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Character or caricature

  • Character and caricature are two words that are close in spelling and pronunciation but have very different meanings. We will examine the difference between the definitions of character and caricature, where these two words came from, and some examples of their use in sentences.


     

    The word character has many different meanings. First, character may refer to a person’s morality or integrity, or it may simply refer to a person’s nature. Second, character may mean that a person has high moral fiber, courage and strength. Character may mean a person’s reputation. The word character may refer to a person in a book, film or play. Finally, character may mean a printed or handwritten letter or symbol. The word character is derived from the Greek word kharaktēr, which means a symbol or mark.

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    A caricature is an artistic rendering of a thing or person that is exaggerated in order to be humorous or to criticize the subject. A caricature may be a drawing, description, or imitation of the subject. Drawing caricatures involve distortions; a caricature artist might draw a comic strip, individual cartoons for magazines such as The New Yorker or Playboy magazine, or editorial cartoons. Editorial cartoons are political cartoons in which the artist’s aim is to mock public figures and exaggerate their features in a satirical or grotesque manner. Your local amusement park may hire an artist or illustrator to draw cartoon faces of the guests, sketching each caricature likeness in amusing and exaggerated shapes. Many businesses post caricatures of famous people who have patronized their establishment. Perhaps the most famous is Sardi’s Restaurant, established by Vincent Sardi in 1927. The walls of the restaurant are covered in sketches of Broadway personalities; the earliest caricatures were drawn by Alex Gard. The word caricature came into use in the mid-1700s, and is derived from the Italian word caricatura, which means a satiric illustration.

    Examples

    In preparation for Dern’s expected Oscars win this Sunday, we decided to dive deeper into her character, Nora, and the story behind the role. (Town & Country Magazine)

    John Kerry is the kind of leader whose character imprint is sorely needed for the nation’s future leadership. (The Aspen Times)

    They are not the characters from Louisa May Alcott’s famous book about sisters, Little Women, but they were named for those characters, in a roundabout fashion. (The Atlantic)

    Customers wishing to take advantage of the chance to receive a free caricature should simply turn up on the day and wait their turn to pose for a unique and personal memento to take home. (The Branbury Guardian)

    Donald Trump’s re-election campaign was celebrated with a posh party at Mar-a-Lago Saturday night featuring a caricature of the president as a football player, buffed up in a Number 45 jersey holding a 2020 football, as cheerleaders dressed in red, white, and blue welcomed with the crowd. (The Daily Mail)


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