GEK1049: Tutorial 4, Character

GEK1049 Tutorials Homepage.
Main reading:
, Chapter 4: Characters (sections 1, 4-5, 7-8, 18-41 only).
Further readings
Character-Driven Game Design (pdf) by Petri Lankoski
Critical Concepts by Lyman A. Baker
     Character and Characterization
     "Flat" and "Round" Characterization
     "Static" and "Dynamic" Characterization
Learning About Characters by Susan Glaspell
The Gangster as Hero in Hong Kong Cinema by Michael Vesia Offscreen (31 August 2002)
Names and Narrative by Joshua Fairfield
Univ of Freiburg:
     Character: 01, 02
     Drama character: 01, 02, 03
     Fictional character
The UVic Writer's Guide: Character and Characterization


In all the questions below, you should give your own examples. The examples need not be from more conventional narratives that are studied in schools and universities: comics, cartoons, songs, computer games etc. are all acceptable, but you must provide more details, of course, as most of us may not be familiar with the narratives you know.

  1. Can a narrative exist without characters? Do all the narratives you know have characters?
  2. Are characters in narrative mere reflections of actual human beings? If not, how and to what extent are they related or not related to human beings?
  3. Are characters' relationships to actual human beings problematic for the analysis of narrative? Does the relationship depend on whether the narrative is fictional or non-fictional?
  4. Should characters' relationship to human beings be minimised in any analysis of narrative?
  5. Should the term 'character' be avoided, and another term, such as actor, agent or personage be used instead?
  6. Are the avatars in computer or video games, or in online chatting, examples of characters? Or do you prefer using terms such as actor, agent or personage for them?
  7. Do actors in cinematic and theatrical performances confuse or complicate the notions of character and characterisation in narratives realised in these mediums? Why?
  8. What is a hero? Is the concept of the hero relevant for all narratives? If not, why not?
  9. Is the concept of the protagonist more important than that of hero?

Last revised: 26/08/2013

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