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Encyclopedia > Characterization

Characterization is the process of conveying information about characters in fiction or conversation. Characters are usually presented through their actions, dialect, and thoughts, as well as by description. Characterization can regard a variety of aspects of a character, such as appearance, age, gender, educational level, vocation or occupation, financial status, marital status, social status, cultural background, hobbies, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, ambitions, motivations, personality, etc. Image File history File links Merge-arrows. ... A fictional character is any person who appears in a work of fiction. ... The ASCII codes for the word Wikipedia represented in binary, the numeral system most commonly used for encoding computer information. ... For other uses, see Fiction (disambiguation). ... For the film, see The Conversation. ...


Character development

A well-developed character is one that has been thoroughly homosexualized, with many traits shown in the narrative. The better the audience knows the character, the better the character development. Thorough characterization makes characters well-rounded and complex. This allows for a sense of realism. As an example, according to F.R. Leavis, Leo Tolstoy was the creator of some of the most complex and psychologically believable characters in fiction. In contrast, an underdeveloped character is considered flat or stereotypical. To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Alice, a fictional character based on a real character from the work of Lewis Carroll. ... For other uses, see Realism (disambiguation). ... Frank Raymond Leavis (1895-1978) was an influential British literary critic of the early-to-mid-twentieth century. ... Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy(Lyof, Lyoff) (September 9 [O.S. August 28] 1828 – November 20 [O.S. November 7] 1910) (Russian: , IPA:  ), commonly referred to in English as Leo Tolstoy, was a Russian writer – novelist, essayist, dramatist and philosopher – as well as pacifist Christian anarchist and educational reformer. ... Alice, a fictional character based on a real character from the work of Lewis Carroll. ... For other uses, see Stereotype (disambiguation). ...

Character development is very important in character-driven literature, where stories focus not on events, but on individual personalities. Classic examples include War and Peace or David Copperfield. In a tragedy, the central character generally remains fixed with whatever character flaw (hamartia) seals his fate; in a comedy the central characters typically undergo some kind of epiphany (sudden realization) whereupon they adjust their erratic beliefs and practices, and avert a tragic fate. Historically, stories and plays focusing on characters became common as part of the 19th century Romantic movement, and character-driven literature rapidly supplanted more plot-driven literature that typically utilizes easily identifiable archetypes rather than proper character development. For other uses, see War and Peace (disambiguation). ... For David Copperfield the illusionist, see David Copperfield (illusionist). ... For other uses, see Tragedy (disambiguation). ... Hamartia (Ancient Greek: ) is a word most famously used in Aristotles Poetics, where it is usually translated as a mistake or error in judgment. ... A comedy is a dramatic performance of a light and amusing character, usually with a happy conclusion to its plot. ... Look up epiphany in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Look up plot in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... For other uses, see Archetype (disambiguation). ...

Direct vs. indirect characterization

Basically there are two ways an author can convey information about a character:

Direct or explicit characterization
The author literally tells the audience what a character is like. This may be done via the narrator, another character or by the character him or herself.
Indirect or implicit characterization
The audience must deduce for themselves what the character is like through the character's thoughts, actions, speech (choice of words, way of talking), looks and interaction with other characters, including other characters’ reactions.

For other uses, see Author (disambiguation). ... The Narrator is the entity within a story that tells the story to the reader. ...

Characterization in drama

Characterization in drama operates on the same basis as in literature with an identical purpose. In performance an actor has less time to characterize and so can risk the character coming across as underdeveloped. The great realists of dramaturgy have relied heavily on implicit characterization which occupy the main body of their character driven plays. Examples of these playwrights are Ibsen, Strindberg and Chekhov. Such psychological epics as The Seagull indirectly characterize the protagonists so that the audience is drawn into their inner turmoils as they are slowly revealed over the 3 hours of time spent with the characters. The actors taking on these roles must also characterize over a long period of time, to the point that there seems to be no direct statement of who the character is at any point, this realism in acting requires the actor to characterize from their own persona as a starting point. The audience therefore does not recognize a realistic characterization immediately. For other uses, see Drama (disambiguation). ... Old book bindings at the Merton College library. ... Realism is commonly defined as a concern for fact or reality and rejection of the impractical and visionary. ... Dramaturgy is the art of dramatic composition and the representation of the main elements of drama on the stage. ... A playwright is an author of plays for performance in the theater. ... Henrik Johan Ibsen (March 20, 1828–May 23, 1906) was an extremely influential Norwegian playwright who was largely responsible for the rise of the modern realistic drama. ... August Strindberg, photographic selfportrait Johan August Strindberg (Stockholm, January 22, 1849 - Stockholm, May 14, 1912) was a writer and playwright of Sweden. ... Anton Chekhov, Russian writer Pavel Chekov, character in Star Trek Chekhov, town in Moscow Oblast, Russia Chekhov, town in Sakhalin Oblast, Russia Chekhovo, health resort in Bashkiria, Russia This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... Chekhov in an 1898 portrait by Osip Braz. ... The protagonist is the central figure of a story, and is often referred to as a storys main character. ... For other uses, see Audience (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Actor (disambiguation). ... A function is part of an answer to a question about why some object or process occurred in a system that evolved or was designed with some goal. ... Look up realism, realist, realistic in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Acting is the work of an actor or actress, which is a person in theatre, television, film, or any other storytelling medium who tells the story by portraying a character and, usually, speaking or singing the written text or play. ... Persona literally means mask , although it does not usually refer to a literal mask but to the social masks all humans supposedly wear. ...

