Character Analysis Essay


What Is Character Analysis?

The academic assignment of a character analysis assumes a study of a fictional or real character in a novel or any other literary work with the purpose of understanding it better. A character analysis essay is considered a complicated written work that is given to students within the scope of the study of literature or the English language. Typically, students have to describe a specific character in detail based on an assessment of his or her traits and relationships with other characters.

Great writers create multi-sided characters, so this should be taken into consideration while conducting an analysis. The authors use some details when describing a character’s appearance, nature, motivation, or even habits. When analyzing a personage, students have to remain critical, raise specific questions, and base conclusions on the text of the literary work in question. A precise analysis of the text allows students to develop the structure of the character’s internal and external qualities.

Character Analysis Purpose

Students need to carefully read the literary work and make notes to learn how to write character analysis essays. More often than not, well-known writers are not inclined to directly indicate their characters’ traits in their books. So, the reader should carefully detect these features as the storyline develops. Character analysis means capturing subtle hints that an author can use to depict particular characters and reading between the lines. Observing small details that may seem insignificant at first is essential.

Let’s say a character passes through some life trials in the storyline and they lead to a happy end. The writer did not come straight and stated that the character is strong and brave, but the readers can imagine some particular character traits by merely analyzing the text. Also, exploring a character, especially an exciting and essential personage, requires specific research skills and a desire to understand his or her personality. Fortunately, character analysis does not require in-depth knowledge of human nature and psyche for most students.

The students’ goal when they write this type of essay is to describe the character’s personality, as well as his or her role and value in the story. As the story develops, the author provides small clues about the character’s personality through the way he or she speaks, thinks, and acts. It is relatively easy to determine the essence of a character judging by external behavior. Eventually, you may find that the particular personage falls into one of the categories described below. When reading a literary work, you may also find that a certain personage belongs to not one but two or even three categories.

General Types of Characters

In addition to expressing unique character traits, the character corresponds to a specific role in the literary work. It will be either a primary role as a key component of the story or a peripheral role as a smaller and less significant story component. There are several different types of personages, each of which has a different role to play in a piece of literature. Characters can be kind and evil, significant and insignificant, historical and fictional, and so on.

Depending on their roles, the types of personages you may encounter while reading a literary work include protagonists and antagonists, as well as major, minor, dynamic, static, and stereotypical characters. A protagonist is the main and the most important character, which is usually an embodiment of the author’s ideas, thoughts, and feelings. An antagonist also takes a central position in the story, but it is an antipode of the protagonist. This personage does not enjoy the author’s sympathy and plays the role of villain in conflicts.

The principal character’s role is dominating in the entire story. This is a significant personage for the development of other figures and the whole plot. The minor characters usually appear in several episodes or chapters. They are also essential for helping better understand the primary characters by letting them interact and show their personalities. Dynamic and static characters belong to two different groups. The first group experiences various changes throughout the story, while static personages remain the same.

Stereotypical characters do not play an essential role, but they can add a special meaning to some situations in the story. They are often used for creating a particular atmosphere or just filling the space. Many literary critics point out multi-dimensional and one-dimensional characters depending on how complex and deep they are. Characters do not necessarily have to be humans. A force of nature, an animal, and not a living being can be introduced as story personages. Also, the author can appear as a character image.

How to Choose a Topic?

In most cases, teachers of educational institutions offer students a work of literature to write a character analysis essay on. A specific hero for analysis can also be assigned, or students are allowed to choose a particular character from a literature work. If you have several options, it is recommended to select the dynamic and remarkable character that demonstrates a wide range of emotions and often acts unpredictably.

It does not necessarily have to be a protagonist or antagonist. The choice of a bright, albeit supporting character can be effective, especially if the entire plot is changing because of his or her actions. Minor, static, and one-dimensional characters are not the best options to choose since they have neither complex motives nor controversial behavior to consider. The more material you have for analysis, the easier it will be to carry out the research.

