Again, Tragedy is the imitation of an action; and an action implies personal agents, who necessarily possess certain distinctive qualities both of character
and thought; for it is by these that we qualify actions themselves, and these--thought and character--are the two natural causes from which actions spring, and on actions again all success or failure depends.
From the unorganized material thus brought clearly to the author's consciousness Imagination next selects the details which can be turned to present use, and proceeds to combine them, uniting scattered traits and incidents, perhaps from widely different sources, into new characters
, stories, scenes, and ideas.
It lies in the fact that an historic character
like Alexander I, standing on the highest possible pinnacle of human power with the blinding light of history focused upon him; a character
exposed to those strongest of all influences: the intrigues, flattery, and self-deception inseparable from power; a character
who at every moment of his life felt a responsibility for all that was happening in Europe; and not a fictitious but a live character
who like every man had his personal habits, passions, and impulses toward goodness, beauty, and truth- that this character- though not lacking in virtue
To pass from the Characters
to the Story, it will be seen that the narrative related in these pages has been constructed on a plan which differs from the plan followed in my last novel, and in some other of my works published at an earlier date.
It may be well to say here, a little more explicitly, that there was no real intention to describe with particular accuracy any real characters
in this book.
The immediate election of the President is to be made by the States in their political characters
. The votes allotted to them are in a compound ratio, which considers them partly as distinct and coequal societies, partly as unequal members of the same society.
Yates; on the comic, Tom Bertram, not quite alone, because it was evident that Mary Crawford's wishes, though politely kept back, inclined the same way: but his determinateness and his power seemed to make allies unnecessary; and, independent of this great irreconcilable difference, they wanted a piece containing very few characters
in the whole, but every character
first-rate, and three principal women.
But on a nearer examination of them the similarity vanishes, and they are seen to be distinct characters
. Glaucon is the impetuous youth who can "just never have enough of fechting" (cf.
They believe that every race which breeds true, let the distinctive characters
be ever so slight, has had its wild prototype.
A chef d'oeuvre of that kind of quiet evolution of character
through circumstance, introduced into English literature by Miss Austen, and carried to perfection in France by George Sand (who is more to the point, because, like Mrs.
Though, as we have good authority for all our characters
, no less indeed than the vast authentic doomsday-book of nature, as is elsewhere hinted, our labours have sufficient title to the name of history.
"Podkoleosin" [A character
in Gogol's comedy, The Wedding.] was perhaps an exaggeration, but he was by no means a non-existent character
; on the contrary, how many intelligent people, after hearing of this Podkoleosin from Gogol, immediately began to find that scores of their friends were exactly like him!