Why I love Simple and Complex Musical Characters

The past two days, I talked about what makes a character simple and what makes a character complex. I do love characters that are both simple and complex. Why do I exactly love both of those sets of characters.

Just like simple and complex plots balance things out, the same applies to the simple and complex characters. Some of the musical characters I love are Annie, Crutchie, Winthrop, Elphaba, Glinda, Fiyero, Young Cosette, Eponine, Enjolras, Fantine, Jean Valjean, Gavrcohe, Jack Kelly and Maria (Sound of Music). This list consists of both simple and complex musical characters. All of them just have something about them that makes me fall in love with them.

It can be hard to describe why I love simple and complex characters. Some of the characters I love are characters I can actually relate to and some I don’t. Annie is a simple character, but it is her optimism that makes me love her. In the complex characters, they tend to be more well-rounded and it can be enjoyable to get to know them.

You think you might know them, but then you realize there is more to them than what meets the eye. For instance, Jean Valjean is one of my favorite complex characters due to the spiritual journey he goes through and how he responds to his moral dilemmas. Up until the bishop scene, you would think he would stay a thief, but through an act of kindness, compassion, and forgiveness, he starts his life fresh.

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All of the characters I love are just incredible characters. It can be hard to describe what makes a good character. Naturally I would be more drawn to the more complex characters because they feel the most real and are the most fascinating to get to know.

Some of these complex characters have an incredible relatability like Elphaba for instance. Out of all musical characters, I relate to her the most. She is smart, determined, talkative, big-hearted, different and believes in equality and staying true to her self. I admire the strength and courage that she shows. Out of all the Wicked characters, she is the character I am the most familiar with and I understand her the most. I love her relationship to Glinda and her relationship to Fiyero. Even though she is misunderstood, she still has an incredible purpose in life.

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As for the simple characters, I can relate to Annie due to her optimism. Just like Annie, Young Cosette also has hope. Young Cosette is so hopeful and despite being horribly abused by the Thenardiers, she gets through it through the fantasies she creates. She constantly has hope that she will eventually get rescued. She eventually gets rescued by Jean Valjean. In my opinion, Young Cosette is more complex than Annie is.

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A good character is a character where you can find something special about them and sometimes you are surprised by how they respond to their current situation. Eponine for instance may have been raised to be a criminal and is terribly abused,  but it is surprising that she somehow doesn’t fully develop her parent’s wicked ways which might have something to do with Marius. Another unique thing about Eponine is that she does anything for Marius despite her love for him being unrequited and he gives her a purpose in life and gives her some kind of light in the midst of the darkness she is always surrounded by.

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Fantine is a character that isn’t tragic by a tragic flaw. Her downfall was caused by society. I love how despite how horrible and tragic Fantine’s life, she does everything for the sake of Cosette. Even though she does everything for the sake of her daughter, she has no idea that her daughter is currently being terribly abused. She never stops thinking of her little girl and she trusted Valjean to raise her daughter as his own and he does.

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Than there are Jack Kelly and Crutchie from Newsies. The thing I love about Jack is how he is protective of Crutchie and truly cares about his brothers. He is a dreamer who is always dreaming of going to Santa Fe. I love exploring the inner conflict he eventually goes through. Crutchie is a wonderful character and despite having a bum leg, he does not think twice about it. He is just a character you can easily get to love.

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Sometimes I end up questioning complex characters and that is what can make them interesting. It is not just relatability that makes me fall in love with a character, but if its a character I cannot relate to,  I end up loving them due to how they respond. It also has something to do with their songs.

Still I honestly don’t have a good idea of why I love both simple and complex characters. I gave a few examples to explain why I love some of these characters, but it can be harder to describe why you love a character when you don’t even relate to them.

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Author: mphadventuregirl

I am a strong spiritual person who is a big fan of musicals. This blog deals with spirituality and musicals. I am finding that by writing about these, I am realizing I know more about each of them then I think I do. I hope you find my blog inspiring!

26 thoughts on “Why I love Simple and Complex Musical Characters”

    1. A good musical character is someone you can care for and that makes you want to feel their emotions whether negative or positive. If a character experiences negative emotions more than mildly, it in a way can make you sympathy or empathy for them

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      1. I feel like the negative emotions become more than mild once it reaches the point where an entire song is sad and not incredibly short. However, I feel like sad’s strongest point is when it is in the form of heartbreak but some sad songs are moderate, but not heartbreaking, but still strong enough to count

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      2. Never thought about it that way. I did once view Les Mis as too depressing (big mistake that one time around). The high school me could not see past sad in tragedy, which could have something to do with why I once thought that about Les Mis.

        The 2nd time, I knew there was something special about Les Mis. Les Mis allowed me to start describing negative emotions in more detail. Heartbreak has levels of vulnerability, fragility, and pure beauty found within it.

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      3. When I walked out of the movie theatre at the end of 2012, I was stunned but not in the way I was expecting. I was expecting to be dazzled with the typical musical experience I was used to. And I think that the tragic air to Les Miz really threw me off. But the 2nd time ’round, I definitely was better able to appreciate it

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      4. I was stunned by the tragic air and did come out with “Do You Hear the People Sing”. I did not really see Les Mis for what it is that time around. The next round because I knew of its tragic air, I was able to get more of it and thats when I realized there’s something special about Les Mis. Good thing I found the spiritual side in Les Mis because if I didn’t, I would have been sick and tired of it by now

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      5. The spiritual side is what I actually relate to in the piece. You want both sides to stay interlocked together. Up until the bishop scene, the heartbreaking side has already been exposed, but once the bishop scene begins, the two are interconnected and never separate

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      6. It can be hard to truly capture the spiritual side of Les Mis the first time around, which is why the musical can feel too depressing at first. The spiritually is so central to the plot: the themes of love, compassion, forgiveness, sacrifice, humanity, and redemption all connect to spirituality in some shape or form

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      7. I already knew “I Dreamed a Dream” and I think I was moved by it. I was humming “Do You Hear the People Sing” and my dad had “Master of the House” stuck in my head. I remembered other scenes, but didn’t even remember other songs. I don’t think I really remembered names of the characters

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      8. Just so thankful I saw the movie a second chance. Les Mis showed me that tragedies aren’t pure sad like I once believed. Crazy I have not even loved Les Mis for as long as others but yet know so much about it. Usually it takes me even longer to get to know a show

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      9. True, I am aware of other powerful musicals, but Les Mis just has something just not like any other.

        I really want to be able to do another set of character analysis in another musical, but Les Mis is the only musical that I know several characters really well

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      10. Mom thinks that the reason why I am obsessed is because of all the reasons why I love it. While I have a hard time relating to the characters, I truly feel for them because their songs are so well written and because of the challenges, hardships and tragic moments of their lives, it can cause a strong reaction in you. I still wish I knew the exact reason why I am passionate about the musical, but I see that as an advantage in a way due to Les Mis being a passionate musical

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      11. While the songs are the thing to judge when seeing a musical, but the songs aren’t enough to truly love a musical. Also the characters and the various plots all add up to the brilliance that is Les Mis.

        Whenever I am at home and we have a conversation, everything always leads back to Les Mis

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