Foil

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96 comments posted
Animal farm

In the animal farm snowball and Napoleon are foils to each other.

Posted by Anonymous on Wed, 05/18/2016 - 00:19
what about twilight

what about twilight

Posted by Anonymous on Tue, 05/17/2016 - 23:15
Don Quixote and Sancho Panza; Shrek and Donkey; Batman and Robin

Hi Guys,

I am an English Literature teacher. Many in this discussion are confusing antagonist with foil. A foil is a character - often but not always a sidekick- who is created to bring out traits in the protagonist. The antagonist helps to drive action by giving the protagonist purpose; a foil will help the reader see the main character as a three dimensional, complex character.

Dickens uses foils extensively; rarely antagonists.

Hope this helps,

Mike

Posted by Anonymous on Thu, 03/24/2016 - 12:16
Could May and Helen be foils

Could May and Helen be foils from Age of Innocence?

Posted by Anonymous on Tue, 12/29/2015 - 19:41
FOIL

In the movie or play a Streetcar named Desire Can Stanley and Mitch be used as examples of Character Foil?

Posted by Anonymous on Fri, 10/23/2015 - 23:22
I'd say that Jak and Daxter

I'd say that Jak and Daxter from the Naughty Dog game series are foils of each other. Where Jak is quiet, serious, intense and fearless, Daxter is loud-mouthed, wise-cracking, oncapable of taking anything seriously and, for all he brags otherwise, a bit of a coward. These two bring out the best in each other and it's almost impossible to imagine one without the other. Therefore, they're foils of each other. I'd say that the same goes for Spyro and Sparx from the "Legend of" trilogy, and definitely for Ron and Hermione from "Harry Potter". These characters contrast but round each other out.

Posted by Anonymous on Fri, 10/09/2015 - 13:34
I'M STILL CONFUSED

Can anyone help me and give me more examples

Posted by Anonymous on Fri, 08/21/2015 - 18:54
Foil

-not necc. an antagonist
(some characterist. could be good in him :)

Posted by Anonymous on Sun, 04/24/2016 - 08:12
dr jekyll and mr hyde

dr jekyll and mr hyde

Posted by Anonymous on Sun, 04/03/2016 - 05:37
Romeo & Juliet

Rome's foil is Mercutio.
Juliet's foil is her nurse

Posted by Anonymous on Mon, 05/25/2015 - 21:39
but how?

but how?

Posted by Anonymous on Tue, 05/17/2016 - 19:25
Very True...

That is so incredibly true I never thought of it that way. Therefore would rudy steiner from the book thief be liesel's foil? Could a lover be a foil, like in movies like the goodbye girl?

Posted by Anonymous on Mon, 08/03/2015 - 06:55
STOP!

Okay, I've read the Harry Potter series (and loved it by the way), but don't give any spoilers to people who haven't.

Posted by Anonymous on Thu, 05/21/2015 - 14:42
Yes, maybe take off those

Yes, maybe take off those last seven words...

Posted by Anonymous on Sun, 06/21/2015 - 14:04
Also?

That's not, in the strictest terms, a foil.

The foil is a character central to the plot that has agency and acts in ways to highlight the features of the character to whom they're meant to draw attention to.

The main example provided is like saying "Satan is the foil to God", when neither of these characters feature prominently in each others stories in any testament. One would need a foil to a main character (namely Noah, Job, Jesus, etc) if they were going to assume that there were any literary foil provided.

The foil isn't just a damn opposite that allows for contrast; it's something that allows for discussion between characters, analysis by the audience, and character development by way of what happens in the story. By saying that "GOOD GUY"s foil is "BAD GUY", you're removing the primary utility that the foil is meant to serve.

Ex: Falstaff in Henry IV, Part I. Falstaff serves as the foil to Prince Hal. He's meant to be Hal's intellectual equal in all regards, but while Hal is a man that lowers himself and slums around the lower side where Falstaff is King, Hal is destined to be King of England. Their verbal sparring and drastically different motivations serve to juxtapose each other in such a way that the reader is able to see the evolution of these characters not as an ends or means, but as a journey.

