CHARACTERIZATION II. ANALYSIS II. CHARACTERIZATION.
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Foil: character who serves as a contrast to another, usually in such a way as to work to the advantage of the leading character. The foil may help to illuminate the protagonist’s positive qualities by demonstrating his own negative attributes, thus providing a clear and understandable contrast for the reader
Confidant: often used in drama, is a character to whom the protagonist reveals his inner thoughts; he becomes a convenient device for the protagonist to speak his thoughts without addressing them to the audience in form of a soliloquy
Yet, surface appearances must be questioned. For example, in one scene of Melville’s Benito Cereno, Babo appears to be a faithful servant shaving Don Benito in the presence of Captain Delano, the visiting captain aboard ship. In reality, Babo, with razor in hand, is actually terrorizing Don Benito in order to keep him silent
At times the appearance may be taken as a clue to a character’s real nature. The Prologue to Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales consistently includes descriptions of physical details and dress, usually understood to be details that indicate the latest fashion of the era