How can we have “emotions” for fictional characters? Love, hate, frustration, annoyance etc. are emotions that we have felt for someone that does not exist. We humans are known for being irrational but it is not more than that. Expect for real extreme cases (The Free Deirdre Rashid from Corrie springs to mind), most of us known that these are not real people. Maybe we are responding then to the emotion rather than character themselves. When we cry at the death of Romeo and Juliet, are we crying at the death of love and not the death of the individuals themselves. However, we still have to have some sort of empathy for the characters themselves to feel sorry for the death of their love. Aristotle believes that the experience that fiction provides us is an emotional release to help us to carry on with life and I think that is the best reason we feel emotion for fictional characters.
July 15, 2013