unseen character is a [1 ] fictional character referred to but not directly observed by the audience. [2 ]
In a study of 18th-century French comedy, F. C. Green suggests that an “invisible character” can be defined as one who, though not seen, “influences the action of the play”.
This definition, according to Green, would rule out a character like Laurent (Lawrence), [1 ] unseen valet, whose sole function is merely to give the playwright an opportunity to introduce Tartuffe. Tartuffe's [1 ] [3 ]
Examples [ edit ]
Theatre [ edit ]
Unseen characters occur elsewhere in drama, including the plays of Eugene O'Neill, Tennessee Williams, and Edward Albee.
[4 ] [5 ]
Author Marie A. Wellington notes that in the 18th Century, the French author,
Voltaire, included unseen characters in a few of his plays, including Le Duc d’Alençon, and L’Orphelin de la Chine. [6 ]
UK television and radio [ edit ]
: Dad's Army Captain Mainwaring is hen-pecked by his wife, Elizabeth, who never appears onscreen despite frequent references to her. [12 ]
: Minder Arthur Daley's wife, referred to only as "'Er Indoors", is never seen or heard, but often quoted. [13 ]
: the scorers Samantha (or occasionally Sven) are regularly referred to but never appear. An empty chair is provided for them at recordings. I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue In the long-running British radio soap opera
, a number of permanent inhabitants of the village in which the story is set are frequently referred to by name but are never heard from in their own voices. Fans of the programme often refer to these characters as "the silents". The Archers [14 ] In the radio comedy series "The Clitheroe Kid", Jimmy's friend Ozzie was frequently referred to but never heard in the shows.
US television [ edit ]
On the mystery drama
, Columbo often described his wife in detail but she is never portrayed in the series., Columbo [15 ] On
, Phyllis Lindstrom's husband, Dr. Lars Lindstrom, is oft-referenced but never seen. The Mary Tyler Moore Show [16 ] On
, Bob Sacamano, Lomez and "Cousin Jeffrey" are often mentioned but never seen. The first two are friends of Seinfeld Cosmo Kramer, and the last is the cousin of Jerry Seinfeld. Jeffrey works for the New York City Parks Department, as Jerry is told by his ad nauseam Uncle Leo. [17 ] On
, Juanita Beasley, for whom The Andy Griffith Show Barney Fife occasionally expresses affection, is unseen but often referenced and telephoned by the love-struck Fife. [18 ] On
, Stan Walker, Karen Walker's incredibly wealthy, unfaithful, and morbidly obese husband, is never seen, although his wife and mistress fight over him and his estate. Will and Grace [19 ]
References [ edit ]
^ a b c d F. C. Green, "Some Marginal Notes on Eighteenth-Century French Comedy", In: Studies in Modern French Literature Garnet Rees, Eugène Vinaver (eds), pp. 133-137
^ Wellington, Marie A. The Art of Voltaire's Theater: An Exploration of Possibility (Peter Lang Pub Inc, 1987), p. 176.
^ Act II, Scene II
^ Byrd, Robert E. Jr. Unseen Characters in Selected Plays of Eugene O'Neill, Tennessee Williams, and Edward Albee ( Dissertations, Academic, 1998).
^ Ade, George. "Introducing "Nettie"; Who Is the Leading But Unseen Character in a New Princess Playlet", (December 6, 1914): The New York Times Drama Music Real Estate Business Financial, p. xx2
^ Wellington, Marie A. The Art of Voltaire's Theater: An Exploration of Possibility (Peter Lang Pub Inc, 1987), p. 176. ISBN 0820404837
^ Gray, Henry David. "Romeo Rosaline, and Juliet". Modern Language Notes 29.7 (Nov 1914): 209-212.
^ "'Romeo and Juliet' meets Jeff Buckley in 'The Last Goodbye'", Los Angeles Times, September 27, 2013; accessed 16 May 2014.
^ "The Women". Internet Broadway Database . Retrieved . September 21, 2013
^ Goldstein, Malcolm (2007). "The Women". . Columbia University Press. p. 1489. The Columbia Encyclopedia of Modern Drama, Volume 2 ISBN 978-0-231-14032-4.
^ Bennett, Michael. Reassessing the Theatre of the Absurd: Camus, Beckett, Ionesco, Genet, and Pinter. Palgrave Macmillan (2011) ISBN 9780230118829 page 27.
^ "Mrs Elizabeth Mainwaring profile at". Den of Geek! . Retrieved . 15 May 2014
^ "'Er indoors' enters the lexicon", independent.co.uk, 31 August 1992; accessed 15 May 2014.
^ "In praise of … silent Archers characters", The Herald, Glasgow, 25 March 2011; accessed 9 November 2014
^ Profile of , museum.tv; accessed May 16, 2014. Columbo
^ Lars Lindstrom reference on "Famous television characters we never actually saw", mentalfloss.com; accessed May 15, 2014.
^ Reference to unseen , ugo.com; accessed May 15, 2014. Seinfeld character "Bob Sacamano"
^ "Famous television characters we never actually saw", mentalfloss.com; accessed May 15, 2014.
^ Unseen TV characters: Stan Walker, ugo.com; accessed May 15, 2014.