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stock character


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A stereotyped character easily recognized by readers or audiences from recurrent appearances in literary or folk tradition, usually within a specific genre such as comedy or fairy tale. Common examples include the absent‐minded professor, the country bumpkin, the damsel in distress, the old miser, the whore with a heart of gold, the bragging soldier, the villain of melodrama, the wicked stepmother, the jealous husband, and the soubrette. Similarly recognizable incidents or plot‐elements which recur in fiction and drama are known as stock situations: these include the mistaken identity, the ‘eternal triangle’, the discovery of the birthmark, the last‐minute rescue, the dying man's confession, and love at first sight. See also archetype, convention, type.

Subjects: Theatre — Literature.


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