Guten Tag, Leute! Ich hoffe das alles es gut! In my opinion, one of the most important parts of a story is the characters. Characters are often how the reader connects to a story and, if a reader likes the characters, it’s more likely that they will continue on with a book. At least that’s how it’s always been with me. While favorite characters can come from all genres of books and all forms of storytelling, there’s always been something special to me about classical literature and the characters one encounters within those stories. While I love my modern YA heroes as much as the next person, there’s a certain element of wit, charm, and humor that, while easily found in classical heroes, are considerably more difficult to find in more modern stories. Through my time of reading classics, I truly have developed this sort of belief that sarcasm, wit, and dry humor in writing has become something of a dying art. These days, we don’t see very many classically witty, snarky characters. Instead we see sassy, edgier heroes. While I definitely am speaking in very general terms, I would say that most people would agree with this. Nowadays, we see the rebellious, strong, tough characters as being the most awesome. In classical literature though, I believe that we see something slightly different. It was a different time, after all. Styles and tropes change. And I suppose that the whole point of this long into has been to say that I think that classical characters and modern characters have different key personality characteristics. For today’s post, we’ll be focused on the classical characters that I love! Los geht’s!
*Quick note: There MAY be spoilers throughout this post–I’ll try to avoid them, but just to be safe, I’m putting this in! Oh, and as far as classical literature, I’m going to be counting authors like Tolkien and Georgette Heyer who are somewhat on the line between classical and modern literature!
- HERO WANTAGE from Friday’s Child by Georgette Heyer – The thing that I love best about Hero is that she is so loving, so kind, and so, so, sweet. I absolutely adore this girl. I love the fact that, although she does make a lot of mistakes and gets Sherry and herself into considerable amounts of trouble, she, as pointed out by Gil, never makes the same mistake twice. There’s a sort of innocence to Hero that I also absolutely love.
- TÚRIN from The Children of Húrin by J.R.R. Tolkien – Though I love The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, The Children of Húrin easily takes the prize of being my favorite Tolkien work. And maybe that has something to do with the fact that I have a deep emotional connection to Túrin. Maybe it’s something about the tragedy of Túrin and his family that I love so much; maybe it’s the fact that we, the readers, get to see Túrin grow up. While I am struggling to remember key character points when it comes to Túrin, I know that I do consider him to be one of my favorite literary characters!
- SYDNEY CARTON from A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens – Sydney Carton is a phenomenally well-written character. He goes through so much change as a person and as a character and this change is one of the most phenomenal things about A Tale of Two Cities, I think. Especially due to his actions at the end of the story, Sydney is impossible to forget.
- JEAN VALJEAN from Les Misérables by Victor Hugo – Valjean is a truly unforgettable character. He was the first character in classical literature that I had ever come across that followed this character arc of going through a large change of heart and character. That is one of the reasons why Valjean remains a character that I really love.
- DORIAN GRAY from The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde – Oscar Wilde wrote great characters. But, of them all, Dorian might have to be my favorite. When it comes to Dorian, we see a very morally conflicted character and thus, he works really well as a morally grey character. While he is the protagonist of the story, he also is practically the epitome of an anti-hero. However, while Dorian isn’t a good guy, it’s impossible to hate him. It’s so clear that he wants to do the right thing, but he is horribly misguided. More than villainous character, Dorian is a misguided teen. Of course, he grows up with time, but it’s that fatal moment in his youth that sends him down this cynical path. But my favorite thing about Dorian is how much he yearns and longs to be a good, decent person.
And that’s it for me today! Who are your favorite characters from classical literature? Tschüss!