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Character Theory
A2 Media Research
Propp Theory
He found that characters had a narrative function, providing a structure for
the text. Propp developed a theory that there were 7 different character bands
within studying media texts.
1. The villain- struggles against the hero
2. The donor- gives the hero a magical object
3. The helper- helps the hero
4. The princess- “marries” the hero
5. The false hero- opposed as good, but is evil
6. The dispatcher- sends off the hero
7. The hero- paladin and winner
Struggle scene- Propp suggested that there is typically a struggle between the
villain and hero; the villain is typically overcome and the hero “wins”.
Recognition scene- the hero is recognised within the film, the false hero/
villain is unmasked. The false hero could be punished and the hero gains the
reward, typically the princess.
Recognition scene
Struggle scene
Propp Application- The Hunger Games
The Hero
Katniss Everdeen. In
the film she begins a
revolution and saves
her district. The Helper
Peeta Mellark. In the
film he helps Katniss to
escape and prevents her
from being killed.
The Villain
President Snow. In the film he
tires to have Katniss killed, he is
also the coordinator of the
Hunger Games.
The Donor
Haymitch Abernathy. In the
film he provides training and
advice, as well as necessities
for inside the arena.
The Princess
Primrose Everdeen. In
the film, Katniss is
reunited with her as a
“reward” for winning
the games.
Goffman Theory
Goffman believed that media texts had 4 main character types.
1. The protagonist- the leading actor or actress
2. The deuterogonist- the secondary actor or actress
3. The bit player- minor character within the background
4. The fool- using humour to convey a message
Protagonist
Deuterogonist
Bit player
Fool
Goffman Application- 21 Jump Street
The Protagonist
Channing Tatum. He
plays the main cop that
aims to complete his
mission, he leads the
film and is the more
attractive male.
The Deuterogonist
Jonah Hill. He is
like Tatum’s
sidekick, aiding him
on the mission and
giving him advice/
ideas.
The Bit Player
Dave Franco. He
plays a small role,
playing a school
drug dealer and
popular school kid.
The Fool
Ice Cube. He
portrays his
seriousness with
the characters via
humour, making
the audience
laugh.

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Character theory

  • 2. Propp Theory He found that characters had a narrative function, providing a structure for the text. Propp developed a theory that there were 7 different character bands within studying media texts. 1. The villain- struggles against the hero 2. The donor- gives the hero a magical object 3. The helper- helps the hero 4. The princess- “marries” the hero 5. The false hero- opposed as good, but is evil 6. The dispatcher- sends off the hero 7. The hero- paladin and winner
  • 3. Struggle scene- Propp suggested that there is typically a struggle between the villain and hero; the villain is typically overcome and the hero “wins”. Recognition scene- the hero is recognised within the film, the false hero/ villain is unmasked. The false hero could be punished and the hero gains the reward, typically the princess. Recognition scene Struggle scene
  • 4. Propp Application- The Hunger Games The Hero Katniss Everdeen. In the film she begins a revolution and saves her district. The Helper Peeta Mellark. In the film he helps Katniss to escape and prevents her from being killed. The Villain President Snow. In the film he tires to have Katniss killed, he is also the coordinator of the Hunger Games. The Donor Haymitch Abernathy. In the film he provides training and advice, as well as necessities for inside the arena. The Princess Primrose Everdeen. In the film, Katniss is reunited with her as a “reward” for winning the games.
  • 5. Goffman Theory Goffman believed that media texts had 4 main character types. 1. The protagonist- the leading actor or actress 2. The deuterogonist- the secondary actor or actress 3. The bit player- minor character within the background 4. The fool- using humour to convey a message Protagonist Deuterogonist Bit player Fool
  • 6. Goffman Application- 21 Jump Street The Protagonist Channing Tatum. He plays the main cop that aims to complete his mission, he leads the film and is the more attractive male. The Deuterogonist Jonah Hill. He is like Tatum’s sidekick, aiding him on the mission and giving him advice/ ideas. The Bit Player Dave Franco. He plays a small role, playing a school drug dealer and popular school kid. The Fool Ice Cube. He portrays his seriousness with the characters via humour, making the audience laugh.