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THE ACTOR AND HIS ROLE: A STUDY OF CHARACTER OF DAGOGA IN ONCE UPON A DREAM

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THE ACTOR AND HIS ROLE: A STUDY OF CHARACTER OF DAGOGA IN ONCE UPON A DREAM

 

ABSTRACT

 

This research work examine the actor and his role: a study of character of Dagoga in once upon a dream. This study makes use of secondary data sources (Novels and previously published works) in order to elicit information that would assist in filling the overarching gap we found in the literature.

 

 

 

CHAPTER ONE

1.0 INTRODUCTION

1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

A character is a person or other being in a narrative (such as a novel, play, television series, film, or video game (Aston, Elaine, George Savona, 1991 &  Baldick, Chris, 2001). The character may be entirely fictional or based on a real-life person, in which case the distinction of a “fictional” versus “real” character may be made (Baldick, Chris, 2001). Derived from the ancient Greek word χαρακτήρ, the English word dates from the Restoration, although it became widely used after its appearance in Tom Jones in 1749 (Carlson, Marvin., 1993; Childs, Peter, and Roger Fowler. 2006; Eco, Umberto, 2009). . From this, the sense of “a part played by an actor” developed (Eco, Umberto. 2009).  Character, particularly when enacted by an actor in the theatre or cinema, involves “the illusion of being a human person” (Elam, Keir, 2002).  In literature, characters guide readers through their stories, helping them to understand plots and ponder themes (Goring, Rosemary, 1994). Since the end of the 18th century, the phrase “in character” has been used to describe an effective impersonation by an actor (Eco, Umberto. 2009). Since the 19th century, the art of creating characters, as practiced by actors or writers, has been called characterization (Eco, Umberto. 2009).  A character who stands as a representative of a particular class or group of people is known as a type (Harrison, Martin. 1998). He said that the types of characters include both stock characters and those that are more fully individualised. The characters in Henrik Ibsen‘s Hedda Gabler (1891) and August Strindberg‘s Miss Julie (1888), for example, are representative of specific positions in the social relations of class and gender, such that the conflicts between the characters reveal ideological conflicts (Hodgson, Terry. 1988).  The study of a character requires an analysis of its relations with all of the other characters in the work (Janko, Richard, trans. 1987).

The individual status of a character is defined through the network of oppositions (proairetic, pragmatic, linguistic, proxemic) that it forms with the other characters (McGovern, 2004).  The relation between characters and the action of the story shifts historically, often miming shifts in society and its ideas about human individuality, self-determination, and the social order (Pavis, Patrice, 1998). Unlike leading actors, they are generally seen as less glamorous.( Digital Polyphony, 2014; Oxford Dictionaries, 2014; David Knox, 2014; Craig McLean, 2013). While a leading actor often has physical beauty needed to play the love interest, a character actor may be short or tall, heavy or thin, balding, older, or simply unconventional-looking and distinctive in some physical way (USA Today, Jude Law’s new stage, 2014). For example, the face of Chicago character actor William Schutz was disfigured in a car accident when he was five years old, but his appearance despite reconstructive surgery helped him to be memorable and distinctive to theater audiences (Brian Lowry, Variety, Chicago Tribune, 2014). Generally, the names of character actors are not featured prominently in movie and television advertising on the marquee, since a character actor’s name is not expected to attract film audiences ( Brian Lowry, Variety, Chicago Tribune, 2014). The roles that character actors play in film or television are often identified by only one name, such as “Officer Fred”, while roles of leading actors often have a full name, such as “Captain Jack Sparrow” (Stephen Tobolowsky, 2014). Some character actors have distinctive voices or accents, or they develop memorable mannerisms. A character actor with a long career may not have a well-known name, yet may be instantly recognizable (Indiewire, Guy, 2013).  During the course of an acting career, an actor can sometimes shift between leading roles and secondary roles (USA Today, 2014).  Some leading actors, as they get older, find that access to leading roles is limited by their increasing age. In the past, actors of color, who were often barred from roles for which they were otherwise suited, found work performing ethnic stereotypes. Sometimes character actors have developed careers based on specific talents needed in genre films, such as dancing, horsemanship, acrobatics, swimming ability, or boxing (Matt Schudel, 2014).  Many up-and-coming actors find themselves typecast in character roles due to an early success with a particular part or in a certain genre, such that the actor becomes so strongly identified with a particular type of role that casting directors steer the actor to similar roles. Some character actors play essentially the same character over and over, as with Andy Devine‘s humorous but resourceful sidekick, while other actors, such as Sir Laurence Olivier, have the capacity of submerging themselves in any role they play. That being said, some character actors can be known as “chameleons”, actors who can play roles that vary wildly. One such example of this is Gary Oldman. Some character actors develop a cult following with a particular audience, such as with the fans of Star Trek or The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

