VLADIMIR PROPP (1895-1970)Propp was a Bulgarian theorist. In his 1922 work The Morphology of the Folk Tale heanalysed something like 400 Russian folk tales. He found that across all of thesetales, despite apparent differences, characters and their actions can be categorizedinto clearly defined roles and functions (8 character roles and 31 narrative functions)which are summarized here:The hero: seeks something, to fulfill a ʻlackʼ of some kindThe villain: opposed the hero, tries to make the hero failThe donor: aids the hero by providing an object with magical propertiesThe dispatcher: sends the hero on a quest of some kindThe false hero: pretends to be the heroThe helper: assists the hero in some wayThe princess: doubles up as a reward for the hero and the object of the villainʼsplotHer father: will reward the hero (often by giving the hero his daughter)DARK KNIGHT RISES(which character fulfils this role and why?)Hero Batman/Bruce Wayne – He saves the city from destruction anddarkness, he starts off without a purpose. But he finds a reasonto fight, which was something that he was lacking in.Villain Bane – He wants to overtake and rule Gotham city and he seesit as being corrupt.Donor Lucius Fox – He gives Bruce Wayne the technology to becomethe Batman again, which also gives Bruce Wayneencouragement which he needsDispatcher Selina Kyle – She steals from Bruce Wayne which gives him amotive to become Batman again.False hero Miranda Tate – She pretends to be helping everyone out and tryto help the unfortunate but she’s behind it all.
Helper John Blake – He helps Batman by freeing some cops which weretrapped underground to assist BatmanSalina Kyle – She becomes Catwomen in order to assist Batmanand leader him to Bane and kills him at the end to help evenmorePrincess Miranda Tate – Bruce Wayne was at first after Miranda Tate andtries to save her at the end only to be betrayed.Selina Kyle – She ends up being the reward for Bruce Wayne asthey get together at the end, giving them both a chance to start anew life.Father Raʼs al Ghul – He sort of helps Bruce Wayne become Batmanagain as he appears to him in a vision and tells him he no longerhas the resolve to be Batman.PROPP NARRATIVE FUNCTIONThese functions should not be seen just as events, actions or characters in themselves, but aselements in a narrative which can occur at different places. The same action can have a differentmeaning depending on where it occurs.A community (akingdom, family, etc.) ina state of orderGotham city is safe from crime.A member of the familyleaves homeAlfred leaves Bruce.A prohibition/rule isimposed on the heroBatman is wanted by police.A prohibition / rule isignores or brokenBatman returns and is chased by cops.The villain makes anattempt atreconnaissance; tries tofind something outabout the heroSelina Kyle steals Bruce Wayne’s fingerprints.The villain learnssomething about hisvictimBane discovers that Dent was corrupt and that Batman isthe hero.
The villain tries todeceive the victim togain an advantageMiranda Tate becomes a love interest for Bruce.The victim is deceivedand unknowingly helpsthe villainTate tricks Bruce into building the power core so that itmay become a bomb.The state of order isdisruptedSelina Kyle steals finger prints from BruceBane kidnaps nuclear physicist.The villain harms amember of the familyDaggert gets finger printsGordon is hospitalizedA member of the familylacks or desiressomethingAlfred wants Bruce to give up on fighting crime and leaveThis lack is madeknown to the hero whois sent on a questBruce is told about Rachel’s letter.The hero plans actionagainst the villainBatman looks into what Bane is doing and his past.The hero leaves home Bruce Wayne gets sent to prisonThe hero is tested,attacked, interrogated:the hero receives helpBatman is defeated by Bane and must recover in prison.The hero reacts to thedonorBruce Wayne learns from the prison doctor to fear deathand not welcome it.The hero is transferredto the location wherehe will fulfill his quest /taskBruce escapes prison and goes back to Gotham to faceoff against Bane again who is currently ruling GothamThere is a strugglebetween the hero andthe villainBatman and Bane fight for Gotham.The hero is branded Bruce Wayne is recognized as the hero, lighting up the batsignal.The villain is defeated Bane is defeated, shot in the chest by Selina Kyle.The initial state of orderis restored / the lackfulfilledBanes plan fails and Gotham is peaceful again. BruceWayne finds a reason to live by starting a new life withSelina Kyle.The hero returns Bruce returns to Gotham.The hero is pursued The police chase Batman after the stock exchange.
The hero escapes / isrescuedBatman escapes the prison.The hero arrives homeor some other place: heis not recognizedIn the prison the convicts don’t know that he is Batman.A false hero makes afalse claimBane claims he is liberating the city in the stadium.The hero is given adifficult taskBruce climbing out the prison.The task isaccomplishedHe manages to escape the prison after a few attemptsThe hero is recognized Batman saves Gotham.The false hero / villain isexposedMiranda Tate stabs Batman and shows that she is the truevillain (false hero)The false hero / villaintransformsSelina Kyle becomes hero saving Batman.Bane’s motive is shown which is love.The false hero / villain ispunishedMiranda Tate is killedThe hero is rewarded(marries the princessand is grantedwealth/power)Bruce starts a new life with Selina Kyle.