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Characterisation: Stereotypes

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Characterisation: Stereotypes

In drama characterisation is the idea of taking the character in a play or story and adapting into character for the performance. The actor may use descriptions and suggestion by the characters description to identify their motivations, body language, reactions and attitude. However many actors often start their character by using stereotypes. Stereotyping is when you assign a common appearance, attitude and verbal and non-verbal language.  An example of a stereotype is the common stereotype of an overweight policeman with flattop haircut who likes to eat donuts or of how a posh Englishman always talks in a posh accent, carries a cane and a top hat and wears glasses. However we hardly ever actually see these characters in our real world.  You may ask, why would an actor want to use a stereotype then?  Well, by using stereotypes an actor can prepare a character easy for a quick performance, or he can use it as base to develop the character into a more unique character. However there is a downside to using stereotypes.  Stereotypes represent us a people, like how a mother is the one who stays at home and looks after the kids, the dad is the one who goes out an work in the office.  And the old person is a scientist who works in a lab. However in our world there are many mothers who work as scientists, dads who look after the children and grandpas who go off to work. Stereotypes don’t necessarily accurately represent the job or role there character is. Why does a mother have to be classified as staying at home? Finally stereotyping eventually can be overdone. People know what to expect from the character once they know he is a stereotype. By creating a more unique character, the audience will enjoy the performance more.

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