Description of term:

A character analysis can encompass the whole play (Kazan*), or can be written scene by scene (Macbeth*). In this assignment we will concern ourselves with the former. You will want to include information from specific scenes in order to support your analysis, but you should consider the full arc of the character in your writing.

In some ways, this assignment combines both the World of the Play paper and the Scene Breakdown. The process could also be applied to set or lighting design, and it is very easily applied to costume design. You may want to include references to those design elements in your analysis, but the assignment is specifically focused on elements of character that the actor will bring to bear.

Reading chapter six of your Ferguson* text is essential in order to successfully complete this assignment. (This assignment does not include all of the elements that the Ferguson covers, such as the individual "beats" of a scene.)


Identify, for each character, the following, using headings as in the World of the Play paper:

The given circumstances of the character (similar to the World of the Play):

          -Physical Description of the character

          Given in script

          Further imagined as director or casting agent

     -Geographical location

     -Date/season/time of day

     -Environment (where they are now and where they came from, if applicable):







If some of these things are universal for all characters, (such as location, date, time of day, socio-political considerations, etc.) you may list them at the top as "Universal Given Circumstances" so you don't have to epat them for each character.

The Super-Objective of the character

      The super-objective is an over-reaching objective, the thing that drives the character to act. It is probably linked to the overall outcome of the play in someway.

The Objective(s) of the character

     Include any important scene by scene objectives within the play as well as the character's super-objective

The Sction(s) the character engages in to reach their super objective (and objectives)

The Obstacle(s) in the way of the character's actions


The paper should be typed in 12 pt font, with one inch margins, have page numbers, and be stapled in the upper left corner. It should be edited and proof-read before submission. Any resources that you use must be cited. Use the headings above as in the World of the Play paper. The point of this is the extraction, organization, and analysis of dramatic "data".

There is no page minimum for this assignment, but it should fully discus all of the above criteria. Depending upon the number of characters, the paper could be quite long.

If you have seen the production before the assignment is due, you may discuss differences between what you imagined from your reading and what you observed in the production.

Character Analysis Paper