Posted by Anonymous on Thu, 03/10/2016 - 02:51
Sebastian vs jace

Sebastian vs jace

Posted by Anonymous on Wed, 04/15/2015 - 18:42
Mortal instruments????

Mortal Instruments????

Posted by Anonymous on Fri, 11/27/2015 - 20:43
A very good example!

A very good example!

Posted by Anonymous on Tue, 05/05/2015 - 19:47
Braveheart and foils

Foil, in my opinion, is an analytic/text-generative device. All the main characters in Braveheart can be seen as foils for William Wallace.

King longshanks is evil, Wallace good.
Prince Edward is feeble, Wallace heroic.
Robert the Bruce is doubtful, Wallace believes.
Bruce's father is cynical, Wallace loving.
Hamish is short-tempered, Wallace calm.
Isabella is feminine, Wallace masculine.
The nobles are petty, avaricious, and impotent, Wallace grand, charitable, and resolute.
The English soldiers are lustful, Wallace chaste.

In short: Wallace represents perfect virtue, and all the other characters contrast with each their own version of sin (we might say that Wallace represents the seven virtues and all the other characters one of the seven sins).
A very nice composition, in my opinion: My only objection would be that maybe it's a little bit too nice, I mean, it makes Wallace come across as almost divine.
- but then again, I'm quite sure that that is (also) very deliberate, as I think the story is (really) about...
... Jesus. ;)

Anyway...

The long and the short of it is:

I love that film. :D

Posted by Anonymous on Wed, 04/15/2015 - 14:57
Oedipus Rex

In Sophocles' Oedipus Rex, Creon and Oedipus would be considered foils.

Posted by Anonymous on Fri, 03/13/2015 - 16:42
Lord of the Rings

Gandalf vs. Saruman
Frodo vs. Sauron
Thorin vs. Smaug
Bilbo vs. Gollum
etc.

Posted by Anonymous on Mon, 03/02/2015 - 03:45
thank you x1000000 to whoever created this

this website just saved my gpa

Posted by Anonymous on Sun, 02/22/2015 - 18:11
Oh, also Heathcliff vs. Edgar

Oh, also Heathcliff vs. Edgar Linton from Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. They are most definitely Foil characters.

Posted by Anonymous on Thu, 02/19/2015 - 17:09
harry potter and lord voldemort

harry has to fight lord voldemort in the movies

Posted by Anonymous on Tue, 02/03/2015 - 20:36
That's an antagonist. Foil

That's an antagonist. Foil doesn't have to be bad

Posted by Anonymous on Sun, 11/01/2015 - 22:45
Antagonist

Remember that people who fight each other aren't necessarily foils. Some enemies are enemies because they're so alike! I would say that enemies would be protagonist and antagonist. Yes, sometimes enemies are foils, but make sure the reason that they're foils isn't just because they fight each other :)

Posted by Anonymous on Thu, 12/31/2015 - 02:35
Narnia

Lucy vs. Edmund

Posted by Anonymous on Sun, 01/04/2015 - 04:10
Lucy and Edmund

I agree because Lucy is loyal to Mr. Tumnis and truthful, whereas Edmund is treacherous and lies. Edmund is not Luxy's antagonist for long.

Posted by Anonymous on Fri, 01/22/2016 - 06:46
Gloucester's children and

Gloucester's children and King Lear's children contrast as foils to reveal the two fathers' emotional blindness; would that work?

Posted by Anonymous on Mon, 11/17/2014 - 05:19
Antigone

Would Antigone and her sister Ismene in the third installment of the Greek tragedy written by Sophacles be foil characters?

Posted by Anonymous on Mon, 09/29/2014 - 01:35
No they need to have some

No they need to have some superficial character trait and be completely different otherwise.

