Character analysis essays are very similar to argumentative analytic papers (which focuses on author’s bias towards certain characters), while however at the same time they are very different in terms of the importance attached to any specific character within a particular work of literature.
An informative essay is concerned with providing information, facts, data and so forth on a subject that a reader may not have sufficient knowledge concerning. An essay on “Character Analysis”, will provide details concerning how an author has utilized various literary devices such as Internal Conflict to develop a story’s main characters. The writer should be prepared to refer to specific examples from the source material. This is also known as expository writing.
A descriptive essay focuses on explaining or describing something (e.g.: “Death of a Salesman” deals with how Willy Loman fails at being successful).
In order to make a distinction between character analysis and other types of literary criticism, it is essential to refer back to its main purpose as well as who the target audience may be for such reports.
More recently characters have been analyzed by writers using the term ‘characterization’. This pertains to all literary devices used in a specific text.
The study of characters has been around since the beginning of literature but it is also one of the most misunderstood concepts due to its perceived simplicity. Character analysis essay requires a great deal of skill, creativity and above all – experience.
In order for an essay on character analysis to be successful, students need to think about their writing from an audience perspective as well as analyze each individual work through various lenses (i.e.: stylistic tools).
What is a character analysis essay?
A character analysis essay is a type of writing piece which explains the traits and characteristics of one or more characters that exist in certain literary works. A character analysis essay is deliberately written to criticize; evaluate, interpret, explore and explain: how a writer’s character develops throughout the story (e.g.: “Star Wars”), why this development is meaningful or significant for the author, reader or society in general (e.g.: “Catcher in the Rye”), how it has evolved from its original form as first created by an author to be interpreted as something else now (e.g.: “Moby Dick”) – although sometimes such interpretation can also lead to a completely opposite conclusion on whether any development really occurred at all!
A character being analyzed may be either major or minor; however, it is the latter one which is more easily available to be used for an essay due to its appearance being less significant in a particular work of literature.
A character analysis essay may also discuss the opposite side of development as well as various conflicts that are brought about from within the same personality traits and characteristics of such a fictional character.
A character analysis essay may also deal with the narrator’s description of his/her story’s main characters; this can lead to interpretation and criticism not only on what has been said but also how it has been presented.
A character analysis essay may be written on the basis of a book, movie, play or television series.
Examples are: “To Kill a Mockingbird”, “The Catcher in the Rye”, “Jurassic Park” and “Star Wars”.
A character analysis is a school assignment used to break down a character from a novel to get to know them better.
- Do you have an individual to analyze?
- Have you already selected the characters that you need to analyze
Please go through the instructions given in this article; they will guide you on how to write a character analysis essay.
What is a character study?
The character study occurs when an essay focuses only on the character in a given story or a novel. It is the analysis in the literature of the traits of the name of an individual.
In other words, it is a brief narrative devoted primarily to reveal the character’s behaviour and traits.
Purpose of a character analysis essay
Character analysis is one of three major types of literary criticism alongside narrative structure and theme analysis. The primary intent of character analysis is to bring out how characters change throughout the story or novel being analyzed – not only in relation to their environment but also in terms of their own personality traits as well as characteristics that have been introduced by the author. As such it is based upon point-by-point proof per character who then becomes an object of discussion within itself. Character analysis is a form of literary criticism that focuses on the characters in literature. In literary analysis, character analysis is the most common method used to analyze a work. Character analysis examines how and why a character behaves as it does within the story.
A helpful way to think about character development is to look at an actual person in your life and ask yourself what makes them tick? What motivates them? Why do they act the way they do? This approach should be mirrored when writing or studying literary works which contain fictional characters. Asking questions like: “What would make me act this way?” “How would I feel if this situation occurred to me?” and so forth, will help writers develop complex, realistic and believable characters.
In a story that contains numerous characters, it is important for the author to create an individual identity for each person so that they can stand out from among the others both in event and character. The main purpose of creating a unique character is to make it easier for readers to understand what each person represents within the context of their environment as well as how they interact with other individuals who may be considered close or even antithetical in relation to themselves. Many times this leads to highlighting various personality traits which have no association whatsoever with real life.
