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Definition: Character and Characterization

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Character and Characterization

Characters are the people in a fictional text. They are usually presented through their actions, speech and thoughts as well as by description. There are generally speaking two types of characters in fictional works:
a round character A round character may be similar to real individuals and
have several traits and behave in a way that is life-like.
_______________ A round character usually changes in the course of a story.
a flat character A character has only a limited number of traits or represents
only a single quality.
A crude representation of a character which is meant to be laughed at is called a caricature
The main character in a story is called the protagonist and is almost always a round character.

Characterization is the way in which the author presents his or her characters. We usually distinguish between two kinds of characterization:
Direct or explicit The reader is told about a character's personality directly by characterization a) the narrator, b) another character or c) by the character

him- or herself.
Indirect or implicit The reader is expected to draw conclusions about a character characterization by a) studying his or her behaviour , b) opinions, c) choice of

words and/or way of talking.
Authors often combine explicit and implicit characterization in the presentation of their characters.
Example: Ant was bright enough to be in the A class, bright enough to pass everything, even Maths and Chemistry. [...]
Ant wished he was stupid enough so he could get into Special class: they did Art, Metalwork, Woodwork, Tech Drawing, Carving and Casting, Photography, Screen Printing and Excursions. Even more to the point, Ant wished he could go to the Creative Arts High School [...].
In the first example Ant is characterized explicitly ('Ant was bright'), so the reader is told he is intelligent. In the second example Ant is characterized implicitly as a creative person with artistic interests - this the reader learns from the subjects he wishes he could be doing and the school he wishes he could attend.
Definition von Character and Characterization, sowie Unterteilung in round character und flat character. Erklärung zwischen direct or explicit characterization und indirect or implicit characterization. Mit Beispielen.
(, englisch) (341 Wörter)
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character | characterization | a round character | a flat character | direct or explicit characterization | indirect or implicit characterization | tipps | Englisch | English
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