The character analysis on the handout recommends looking at specific things.
â€¢ Consider the character’s name and appearance.
â€¢ Consider if he/she a static (unchanging) or dynamic (changing) character. If the character has changed during the course of the story? What was his/her motivation? Why?
â€¢ Consider how the author discloses the character:
â€¢ By what the character says or thinks.
â€¢ By what the character does.
â€¢ By what other characters say about him/her.
â€¢ By what the author says about him/her.
Short form for this is STAR (says, thinks, acts, reacts).
Â· psychological/personality traits
Â· behavior /actions
Â· relationships – with other characters in the story, how others see/react to him/her
Â· moral constitution – often a character will agonize over right and wrong
Â· protagonist/antagonist – does the story revolve around this characterâ€™s actions?
Â· complex/simple personality
Â· history and background
Â· similarities and differences of the characters
Â· Does the character have a function in the story?
Â· Are there marked similarities or contrasts among characters?
If you are having a panic attack, or its milder equivalent, of writing a character analysis, consider treating it as a personnel review. Pretend you are the manager and these three characters (or five or six) are working for you. What would you say about them?
Remember a personnel review will typically cover these items:
quality of work
relationships with others
Which of these can best be used to describe Oedipus? Creon? Jocaste?
A problem to avoid:
Many evaluations contain too few facts and too many opinions. What the evaluator believes to be true (opinion) is frequently accepted as truth without question, challenge or reservation. Corroboration backed by facts is often missing.
And how to do a good job from the same source:
Seek input from other observers when appropriate.Base written evaluations on multiple, first-hand observations.Know what you’re looking for. Evaluate the right things. Concentrate exclusively on factors directly related to job performance….Focus on improvement. Use the evaluation to set goals for better performance.
…Be as specific as possible. Use examples. Glittering generalities don’t help much in targeting action or improvement plans.
…Choose words carefully. The goal is clarity.
Just some thoughts for your character analysis on Oedipus.
An example of stock questions asked on an employee evaluation that you might use can be found here. It is from New York.
Another presentation on personnel reviews is this one from New Mexico.
Obviously not all of them will be relevant for the play, but they are still interesting to think about.