Vladimir Propp’s Narrative Theory

Propp’s theory-

Propps Narrative theory is based on his analysis of folk tales and legends from various countries. He arrived at the conclusion that the story of any music video is built up following folk tale guidelines as in there are always certain ‘types’ of characters, he narrowed it down to these 8:

-Hero – Who is on a quest(search)

-Villain – The opposing foe to the hero

-Donor – Character who provides a tool(s) to the hero character

-Dispatcher – Who starts the hero on his quest/way

-False Hero – Character who tries to divert the hero from his quest

-Helper – self explanatory, helps the hero

-Princess – who is the reward for the hero

-Father – who rewards the hero for his efforts

A music video doesn’t have to contain all the character from Propps theory as the time available would be to great for a music video to be able to introduce all the characters. They usually contain at least 3 or more of the types.


Example Video:

Enrique Iglesias – Hero

YouTube Preview Image

Enrique – Main Character, Masculine, Hero/Victim/Martyr

Female – Innocent, Beautiful, Victim, Damsel In Distress

Mafia group – Villans, Black suits, Guns

This video follow the majority of Propps theory as is contains three types of character that Propp identified, Hero – Enrique, Princess – Female, Villain – Black suited gang. Although Enrique appears to be the Hero in this video, he doesn’t ‘complete his quest’. The Princess was also difficult to deduce as she didn’t appear to be a princess type as Propp describes, i think she is more of a Damsel in Distress as she isn’t as much of a reward at the end of the video, and she appears to be with the hero though-out the music video.

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