What does character mean in literature?


Sep 11, 2022

Reading Time: 3 Min

A character is a person, animal, being, creature, or thing in a story. Writers use characters to perform the actions and speak the dialogue of a story.

The word character is derived from the Greek word kharaktêr, which originally meant “engraved mark” or “symbol.” In early storytelling, writers often used physical marks to represent characters. For example, a writer might use a symbol like a dot to represent a character who is blind.

Over time, the word character came to mean the person or thing that bears the marks. In other words, a character is someone or something that has certain qualities or traits.

Nowadays, writers use characters to add richness and depth to their stories. They use them to explore themes and ideas, to advance the plot, and to entertain readers.

There are many different types of characters, and writers can use them in different ways. Some of the most common types of characters include:

Protagonists: The protagonist is the main character in a story. The protagonist is often the “good guy” or the “hero” who is trying to achieve something.

Antagonists: The antagonist is the character who is trying to stop the protagonist from achieving his or her goal. The antagonist is often the “bad guy” or the “villain” in a story.

Minor Characters: Minor characters are the characters who support the protagonist and antagonist. They are often not as fully developed as the major characters, but they can still be important to the story.

Dynamic Characters: A dynamic character is a character who changes over the course of a story. Dynamic characters often start out as one type of character and end up as another.

Static Characters: A static character is a character who does not change over the course of a story. Static characters are often minor characters who support the major characters.

Foil Characters: A foil character is a character who contrasts with another character. Foil characters can be used to highlight the qualities of the other character.

Round Characters: A round character is a character who is well-developed. Round characters are often dynamic characters who change over the course of a story.

Flat Characters: A flat character is a character who is not well-developed. Flat characters are often static characters who do not change over the course of a story.

Other related questions:

What is character and example?

The definition of character is a unique symbol used in writing to represent a particular sound, or the combination of sounds and meaning associated with that sound. An example of character is the letter “a” which represents the sound of the letter a.

What is a character in a story?

A character in a story is one of the people or animals that take part in the events of the story.

What are the 4 types of characters?

The four types of characters are Protagonist, Antagonist, Tragic Hero, and Static Character.

What is the main definition of character?

The main definition of character is a person’s moral or ethical quality.


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