This Character Analysis was completed a while ago, but it is complementary to other monologue related material, so I thought of it fit to be put here.
Each of the following areas must be addressed to better understand your character in order to make important acting choices. Sometimes the playwright will directly provide the information; more often than not the actor will need to search the text for clues to these areas. Use your imagination (and the information you’ve already collected) to answer each of the areas.
- Character Dissection
Write it in the first person, and follow the outline format below for your responses.
Everything in this section should describe the outer side of the character, how they are seen and how they appear.
- Full Name Sofia Alexandrovna Serebryakov (Sonya)__________________
- Gender (male or female) Female__________________________________
- Age (exact, not approximate)20-30________________________________
- Posture (good, bad-describe)Good_______________________________
- Center (where does the character carry himself) Shoulders, Breast_____
- Strength (relative physical strength) No Significant Strength___________
- Health (the current state) Healthy_________________________________
- Coloring White________________________________________________
- Defects (scars, etc.) No Scars____________________________________
- Appearance (overall)Her clothing does not imply wealth or poverty either. Everything regarding her appearance implies a sence of normality taking into consideration the social standards in Russia at this time. Simple dress without any showing of overuse but showing that she does not do a labour work
- Shape relatively in shape______________________________________
- Point of Vanity (what part of their body is the character most proud of)
LEAST PROUD OF; FACE she is not pretty enough
MOST PROUD OF; HAIR AND EYES________________________________
- Pets (either one(s) you have or ones you’d like to have) Dog- always faithful
Good in terms of property protection__________________________________
Everything in this section should describe the life of the character in his/her community, how they have been prepared and how they function with others.
- Class (lower, middle, upper)Upper Middle Class_____________________
- Occupation (job/school)Keeping her father’s estate___________________
- Education (how many years in school, last grade completed)_____________
- Home Life (live alone, with others, married, quality of that existence)with others (ALEXANDER SEREBRAKOFF, HELENA, SONIA, IVAN (VANYA) VOITSKI, MICHAEL ASTROFF
- I. Q. (not always indicated by education)High(Also Emotional Intelligence)
- Race (Caucasian, etc.)Caucasian__________________________________
- Nationality (countries descended from)Russia________________________
- Religion (either by birth or by choice)Christian Orthodox_________________
- Place in Community (status in society)high_________________________
- Politics (party affiliation or lack of interest)my guess:left______________
- Amusements (what sort of hobbies, activities interest the character?)hard work,running the estate,_________________________________________________________
Everything in this section should describe the inside of the character, how they see themselves and his/her life.
- Love Life (describe generally the nature of it)Desperated since there is no response from Dr Astrov’s side She can’t find love because she is plain___________________________
- Moral Standards (not just high or low, but give a hint of what is important to your character) Loyalty and living a peaceful life. Even if this is not actually happening she firmly believes she should wait patiently for her life to naturally come to an end and find the calmness and peacefulness in afterlife.
- Philosophy (about their life)Wait for death to find peace since life on earth is miserable
- Ambitions (personal goals and dreams)PAST:Admit her strong feelings to Dr Astrov and establish a relationship.Always make the right decisions for the estate and convincing her father not to sell it.
FIND LOVE that’s her main ambition. KEEP THE ESTATE________________
- Disappointments (opportunities missed, wrong roads taken, relationships, etc.)
She constantly feels inferior when it comes to love due to her ”plainess”
Seeing everyone around her take the downfall whether it is with drinking or trouble-making and laziness.
- 6. Complexes (things which bother or concern your character)the future of the estate and her love life
- Abilities (ways in which your character excels in navigating life and its problems)Always compationate and rational, always good at decision making(Though she doesn’t take leadership roles and lets fear control her)_____________________________________________________
- Qualities (of a person’s character)Rational and logical, faithful and respectful, strong sense of family wanting everyone to live in harmony with each other _____________________
- Peculiarities (oddities or unusual character traits)Hard work but always afraid and especially too self aware_________________________________________________________
- If you were an animal, what would it be and why?ant/ always working but small and unappreciated
||Slow, sure, in no hurry; keeper of the house
||Power of working and attaining a sense of achievement, builder
||The power of faith and trust
||Bandit, shy, resourceful
||Family oriented, possesses power in numbers
- Color (Does your character have a favorite color and how does character impact your character?)SHE DOES NOT HAVE A FAV COLOR My guess:Brown for her noble nature. It is dark implying her misery and despair but not dark since she has still the power to wait for natural death.
- Character’s Objectives
These should not be arrived at until you’ve assembled the above information.
- Super-objective (Answer the following questions based on your character’s objective for the whole play.
- Desire (your character’s super-objective for the play)Find love and maintain the family and its property (estate)_________________________________________________
- Will (the relative strength or weakness in your character’s ability to achieve their desire)The peacefulness that comes with death and the liberation that will come from that_
- Objectives & Tactics (Answer for the following questions for each scene and write them in your script.)
- Objectives – The actor must find out what his or her character “wants.” “I want,” “I need,” “I must have” statements help the actor to solidify the objective of the character. Typically it has to do with another character. You should write 1 objective for each scene.
