Literature Midterm: Casting Call Character Analysis
Purpose of the Assignment:
A Character Analysis is one way to approach the textual analysis midterm. Character analysis challenges the active student to consider the writerly choices an author makes in the formation of his/her characters. One can apply a variety of critical lenses to a character analysis which makes it a great tool to use for analyzing a text.
One can apply a psychoanalytical lens to characters, using their thoughts, actions, dialogue or the author’s descriptions to consider what motivates the character, how complexly the character is formed, what the character’s phobias, obsessions, traumas or personalities reveals about the author’s attitudes and views. One can apply a formalist lens to characters, using what you know about the genre and associate character tropes in which the character appears to explain how the character fits into or defies those character tropes and conventions of the genre. One can apply a gender lens to characters, analyzing how their actions, descriptions, dialogue and fate conform with period gender roles, explaining how the character developed to reveal social values and mores about masculinity & femininity, and how the author’s development of the character deviates from those gender expectations.
Character analysis also happens to be an essential part of the casting process by which a director casts a novel, book or piece of short fiction when it is being adapted to the stage or screen. When a casting director selects an actor or actress to play the role of a particular character, he or she has already performed a character analysis which has given him or her an idea of what they are looking for in order to bring that character to life. In considering the actor/actress up for the role, the casting director considers what roles the actor/actress has played in the past and the features or traits those previously performed characters possessed, how those traits might be similar to those of the character that is now being cast, how the actor/actress physically embodies the character and what new traits the actor might bring to the character through his/her performance.
You will select one course related text which you will adapt to film or stage. You will identify one character to analyze and cast it with a specific actor or actress. Students should support their casting choice with textual support and research. You will develop an APA/MLA (institution dependent) formatted paper, a 2-3 page character analysis and casting proposal of one character from a major text explored in this course. The analysis will demonstrate your critical thinking and genre knowledge on one text as well as your familiarity with popular culture. A template has been provided below.
Casting Call Character Analysis
Thesis: I am proposing that (actor) be cast in the role of (character name) for the coming adaptation of (title of text).
I. Exposition: The student will first craft an introduction which introduces the text that is being adapted to stage or screen and the character that is being cast.
A. The student should very briefly summarize the text in which the character is being cast.
B. The student should identify who is the character that is being cast.
C. The student should explain why this character was selected for the casting call.
II. Character Analysis: The student state his or her overall assessment or analysis of the character.
Student should identify if the character is a stock, static or dynamic character.
Define the type of character; for example, a dynamic character is complex and grows throughout a text.
Give a textual example that supports this assessment of the character.
Student should identify if the character is a protagonist, antagonist or supporting character.
Define the type of character; for example, a protagonist is a central hero character with whom readers are meant to identify.
Give a textual example or explanation that supports this assessment of the character.
Student should analyze the character’s nature. Consider using a critical lens such as psychology, formalist or gender.
Student should support this analysis with an a textual example of how the author or other characters describe the character, things that character says or thinks, things the character does and what the author does to the character at the end of the text.
Student should support this analysis with an another textual example of how the author or other characters describe the character, things that character says or thinks, things the character does and what the author does to the character at the end of the text.
Student should support this analysis with an a final textual example of how the author or other characters describe the character, things that character says or thinks, things the character does and what the author does to the character at the end of the text.
III. Casting Proposal: Student should introduce the specific actor or actress being proposed for the role of this character.
Student should briefly explain the type of actor/actress (dramatic/comedy actress, lead/character actor, academy trained/method actor) being proposed.
Student should note if any personal experiences which the actor/actress may be able to draw upon to bring the character to life.
Student should describe the physical qualities the actor/actress possesses which make him/her ideal for bringing his or her vision of the character to life.
Student should describe the performance abilities the actor/actress possesses which make him/her ideal for bringing his or her vision of the character to life, referring to earlier performances of similar characters.
1. Student should support this assessment of the actor/actress with one example of a previous performance..
A. The student will then restate the thesis.