Posted by Anonymous on Sun, 12/14/2014 - 22:42
Yes! In fact, that's the

Yes! In fact, that's the example my teacher used to teach us about foil

Posted by Anonymous on Tue, 09/30/2014 - 11:02
Christmas Carol

Would a good example be Fred, Scrooge's nephew and Scrooge himself? Have to write paper on Christmas Carol...thanks!

Posted by Anonymous on Thu, 08/07/2014 - 20:29
Yes of course that's a

Yes of course that's a wonderful example--Scrooge's nephew is the foil character, as he has generous and fun-loving, which contrasts Scrooge's bad nature completely.

Posted by Anonymous on Thu, 09/18/2014 - 04:07
To Kill A Mockingbird

Aunt Alexandra is a foil to Scout in Alexandra's "girly" ways and Scout's want to play with the boys.

Posted by Anonymous on Sun, 06/22/2014 - 19:06
Question?

What about Crime and Punishment?

Posted by Anonymous on Wed, 03/26/2014 - 20:12
Raskolnikov with razumikhin

Raskolnikov with razumikhin

Posted by Anonymous on Mon, 02/23/2015 - 00:25
lord of the flies

lord of the flies

Posted by Anonymous on Sat, 03/22/2014 - 22:28
foil in Pride and Prejudice

An impulsive Jane is pitted along with the level-headed protagonist, Elizabeth as a foil, only to highten some of the qualities that make the protagonist outstanding.

Posted by Anonymous on Mon, 03/10/2014 - 05:25
Foil in Pride and Prejudice

I wouldn't go so far as to say that. I would compare Lydia as the impulsive foil to level-headed Jane, as well as the insipid foil to intelligent Elizabeth.

Posted by Anonymous on Wed, 04/02/2014 - 03:36
Wouldn't Batman and Robin be

Wouldn't Batman and Robin be a better foil than Batman and Joker?

Posted by Anonymous on Thu, 03/06/2014 - 18:23
Robin is NOT a foil to batman!!!

how the heck could that be true? Batman and robin fight for good, joker fights for evil. The answer is more than obvious.

Posted by Anonymous on Wed, 08/20/2014 - 04:19
Not really. The purpose of a

Not really. The purpose of a foil is to make certain characteristics stronger by emphasizing the same or opposite characteristics in another character. Batman and Robin are not the same, but they are not different enough to be opposites.

Posted by Anonymous on Tue, 04/01/2014 - 04:50
help

can someone post another example but not from shakespear

Posted by Anonymous on Fri, 02/14/2014 - 01:08
reply

A couple of other comments above will answer your question. c:

Posted by Anonymous on Tue, 12/02/2014 - 09:36
What about Lennie and George

What about Lennie and George in Of Mice and Men?

Posted by Anonymous on Wed, 02/05/2014 - 02:08
Yet another example

Sherlock Holmes and John Watson!
Specifically, I'm thinking of the BBC adaption with Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman. Sherlock and John are opposites, but when they're together, you see the best aspects of both of them. Sherlock is brilliance and maybe a little darkness and he says that he's a highly functioning sociopath (he's not, but that's another explanation), while John is this doctor that cares so, so much and keeps Sherlock in line and makes him care.
They contrast beautifully, and yet they fit together so well.

Posted by Anonymous on Fri, 01/17/2014 - 16:35
another example

DOCTOR WHO

the characters The Doctor and The Master are opposites

Their both time lords, but The Doctor wants to protect the earth and the people on it (he is the good) while The Master wants to destroy and take over the earth (he is bad)

Posted by Anonymous on Sun, 01/26/2014 - 20:50
YES!

I am SO glad that somebody posted this! It is absolutely true!

Posted by Anonymous on Thu, 05/21/2015 - 14:37
Helpful Website

Thank you so much to whoever created this website. I am in high school and struggling with some of the harder literary devices and this really helped me to understand them and clear everything up. :)

Posted by Anonymous on Tue, 01/07/2014 - 03:58

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