While analyzing characters within different texts authors can use such methods and terms as: narrative point-of-view, characterization, dramatic irony, catalogical method (in which the author lists all actions, thoughts and feelings of each character under appropriate headings).
The analysis of a literary work cannot take place without first considering the type of narrative that is being presented.
For example, in any text where the primary device used for characterization can be defined as dramatic irony – it is hard to make specific judgments or critical statements which do not include a general idea about how closely an author has connected them with their own environment (consciously or unconsciously).
Without understanding what characters represent we cannot claim to understand anything else from within a certain literary work. It has been noted that character analysis remains one of the more challenging areas for students to complete regardless of the level at which they are currently studying; therefore due consideration should be given to the research and structure of any reports on the subject. The majority of essays within this discipline should include a variety of literary elements in order that they have some meaning or value to their readers.
Step by Step Guide to Writing a Character Analysis Essay
Writing a character analysis is not an easy task, especially when you do know the right steps to follow.
You should divide the essay into several titles in order not to confuse your reader. And by the way, by subdividing your paper, you make it look appealing and easy to read.
Follow these steps to write a perfect character analysis:
Choose a character
From the definition, it’s clear that a character analysis describes a character in a story or a novel. So you have to choose a dynamic personality; by dynamic, we mean a name that is adequately involved and featured in the story. Although in most cases, the teacher will assign you a character to analyze, you may also find yourself in a position where you need to choose.
You do not have to select the main character; any character with enough substance to work with can be ideal. Choosing a less-prominent individual will make it hard for you to create an in-depth analysis.
Make short notes while reading
Choosing a character long before reading makes it easier for you to take notes. The quick notes will be handy when drafting the analysis. They help you remember all the useful points and helps you have a good flow while writing.
First, Make notes about the character’s background before getting into the main body of the study. You can talk about the person’s background concerning their family structure, birthplace, and unique childhood moments.
Come up with a thesis statement
A thesis statement tells the reader what you intend to discuss in the essay. It also helps you choose the traits to concentrate on while reading. These will save you time and energy. So before sitting down to write a character analysis, create a specific statement about the character you intend to support in the essay.
Write an outline
Whether writing a standard essay, a research paper, or any other article, it is essential to write a brief outline. It plays a vital role in guiding you all through your writing. It will help you decide on what to write first and remind you of all the crucial points you would love to include in your article
An outline gives you direction. Here you will mention the critical character trait in an organized way that supports your thesis statement.
How to write a character analysis essay
A character analysis is the description, evaluation, interpretation, and criticism of a fictional character from literature. Such analyses help readers understand the characters better by providing background information about such things as physical appearance, personality traits and events in the life history of the character. In addition to this general description, students are often asked to evaluate how effectively certain characters develop throughout a story or narrative. This process allows students to develop critical thinking skills related to literature. There are two types of fictional text: drama (plays) and narrative fiction (short stories/novels).
The following topics may be covered in a character analysis paper:
Types of papers:
- Character comparison paper – a comparison of two major characters from literature.
- Character analysis essay: detailed character description and the results of critical assessment, which is a very popular and challenging assignment among students.
- Character analysis essay: less detailed description of the character along with overall assessment done by the writer.
Styles/types of writing used in interpreting literary work are often referred to as modes.
These include: narrative, dramatic and poetic devices.
Plot, theme and structure are three main elements which define broad types of literature; however there are many other factors/considerations which students may use to assist them in their own analyses.
A plot can be considered as an arrangement of events within narrative text (if these events fail to carry much meaning by themselves they will serve no purpose).
It has been noted that without some sort of organization or pattern the study would become difficult if not impossible; therefore careful consideration should always accompany any form of writing task pertaining to this area.
Some students may find it easier to begin their work with narrative devices once all the necessary data is collected.
