Writing a Character Analysis Essay

For students who are fans of great movies, character analysis is probably the most exciting thing to do. Watching their favourite fantasies come to life and being offered the opportunity to critique them is what makes character analysis so fun. Read on to know how they should be written.

Students all over the world are also fans. Fans of television shows, books and what have you. In fact students find so much joy in dissecting their favourite characters acting like these comic characters are walking with them in everyday life. This is the reason why a student might be his most creative if given a character analysis essay to write. Well, except they are being asked to write about characters who have not in any way influenced their creative lives or fulfilled their fantasies.

What is a Character Analysis Essay?

There are many creative ways to describe what a character analysis essay is and what it entails. Basically, it could be explained as a descriptive essay detailing the character under study. Their ideas, their actions, their way of life and also their reactions to things that happened to them. It is in a sense a way to bring the character to life by deeply analyzing them under the microscope of a fans eyes. The job of the writer is to make the character even more real, explaining their actions as they would a real person’s.

Most of these character analysis essays are written because they are an assignment from school. Students, if not given characters to study by their professors will find their own characters based on shows they have enjoyed, and use their understanding of the film and the time during which it was set to sort of make the character more appealing to the reader. Dissecting characters and picking out what about them made them so appealing to the viewers can easily be done if one understands the show, and that is one thing that is required of a writer who intends to analyze the character. Sometimes, the a critical discussion of the character tends to bring to light how the character has developed over time, if the literary device is one that has been out for a long period of time. Characters like Harry Potter of the Harry Potter series never remained the same all through the series. Television characters even undergo more changes sometimes revealing different facets of themselves with each season. This is why character analysis is so fun.

Types of Characters

In a piece of writing or a movie, there are several characters, each playing a specific role and bringing something different to the table. They can each be classified under an umbrella term which then speaks about their role in the story.

  1.  Major character – These are the people whose lives are the center of the story. There could be a great many major characters or jus a few, or even one. The major character is the one who is present in the story from start to finish.
  2.  Minor character- Their presence in the story helps to tell the story of the major character. As things progress, these characters are usually instrumental in very iconic points of the major character’s development in the storyline.
  3.  Protagonist- A protagonist can also be referred to as the hero of the story. Protagonists these days, due to diverse writings styles do not have to be the most morally upright person in the story. The story simply revolves around them at every turn.
  4.  Antagonist- This is the main person who acts to disfavor the protagonist. In some writings, there are quite a number of antagonists who play major roles in the story.

In most stories there are other types of characters like extras, who’s roles are not so defined but their presence helps to either create depth to the story or create an understanding of the times during which the writing was made. These people barely play a significant role but their presence is usual helpful for the development of the storyline.

The Right Way to Write A Character Analysis Essay

Before you go about writing such an essay, you have to read the material given, or watch the film. What ever it is, you have to at least see the character in motion, before you can make any analyses about them. It is advised to expose yourself to the material more than a couple of times. The first time you do so, it should just be to create an interest in the material, especially if you have not been exposed to it. During the time you create an interest, you can take your time to notice how the plot develops around the characters. As you do so, take care to notice the setting of the story, how the story unfolds and where your character can be found in the development of the plot.

Not all character analyses are about the protagonist of the show. In fact, most character analyses are made to throw more light towards the so-called underdogs of the show, whose roles were necessary but not highlighted in the show.

The next time you watch the show or read the material, you could focus solely on the character you are to study and take special notes about heir actions, reactions and movements in the show. Most characters are described based on their belief system, moral code and their behavior towards the vents taking place around them. This would be a great time to start taking notes.

You may begin to see things from the author’s point of view and notice how the author spins the story, creating the character and bringing them to view.

Now you are ready to write. You can now start the same process as you would if you were writing another form of essay.

The Correct Structure

This can be divided into three periods. Before you write, as you write and after you write. There are steps to take in each period.

  •  Before you write

Familiarise yourself with the literary piece. Hopefully you have already watched or read the piece once to generate an interest. This would be a good time to take out your pen and paper and begin taking notes. Now you are not watching or reading for curiosity, but you are doing so with a keen eye.

Be prepared to research about some details such as the reason behind the writer’s development of the character, whether the character was inspired by any event that may have happened in real life and the times the story was set in. This will give you a good idea about where to pick your analysis from.

If you have not chosen a character, now would be the time to. Take care to pick a character who is dynamic and who has a lot to be uncovered about them. If you have not been given a character, you might want to pick a character that will allow you to express yourself to the fullest. Take notes on the character and begin to plot your own essay.

  •  While you write

Now you have gotten all of your information, and you’ve plotted your essay, you and you are about to write. The outline will follow the same outlines as other essay. There will just be a little tweak that makes the essay a character analysis essay. Just like in every essay, you will need the following:

  1.  Introduction: This should as usual be the beginning point of the essay you are writing. You need to lay the foundation of your writing and let the readers know what you are about. It will be great for you to introduce the character, give a hook that will keep your audience interested, and then put in a thesis statement like in other critical essays.
  2.  Body – This is where your main ideas will be discussed. You should be able to bring up relevant points that speak to the character, backed by information from the source you have been given. You can include information from other sources too to buttress your point if needed.
  3.  Conclusion- Your conclusion should be a worthy summary of what you have written, giving the audience enough reason to understand your character and even empathize with them.
  •  After you write

Revise your work, gain a good understanding of the information you have given Incase you have to prepare a defense, and hand in your essay on time. Be sure to proofread your essay several times to get rid of misspellings, grammatical errors and other mistakes that could have been avoided.

Writing a character analysis essay is among the more interesting essays for students to write, especially when they are studying their favourite characters. Hopefully this guide has given insight into the art of analysing a character and has poised you for a very compelling and exciting essay ahead. Hopefully your next essay would be an impressive one.

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