A character that exhibits opposite or conflicting traits to another character is called a foil. 2. 1. Examples of Foil in Literature Example 1: Romeo and Mercutio. The main purpose of a foil is to draw attention to and emphasize another character’s strengths and weaknesses. They are opposites in appearance, and their lives (one privileged the other not) are foils as well. Foil Character – Examples Romeo and Juliet Rosaline Rosaline is completely unavailable, and has turned away all the men from her to remain chaste. Foils are used in all types of literature. Examples of Foil Characters in Literature. In the classic good-guy vs bad-guy scenario, both the hero and the villain can each be considered the other’s foil, in that each acts to show how the other behaves in certain situations. Examples of Foil in Literature Example #1: Paradise Lost (By John Milton) Milton’s Paradise Lost, Book I, is based on the comparison of two contrasting characters: God and Satan. In some cases, a subplot can be used as a foil to the main plot. The word foil comes from the old practice of backing gems with foil to make them shine more brightly. For example, if the hero or villain is hotheaded, the sidekick could be calm and practical. Sometimes, this is done through contrast. Appear thou in the likeness of a sigh, Speak but one rhyme and I am satisfied. Several other characters serve as a foil to Hamlet as well. Watson is a perfect foil for Holmes because his relative obtuseness makes Holmes’s deductions seem more brilliant. Plus, we’ll look at a few examples of foil … Lover! Next to Mercutio, Romeo seems innocent and virtuous, making him an even more perfect match for the innocent and virtuous Juliet. Sidekicks often serve as foils. MERCUTIO: Romeo, Humors! For example, in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Victor Frankenstein shuts himself off from others, driven by his obsession to create a living being. Foil characters are two characters that contrast to one another. Following are a few examples of foil characters in literature. This is especially true in the case of metafiction and the "story within a story" motif. Notable Foil Character Examples in Literature For example, Romeo’s romantic side is highlighted even more by the crass, innuendo-laden dialogue of Mercutio, who reduces the ideal of love to a series of scornful jokes. Passion! 3. Another classic example of Hamlet's foil is his friend, Horatio, whose level-headedness clearly serves as foil to Hamlet's rash nature. So, let’s dive deeper and talk about what makes a foil character. In the Harry Potter Series, Harry and Voldemort are foils-one is good and the other evil. As a result, he creates his own foil: a creature who craves companionship and connection, … Madman! They’re juxtaposed in the following list to indicate their contrasting characteristics. They can be something that the hero or villain himself is not. Here are some examples of titles that contain foreshadowing: The Fall of the House of Usher; Murder on the Orient Express; Love in the Time of Cholera; The Story of an Hour; Roger Malvin’s Burial; The Crying of Lot 49; A Telephone Call; As I Lay Dying; A Romantic Weekend; The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King; Famous Examples of Foreshadowing Satan, in the entire work, appears as a foil to God. This contrast will highlight the hero’s personality. In literature and film, a foil character will contrast from the story’s protagonist. The foil character works in the same way—to make the protagonist seem more incredible, or, adversely, to make his or her faults more obvious. In fiction or non-fiction, a foil is a character who contrasts with another character; most of the time it is the protagonist, to highlight qualities of the other character. Cry but “Ay me!” In Hamlet, Fortinbras, the Prince of Norway is a foil to Hamlet, having none of the latter's introspection when it comes to avenging his father's death. An obvious example is the character of Dr. Watson in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories. In Wuthering Heights, Catherine and Heathcliffe can be seen a foils. For example, in the classic Lost Generation novel “The Great Gatsby,” F. Scott Fitzgerald uses narrator Nick Carraway as a foil to both protagonist Jay Gatsby, and Jay’s antagonist, Tom Buchanan.In describing Jay and Tom’s contentious shared love for Tom’s trophy wife Daisy, Nick depicts Tom as an Ivy League-educated athlete who feels entitled by his inherited wealth. … Foil, in literature, a character who is presented as a contrast to a second character so as to point to or show to advantage some aspect of the second character.
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