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Character and Theme – Definition and Types

Grade 5
Jun 7, 2023


A character is a person, animal, being, creature, or thing that is featured in a story. Characters make up the core of the story. Writers use characters as a medium to express their thoughts and ideas. It is through the character’s actions that the story moves forward.

Types of Characters

  • Dynamic Character
  • Round Character
  • Static Character
  • Stock Character
  • Symbolic Character

Dynamic Characters

  • Dynamic characters are usually the protagonist or the main characters. These are the characters that go through changes during the story. These changes occur mainly due to inner conflict.
  • Examples: Hamlet from Hamlet, Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games, Neville Longbottom in Harry Potter Series, and Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars Saga.

Round Characters

  • Round characters are complex characters with personalities and depth.
  • They show fluidity and capacity to change and are more relatable to the audience.
  • Examples: Harry Potter in Harry Potter Series, Elizabeth Bennett in Pride and Prejudice, and Jay Gatsby in The Great Gatsby.

Static Characters

  • Static characters are those characters that do not undergo any changes during the story.
  • They are also called Flat characters.
  • Examples: Count Dracula in Dracula, Ariel in Ariel, Sherlock Holmes in Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, and Gandalf in Lord of the Rings.

Stock Characters

  • A stock character is a character with fixed personality traits.
  • The bad boy, damsel in distress, etc., are common personality traits that are repeatedly used.
  • Examples: Scar from Lion King, Yoda in Star Wars, and Cinderella’s stepmother in

Symbolic Characters

  • Symbolic characters represent a theme that is larger than life.
  • Examples: Two-Face in The Batman, Roger Chillingworth in The Scarlett Letter, and King Arthur in Le Morte d’Arthur.


The theme is the underlying message of the story. It is the subject that is discussed in the story. It is the main idea featured in a tale.

Common Themes

  • Courage, for example, Lord of the Rings, Illiad, and Odyssey.
  • Death and dying, for example, in The Fault in Your Stars and The Book Thief.
  • Loyalty
  • Love, for example, Romeo and Juliet and Wuthering Heights.
  • Friendship, for example, Harry Potter Series and Don Quixote.
  • Revenge, for example, in Hamlet and Gone Girl.

Types of Themes

  • Major Themes
  • Minor Themes

Major Themes

  • Major themes are the most significant theme in a story.
  • Part of the entire story.
  • A book on war will have war as a major theme.

Minor Themes

  • Minor themes are less important themes in a story.
  • They act as a discussion point for a few pages and are not part of the entire story.
  • A romance novel would have marriage, fidelity, etc., as minor themes.
Character and theme


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