Reassure and calm Uncle Vanya
- Tactic – The strategy used to achieve your objective. A character will use a certain tactic to get their objective. They switch tactics when they feel it is not working anymore. Make sure when you pick tactics that you are using playable words (Avoid nouns, use ACTIVE VERBS.) You should have multiple tactics in each scene.
Good Examples: To scold, To taunt, To cheer up, To bribe, To bargain, To flirt, To corrupt
Bad Examples: To laugh, To sit, To stare, To leave, To feel, To run
The bad examples are DEAD END tactics. Dead end tactics don’t work through the other characters on stage (your identifiable partner). There is a big difference between “I am angry at her.” (What are you going to do about it?!) And “I want to destroy her.”
Το pity them
III. Character’s Given Circumstances
Answer each of these questions for each scene (and not the entire play)!
- Where am I coming from? The city_______________________________
- What was I doing there? _______________________________________
- Why did I leave? ______________________________________________
- Why have I come here? To announce that he has gone_______________
- What will I do here?Adress the misery of my life but saying that no matter what happens we sould both wait for natural death_________________________________________
- Describe the environment and how it affects you. With one tragedy following the other I suffer but I won’t give in. I will wait for the gentle death and its peacefulness.__________
- Whom do I know here? Uncle Vanya______________________________
- What is my relationship to/feelings towards the people here? Uncle, COMPASSION since we both suffer LOVE and UNDERSTANDING_________________________________
- Character’s Mood-Intensity at the Top
Describe these conditions for each scene (and not the entire play)!
- Heartbeat Low________________________________________________
- Perspiration None_____________________________________________
- Stomach Condition a knot on the stomach__________________________
- Muscle Tension More tense than normal___________________________
- Breathing Heavier than usually but not extreme_______________________
Write under each line of dialogue on the script, your character’s subtext (the things they cannot say aloud). Make sure that you don’t just paraphrase the dialogue but, using the insights gained from the character analysis, create a portrait of your character’s internal life!
SONYA: But what can we do, Uncle? We’re alive. (A pause.) We’ll live, through a long
Dispair. We are not in control of our faith. We our being tortured by life.
Chain of days, endless nights. We’ll bear patiently whatever happens; we’ll work for
Our suffering will seem endless as we haven’t experienced joy. We cannot escape our destiny because I cannot become beautiful so we’ll obey. Since our estate is going to be sold we will be working for others
others, until we die, with no rest, and when our hour has come we’ll go without a
We will not relax or experience happiness in this world so will wait for death
murmur. But in the next world, Uncle, we’ll say that we suffered, that we were miserable,
about not getting married/selling the estate/my mother dying/troublesome stepsister
and God will have pity on us. Then, dear Uncle, a new life will start – radiant, beautiful;
we’ll rejoice and we’ll remember these sufferings with a smile; we’ll rest. I believe that,
Uncle, with all my heart. (She kneels in front of him and puts her hand on her uncle’s
You may think of it as crazy since all you see is misery but I BELIEVE it will happen
hands. She speaks in a tired voice.) We’ll rest. (Tyelyegyin quietly plays the guitar.) Yes,
It feels good saying that but also it convinces you more
rest! We’ll hear the angels sing, the sky will be filled with diamonds. All our trouble and
Imagining what the unreached joy looks like
pain will melt, there’ll be compassion. Our lives will be calm and gentle, sweet as a
caress…. I believe that, Uncle, I believe it. (With her handkerchief she wipes away her
Again feeling touched by what comes out of my mouth
uncle’s tears.) Dear, poor Uncle Vanya, you’re crying. (Through her own tears) You’ve
Acknowledging the impact of my words and start making it more personal
had no joy in your life, but wait, Uncle, just wait….We’ll rest…. (She embraces him.)
Uncle it is possible. I love you. We can do this together
We’ll rest. (We hear the tapping of the night watchman. Tyelyegyin plays softly. Mariya
Finding comfort in my words
Vasilyevna writes in the margins of her pamphlet. Maryina knits a stocking.) We’ll rest.
- Character Narrative
Write an autobiography for your character. It should be in the first person and tell the story of your character from birth to the day the play begins. Include as much or as little information as is necessary to deeply understand who your character is and how he or she found him or herself in this situation. Describe any relationships he or she has with other characters in the play.
Born in Russia, 1975 I’ve been living in the countryside my entire life. It is the only reality I have encountered. Now I am living with my father and his fiancé in our estate. He first came here with my mother and bought the property. My actual mother is dead so my immediate family includes my Uncle Ivan Petrovich Voynitsky (Vanya) from my mother’s side, my grandma Maria Vasilevna Voynitskaya again from my mothers side and lastly the newly added member of our family Yelena Andreevna my father’s partner. Really close to my family is Mikhail Lvovich Astrov. In his name my heart shatters into pieces. He has been the object of my affection and love, but I have not yet confronted that.
Being restricted within the borders of my environment I’ve always felt limited. Oh wish you could see the hypocracy of the society I live in. Like those old ladies dishing about me at church: they’d so much rather have someone who is beautiful than someone who is good.