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Propp's Structural Theory
Transcript of Propp's Structural Theory
Vladimir Propp was a Russian critic and folklorist. He grouped characters and actions in narratives into seven character roles or 'spheres of action' and 31 functions that motivate the story.
Propp's character roles or 'spheres of action' are as follows:
A character who's main role is to restore peace/equilibrium - this can be done by defeating the villain or stopping a natural disaster etc.
The villain is the cause of the disruption and is also the antithesis of the hero. The villain may also be a possible threat to the safety and virtue of a heroine.
This character sends the hero on his journey to restore equilibrium. The dispatcher may also be the father of the heroine, who sends the hero on a quest to save the heroine or even to prove his worth before winning the heroines love.
This character gives the hero something - this may be a piece of advice, a skill or an object such as a weapon. This 'something' is to help the hero on his journey.
This character assists the hero in restoring equilibrium. This helper may be a sidekick with the hero throughout, or it may even be someone the hero meets along the way.
This character is usually passive and vulnerable. She may be threatened by the villain and is in need of rescuing by the hero.
A character who initially seems to be on the side of the hero but who turns against him or deceives him.