A theme is an idea, object or concept which runs through a literary work or piece; in other words it is something that gives meaning to what we read. It can be defined as a central element within a text which draws our attention to something important about ourselves and the society we live in; moreover it is often referred to by critics and theorists as an abstract representation of human existence (such concepts typically involve fundamental truths/realities). In order for students to identify key themes within texts they will first need to understand how these elements together with literary devices work together to create meaning.
Many English courses these days involve the use of concept maps, which are a flexible and dynamic form of graphic organizer that can be used to capture almost any kind of information (ideas/concepts). In this instance students should begin with a central theme or topic as their starting point – from there they must begin to incorporate other supporting ideas/themes into it. A key point to remember here is that these two elements (themes and literary devices) are not separate entities; rather they should be considered as being closely related and integral components of narrative text.
Steps to write a character analysis essay.
1. Identify the character.
2. Define how this character develops through the course of the narrative or play.
3. Evaluate how effective these changes are in influencing other characters, events and the reader’s understanding of a text.
4. Give an overall assessment of this character’s development throughout a story or narrative based on available evidence .
5. Evaluate the role of this character’s development in advancing a plot/theme
6. Consider whether any other characters and/or literary devices contributed to this character’s development, or whether it was solely down to them.
7. Write a character analysis essay.
8. Proofread it in case of any mistakes.
9. Type the final draft on your computer and print it out for submission.
This is one common structure that writers may adopt when writing character analyses (it must however be emphasized that this list is not exhaustive).
How to write a character analysis essay outline
Creating a well-constructed outline will help you organize your ideas and thoughts. A character analysis essay outline should include:
- Introduction- the introduction should hold your whole essay together. It should be brief, catchy, and meaningful. Remember, an introduction should capture your reader’s attention, write a short description of the character you intend to analyze.
- Body- always subdivide the body into different paragraphs and subtitles. These will make your work presentable. Aim at covering all the things required according to your professor’s rubric.
- Conclusion- it should hold your ideas together and play a big role in shaping a final analysis statement.
Character analysis essay outline example
Below is an example of a simple two-part essay with the topic being types of relationships.
The first paragraph describes how type A relationships are very casual while type B relationships tend to last longer.
The second paragraph summarizes the differences that were mentioned in the first as well as briefly stating reasons for those differences occurring.
(Paragraph 1) Type A friendships tend to not have any type of commitment or structure to them whatsoever while type B friendships do have commitments and structures…
(Paragraph 2) This can happen because people who have type A friendships are just interested in seeing their friends on a surface level. They don’t want to be too committed to them and they don’t want the friendship to last too long because it might get boring or they might start getting irritated by their friend’s quirks. On the other hand, people who have type B friendships tend to want that commitment and for their friendships to last longer because they can see an actual long-term benefit out of it. In addition, both types are also different from one another due to the fact that type B relationships are usually equal while type a relationships aren’t.
Although this is only considered two paragraphs, writers may write more than two or more if they feel as though that is needed. It’s important that all aspects of the topic are covered in a balanced way.
How to write a character analysis essay step by step
Step 1: Identify the character(s) being assessed at this stage – sometimes more than one will be required; some students however prefer to work with a single character only so as to avoid any potential confusion or complications which may arise from working with multiple characters/themes at once . All details should clearly be written down in order to avoid confusion or missing out key information later on during the course of one’s work. The names of both the author and title should also be included here (this will make the essay easier to reference later on).
Step 2: give a thorough summary of each character’s development throughout the narrative or play using details from the text itself; at this point students will typically begin with either how they are introduced in relation to other characters (mainly through description) or with their behavior/actions as opposed to what is said about them directly via indirect characterization . Some character analyses may require more than one paragraph but again care needs to be taken not to ramble on too much – remember that it is these small details which enable us to form a visual representation of who/what we read about.
Step 3: in this final section students are required to evaluate how effective these changes are with regards to their influence on other characters, events within the narrative and the reader’s understanding of a text. This is an important part because often times it is only when we understand why things happen (for better or worse) that we can begin to fully appreciate and perhaps even empathize with what another person has experienced .