Othello Character Analysis Essay Topics

  • Othello: A Tragic Hero
  • Othello And Desdemona Love
  • Othello – The Green-Eyed Monster
  • Othello And Desdemona’s Relationship
  • Dramatic Irony In Othello
  • An Analysis Of Othello And Iago
  • Types Of Love In Othello By Shakespeare
  • Othello’s Tragic Flaw In The Play By William Shakespeare
  • Comparing Oedipus And Othello
  • Othello As He Saw Himself
  • Othello- Good Vs Evil-
  • Othello And Hamlet Comparison And Contrast

A Rose For Emily Character Analysis Essay Topics

  • Character Analysis Emily Grierson
  • Is Emily A Character Worthy Of Sympathy?
  • Compare Two Characters From Two Stories
  • The Life of Miss Emily Grierson in “A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner
  • Reasons why Emily is Insane in “A Rose for Emily”
  • About Life of Emily Grierson in a Rose for Emily

Hamlet Character Analysis Essay Topics

  • Laertes Vs Hamlet Character Analysis
  • Shakespeare’s Characterization of Hamlet
  • Hamlet Tragic Hero
  • Hamlet and Ophelia Relationship
  • Hamlet’s Love for Ophelia
  • Hamlet Madness
  • Shakespeare’s Madness Within Hamlet and King Lear
  • Elements of Comedy in the Play Hamlet
  • Emotions in the Hamlet’s Play
  • Hamlet’s Psychoanalytic Analysis

Lady Macbeth Character Analysis Essay Ideas

  • Imagery in Macbeth
  • Lady Macbeth Death
  • Lady Macbeth is Responsible for Duncan’s Death
  • Guilt and Supernatural in Macbeth
  • Macbeth Fate VS Free Will
  • Macbeth’s Character Development Throughout the Play
  • Main Characters’ Similarities in Macbeth and Breaking Bad
  • The Many Different Faces of Macbeth
  • Lady Macbeth Personality Traits

Beowulf Character Analysis Essay Ideas

  • The Difference of Beowulf and Gawain and the Green Knight
  • Beowulf Vs Hercules Comparison
  • Beowulf and Sir Gawain: Compare and Contrast
  • Is Beowulf Good or Evil?
  • Beowulf as a Hero and Leader
  • Beowulf Epic Hero
  • Beowulf – a Hero of Ancient Scandinavia
  • Why Beowulf is not an Anglo-saxon Hero
  • Beowulf and Judith Comparison

The Yellow Wallpaper Character Analysis Essay Topics

  • Analysis of Feminism in ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
  • The Oppression of Woman and Her Mental Disorders in The Yellow Wallpaper
  • John Character Analysis in The Yellow Wallpaper
  • Jane Character Analysis in The Yellow Wallpaper
  • The Effects of Postpartum Depression in The Poem The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
  • Jane’s Postpartum Depression in The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
  • Analyzing The Context, Tone, and Symbolism in The Yellow Wallpaper
  • The Three Stages Towards Feminine Freedom in The Yellow Wallpaper

Antigone Character Analysis Essay Ideas

  • Characteristics of a King Who Can Fight Anarchy and Conflicts in Antigone
  • How Protagonist Females Use Masculine Characteristics to Overpower Men in Antigone and Salome
  • Main Features of Creon’s Character
  • The Contrast Between Antigone and Creon in The Play Antigone
  • Comparison of Antigone and Creon in Sophocles’ Antigone
  • Tragic Hero Pattern in Antigone
  • The Impact of Harmony and Creon Turning into a Tragic Hero in Antigone
  • Analysis of The Factors Making Creon The Tragic Hero of The Play Antigone
  • Why Creon is Considered a Tragic Hero in Antigone
  • Analysis of The Tragic Heroes of Antigone by Sophocles: Antigone and Creon

How Do You Start a Character Analysis Essay?

First of all, read a piece of literature having your character in mind. Even if you have read this story before, you are advised to reread it. When you have a specific task to write a character analysis essay, you will surely notice something new. As you read, keep a notebook handy to take notes of all the essential details that apply to your chosen character. Also, you can take notes on book margins and highlight needful passages. Pay attention to every part of the story where your character appears and take into account the following points:

  • Who is your personage, and what does he or she look like?
  • How does a character’s experience affect what he or she does and says?
  • What kind of relationship does your hero have with other characters?
  • How do the actions of your character move the story forward?
  • What challenges does your character face and experience?

By doing so, you need to be based on the text of the literary work. Be specific and find the quotes or phrases you can find. If applicable, you can include some points about the character’s personal history and past events. You may need to guess some of these details. People’s stories inevitably affect their personality and individual development, so you should keep your character’s story in mind. As in real life, people’s behavior says a lot about their nature. Then, review all your notes and try to brainstorm the main idea. This will be the thesis of your essay.

