Background information about Vladimir
Vladimir Propp was born on April 17, 1895 in St. Petersburg to a German
Vladimir Propp was a literary critic and a scholar who founded the idea that a
certain type of character was to be used in every narrative structure. His
theory has influenced many filmmakers to writing and producing successful
narratives. Propp also suggested that all fairy tales follow a specific narrative
His theory can be used in literature, theatre, film, television series, games,
Vladimir Propp’s theory
Propp suggested that every narrative has eight different character types, these character
The Villain- fights the hero in some way.
The dispatcher- character who makes the villain’s evil known and sends the hero off.
The helper- helps the hero in the quest.
The princess or prize- the hero deserves her throughout the story but is unable to marry her
because of an unfair evil, usually because of the villain. The hero’s journey is often ended
when marries the princess, thereby beating the villain and resulting in an happily ever after
Her father- gives the task to the hero, identifies the false hero, and marries the hero, often
sought for during the narrative. Propp noted that the functionality, the princes and the father
cannot be clearly distinguished.
The donor- prepares the hero or gives the hero some magical object.
The hero or victim/seeker hero- reacts to the donor, weds the princess.
False hero- takes credit for the hero’s actions or tries to marry the princess.
Background information on Tzvetan
Tzevtan Todorov was born on March 1, 1939 in Sofia Bulgaria.
He has written a number of books which have an influence in anthropology,
sociology, semitonics, literary theory, thought history and culture theory.
Tzvetan Todorov’s theory
1. A state of equilibrium.
When everything is at it should be in a state of equal balance between powers
of any kind, where equality of any importance or effect exists among the
various parts of any complex unity.
2. A disruption of that order by an event ( disequilibrium).
3. A recognition that the disorder has occurred.
4. An attempt to repair the damage of the disruption.
5. A return or restoration of a new equilibrium at the end of the narrative.
In these stages narrative is not seen as a linear structure but a circular one.
The narrative is driven by attempts to restore the equilibrium. However, the
equilibrium attained at the end of the story is not identical to the initial
Background information on Roland
Roland Barthes was born on 12 November 1915 in the town of Cherbourg in
He was the son of a naval officer who got killed in a battle in the North Sea
before Roland was one years old.
He was a French literary theorist, philosopher, critic, and semiotician ( study
of cultural signs and symbols). He explored a diverse range of fields and he
influenced the development of schools.
Roland Barthes theory
Roland Barthes describes a text as a galaxy of signifiers, not a structure of
signifields; it has not beginning; it is reversible; we can gain access to it by
several entrances, none of which can be authoritatively declared to be the
main one; the codes it mobilizes extend as far as the eye can read, they are
indeterminable… the systems of meaning can take over this absolutely plural
text, but their number is never closed, based as it Is on the infinity of