According to Digital Polyphony, (2014);  Associated Press (2016);  Character actors tend to play the same type of role throughout their careers, including Harvey Keitel as a “tough and determined guy”, Dame Maggie Smith as an “upstanding lady matriarch” Christopher Lloyd as an eccentric, Claude Rains as a “sophisticated, sometimes ambiguously moral man”, Abe Vigoda as a “leathery, sunken-eyed” and tired hoodlum on the verge of retirement, Christopher Walken as a “speech maker”, Vincent Schiavelli as “the confused guy”, Fairuza Balk as a “moody goth girl”, Steve Buscemi as “a quirky, smart guy with a mind just outside of reality” and Forest Whitaker as a “calm, composed character with an edge and potential to explode”. Lauter usually portrayed a menacing figure because of his “long, angular face” which was easily recognized in public, although audiences rarely knew his name (Digital Polyphony, 2014; & Associated Press, 2014). Character actors can play a variety of types, such as the femme fatale, gunslinger, sidekick, town drunk, villain, whore with a heart of gold, and many others. A character actor’s roles are often perceived as being substantially different from their perceived real-life persona, meaning that they do not portray an extension of themselves, but rather a character substantially different from their off-screen persona (Gill Foreman, 2009).  Character actors subsume themselves into the characters they portray, such that their off-screen acting persona is practically unrecognizable (Gill Foreman, 2009).  He Also said that great character actors are rarely out of work, and often have long careers that span decades. They are also often highly regarded by fellow actors (Alvin Klein, 2014).

However, in the artistic depth of Earle’s backgrounds, it was decided for the characters to be stylized so they could appropriately match the backgrounds (Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment, 2009). While the layout artists and animators were impressed with Earle’s paintings, they eventually grew depressed at working with a style that many of them regarded as too cold, too flat, and too modernist for a fairy tale. Nevertheless, Walt insisted on the visual design claiming that the inspirational art he commissioned in the past had homogenized the animators (Gabler,  2006).  Frank Thomas would complain to Ken Peterson, head of the animation department, of Earle’s “very rigid design” because of the inhibiting effect on the animators that was less problematic than working with Mary Blair‘s designs, in which Peterson would respond that the design style was Walt’s decision, and that, like it or not, they had to use it (Barrier, 1999). Because of this, Thomas developed a red blotch on his face and had to visit the doctor each week to have it attended to. Production designer Ken Anderson also complained: “I had to fight myself to make myself draw that way.” Another character animator on Aurora claimed their unit was so cautious about the drawings that the clean-up animators produced one drawing a day, which translated into one second of screen time per month (Thomas 1997).

