Round Character Examples in Literature

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So you want to know about round characters? Then let me tell you in the simple word possible that a round character is nothing but like us, like a real being, complex, complicated, layered, multifaceted personalities but existing in fiction.

Related: Dynamic Character Examples

Reading a round character can make you feel like they truly exist in real world and not just on the pages of the book. They probably seem as real to you as people you see in the real world and in day-to-day life.

Most of the main characters of a story are round characters and their can be a round character in a novel other than the protagonist.

Related: 101 Character Traits Examples

What is a Round Character?

In a work of fiction, a round character is a believable & lifelike figure containing the complex personality and qualities of real people. The storyteller adds depth and dimension in those characters and also gives them a fully realized persona.

Simply making a round character involves adding many layers of personality to them which creates the character’s complexity making them look realistic and make the story more lifelike which helps writers to create a strong connect between the readers with the story and to their characters, thus making the story more impactful and amusing to read.

A round character can undergo significant changes and can have internal conflicts as well.

Examples of Round Character in Literature

1. Jay Gatsby in The Great Gatsby

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby showcases one of the great round characters Jay Gatsby, a self-made wealthy young man, with a mysterious persona. The writer has introduced this round character as his protagonist in the story.

round character example- jay gatsby
Leonardo Dicaprio as Jay Gatsby in the movie adaptation of The Great Gatsby

What makes Jay Gatsby a round character-

  • Gatsby was born in a poor farmer’s family who lived in a small town, but he hides his lower class upbringing and showcases his fake persona of being born rich, attending Oxford and being an intellectual who reads books showcasing his huge library.
  • The character created a new identity for himself and changed his original name James Gatz to Jay Gatsby hiding his real origins.
  • Everyone only sees what Gatsby wants them to see about himself. No one actually knows where he originally came from or how he accumulated such a great wealth.
  • The character is shown over obsessed with his past and specially his beloved Daisy with whom he once had a love relationship and he is yet not willing to move ahead in life and forgetting Daisy willing to marry him.

round character definition and examples in literature

2. Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice

In her novel, Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen introduced a witty, intelligent, and lively character Elizabeth Bennet also referred to as Lizzy and Eliza. This round character is also the protagonist of the story.

round character example
Keira Knightley as Elizabeth Bennet in the movie adaptation of Pride and Prejudice

What makes Elizabeth Bennet a round character-

  • Elizabeth is gifted with an admirable persona. She is a lovely young lady with a clever mind and a charming personality, but yet she possesses a big flaw of making hasty judgments and wrong assumptions about people at first sight.
  • She never let herself influenced by the stereotype rules of the English society, nor does she cares much about what other thinks about her. Lizzy always listened to her heart and believed in doing what she like.
  • Elizabeth has been shown realizing her misconceptions and afterward changing her opinions.
  • Elizabeth personality is dominated by her pride and rises to the top when she rejects Mr. Darcy’s marriage proposal, but later when she gets to know Mr. Darcy’s true nature her pride begins to decline steady showcasing her character a complex and round.

3. Scout Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird

Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird introduces a six-year-old precocious protagonist named Jean Louise Finch, who goes by the nickname Scout. She is the protagonist and the narrator of the novel. When the novel ends Scout turns nine.

round character example
Mary Badham as Scout in the movie adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird

What makes Scout Finch a round character-

  • Scout lived an unusual childhood, her mother died when she was just two-year-old and therefore was raised by her father. So Scout persona is deeply influenced by her father and her personality is somewhat a reflection of Atticus Finch.
  • Scout is a tomboy, intelligent and a curious child always ready for questioning at the things happening around her. She has also seen self-discovering herself in the story.
  • Scout is a precocious child and therefore shows much maturity than compared to other kids of her age.
  • She lives in a society which is both socially and racially divided but yet she has respect for everyone.
  • Scout is outspoken, honest and endowed with goodness from his father ”Atticus” who also taught her to be moral and the way to see things through the point of view of other people.

Related: Static Character Examples

15 More Round Character Examples-

  • Becky Sharp in Vanity Fair (by William Makepeace Thackeray
  • Hamlet in Hamlet (by William Shakespeare)
  • Humbert Humbert in Lolita (by Vladimir Nabokov)
  • Winston Smith in 1984 (by George Orwell)
  • Holden Caulfield in The Catcher in the Rye ( by J.D Salinger)
  • Romeo in Romeo and Juliet (by William Shakespeare)
  • Sherlock Holmes in The Adventure of Sherlock Homes ( by Arthur Conan Doyle)
  • Mr. Rochester in Jane Eyre (by Charlotte Bronte)
  • Hermione Granger in Harry Potter (by J. K Rowling)
  • Konstantin Levin in Anna Karenina (by Leo Tolstoy)
  • Brienne in A Song of Ice and Fire (by George R. R Martin)
  • Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s (by Truman Capote)
  • Ponyboy in The Outsiders (by S.E Hinton)
  • Gandalf in Lord of Rings (by J.R.R Tolkien)
  • Celie in The Color Purple (by Alice Walker)

Neel Rana

About the Author- Neel Rana is a YA short story author, flash fiction writer, literary enthusiast and the founder of Pandora Post. Neel holds a degree in BA Honours in English Literature and has been writing since 2017. Neel’s magnum opus YA short storybook, “The Drunken Ghost” has been well received by the readers.