Main Points of a Character Analysis

You can now begin to describe your character in detail. Traits of nature and personality features are often intertwined, although there is a difference between them. Personality features are often related to physical appearance, while character traits are related to morality and individual goals. Here, you can give some specific examples of how your personage interacts with other characters. All of this can emphasize the mentioned features and support your opinion about this hero.


Instead of pictures, the author uses words to characterize the given personage. These descriptions can be judgmental and even emotional. When analyzing a character, you should consider his or her motivation. The specific actions of the personage are also essential to consider. What are the main reasons why the character behaves in that way? Why is he or she making this choice? Is he or she acting impulsively and ethically? Pay attention to how the character speaks. Is his or her speech literate? Are slang words used? How do others describe the character?

Role in a story

Each character plays a specific role in the literary work. Also, every storyline has a particular conflict, be it external or internal. Students should clearly render their opinions on a specific personage and consider additional elements, such as how he or she played a role in the story and during various conflicts. Also, specific attention should be paid to how the author reveals the character in the narrative, dialogues, and general plot.

Character development

In your character analysis essay, you should explain how the character changes as the plot progresses. Most of the heroes undergo several changes. Most of the main characters face conflicts throughout the story. Some conflicts are external, i.e., they are caused by other people or forces beyond the character’s control. Other conflicts are internal when the hero experiences a struggle inside, and problems arise because of his or her feelings or actions. Please pay attention to whether the character is getting stronger, whether he or she gives up, enters into a new relationship, learns something new, etc.

Character Analysis Outline

To write a good character analysis essay, you need to draw an outline and follow your paper’s strict structure. Building an essay skeleton will help organize your creative process. Usually, the character analysis essay outline consists of common points that can be used for any literary figure. In fact, the character analysis template is similar to other types of academic papers. The best option is to use a five-paragraph format, which consists of:

  • Introduction;
  • 1st Body Paragraph;
  • 2nd Body Paragraph;
  • 3d Body Paragraph;
  • Conclusion.

Start by introducing your character to readers, and perhaps point out why this personage is worth exploring. Provide sufficient background information. Formulate your thesis and indicate the direction of your upcoming analysis. In the central part, carefully analyze the traits of the character and their change over time. Your character can be a versatile and complicated personality. So, you can add more paragraphs into the body part to analyze your personage more thoroughly and comprehensively.

Finally, summarize everything that you have written and show the role of the character in the story. Your conclusions are very important. Do not forget to use quotes and specific examples from the text. Take stock to support your thesis and formulate the final thoughts that you want to convey to your readers. To do this, you can rephrase two or three points raised in the main paragraphs and give a couple of examples.

Character Analysis Essay Template Preview:

five paragraph essay outline template
Character Analysis Essay Template Download:

Character analysis essay template pdf
Character analysis template

Character Analysis Examples

If the guidelines for this type of essay still seem confusing to you, check out a few papers to get a clearer idea of how to do a character analysis. On the Internet, you can find some excellent examples of character analysis essays. The British writer Edward Bulwer-Lytton said: “The pen is mightier than the sword.” Thus, you can impress your readers and shape their perceptions using the right words and well-developed arguments. You can any character analysis example mentioned below to keep float on down the river of writing:

Character Analysis Essay Writing Tips

Use the PIE (Paragraph Structure Exercise) method when writing your character analysis essay. It means that when you state your point of view, try to illustrate it with a quote and explain how that citation supports your thoughts. A quote should never be used as a separate sentence in your essay. Instead, give explanations to your own words to introduce the quotes into your text before or after the citation.

Using quotes from the text will increase your credibility as an author and support your ideas more effectively. However, do not use too many quotes. Your words should make up about 90% of your essay, and the remaining 10% is for direct citations. Using too many quotes seems to be an ineffective method, and it will likely lead you to a bad grade from your teacher.

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Writing a character analysis essay is a daunting task. You can spend a lot of time reading a piece of literature, learning how to write perfect analytical copies, and looking for tips on how to format it correctly. Feel free to ask experts for help when you get an assignment of a character analysis essay. The WriteMyEssays service can offer you fast and inexpensive academic assistance.


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