Character theory

Character Theory
Vladimir Propp
The following characters feature in all stories:
The Hero
This is the main character whom the audience will recognise as the key person
in the story. This character is usually good.
The Helper
The main character usually has a companion who helps the main character,
gives advice and supports the main character in the story.
The Villain
The character is the opposite to the hero and is there to create the disruption
in the story. This character is usually bad.
The False Hero
The character pretends to support the main character in the story, and
generally the audience will know this. However, the main character does not.
Could also be the villain.
The Donor
This character is similar to the role the Helper plays in a story. The character will
give the main character something which helps him repair the problem in the story.
The Dispatcher
This character could be the Princess’ Father (e.g setting the hero a task) or even a
False Hero(e.g sending the Hero on a wild goose chase)
The Princess
This character can be the reward for the Hero (see the princess’ father) or the
person whom the Hero and false Hero are in competition for.
The Princess’ Father
This character could be a combination of characters depending on the story being
told. Generally this character will set a task for the Hero, with the reward being the
Princess. But they could also be the villain if they didn’t want to give the reward.
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Character theory

  • 2. The following characters feature in all stories: The Hero This is the main character whom the audience will recognise as the key person in the story. This character is usually good. The Helper The main character usually has a companion who helps the main character, gives advice and supports the main character in the story. The Villain The character is the opposite to the hero and is there to create the disruption in the story. This character is usually bad. The False Hero The character pretends to support the main character in the story, and generally the audience will know this. However, the main character does not. Could also be the villain.
  • 3. The Donor This character is similar to the role the Helper plays in a story. The character will give the main character something which helps him repair the problem in the story. The Dispatcher This character could be the Princess’ Father (e.g setting the hero a task) or even a False Hero(e.g sending the Hero on a wild goose chase) The Princess This character can be the reward for the Hero (see the princess’ father) or the person whom the Hero and false Hero are in competition for. The Princess’ Father This character could be a combination of characters depending on the story being told. Generally this character will set a task for the Hero, with the reward being the Princess. But they could also be the villain if they didn’t want to give the reward.