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What is Propps Narrative? Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon.

             In exploring this title I shall first look at Vladimir Propp and explore his theory, then, using the film "Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon" (2000), I"ll demonstrate examples of what is known as "Spheres of Action".
             As a Russian critic in the 1920's, Vladimir Propp began to notice similarities and characteristics in Russian folk stories and fairy-tales known as "Heroic Wonder tales". He studied 115 or so of these tales and published his findings in "Morphology of the Folk-tale" in 1928. He decided that despite cosmetic differences, all these stories had a similar underlying structure and common elements. They were all about the same situations and struggles and they all had the same basic or "stock" characters, e.g. the prince slays the dragon and saves the princess.
             Propp argued that the characters were there to provide structure to the narrative. He identified 31 functions in a story that predictably moved the story along, like the villain discovers some information about the hero that he uses against him or he deceives him.
             He also identified 8 basic characters that he labelled "Spheres of Action" because he felt that the characters were tied up with the concept of action. Each of these characters had a role or a combination of these roles, which are, "The Hero", who embarks on a quest, "The Villain", who blocks or hinders the heroes quest, "The Donor", who provides a magical object to the hero, "The Dispatcher", who sends the hero on his quest, "The False Hero", who hinders the hero with false claims, could be the villains helper, "The Helper", who aids the hero, "The Princess", who is the reward for the hero and is the villains goal also and finally "Her Father", who rewards the hero.
             In the film "Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon", "The Hero" is easily identified as Li Mu Bai, a famous Chinese warrior. "The Villain" is Jade Fox, a female Chinese warrior who sinisterly killed Li Mu Bais master.

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