Step 4: overall assessment at this point should be made using evidence from the text itself – no personal opinions/views should be considered here; additionally any views expressed which do not directly relate to a character’s development through a story/play should be avoided if possible. Instead students must focus on establishing clear links between what they have read and any direct implications that this may have had on a character’s development. This is generally done by using formal language, and includes the use of subordinate clauses to help illustrate points more effectively .
Step 5: at this point students are required to give an assessment of how effective it is likely that any character(s) change has been in influencing other characters, events within a text and the reader’s understanding of what they have read. Students should also provide reasons as to why/how they reached their conclusions; typically this will be done via direct reference here (ie – “I believe that Oedipus’ decision to marry his mother was one which….”) or indirect reference (ie- “evidence suggests that…”).
Step 6: another important stage in character analysis is to provide examples of the most effective developments within a narrative or play and describe how these may have affected other characters, events or a reader’s understanding of that text. It is important here not to include any personal feelings even if you liked/disliked something – stick only to direct quotes from the story itself (they’ll help make things easier later on when it comes time for referencing).
Step 7: finally students should reflect upon why they think a particular development with regards to a character was effective; this will obviously relate back to what has already been stated above but also underline just how well that writer managed to develop their main characters and why it was so effective at drawing emotions, sympathy etc from readers.
What Does a Character Analysis Essay Entail?
An essay should follow a standard format which includes:
- The introduction- the section should answer the question “why?” it introduces the reader to your character.
- Background information- before giving the character traits, mentions a person’s childhood moments and the environment in one or two paragraphs.
- Character traits- mention everything about the character in question without leaving out any details.
- Character growth- no story is complete without conflicts; mention all the character’s battles and uncertainties.
- Conclusion- in this section, summarize everything you discussed to support your thesis statement.
Popular character analysis essay topics
All topics are good, but some are better than others; the most popular are:
- Analysis of characters in Beowulf
- A Character Analysis of Jem Finch
- The Great Gatsby Book Through Daisy Buchanan Character
How to Analyze a Character
Below we will give you some tips on how to analyze character relationships as well as different techniques that you may want to try out before writing your own character analysis essay.
They will be broken down into three: techniques for analyzing stories, characters and relationships.
If you are trying to write a character analysis essay about a story or book that has multiple different characters in it, then there are several techniques that can be used to analyze each one separately.
- Read the entire story from beginning to end and analyze every detail of the characters as they appear in order so that nothing is left out.
- Use secondary research such as reading outside information on them, which could include interviews with the author or more details than what was included in the novel itself.
- Watching movies or TV shows based on their likenesses which can reveal even more detail into their personalities.
Another way of writing a character analysis essay is by using personality traits of the characters to make inferences about how they would react in certain situations.
For example, if a person is shy then it’s likely that that person will be uncomfortable when put into awkward social situations such as speaking in front of large crowds or being asked out on a date by someone whom they are not particularly close to. It can also give you an idea of what their favorite types of activities are and how they generally feel about them.
This one is used in conjunction with the previous technique, only instead you take something like where a character lives or which family members they live with and use it to do some research into your own town or state by looking up statistics online. You can then formulate opinions based off of this data and things that they may have in common.
This can be done by breaking down information into smaller parts until it begins to make sense or start to fit within a pattern. This technique can help reveal underlying themes which might not be blatantly apparent otherwise. Another method is to write detailed notes on every scene for each object or person present so that you can analyze everything at once before trying to decipher what exactly happened.
Another way to analyze characters or relationships is by looking for mistakes made in the text by the author. There are often places where they will put in things that don’t make sense if you think about them too much, which can help determine how you interpret a relationship or character’s actions within a story.
Another way to go about writing a character analysis essay is by picking out key scenes in a story and using those as examples of what kind of person the character was at certain points in time. You then take note of who else was around them at the time and how each event came about. This will help give you an idea on whether it was more likely that they were trying to pursue something or if they were just reacting to the situation based off of their personality.
