Harbingers of death. The birds flock around- The Omen.
Satan sends his pet snake to meet Eve in the garden of Eden – Paradise Lost. Bracy sees Geraldine as a snake in his dreams- Christabel by Coleridge. Snakes are also seen as a phallic symbol in literature, poetry, and mythology – Cleopatra was bitten by a snake on her breast.
Big, bad wolf – Three Little Pigs, Little Red Riding Hood. Werewolves and wolves have been closely linked, hence, marking them as villains.
Banquets, Dinner Parties, Feasts, Dances
Commonly seen in Shakespearean literature – Macbeth. Dances in Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf.
Child Out of Wedlock
Illegitimate child, commonly seen in mythology related literature – King Lear by Shakespeare.
Running away and getting married – Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. Lydia and Wikham in Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.
Suicide or Bloodshed
Shakespearean literature viz. Hamlet, Julius Caesar, Romeo and Juliet. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf.
Romeo and Juliet. Elizabeth and Darcy. Pocahontas and John Smith.
Resembling the erect penis – triangles, trees, rockets, swords, towers were often used in literature to the masculinity of a certain character – Antony and Cleopatra by William Shakespeare.
Resembling the vagina – upside down triangle, chalice, cups goblets, wells, cauldrons, etc., are often seen in poetry. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown.
Protagonist – Othello. Romeo. Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice. Harry Potter.
Damsel in Distress
Usually the protagonist’s love interest – Juliet, Rapunzel, etc.
Mrs. Copperfield – David Copperfield by Charles Dickens.
Motherly Figure or Fairy Godmother
Glinda in Wizard of Oz, and many other fairy tales.
Mrs. Bennet in Pride and Prejudice.
Evil Step-mother or Step-father
Lady Tremaine – Cinderella. Edward Murdstone – David Copperfield’s evil step father.
Evil Mythical Creatures
Usually cursed or possessing supernatural power or a pet of Satan – Werewolves, vampires, snake in ‘Paradise Lost’.
Wizard of Oz. Cinderella. Mostly seen in fairy tales and poetry.
Jokers, jesters or clowns – Often seen in Shakespearean comedy and tragedy. Mr. Collins and Mrs Bennet from Pride and Prejudice.
Hen-pecked but Loving and Caring Father
Mostly fathers of daughters – Mr. Bennet- Pride and Prejudice.
Desdemona in Othello.
2 characters who are madly in love with each other – Romeo and Juliet, Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy, Heathcliff and Catherine, Vronsky and Anna, Gatsby and Daisy.
Sidekicks (good or bad)
Close friends of the protagonist – Dr. Watson from The adventures of Sherlock Holmes. Iago and Othello from Othello.
Seductive woman with unbelievable bravery and courage – Bathsheba, Drusilla, Delilah are famous Biblical Temptresses.
Unlikely victim whose death gives a twist to the story – Mercutio and Tybalt’s death in Romeo and Juliet.
Oracle or Priest or Wise Prophet
Someone who predicts the future and as magical powers – Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. Alice in Wonderland. Madame Sosostris from The Wasteland by T.S. Eliot.
Oliver Twist. Bambi. Snow White. Cinderella.
Unlikely characters that surprise the reader by their acts of heroism and support – Ron Weasley. David from David and Goliath. Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice.
Lil’s husband from The Wasteland by T.S. Eliot. Edward Rochester from Jane Eyre. Tom Buchanan from The Great Gatsby.
George Wickham in Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.