We explain to you what a character is in an artistic work and how they are classified. In addition, the importance of the main character.
What is a character?
When talking about a character, allusions are made of human, animal or other individuals, usually of a fictional, fantastic or imaginary nature, who take part in the plot of a artistic work, such as a cinematographic narrative, a pictorial picture or a literary account.
The characters are created to inhabit the possible world of the work of art, more or less inspired by the beings we find in the real world, and the plot of these narratives usually revolves around their adventures and misadventures. . In cases such as cinema or theater, they are also embodied by actors or represented by illustrations, three-dimensional figures, etc.
In that way, the reader or the spectator of a work must agree with the existence of the characters as if it were real, even when they are mythological, religious or fantastic beings., to be able to accompany them in their story.
Throughout the history of civilization, human beings have created an infinity of characters, of which many have been considered iconic or representative of the feeling or problems of a given time., thus becoming archetypal or stereotypical, that is, universal.
See also: Story.
There are several ways to classify the characters, paying attention to one or the other consideration. For example:
- According to his participation in history . According to their importance in the development of the plot, they can be:
- Primary or main characters . The most important of the story, around which the story revolves and those we accompany most along it.
- Secondary characters They are the cast characters, that is, those who intervene in the story but are not very relevant or decisive in it, and we see them only when necessary.
- Tertiary characters Those who barely intervene circumstantially in history, without having too much to do with it, and those who know virtually nothing.
- According to his narrative role . Attending now to the role they play in the plot, we can talk about:
- Protagonists . The main characters of the story, about whom the plot has to do. They may be heroes, antiheroes or simply circumstantial protagonists, but the story is about them and rarely can it continue if they die or have disappeared.
- Antagonists Those who oppose the protagonist, who oppose him to fulfill his aspirations or who simply have desires contrary to his own.
- Tritagonists They are the characters that do not take sides in the story, but eventually transit it, without having to do with the internal struggles of the plot.
- According to their psychological depth . According to the density of its imaginary construction, we can talk about:
- Flat or superficial characters . Those who do not present much complexity, nor much elaboration in their deep motivations, but are sketches of themselves.
- Round or deep characters . On the contrary, they are densely constructed characters, with a lot of emotional or psychological baggage, that is, more fully elaborated.
The main characters are those who are actively involved in the development of the plot, that is, who lead the various narratives that compose it.
The protagonists and the antagonists are usually main characters, since they are the ones who mobilize the forces within the story.
On the other hand, the characters that intervene only occasionally or tangentially in the events reported, are secondary or even tertiary characters.