Another important method used in this type of essay is finding out about the circumstances which lead characters to change over time. This can show why they became who they are and also give you an idea on how accurate your analysis was depending upon whether or not there was any evidence of growth within each story/movie/game etc..
This method is the simplest yet most difficult way of writing a character analysis essay because it requires a lot more thinking than actually analyzing anything. It involves picking some part of the text/movie/game etc.. and seeing what it means to you personally by interpreting its deeper meaning instead of simply focusing on facts about who did what and when.
The first you need to do is imagine what you would have done if you were in a similar situation. You can then determine how accurate your analysis was after writing it down and see how different events influenced an overall theme of the story (i.e. good vs evil).
This method works amazingly well for analyzing character relationships, especially when used in conjunction with other methods mentioned here because it allows you to look beyond the surface level approach where it just looks like two people are fighting all the time or two people seem to be getting along fine after some unfortunate event occurs between them. It helps show whether they’re actually friends or enemies based off of their actions outside of their usual behavior.
The final method I’ll be focusing on for character analysis is taking the story/movie etc.. apart piece by piece and looking at how all the different parts fit together in order to determine what makes a main character so convincing. For example, you could look at the time setting where they were supposed to have lived during and imagine whether their traits were typical or not based on how people usually acted at that time.
So if they’re trying to get themselves killed after being saved from something bad then you’d need to consider why someone would even think about doing such an irrational thing under those circumstances based off of what’s already been established about them within the story.
The point here is just to help make your general analysis more believable and detailed as opposed to simply saying this character acted that way because the plot required it and there’s nothing else to say about it. This could allow you to focus on how they impacted others around them in some way (i.e. a protagonist trying to help someone as opposed to being selfish with what they have), which can allow readers/viewers etc.. to see why they would do it even if certain events were beyond their control or out of their comfort zone because regardless of their circumstances, they still felt compelled to act a certain way based off the person they are inside.
Character analysis essay outline
1. Introduce the character
2. Tell a story of the character’s past
3. Discuss how this has shaped their personality
4. Give an analysis of the story and its meaning
5. Consider what would happen if you were in a similar situation
6. Analyze how they impacted others around them – protagonist trying to help someone as opposed to being selfish with what they have, etc..
7. Conclude your essay by summarizing your thoughts on the character’s impact on themselves and those around them based off their actions throughout the story/movie/game etc..
Structure of a character analysis essay
Any character analysis paper has 3 sections: Introduction, Body, and Conclusion.
A good introduction contains all necessary background info then presents a thesis statement.
A good essay has relevant and sufficient details from the text that support the thesis along with an outline of these in order, starting with the most important details first.
The conclusion is a restatement of your position or gives an overview of what you have written.
Introduction: introductory paragraph is where you introduce yourself, the story/movie etc.. that’s being analyzed as well as why you chose it (i.e. your personal connection with it)
Body: Main body of your essay which will generally be broken down into 3-4 paragraphs for each section (each paragraph representing a different way of approaching a character analysis).
Conclusion: The final part of a character analysis essay would be a conclusion section where see if there’s anything else you want to say about the main character before ending off your paper. This could be used to tie everything together in some way and give a summary of what you found throughout the entire essay in less than 3-4 sentences, but make sure that it focuses on any thematic elements that are present within the story as well as how they relate to one’s own personal life or just things in general. Ideally, this will become easier for you after writing so many papers over time because once you do it long enough, you’ll begin to see a pattern in how your papers look and as long as you know what the expectation is, then it won’t seem so bad.
This type of essay takes two characters and compares them to each other, assessing the similarities and differences between them.
A paragraph should be written for each character, describing their personality and what makes them different from one another.
Another paragraph should be written, describing their relationship to one another and why they are different from one another. When writing a character analysis essay, there are several aspects that need to be discussed in each paragraph.
Key points for character analysis essay:
1) Make sure that your paper gives a solid introduction to the story/movie etc.. if not from someone who’s familiar with it already then at least through its main characters (you can also give a short summary of why you chose it along with any other relevant information such as what made them stand out to you if they don’t have an overly obvious personality). This will help keep things straight because depending on what kind of person your reader is or whether they’ve read anything like this before, they might need some sort of reference points before they can begin to analyze what you’re saying.
