Short Essay 3: Character Analysis
Select one character from The Tempest or one narrator from Letters to My Younger Self. Following the steps below, write a character analysis essay of 500 words. Your essay should have an introduction culminating in a clear thesis statement stating your interpretation of the play, three body paragraphs with supporting evidence from the text (ensure that your quotations are blended), and a conclusion that summarizes the argument you develop in your body paragraphs. Your thesis statement should be an interpretation of the text. This means that it should not simply summarize the details of the plot or state the obvious; rather, your essay should work to provide a complex explanation and analysis of the character’s actions, motivation, aspirations, regrets, and responsibilities, amongst other aspects, in the context of their personal histories. For this reason, you’ll want to choose a complex character, like Eduardo P. in Letters to My Younger Self, who exhibit a wide range of emotions and gives us multiple axes along which we can analyze their circumstances and intentions. See below for some questions to consider. You may consider filling in the “Character Bio” sheet.
Character Analysis Questions
Who am I?
Who am I named after? Do I like my name?
What is my gender?
What do I think about sex?
How old am I? What do I think of my age?
How does my posture express my age, health, inner feeling?
What is my height? What do I think of I?
What is my weight? What do I think of it?
What is the pitch, volume, tempo, resonance or quality of my voice? What do I think of it?
Is my articulation careless or precise? Is my articulation standard or colloquial? Do I have a dialect or accent?
What is my hair color and style? Do I like it?
Do I have any physical or mental conditions? Do I have any disabilities? How do I feel about this?
Do I have any mannerisms? What do I think of them?
How energetic or vital am I? Do I like it?
Do I suffer from any diseases past or present?
Are my gestures complete or incomplete, vigorous or weak, compulsive or controlled?
Do I like my walk?
How do I usually sit?
How do I usually stand?
Do I have any objects, hand props or accessories with me? Why? How do I handle them?
Are my basic rhythms smooth or jerky, even-tempered or volatile, impulsive or deliberate, ponderous or light, broken or continuous?
What do I like to wear? What do I have to wear? How do I wear my clothes? How do I handle them?
- What do I do when I wake up each morning?
- What is my relationship to my environment? Do I like it?
- What was my childhood like? What are my strongest memories?
- What is my nationality and ethnic background?
- What is my occupation? Do I like it? What other jobs have I had? When and why did I choose this one?
- What are my political attitudes?
- Am I religious?
- Whom would I choose to be if I could be anyone else?
- Did I have childhood heroes? What did I like about them?
- Do I like members of my sex/gender? What do I like about them?
- Who were my parents? What do I like and/or dislike about them?
- Do I like my family? What do I like? What do I dislike?
- How has my mother influenced me? How has my father influenced me?
- Do I have brothers and sisters? What do I think about them?
- What was my favorite fairy tale? Why?
- Who are my friends? Who are my enemies? How can I tell if someone is a friend or an enemy?
- What ideas do I like? What ideas do I dislike?
- What hobbies or interests do I have?
- Do I have children? Do I like them? Why? Do they like me?
- What advice do I have for my children?
- Am I married? Why did I marry the person I did?
- What do I think about my spouse? What do I dislike?
- How do my physical traits affect each of the social traits?
- How do the social traits affect the script and my objective?
- What choices do I face?
- What choices do I make?
- What makes me angry? What relaxes me?
- What are my driving ambitions, my goals?
- Do I have any instincts?
- Do I do things impulsively?
- What do I worry about?
- What do I want? What do others think I want?
- What do I like about myself? Dislike about myself?
- What do I need?
- What do I fear?
- Why can’t I get what I want?
- Do other people like me? Why?
- Are any of my psychological traits manifested physically?
- Are any of my psychological traits manifested vocally?
- 1.Are the choices I will make based upon expediency of some ethical standard?
- 2.Who do I admire?
- 3.Will the pursuit of my needs lead to a moral choice?
- 4.What is my attitude toward the choice I make?
- 5.How do I express this attitude vocally and physically
- 1.Why am I included in the play? How do I contribute to the overall idea the playwright wises to express?
- 2.What similes, metaphors, or personifications are used to describe me?
- 3.How and why are these figures of speech related to my physical, social, psychological, and moral traits.
- 4.Why do I make each of my stage entrances? What do I want each time? What am I thinking about at each stage entrance?
- 5.Where have I been prior to each of my stage entrances? How does this affect my actions verbally and physically? What would I like to see or do when I enter
- 6. How does the locale of the play make me feel?
- 7.How does the time of the play make me feel?
- 8.How does the period of the play affect my actions?
(if additional space is needed use a separate sheet) Taken from the video “Building a Character”
Center of Gravity:
Ability to Reason:
Thoughts About Other Characters:
Other Characters’ Thoughts About Him/Her:
Other Relatives/Status: Husband/Wife Status:
Residence/Status: Job/Salary/Social Class
Previous Action/Off-Stage Action: Childhood: