Sometimes the character doesn’t even have the ability to speak, such as animals like Snoopy, Gromit, and Pluto. I focus on the things they do, the actions they take, and how they respond to another character’s distress or frustration or other emotion. Come on. But will a Wise Old Mentor who just snatches up the first candidate to save the world know the meaning of the angry gestures she’s making at him, demanding to know why he took her away from home? The difference here is that there are plenty of authors who do use disabled heroes, especially maimed ones, because, hey, wow, they can have silver hands now! Most born-mute characters are trusted servants who keep their masters’ secrets to the death, not heroes. Phew. The reasons for these characters' silence differs tremendously. The point, other than, maybe, the first one. Most of the time, if a fantasy heroine goes into a new culture, she masters the language quickly and is making herself understood in a few months. If you can come up with them, by all means, I think it would be interesting to use them. In addition to the rants, Limyaael produced a series of brilliant Harry Potter fan-fictions (under the pen name "Lightning on the Wave"), and even some original fiction. Finally, what happens to a mute character who gets dropped among people who don’t even speak the same language as she’s been used to hearing all her life?  This definition, according to Green, would rule out a character like Laurent (Lawrence), Tartuffe's unseen valet, whose sole function is merely to give the playwright an opportunity to introduce Tartuffe. Sometimes the character is just an introspective person, such as Silent Bob. , "The Presence of Absence: Catalytic and Omnipresent Offstage Characters in Modern American Drama. Another is whether the people around her can understand her, even when she’s doing her damnedest to communicate, and how much of an effort they’re willing to make to understand her. Or they can be shown as “cool” for their disabilities. Born-mute main characters are extremely rare. Imagine someone doing this out of religious devotion, or to keep from betraying his side’s secrets to the enemy. A large part of the context in any mute character’s life is going to be frustration. Joe) Sooty; T. Tom Cat; Tyrant (Resident Evil) U. Untalkative Bunny; V. Voldo; W. Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner This page was last edited on 16 April 2020, at 21:10 (UTC). Quit it. But I still think you could write a really good story about a mute character facing and overcoming trials like these, or even struggling to master the telepathy that will make her life so much easier. Or a character who has no literate acquaintances can read and write, and, moreover, has tons and tons of books in a world where the printing press hasn’t been invented. Perhaps, if her muteness is linked to another trait, such as magic or a blessing from the gods, she’s taken from a speaking society into one that, once she masters its context, will make her a lot happier. Another is whether she has the ability to draw or write, or the materials that will let her do so. A short point, this, because to many authors “mute” means “unable to make a sound at all.” If you don’t care to have your character speak, then skip down to point 4. If you can’t do anything else, then treat them with the same care that you give non-speaking animals…no, wait, only do that if you can write non-speaking animals who are not walking stuffed animals or monsters. Unseen characters have been used since the beginning of theatre with the ancient Greek tragedians, such as Laius in Sophocles' Oedipus Rex and Jason's bride in Euripides' Medea, and continued into Elizabethan theatre with examples such as Rosaline in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Often a character’s silence is used as a comedic device.  Author Marie A. Wellington notes that in the 18th-century, Voltaire included unseen characters in a few of his plays, including Le Duc d’Alençon and L’Orphelin de la Chine. Lists about the most memorable fictional characters in film, TV, and literature that will stick in our minds forever. For some reason, the most common cause in many fantasy novels is the character having his tongue cut out. Okay, I take that back: One kind of born-mute character is not rare. Sometimes the character doesn’t even have the ability to speak, such as animals like Snoopy, Gromit, and Pluto. People know sign language for no good reason. Some fictional characters are overly chatty. However, a lot of these characters use their silence for menacing purposes, as with Jason Voorhees, Michael Myers, and Ilyn Payne.Just because a character is silent doesn’t mean they’re dumb or don’t have anything to say. The magic thing could be extremely damaging against wizards who have to speak their spells aloud. Harpo was the Marx brother famous for his mute reactions. Having meticulously followed the trail of Limyaael's virtual breadcrumbs, we created this page as a centralized repository of her work, for posterity and as a sign of respect and appreciation. Of course, such a character rarely gets to be the hero of his own story, any more than a kicked puppy does. Most characters who can’t speak, period, for whatever reason—unless they’re animals—get mentioned in the narrative as “strange” for not laughing, or not sobbing aloud, or not joining conversations, or keeping their thoughts to themselves, or speaking with their hands. 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(Critical essay)", "Missing in action: meet the invisible stars of contemporary drama", "Some Marginal Notes on Eighteenth-Century French Comedy", "Unseen characters in selected plays of Eugene O'Neill, Tennessee Williams, and Edward Albee", "Introducing "Nettie"; Who Is the Leading But Unseen Character in a New Princess Playlet", "From Twin Peaks' Diane to Mrs Columbo: TV's 10 greatest unseen characters", "Top 30 Characters You Never See: out of sight, but in your mind", "In praise of … silent Archers characters", "The 25 Best TV Characters You Never See On Screen - NME", "11 Famous TV Characters We Never Actually Saw", "10 Legendary TV Characters We've Never Seen", "TV's Best Characters (That You're Not Allowed To See)", "12 Television Characters We Never See (Even Though They Were On TV)", "The 25 Best TV Characters You Never See On Screen", "Maris is missing in another great episode of 'Frasier, "Favorite TV characters that no one ever played", "Some things onscreen are best left unseen", "I Can't Stop Watching Frasier. Avatar. If you like to write about intensity, there’s something intense right there. For a mute character, it’s going to be slow, grinding hell. Perhaps the character with his tongue cut out can still make sounds, though without his tongue to tap against his teeth and curl it’s very hard for him to form recognizable words. However, there are the rare few characters who never speak a word out loud. Normally, that’s not a problem, because the Wise Old Mentor speaks the same language as the Dunderheaded Young Hero, and the Young Hero can talk (and talk, and talk, and talk). Once again, your choice. These silent fictional characters prove that. Perhaps the character who was stricken silent by disease recovers some of his ability to speak, but not all of it. But there’s no reason to just clap down complete silence. My main reason for including it is that so many fantasies with mute characters seem to assume a centralization that doesn’t exist. Hey, most fantasy wolves act nothing like wolves in reality anyway. In visual media, such as film, stage or television, an unseen character may sometimes be partially depicted as body parts or an offscreen voice, but is still considered unseen as long as their face is never revealed. Who are your favorite characters who never speaks? But remember: telepathy’s only on at the top of the list because I see it so often, not because I think it’s really the best solution. *hint hint, nudge nudge*. You made these people this way. Or they can be made objects of pity, especially if they’re suffering insanity. We hope that one day Limyaael sees this and reaches out to us. Then there are the characters driven mute by a trauma. He’s there to show the OMGEVIL of the person who cut his tongue out.  However, it was the early twentieth-century European playwrights Strindberg, Ibsen, and Chekhov who fully developed the dramatic potential of the unseen character. ", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Unseen_character&oldid=985925371, Fictional characters by role in the narrative structure, Wikipedia articles needing context from August 2016, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, In the long-running British radio soap opera, Stan Walker, the wealthy husband of Karen Walker on, This page was last edited on 28 October 2020, at 19:30. Eugene O'Neill was influenced by his European contemporaries and established the absent character as an aspect of character, narrative, and stagecraft in American theatre. A self-aware program designed by Kevin Flynn, Anon (short for 'anonymous') is a silent System Monitor tasked with restoring order to the Tron City computer system. How does he become anything other than a walking testimonial for OMGEVIL?