2) Instead of just telling a story about the character like they were some sort of robot programmed to always act this way in every situation, think about how their actions related to anyone else around them and why people would have acted this way. Was there something that impacted them as kids? If so, then perhaps this caused them to want to help others which is why they’re willing to take more risks than others or maybe it was because no one took the time to explain or show empathy towards their situation through words alone. According to their own experiences, what are some reasons for why someone might be selfless instead of selfish with what little resources they possess? Regardless of who the main character is, you should always try to relate them with your own experiences but instead of just saying how you would think or feel in a given situation, use the main character to show why they’re thinking or feeling that way.
3) This isn’t so much about what you say but how you say it because if you can get your reader invested on an emotional level, then they’ll remember what happened and be able to analyze it for themselves without needing your help. As long as the sentences are broken down into manageable chunks with good grammar/spelling (i.e proper punctuation, capitalization etc.), then they’ll already know enough vocabulary so don’t worry about using things like synonyms or other forms of wordplay that most people fail at. The main thing you want to avoid is making it too dry and boring because anyone who would be willing to read an analytical essay about a character probably knows how to write one too so the last thing you want them doing is taking notes while they read.
4) Once you’ve narrowed down your character analysis with different ways of approaching their personality, decide which method makes the most sense through analyzing each section and talk about why their personality changed throughout the story/movie etc.. Don’t forget that when you’re writing a paper like this, you not only need to show what kind of person they were before something happened but how this changed them for the rest of their lives.
5) Sum up how your paper will be structured then try to follow it as best you can because if you’re trying to say too much in too little space, then you’ll end up talking over yourself which is extremely confusing for everyone especially if they’re not used to reading papers like this on a regular basis. Think about what kind of person reads these kinds of stories and movies so they know what to expect when reading their essays so they won’t be disappointed and turn away from it all together just because one essay doesn’t meet their expectations.
We hope that helped you out with writing character analysis papers but if you need more help, then you can always visit our learn section. If you’re ever stuck on some sort of project, feel free to ask for extra help and we’ll be sure to give it a look so don’t just limit yourself with one section here because there’s plenty more out there for everyone!
What will a good character analysis essay do?
A good character analysis essay focuses on each of the following:
- A character’s feelings, wants, and desires
- How they change throughout the story (if applicable)
- Who they are as a person and how this relates to you (the reader) in everyday life.
What is the purpose of character analysis?
The purpose of your character analysis paper is to learn something about yourself through the characters in the book/movie/tv series. You should be able to relate with them somehow even if it’s just a minor aspect of their personality. The more you can put yourself into their shoes while writing this essay, the better chance that you’ll write an insightful piece that will stick with people long after they’ve finished reading it.
What is Character Analysis?
Character analysis is when you look at a character from a story and try to see what kind of person they are. It is not just an essay about the characters name, age, and appearance because those things are very basic and can be found in any description of a character. Instead you want to look at who that person was before they came upon whatever conflict caused them to change.
Important questions when writing a character analysis paper
Here are some things that you should focus on when writing this type of paper:
- What did this character want/desire and how did he go about trying to get it?
- How did his methods differ from those around him?
- Are there certain things that this character desires above all else?
- What has made them become who they are?
- What has led to their downfall, so far (if applicable)?
- Who are the other characters around them and how does it affect the story?
- Why do readers feel connected with a particular character even if he’s doing things that aren’t very nice?
- What makes a character interesting in the first place?
This is just a short guide to help you with writing a good character analysis essay. If you want more information, then contact our writers to get help writing your character analysis essay.
Tips when writing a character analysis essay
Are you looking to write an outstanding character analysis essay? Then ensure that:
- The article determines the kind of person you introduce to the reader
- Your essay describes the character you have chosen in detail; you can do that by using adjectives as their traits.
