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Introduction This lesson is about the different types of characters found in literature. The different types I will cover in this lesson are the protagonist,

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Presentation on theme: "Introduction This lesson is about the different types of characters found in literature. The different types I will cover in this lesson are the protagonist,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Introduction This lesson is about the different types of characters found in literature. The different types I will cover in this lesson are the protagonist, antagonist, round, flat, static, and dynamic characters. I will explain what each of these entail so that you can identify types of characters in stories that you read.

2 Protagonist/Antagonist
It is easiest to think of the protagonist and antagonist characters as the "good guy" and the "bad guy" respectively. In order to understand protagonist and antagonist, you can think of the protagonist as the hero and the antagonist as the villain. To remember which is which, remember that the prefix pro means good, or positive, and the prefix ant means bad, or negative. Now let's discuss the real meanings of protagonist and antagonist more in depth and more literary correct.

3 Protagonist The protagonist is the central character of a story. The protagonist can be male or female, and is written as being "good" most of the time, but in some instances can be "bad." The plot of the story is often written in the protagonist's point of view. Consider the story The Three Little Pigs. In the original story, the three pigs are the protagonists and the wolf is the antagonist. A new book titled The Real Story of The Three Little Pigs is written in the wolf's point of view and he becomes the protagonist and the pigs are the antagonists.

4 Antagonist The character that causes or leads the conflict against the protagonist is called the antagonist. The antagonist is not always human, but can be a group or force as well. The antagonist is the mirror of the protagonist. Whatever the protagonist does that is good, the antagonist will work to counteract. Usually the antagonist attempts to disguise him/her/itself. This usually creates the suspense in a story.

5 Protagonist/Antagonist
The protagonist and antagonist are distinctly different, and in most cases, complete opposites. They can both be very complex though. Just because the protagonist is the central character in the story does not mean that he/she/it is any more complex than the antagonist. When trying to identify the protagonist and antagonist in a story, think about which character is central to the story and which character (or what force) is acting against that central character. Usually you can consider which character is good and which is bad. In most instances, the good character is the protagonist and the bad, or opposing character, is the antagonist.

6 Round/Flat Let's begin by thinking about round and flat characterization like a painting. If you're an artist, you must decide how much detail to put into a painting. Do you want many lines and many colors, or just an outline and only black and white? As an author, you must decide how much detail to include about each character. Which characters are most important; how will giving detail, or not giving detail, affect the story?

7 Round Characters that are described in depth, with many details, are well-rounded characters. They are called round characters. If you're reading a story and you feel like you know a character extremely well, then most likely the character is round. The main character in a story is almost always round, but there are exceptions.

8 Flat Characters that are not described well, that you're not given much information about, are flat characters. Consider a drawing: a three dimensional drawing gives more detail than a one dimensional drawing. If you draw a flat picture of a house, for example, you can only see one side of it. You cannot see three of the four sides. This is how a flat character is; you can only see a few characteristics of the character. There are many things you cannot "see", or many details you are not given by the author.

9 Round/Flat As a reader, judge whether or not the character is round or flat by trying to write down characteristics of the character. Answer the question: What do you know about the character? If your list is long, with many characteristics, then the character is round. If your list is short, or there's not many characteristics at all, then the character is flat.

10 Static/Dynamic The key word when dealing with the difference between static and dynamic characters is "change." The type of change, though, is specific. We are only concerned with internal changes; changes which occur within the character. These would include a major change in their personality, or a change in their outlook on life. Another important change that a character may undergo is a change in values, or it could be an overall change in the nature of the character. Do not focus on changes that happen TO a character, but rather, changes that happen WITHIN a character. Think about it this way: Does the event affect the character by changing the character internally?

11 Static In order for a character to be considered a static character, the character must remain basically the same throughout the entire story. The character does not undergo any internal changes. Think of static characterization like plastic surgery. The character may change in looks, but unless their personality is affected, the character is static.

12 Dynamic A dynamic character is a character that undergoes an internal change sometime between the beginning and end of the story. The change in the character is usually crucial to the story itself. Say a main character goes through a life-altering experience, such as a race car driver getting into an accident. If the driver's personality changes and he is no longer willing to take on the risk of driving a race car, the character would be dynamic.

13 Static/Dynamic In order to distinguish static characters from dynamic characters, write down a description of the inner character at the beginning of the story, in other words, what do you initially learn about the character's personality? Answer these three questions: How does the character feel about his/her/itself? How does the character act towards others? What is the characters goal? Do the same thing and answer the same questions at the end of the story. Usually, if you're dealing with a dynamic character, you will be able to notice a difference between your personality descriptions as well as between the answers to the three questions. If there is no major difference, the character is static.

14 Character Types Assignment
Visit Project Gutenberg and read one of the stories out of The Blue Fairy Book by Andrew Lang. Visit ReadWriteThink to create a character map for all the characters in the story you chose to read. You can use these character maps to help you determine what type of character each of them are.

15 Character Types Assignment
Now fill out this worksheet on how and why the characters changed throughout the story you read.

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