In this unit, you will learn more about four important elements of literature: character, conflict, plot and theme. You may have heard these terms before, but a little review may be helpful. Let's take a look at character first.

Characters are parts of stories that interact with each other to move the plot forward. Characters are usually people, but not always. For example, stories that you read when you were younger often had animals, people or even buildings as characters. However, you should not confuse characters with setting, which is where the story takes place.

Characters are sometimes divided into two groups: static and dynamic. Static characters are ones that stay the same throughout the plot. Dynamic characters, which are usually at the center of the story, change over time. Sometimes the change can be gradual, sometimes very quick. The changes can also be very small, or a complete change of personality. Characters from Romeo and Juliet include Romeo, Juliet, Tybalt, Mercutio, Friar Lawrence, the Nurse, etc.

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Last modified: Thursday, 14 June 2012, 4:19 PM