- You focus on the central conflict- by turning to the plot of the chosen novel.
At this point, you have learned how to write a character analysis essay like a pro. Happy writing or ask for character analysis essay help!
Sample character analysis essay
Sample Character Analysis Essay
I never got the chance to meet my paternal grandfather, but hearing stories about him makes me question if he could have been a narcissist. My father has told me that his father was a very opinionated man who was raised in poverty. He grew up Catholic and appreciated the religion for the community it provided him with. In spite of his upbringing, he became atheist as an adult because he felt it was too strict and had to make his own decisions. It’s clear that he’s very confident and always knew what he wanted in life.
My father also said that when my grandfather asked people about their plans, he would always question how their decision would affect him personally. This trait is narcissistic because it disrespects the feelings of others and makes them seem less important than his own. My grandfather probably wasn’t concerned about other people’s opinions because he was so confident in himself, but also seemed to have a lack of empathy.
A narcissist would get very angry when someone disagreed with him or didn’t think that his opinion was worth considering. He can be difficult to deal with if you’re not willing to agree with every thought or idea that he has, and often doesn’t take no for an answer. This trait is present in my own life and one that I’m trying to change because I’ve noticed how many negative repercussions it has on my relationships with others.
Character analysis essay example: Romeo and Juliet
In the play Romeo and Juliet, Juliet is a character that has been given the opportunity to grow and change throughout the course of the drama. The first time we meet her, she is a willful girl who does not recognize her parents’ authority. As she matures, she begins to understand their intentions and becomes an obedient daughter. Romeo, on the other hand, is a love-struck youth who suffers from impetuosity and rash judgment. This trait stands in contrast with his patience when he sees Juliet again later in the story. Through their respective transformations, the two characters complement each other and make a better match.
Although Juliet is a girl of only fourteen years when we first meet her, she has already been betrothed to Paris. When her father tells her that he plans to move the wedding date up so that they can have a double celebration for both the Capulets and the Montagues, she becomes upset and talks back to him freely: “You neither care for me nor for your honour” (I.i.98-99). This shows us how independent Juliet appears from an outside perspective. She does not listen to what anyone says or give any consideration before acting upon her own ideas; sadly, this will become more apparent as the play progresses.
However, after seeing Romeo again at the party later in Act I, Juliet goes to Friar Lawrence and seeks his advice. She knows that if she is to have any chance of happiness with Romeo, she must defy her family. The fact that Juliet goes to the Friar for help shows that she has matured from being a wilful girl; she now listens to what others say before acting upon it. The Friars favor toward Romeo and Juliet’s romantic love also convinces her that this may be an opportune time to seek out Romeo in secret at Capulet’s orchard.
We might see then—through Juliet’s actions—how impetuous Romeo can be when he sees Rosaline and how patient he becomes once he meets Juliet again. When Romeo first spies on Rosaline watching him as he takes his soliloquy from the balcony, he goes into a fit of madness and we hear that “his soul [is] all asunder” (II.ii.20). But when Romeo sees Juliet for the first time since her marriage to Paris, he is in complete contrast: “O! she doth teach the torches to burn bright!” (III.iii.23). In both instances, however, these actions intensify his love for Rosaline and Juliet respectively—a trait in both characters that makes them perfect for one another despite their differences.
In regard to Juliet’s development throughout Romeo & Juliet, we see reflection not only in her decision making but also with regard to her relationship with her family. After speaking with her father about moving up her marriage to Paris, we see Juliet hiding under the balcony in an effort to overhear her father’s conversation with Lady Montague. After her discovery by Romeo, she and he discuss their tragic fates. Romeo complains of his fate and how he cannot be with Rosaline: “O! that I were a glove upon that hand” (II.ii.21). However, if Juliet had just listened to what her father said about marrying Paris earlier on that night, she could have also argued for a reason not to marry him instead of simply arguing for herself: “But soft! What light through yonder window breaks? / It is the East, and Juliet is the sun!” (II.ii.2-3). Romeo then says, “Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon” (II.ii.4). This line foreshadowing Juliet’s death as “The . . . [moon] whose changeful and yellow beam / The sighing lover cheers; while sheLPies with scorn” (III.iii.18-19) is an excellent example of how Romeo has changed from his impetuous nature into a more romantic one.
