Which character could you be?

Shakespeare

The man who knew human character better than anyone else: Shakespeare. Public domain image courtesy of Pixabay.

I sometimes think of my real-life acquaintances as characters from scripts or books. I’ve known my share of people like Willy Loman (characters who believe they’re more successful than they actually are, from Arthur Miller’s Death Of A Salesman), Iago (Shakespeare’s button-pusher guy from Othello) and Pip (a young man who tries to change who he is to impress a girl, from Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations).

I’m lucky enough to have some of the sweeter literary characters in my life. Two of my mentors are incredibly nice and wise people, similar to Jane Bennet’s aunt in Pride & Prejudice. I’ve also met two people — one who went to my college and one who lives in my current town — who are the Fezziwig types (Scrooge’s cheerful boss from A Christmas Carol). Both of them are happy, optimistic people who are fun to be around.

We’re attracted to some characters because they’re a lot like us or the people we know — friends, family, schoolmates, churchgoers, coworkers or other acquaintances. That’s why I like many of those characters from classic literature; I sympathize with Pip trying to better himself and feel bad for Edmond Dantès (The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas) because Edmond is so gloriously naive at the beginning of the book, you can see it coming.

I get Beatrice/Benedick  and Darcy/Lizzie Bennet too (Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing and Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice). Both couples hide their true feelings behind verbal masks (see video below) which is funny but a bit sad at the same time until they reconcile.

I wish we could go back and tell some classic authors that the characters they created are still relevant today. Some of them knew it, but others didn’t. It would be fun to let the “didn’ts” know of their longevity.

Blog readers, do you ever identify with a particular character or think that the people you know bear a resemblance to famous characters?

 

 

 

 

 

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14 Comments

Filed under Writing

14 responses to “Which character could you be?

  1. I have always imagined myself to be Jo from Little Women and I grew up to be a writer, and I like nothing better than noshing on an apple while reading a good book–something Jo was known to do often

  2. I’ve always identified with the sensible, people-pleasing eldest child characters. Makes sense then that in two recent BuzzFeed quizzes – “Which Jane Austen heroine are you?” and “Which of the Little Women are you?” – I got Elinor Dashwood and Meg March respectively. Two characters that I’ve always identified with! That BuzzFeed knows what’s what, all right.

  3. I’m sure I have, but I can’t think of any off the top of my head. I do love reading characters who are three dimensional, having both good and bad traits and who are, on some levels both predictable and unpredictable–because that’s the way people are…

  4. Jane Eyre rocks the Cinderella theme. She toughed it out, turned out wealthy, and then chose to marry. Disney take note.

  5. Odd, I never imagine myself as one of the characters. They are always people I’d like to populate a neighborhood with, though.
    It would be nice if authors knew how their characters endured across time. What an accomplishment to write so well

SPEAK!!!

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