Thursday, October 17, 2019

God of Carnage

Please turn in your play analysis for The God of Carnage.

As stated before, characters are the driving force of a play. Without well designed and depicted characters, a play will certainly fall short. There are some types of characters we want to be intimately familiar with (so that they are 'cast' in our plays):
  • Dynamic characters: characters that change through the events of the play or story.
  • Round characters: characters that are fully developed. They often have contradictory traits. A  wise chauffeur who is illiterate (Driving Miss Daisy), or a cranky old Jewish lady who has a heart of gold (Driving Miss Daisy), a bitter couple who actually love one another, despite their bickering (Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf), a distraught mother who needs to convince her daughter not to kill herself ('Night Mother), etc. These characters are interesting because they possess contradictory or conflictual traits or qualities.
  • Confidante: someone in whom a character can confide or speak his/her mind freely.
  • Foil: a character who enhances a quality or trait of a major character or protagonist through contrast.
  • Sympathetic character: a character with whom an audience can identify.
  • Unsympathetic character: a character with whom an audience cannot identify. Usually this character has motives that are questionable, unappealing, or difficult to understand.
  • Ally: a character who helps the protagonist accomplish, achieve, or learn something.
  • Messenger/Herald: Usually a minor character, although not always--this character delivers an important message or brings some sort of external insight to the protagonist.
  • Minor characters: stock characters, spear-carriers, static, flat, cardboard cut-out, stereotype, supporting, allegorical, etc.
How do I develop a character?
  • Know what role the character plays in your play/story.
  • Use characterization: what a character says, what a character says about another character, actions, thoughts, or description. Description is best delivered through dialogue in plays. In fiction, it is delivered by description and imagery.
  • Provide backstory through flashbacks (fiction), or monologues (plays)
TASK: Watch the film Carnage by Yasmina Reza, directed by Roman Polanski (2011). Starring Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, Christopher Waltz, and John Reilly. The play won a Tony Award for Best Play in 2009.

As you watch the film based on the play, examine the characters:
  • Alan Raleigh
  • Annette Raleigh
  • Michael Novak
  • Veronica Novak
Using the list above, argue what kind of character or what role(s) these 4 characters play within the drama. Take notes as you watch/read to help you build your case or answer.
  1. Identify and explain each character's "role" (see above)
  2. How do they shift or balance or grow or conflict? 
  3. Which are protagonists or antagonists and when does this role shift in the play/film? 
Use evidence from the film or play script to support your answer. Your COMMENT response will be due when we complete the film.

Turn in your COMMENT at the end of the play for credit.


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