Ignasi Ribó

Published On


Page Range

pp. 47-63

Print Length

16 pages

4. Characterisation

In this chapter, we will start by discussing how the nature of characters changes when we analyse them at the level of narrative, discourse, or story. We will then consider the notion of individuation in order to show that characterisation in prose fiction is generally aimed at constructing fully individuated characters, but very often also produces typical and universal characters. When analysing fictional characters in psychological/realistic terms, it is common to distinguish their degree of individuation (flat vs. round characters), as well as their degree of personal development throughout the plot (static vs. dynamic characters). After looking at these typologies of character, we will discuss the most common approaches to representing them in narrative: indirect and direct characterisation. An important method of direct characterisation is dialogue, which will be the topic of the last section in this chapter.