Narrative – 7 Basic Plots/ 7 Basic Characters

There are 7 basic plots:

  1. Overcoming the Monster
  2. Rags to Riches
  3. The Quest
  4. Voyage and Return
  5. Comedy
  6. Tragedy
  7. Rebirth

(Booker, C (2004) The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories)

See below for some examples:


Vladimir Propp’s Theory of Narrative – Morphology of the Folktale and Scholar

  • Soviet folklorist and scholar (born 1895), Propp developed a theory for studying media texts and productions.
  • His theory explains 7 broad character types.
  1. The Villain (struggles against hero)
  2. The Donor (prepare the hero or gives hero a magical object)
  3. The (magical) Helper (helps hero in the quest)
  4. The Princess or the Prize (person the hero marries, goal often sought for during narrative)
  5. The False Hero (perceived as good character at start, but emerges as evil)
  6. The Dispatcher (teachers and guides hero)
  7. The Hero (central protagonist, goes on quest, weds the princess)

See the image below for some examples, excuse the mistakes, I found the table on the internet:


I do not own the above images, they are from: and

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