Meanwhile, Tom Oreb was tasked as character stylist that would not only inhabit the style of the backgrounds, but also fit with the contemporary UPA style. Likewise with Earle’s background styling, the animators complained that the character designs were too rigid to animate (Reif, Alex, 2014).  For Maleficent, Marc Davis drew from Czechoslovakian religious paintings and used “the red and black drapery in the back that looked like flames that I thought would be great to use. I took the idea of the collar partly from a bat, and the horns looked like a devil.” However, in an act of artistic compromise, Earle, with final approval on the character designs, requested the change to lavender as red would come off too strong, in which Davis agreed to (Marc Davis, 2015).     In addition, Davis served as directing animator over the title character with the character’s figure and features based on those of Audrey Hepburn as well as her voice actress, Mary Costa (Das, Lina, 2008).  Veteran animators Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston were assigned as directing animators over the three good fairies: Flora, Fauna and Merry weather. Walt Disney urged for the fairies to be more homogeneous, which Thomas and Johnston objected to, with Thomas stating they “thought ‘that’s not going to be any fun’. So we started figuring the other way and worked on how we could develop them into special personalities (Korkis, Jim, 2015).  John Lounsbery animated the “Skumps” sequence between Kings Hubert and Stefan (Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment, 2009).  Chuck Jones, known for his work as an animation director with Warner Bros. Cartoons, was employed on the film for four months during its early conceptual stages when Warner Bros. Cartoons was closed when it was anticipated that 3-D film would replace animation as a box office draw. Following the failure of 3-D, and the reversal of Warner’s decision, Jones returned to the other studio. His work on Sleeping Beauty, which he spent four months on, remained uncredited. Ironically, during his early years at Warner Bros., Jones was a heavy user of Disney-style animation until Tex Avery got Warner out of the Disney style. Another notable animator who worked on the film for part of its production was Don Bluth, who worked as an assistant animator to John Lounsberry, Bluth would leave after two years but eventually came back in the 1970s.

1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

Once Upon a Dream (Sleeping Beauty) is a difficult story and by its very nature, it has a lot of consent issues, and the straight up rape of a sleeping woman who then gives birth to one or two babies without waking is a commonality in the earliest versions of the tale. Even if one have a version with no rape, and discount the inherent ickiness of “kiss a random sleeping woman” aspect, it’s also a very passive tale for the princess. She lives, she is hidden away, she is never given any input into what her life should be, and then she pricks her finger and then she’s just a MacGuffin for the Prince who gets to slay the dragon. The enjoyed the original story and the Disney film of Sleeping Beauty. This book is based on both, and gets even darker than the Disney film, but not quite as dark as the original story. It focuses on Aurora, as expected, but also focuses more on Maleficent and Prince Phillip, the latter of which didn’t get much focus in the film and wasn’t exactly an upstanding person in the original tale. It’s nice to see he has a part in the story too, when he and Aurora genuinely loved each other in the Disney film. Braswell’s expansion of the whole story has been very enjoyable to read and I look forward to reading more of her novels when I get the chance.

          Also, the book is absolutely delightful but if you thought Maleficent was scary before this version of her will remind you why she is often times thought of as one of the baddest of the Disney baddies.
In this twisted tale, when Prince Philip gets to the Princess and gives her that almighty kiss that will wake her from her slumber… he falls asleep too. Now he just might be adrift in Aurora’s dream land but it might not be clear to the princess that she’s even dreaming. Yet. She stumbles upon something rather disturbing and realizes something strange is taking place. From there, the story really takes off.
I’ll leave it there so I don’t spoil anything and if you want more there are probably other reviews with more detail since there are so many there already!
This is a good book and a great edition to the Twisted Tales collection. If you like those or are a Disney fan, you should give this one a try. This book is ridiculously bad. It seemed okay at first, but as soon as Aurora meets the prince, it becomes unbearable. Their relationship is awkward in a terrible way. If you’re not an avid reader, you may enjoy this book, otherwise I would pick up something else. The language seems like it’s meant for 3rd graders and the adjectives are ad-libbed in just to have an extra word. I did want to pick up the other Disney stories, but they have fallen to the very bottom of my next-to-read list. Morealso, the tale has an interesting concept, but the story is slow to get going. The writing is mediocre and an excessive amount of time is spent describing the same things over and over. The last 100 pages were probably the best. The book could have benefited from a strong editor. Not inspired to read anything else by the author.

1.3 AIMS AND OBJECTIVE

  1. To examine the central ideal portrays in the play Once Upon a Dream.
  2. To examine the role and character of Dagoga in the play “Once Upon a Dream”.
  3. To examine the theme of love as portrays in the tale.

1.4 SCOPE OF THE STUDY

This research work deals with the actor and his role: a study of character of Dagoga in once upon a dream.

1.5 RESEARCH METHOD

The study utilize secondary data sources (Novels and previously published works) in the field of English and Literature.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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