FOIL CHARACTERS. A foil character is a person who contrasts with another character (usually the protagonist) in order to highlight various features of the main character's personality: to throw the character of the protagonist into sharper focus.
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A foilcharacter is a person who contrasts with another character (usually the protagonist) in order to highlight various features of the main character's personality: to throw the character of the protagonist into sharper focus.
Foil characters are opposites that are presented in a way that will highlight the actions or choices of the main character. For example, your main character might be someone who is completely against revenge. An appropriate foil for that would be a person who lives solely for revenge.
By presenting a foil, the author can zero in on what they want the reader to see in the main character. For example, If a story about the evils of revenge is what you're after, your readers will notice your theme better if a foil with different ideas about revenge is present.
Examples from Romeo and Juliet
Romeo and Tybalt: While both are very passionate characters, one spent his life living in a passionate state of anger, and the other is overcome by a passionate state of lust. You see Romeo’s fall when you see Romeo “fall” into the same state of his foil character – he is brought down by an overwhelming moment of vengeance.
Benvolio and Mercutio: While one portrays a serious and reasonable character, the other portrays a funny and rather unorthodox one.
The Nurse and Juliet’s Mother (Lady Capulet) :While one portrays the friend and confidant aspect of motherhood, the other portrays the stern and domineering aspect.
Juliet and Rosaline: While one fell victim to the passionate impulsiveness of Romeo’s lust, the other remained steadfast and faithful to their morals