Subtitle/Alternate Title


First Advisor

Martin McGovern


Regis College

Degree Name

Master of Arts


School for Professional Advancement


Creative Writing/Literature

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Number of Pages

52 pages


The intention of this research is to establish the idea of a standard Four Person grouping in literature. In many modern stories, the ensemble holds a special place in people’s hearts, especially if they identify specifically with a certain member of the ensemble. This allows friend groups to debate placement and discuss their roles, all while appealing to our sublimated desperation to belong and to be represented. This paper will examine perhaps the most ubiquitous separation of fictional characters into four groups, the sorting of the Hogwarts Houses in Harry Potter. This thesis posits that sorting is based on determinable and reproducible factors, and that these factors are universal throughout groupings in Western literature. The thesis will first posit a sorting system to divide the Houses that is specific and upheld by the literature, the actions of the characters in each House, and the words of the author outside of the literature and second, the thesis will then attempt to ‘sort’ a collection of four other characters from Shakespeare’s King Lear. It will analyze the characters from the perspective of their motivations, their actions, and their words, and see if they fall naturally into the same divisions as the Hogwarts Houses. This will be a test case for the theory that literary groupings of four will naturally arrange themselves into these groupings. Finally, the thesis will examine the implications of the sorting system, its veracity, and if it works to sort the characters of both the books and the test case.

Date of Award

Summer 2019

Location (Creation)

Colorado (state); Denver (county); Denver (inhabited place)

Rights Statement

All content in this Collection is owned by and subject to the exclusive control of Regis University and the authors of the materials. It is available only for research purposes and may not be used in violation of copyright laws or for unlawful purposes. The materials may not be downloaded in whole or in part without permission of the copyright holder or as otherwise authorized in the “fair use” standards of the U.S. copyright laws and regulations.