Saturday, September 8, 2012

Is Your Character Static or Dynamic?

Our history course this year includes a mini unit on Shakespeare and his works.  We've just listened to an excellent 3 part DVD series by Schlessinger Media called, "Shakespeare for Students."  Very simply explained, but meaty.

Wikipedia Commons

In The Characters of Shakespeare (Part 1) we learn there are two types of characters in Shakespeare's works: static and dynamic.

Here is a summary:

Static (or Stock) Character- does not change during the course of the story, a shallow two-dimensional figure, used to carry along the story, add comic relief, or provide a menacing presence. The Fool in "King Lear" (which, by the way, is the most "tragic of his tragedies"
...nothing good comes from it, unless it is a lesson for the readers!) is one example.
A villainous character would be Iago in "Othello", or Edmund in "King Lear."

Dynamic Character- one who changes, for better or worse, in the course of the play, a deeper, three-dimensional character, such as Juliet in "Romeo and Juliet." She matures into a complex young lady by the last act, but, unfortunately, it's too late.  Another example is Macbeth, who moves from a valiant war hero to a paranoid murderer within the course 
of the play.

So, this got me thinking...

Not only is this good to know as we develop our own characters in a story (too many static characters spoil the broth, and visa versa), but ponder this:  What sort of character am I?  What kind do I wish to be?

Hopefully, it's obvious that you can't be a dynamic character if you have no trials and tribulations.  How many people do you know who have everything they want and need...are they shallow, or complex?

So, be thankful if God allows troubles in your life!  It will make you a more well-rounded 3D character, who will be wiser, more compassionate and helpful to others. Now that's character!


  1. Excellent summary, Jarm! And great food for thought on a personal level. Thanks! Have a blessed Sunday!

    1. Thanks, Pam...I'm glad it was inspirational!

  2. Great correlation, Jarm! I'm also homeschooling my 2 kids, a 5th grader and 2nd grader.

    1. Good for you,'s a high calling. Keep on keeping on!


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