oz created by American author L. Frank Baum. He is a lion, but he talks and interacts with humans.

He does not understand that courage means acting in the face of fear, which he does. Only during the aftereffects of the Wizard's gift, when he is under the influence of an unknown substance, is he not filled with fear. He argues that the courage from the Wizard is only temporary, although he continues to do brave deeds while openly and embarrassedly fearful.

The Wizard gives him a bowl of liquid from a bottle marked "Courage," often speculated to be an alcoholic beverage, and in the remainder of the book, becomes almost like a bully and ready to fight. He accompanies Dorothy on her journey to see Glinda, and allows his friends to stand on his back in order to visit the Dainty China Country, where he damages the only church mentioned in an Oz book until Handy Mandy in Oz (1937).