What is a sentence for flat characters

Difference between flat and round characters

Main difference - flat versus round characters

Characters are an integral part of any literary work. Characters can be classified into different types according to their creation and development. Flat and round characters are one such classification. Static and dynamic characters are another classification. These two terms, flat characters and round characters, were first used by E. M Forster in his book: Aspects of the novel.Flat characters are two-dimensional, relatively straightforward figures, while round characters are complex characters with many different properties. this is that Main difference between flat and round characters.

Who is a Flat Character?

A flat character is one that is straightforward and stays the same throughout the fictional work. A flat character is also characterized by just one or two features. Although the term "flat character" is often used in a negative sense by modern critics, E.M Foster, who first suggested these terms, simply uses the term to describe a character that can be summed up in one sentence.

Foster also points out some advantages of flat characters: Flat characters are easy to spot. They are also easy to remember as they do not change. He also says that flat characters are best used as cartoon characters. "A serious or tragic shallow character can tend to be boring." He used the character of Mrs. Micawber in Charles Dickens David Copperfield as an example of flat characters. Gollum in the Lord of the rings and Olaf in Frozen are some other examples of flat characters.

Gollum in Lord of the Rings - an example of a flat character

Who is a round character?

A round character is a complex character that has many different qualities. He or she can even be contradicting itself. A round character cannot be summarized in one or two sentences. Round characters are often dynamic characters as they experience a change in the novel.

As E. Foster says, "The test of a round character is whether or not he can convincingly surprise." A round character can surprise readers because he is not stereotypical and predictable. Hamlet in Shakespeare's Hamlet, Elizabeth Bennet in Austen's Pride and Prejudice, Katniss Everdeen in Suzanne Collins Hunger gamesand Madame Bovary in Flauberts Madame Bovary are examples of round characters.

Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice is an example of a round character

Difference between flat and round characters


Flat character is a straightforward, two-dimensional figure that may not be fully delineated by the author.

Round character is a complex character whose personality, motives and other characteristics are completely delineated by the author.


Flat characters are straightforward

Round sign are complex.


Flat characters remain the same throughout the work.

Round sign change.


Flat characters are characterized by one or two features.

Round sign are characterized by many different, even contradicting character traits.

Sum up

Flat characters can be summarized in one or two sentences.

Round sign cannot be easily summed up.

Static vs dynamic

Flat characters tend to be static.

Round sign tend to be dynamic characters.


Flat characters can't surprise readers as they are predictable.

Round sign can surprise readers.


Forster, Edward Morgan. "Aspects of the Novel" (1927).

Image courtesy:

"Elisabeth Bennet" By C. E. Brock - Scans from the book Pemberley.com (Public Domain) via