Character Descriptions

Descriptive Pairs
Round or Flat
 Static or Dynamic
Flat Characters
one-sided—we only see one side of his or her
personality; lack depth
often stereotypical (can often be “stock”
Ex. the villain who is evil throughout the story:
we never see anything redeeming in his or her character
 Ex. the hero who is perfectly good throughout the story;
we never see any faults
 The Seven Dwarves: Dopey, Sleepy, Bashful, Happy,
Sneezy, Doc (Grumpy softens)
 Morality plays and allegories (characters that represent
one of the Seven Deadlies)
Round Character
a character in whom the author reveals
different and sometimes opposing traits
 We see different aspects of his or her
 Characters who most resemble real
people (verisimilitude=life-likeness)
 Mixture
of good and bad traits, often with
conflicting feelings, values, principles, etc.
 Real people deal with internal conflicts
Readers connect to round characters!
Static Characters
Stasis—remaining the same; unchanging
 Static character—one who does not
change throughout the story
 Can
be round or flat
 Ex. Nala (The Lion King)—is feisty and
challenges Simba throughout the story; she
does not go through any major changes in her
character/personality (values, belief system,
outlook on life, philosophy)
Dynamic Characters
Undergo a major change throughout the story
Often in the way of values, morals, principles,
Ex. The Hero Initiation
 Separation/transformation/return cycle
 Transformation—the hero moves/changes
from a
state of immaturity to maturity
Simba, Ebenezer Scrooge, etc.
 (anti-hero)
Sweeney Todd—barber; good guy at the
beginning of the story; is unjustly imprisoned; turns
evil (becomes a serial killer)
 Syndrome (The Incredibles)—naïve super-fan; wants
to be Mr. I’s sidekick; feels rejected; turns to evil
 Lt. Dan (Forrest Gump), The Grinch, Hancock, Bad