3 Ways To Add Symbolism To Your Screenplay

Symbolism adds a layer of depth to your screenplay. Symbols and images are potent tools to enhance your screenwriting. Consider the use of trees in “Avatar” to highlight the connectivity of the Nevi to the earth or the color red in “American Beauty” to highlight passion, rebellion and anger. Symbols are multi-layered and operate on various visceral levels.

Here are some ways to enhance your story with symbols:


These are defined as the experiences and inner journeys characters take as they progress through the story. Emotions are a complex hybrid of sad, glad and mad which constitute human psychology. Emotions reveal how characters change during the course of the story and address their hopes, fears, strengths and weaknesses.


These are external barriers, conflicts and struggles, the hero must overcome such as war, political strife, oppression and natural disaster. There are lavish rewards after the hero has faced mortal danger to battle these forces.


These refer to mythological themes that help us understand the world within us and around us. They refer to higher truths that unite humanity or divide it.

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