This idea may also be seen in their first kiss scene at the end of Act II when Juliet panics over what almost happened: “O! happy fault! / That disobedient Athens, that rebellious town!” (II.ii.14-15). Here we can see Juliet beginning to mature and take responsibility for her own actions. After Romeo expresses how he feels about her, Juliet reciprocates: “Do not desire to be a saint unless you can be one” (II.ii.21). Here we see the impetuousness of Juliet again, revealing that she has not changed as much as it may seem or at least is still young in mind and cannot take on the weight of responsibility that will inevitably fall upon her shoulders if she attempts to be a saint—if she marries Paris.
Before this scene, when Montagues and Capulets are duelling against one another, even after seeing Romeo wounded by Tybalt’s sword, Juliet continues to plead with Lord Capulet and Lady Montague saying: “Away, my lord! I will not be a party to this ill; / Nor shall my cousin Montague. Lord Capulet, beseech you/ Away!” (III.ii.136-138). This is an example of Juliet’s impetuous nature at work and her wilfulness as she attempts to convince her parents that the violence should stop before more lives are lost.
It is after this scene and once Romeo has experienced his near death experience with Tybalt that he begins to realize the seriousness of their love for one another: “O, happy dagger! [ . . . ] Thy point devoted, all against the hate of Rome” (III.iii.16-17). From this point on, we see a change in his character and a maturity that was lacking. Again, Juliet realizes the consequences of their relationship: “How will my mother take this newes? / Sh’as not seen me yonger than one-and-twenty” (III.vi.32-33). The change in both characters as they age mirrors the action of Shakespeare’s play as we see two young lovers mature into an older couple who must deal with such issues as death and family responsibility—neither of which is foreign to any other character found within the play.
Finally, it is important to discuss Rosaline in terms of her development throughout Romeo & Juliet because although she only appears onstage twice (II.ii and III.iii, Act II), she is still a part of the play and it would be unfair not to include her. She does, however, appear onstage with Romeo in II.ii but poses no threat to his affections for Juliet because he has already agreed to give up on her. In III.iii when she appears at Friar Lawrence’s cell blindfolded—an action that represents her intentions with Romeo: “For love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind” (III.iii.9-10). This shows how, from the very beginning of their relationship, Rosaline has only ever cared about what Romeo could do for her as opposed to who he is as a person and how this will ultimately lead to his downfall just like it did for those before him. It is love at first sight for Romeo with Juliet, but there is a previous infatuation with Rosaline that must be overcome through adversity and conflict which ultimately makes the relationship stronger in the end.
Short character analysis paragraphs: Example 1
Heathcliff in Emily Bronte’s novel Wuthering Heights is one of the greatest literary anti-heroes. A child born out of wedlock at a time when this was considered a terrible betrayal of family honour, Heathcliff is an outsider who all his life craves the love of the Earnshaws, his adoptive parents’ family. His presence in the house causes dissension between his adopted sister Catherine and her intended husband Edgar Linton. He pursues both sisters with passion but only ends up making himself disliked by everyone around him. Despite all these negative traits, Heathcliff does possess some admirable qualities such as doggedness, loyalty, and a desire to protect those he considers his own.
Short character analysis paragraphs: Example 2
Lydia Bennet of Jane Austen’s novel Pride and Prejudice is the most extravagant member of the Bennets’ family, spending her father’s money on anything that catches her fancy. However, she has very little regard for people with different social status. This becomes clear through Lydia’s infatuation with Wickham, who takes advantage of her naivety in order to obtain an income from Mr Darcy, the man whose hand Elizabeth Bennet refuses. After this event, which increases Lydia’s dislike for Elizabeth further, she begins to act more responsibly but does not acknowledge the consequences of spending too much money until it is almost too late and everyone around her starts losing patience.
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