PROPPPropp developed a theory that within each narrative there are a set of stock characters, which reappear in everystoryline, these roles are: Hero – Person on the quest Princess – Prize for hero Helper – Helps hero False Hero – Somebody who believes they are the hero Dispatcher – Sends the hero on their quest Father – Rewards the hero Villain – Attempts to stop the hero on his/her quest Donor – Provides objects to help the hero on their quest
LEVI STRAUSSLevi-Strauss’ theory dictated that in every media text there are binary opposistions, or a conflict between twoopposites. The audience subsequently are aware of who they should side with, and this technique can also helpcreate a political theme within a text. For example: Good & Bad Rich & Poor Eastern & Western World Love & Hate
BARTHESBarthes was a French semiologist who identified 5 different codes by which a narrative engages the attention ofthe audience.In order of importance: The enigma code – the audience is intrigued by the need to solve a problem The action code – the audience is excited by the need to resolve a problem The semantic code – the audience is directed towards an additional meaning by way of connotation The symbolic code – the audience assumes that a character dressed in black as evil or menacing and forms expectations of his/her behaviour on this basis The cultural code – the audience derives meaning in a text from shared cultural knowledge about the way the world works
TODOROVTodorov’s theory states that in a media text there are five stages. ORIGINAL EQUILIBRIUM (normality) DISRUPTION RECOGNITION (of disruption) ATTEMPT TO RESTORE (original equilibrium) NEW EQUILIBRIUM
PROPPIn this video there are 3 main characters that we see throughout the video; The Hero – Lead singer The Princess The Villain
PROPP We can tell that the lead singer is the hero, due to all the close up shots and facial expressions which the match the lyrics of the song The other older male we see if clearly the villain due to the presence he has around the women in the video as well as his facial expressions looking evil. The women fits the general stereotype of the ‘Princess’ character. She is beautiful and loving towards the main character. She is also a bit of a damsel in distress which would again fit the stereotype of the ‘Princess’.
LEVI STRAUSS The main binary opposition in this video is GOOD & BAD. This is shown through the men both fighting for the main girl; however one guy wants to hurt her, while the other wants to protect her. This could also link into the theme of LOVE & HATE.
BARTHES The codes that are used in this video are the ENIGMA AND SYMBOLIC/CULTURAL CODES. Enigma is shown throughout the video as it does not fully make sense, there is no clear storyline or moral to the video. Symbolic/Cultural is shown through the girls flashing their underwear at several occasions; which is what we associate with prostitutes (which is what I think the girls in the video are suppose to be).
PROPPThere are three main stereotypes we see in the video: The Hero – The guitarist The Princess The Villain – The monkeys (mainly the monkey posing as the director)
PROPP We know that the guitarist is the hero because (from about half way through when the narrative storybecomes much clearer), he is shown through lots of close up shots. Also, the Princess choses him over the Villaintowards the end of the video, which is another clear indication that he is the Hero, as normally good triumphs evil. We know that the woman in the video is the Princess, because she is very beautiful and comes across as kind.However, you could say that she is also the Villain, as she seems to flirt with both the guitarist and the monkey,which is something you’d expect a desperate, nasty, stuck-up teenager to do. We know that the monkey is the Villain, because he is very bossy, rude and nasty, especially towards the bandmembers (in particular; the guitarist for obvious reasons).
LEVI STRAUSS The main theme throughout this video is GOOD & BAD. This is shown through the guitarist and the monkey battling over the Princess. Also, the fact the band are fighting against the monkeys throughout the whole video, eventually resulting in the guitarist destroying the stage, is quite entropic. You would not expect to see man and primate fighting against each other – especially not while filming a music video. The winner at the end of the video is unclear. In my opinion I think it is the guitarist because he takes control and destroys the stage, but you could say that the bad side has won; as they have managed to get to the guitarist and upset him.
BARTHES In this video I think that the codes that are used are; ENIGMA, SEMANTIC AND ACTION CODES. The enigma code is clear because it is not completely understandable what is going on in the video, especiallyto start off with (the monkeys telling the band what to do). The action code comes mainly at the end; when things start heating up within the love triangle (the guitarist,the woman and the monkey). When the guitarist destroys the stage, the audience get a bit excited because it is outof the blue and the special effects (exploding lights) add to the tension. The semantic code is making us look deeper into the narrative. For example; I think that the reason that all ofthe music video crew are being show as monkeys is because the band are comparing them to under-developedprimates who haven’t got much knowledge as humans. Which could also tell us that the band don’t think theircrew are as intelligent as they are, and that they like to make their own decisions.
TODOROV I think that this music video does follow Todorov’s theory, because when we first see the band they are rehearsing normally, then we find out that their crew are monkeys. The band then realise that the monkeys are taking over and rebel. Things seem to be getting back on track (the guitarist seems to be getting close to the woman), then the Villain tries once again to steal the girl, resulting in the new equilibrium; the guitarists losing his temper and destroying the stage.
PROPP In this video it is unclear what general characters are used. I personally think that Ellie Goulding is thePrincess singing about how wonderful her Hero is, and how happy he makes her. However, some people maythink that she is singing this about her Prince and she is actually the Hero; as it could work both ways. There areno other characters in the video (apart from a kitten and occasionally getting a glimpse of another girl). Ellie (theartist) is clearly the main character and focus, as she is rarely out of shot, this means that that artist is beingpromoted incredibly well; which is a common convention of a music video.
BARTHES The code used in this video is the ENIGMA CODE. We know this is used because, although she is talking about wonderful the man she loves is, we never see himor have any idea who he might be. This makes us want to know more or keeps us guessing. Throughout the video, Ellie looks into the camera or aside to the camera as if she is looking at him, but againwe never see him. It just makes us think that he is around.
BARTHES The SYMBOLIC CODE is also used; she is portrayed as an everyday girl, you would expect to see walkingdown the street. Which is a massive contrast to who she actually is! She wears normal everyday clothes, plays witha kitten, goes for walks and spends time with friends; this is quite different to how you would imagine a successfulrecording artist to be like.