When you watch a television drama or detective movie, investigators get down to what they know best: following trails that can help them nail down offenders. It can be noticed in top TV crime videos such as Hawaii Five O. Indeed, even other top TV series such Burn Notice, Chicago Police, True Detective, and Criminal Minds have a lot to do with the identification of personality.
The skills depicted by characters in dramas are very important in real life. The truth is that if you are poor in personality analysis, there is a danger of getting many situations in life challenging. To help you with this, many teachers will give you assignments on character analysis.
James Bond, Michael Westen, Hamlet, Mr. Bean, and Harry Potter are simply some of the top fiction and non-fiction characters you can analyze. So how do you go about it? In this guide, we will tell you about how to write a character analysis, the best format to use, and tips used by pro writers.
Categories of Character Analysis
Prior to writing a character analysis paper, it is prudent to learn about the different heroes that you can discuss in a drama. Here are some of them:
- Protagonists: These are primary figures in a drama or story. The plot of a drama tells their story. In the investigative drama, Burn Notice, a protagonist would be Michael Westen. He dominated the series from the beginning to the end.
- Antagonists. These are the opposite of heroes and change in the course of the drama. It is crucial to note that antagonists do not have to be human. In the TV series, Burn Notice, Anson Fullerton, is an antagonist. He goes to great lengths to threaten and prevent the main character, Michael Westen, from succeeding. He went ahead to blackmail him so that he could use him to do evil things such as planting a harmful virus in the government computers.
- Major. These are characters seen in the entire story. In the TV series, Hawaii Five-O, some characters such as Steve McGarrett, Daniel Williams, Lou Grover and Kamekona are majors.
- Minors. Unlike the majors, minors only appear in a few episodes or chapters of a book. Their roles help in the development of the main plot or the key characters. In the play Romeo and Juliet, minor characters included the Nurse who served as a crucial link between the Montague and Capulet families. Another minor, yet very useful in the theme of love development, is Mercutio. He used crude language and made sexual references that helped to increase the naivety of love between Juliet and Romeo.
- Stereotypical characters: Like the name suggests, stereotypical characters are considered naïve and innocent in their actions. For example, teens are presented as rebellious, loud, and obnoxious. In the TV drama, The O.C, Ryan Atwood depicts a stereotypical character. A kid with a bad upbringing but finally changes and helps to transform the community.
- Dynamic and static characters: These two categories of characters are the opposite of each other. Dynamic characters change regularly throughout a story or drama while static ones do not. For example, Ryan Atwood of the TV drama, The O.C, changes from a naïve boy to the most admired person who helped to change his community. He a dynamic character.
- Foils. These characters are carefully developed by writers to help develop the plot. They always contrast the majors in dramas. A good example of a foil is Draco Malfoy in the drama, Harry Potter. While both Harry and Malfoy are indeed wizards, Malfoy is different because of his lust for evil. His lust for evil helps to reinforce Harry’s power for doing what is good.
How to Write a Character Analysis Essay
Why is it important to analyze a character? It is part of training in literature and the marks you get will help determine your final grade. When you are faced with the task of writing a character analysis, it can be intimidating. This can be more complex especially in poorly done dramas where the characters do not come out well. Here is a demonstration of how to analyze a character.
- Start by selecting a good drama or book
In most cases when teachers ask students to write character analysis papers, they allow them to select the preferred dramas or stories. Make sure to select a play where the roles of different characters in the development of themes, other characters, and the entire story are clear.
- Decide the type of analysis you need to write
When writing a character analysis paper, there are two main types to consider:
Character analysis as a part of a literary essay: In this case, you need to start by writing the entire summary of a drama and finally end up with character analysis.
A totally different paper that targets one personality: Here, you only focus on a specific character. It is important to select the character carefully in order to write an interesting essay. Consider selecting heroes or villains.
If you opt to use character analysis as a part of literary essay, the paper will have more parts. Here are some of the components that you might need to include:
- The primary idea.
- The main heroes in the story.
- Comparing and contrasting main characters.
- Other useful items of literary evaluation.
In the second case, where you only focus on one character, there is more space that allows you to delve deeper into the analysis. So how do you go about writing an individual character analysis? We demonstrate this in points c) and d) below.
- Commence with basic information
Make sure to identify the original story, year of book/ drama publication, and author. Then, write a summary. Identify the hero of interest and provide some basic info about him/her.
- Provide the full name and interpret it if it has deeper meaning.
- Social status.
- Physical appearance.
- Patterns of the character’s speech.
The goal is to provide the reader with ample details before diving into a more comprehensive analysis.
- Assume you are interviewing the character of interest. What questions would you field?
To make how to do a character analysis easier, look at it as an interview with the hero of interest. With the questions directed at the character, go ahead and dig information that directly answers them. Here are some details to help you answer the ‘interview’ questions:
- Background of the character. Did the character have a difficult or pampered upbringing? In the case of Ryan Artwood of The O.C drama, the upbringing was bad.
- Write what other people have to say about your character.
- Think of how the character would describe himself.
- Demonstrate the relationship between your character and other characters. Bring out some of his friends and enemies.
- Demonstrate how your character acts in different situations.
Useful Tips for Writing a Character Analysis Paper
To make your character analysis more effective and help you to rake more marks, here are some additional tips.
- Look for a focus point. Although the primary goal of the essay is analyzing a specific character, it is prudent to clearly define the core point of your paper. For example, you can list the features of your character, but identify one that stands out from others. This is what made you pick the character, right?
- Always support your essay with evidence. Like other types of papers, supporting your analysis with up-to-date sources will give it more weight and help you to rake more marks. Go for books, scientific materials and journals among other relevant academic materials.
- Craft a powerful conclusion. How you conclude your character analysis paper can help you to earn more or lose marks. Craft a killer conclusion that articulately summarizers the main points of the analysis.
- To be able to craft the best papers, make sure to read another top character analysis example. This will help you to understand how to present different ideas in a convincing way. A good character analysis essay example could also help to bridge your writing skills gap and catapult you to a pro writer.
Three Things that Make a Character Analysis Essay
Now that we have looked at the mechanics of writing a great character analysis paper, you might be wondering what information should appear at which section, right? There are three things that make character analysis essay to stand out:
- Relationships: These are the people who interact with the character of interest. Make sure to demonstrate the goals of selecting these characters.
- The main goal of the author: Whether you are reviewing a character in a book or drama, you need to start by seeing it through the author’s eyes. Why did the author create the character?
- Organization: The structure of your character analysis paper closely resembles that of other academic papers. Have a look:
- Introduction paragraph.
- Body paragraphs.
- Paragraph one.
- Paragraph two.
- Paragraph three.
Seek Help Writing Your Character Analysis Paper
We are not going to beat around the bush here; writing a character analysis is a complex thing. And you know what? Even people who have done it several times still get into trouble. Therefore, if you find writing the analysis paper is a major source of college stress, seek writing help. Expert writers can help you craft winning papers that will rake the highest marks.