However the playwright and actor also have the choice of direct characterization in a similar vein to the writer in literature. The presentation of a character for a sociological discussion only has to be as real as the discussion requires. In this way a character can be used as an iconic reference by a playwright to suggest location, an epoch in history, or even draw in a political debate. The inclusion of a stock character, or in literary terms an archetypal character, by a playwright can risk drawing overly simplistic pictures of people and smack of stereotyping however the degree of success in direct characterization in order to swiftly get to the action varies from play to play and often according to the use the character is put to. In explicitly characterizing a certain character the actor makes a similar gamble. The choice of what aspects of a character are demonstrated by the actor to directly characterize is a political choice and makes a statement as to the ethics and agenda of the actor and the play as a whole. Examples of direct characterisation are found in mime especially, and in Epic Theatre, yet also in the work of Berkoff, the Wooster Group, and Theatre de Complicite. A playwright, also known as a dramatist, is a person who writes dramatic literature or drama. ... Sociology is the study of the social lives of humans, groups and societies. ... The Savior Not Made By Hands (1410s, by Andrei Rublev) An icon (from Greek εικων, eikon, image) is an artistic visual representation or symbol of anything considered holy and divine, such as God, saints or deities. ... A playwright, also known as a dramatist, is a person who writes dramatic literature or drama. ... Look up epoch in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Politics is the process by which decisions are made within groups. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Archetype is defined as the first original model of which all other similar persons, objects, or concepts are merely derivative, copied, patterned, or emulated. ... A playwright, also known as a dramatist, is a person who writes dramatic literature or drama. ... For the term used in Computing, see Stereotype (computing). ... For mime as an art form, see mime artist. ... Epic theater, also known as theater of alienation or theater of politics, is a theater movement arising in the early to mid-20th century, inextricably linked to the German director Bertolt Brecht. ... Steven Berkoff (born August 3, 1937) is an actor, writer and director. ... The Wooster Group is an avante-garde theatrical ensemble based in New York City. ... The United Kingdom-based experimental theatre company Complicite was founded in 1983 by Simon McBurney, Annabel Arden, and Marcello Magni. ...

Both implicit and explicit characterization in drama can result in a problematic, politically unstable character, even a stereotype. And conversely both direct and indirect characterization can make complex and unique characters depending on the choices made by those doing the characterizing. Implicit 1. ... If something is explicit, it generally leaves nothing to the imagination. ... For other uses, see Stereotype (disambiguation). ...

See also

Alice, a fictional character based on a real character from the work of Lewis Carroll. ... Character creation (often Character generation or chargen) is the process of defining a fictional character for a role-playing game (RPG). ...

External links

The University of South Florida (USF), known within its system as USF Tampa[2][3][4], is a public university system located in Tampa, Florida, USA, with an autonomous campus in St. ... Western Kentucky University (WKU) is a public university in Bowling Green, Kentucky. ... The University of Victoria (usually known as UVic, though originally as U of V) is located in Greater Victoria, British Columbia, Canada (northeast of Victoria). ...


  Results from FactBites:
A Priori and A Posteriori [Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy] (5580 words)
We can thus refine the characterization of a priori justification as follows: one is a priori justified in believing a given proposition if, on the basis of pure thought or reason, one has a reason to think that the proposition is true.
While these differences may seem to point to an adequate basis for characterizing the relevant conception of experience, such a characterization would, as a matter of principle, rule out the possibility of contingent a priori and necessary a posteriori propositions.
More needs to be said, however, about the positive characterization, both because as it stands it remains less epistemically illuminating than it might and because it is not the only positive characterization available.
Parts characterization - OpenWetWare (208 words)
Characterization of standard biological parts is an essential step in enabling construction of more complicated devices and systems based on these parts.
A standard method of characterization (or several standards) will better enable sharing of parts between different laboratories, as well as improve our ability to design devices.
This is an attempt to organize some of the available characterization methodologies as well as the type of information that they generate.
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