What does spear carrier mean?

Definitions for spear carrier
spear car·ri·er

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word spear carrier.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. supernumerary, spear carrier, extra(noun)

    a minor actor in crowd scenes


  1. Spear carrier

    A spear carrier is a nickname for a minor acting part. It generally pertains to a character that appears in several scenes, but mostly in the background. In the world of Opera, the term is sometimes used literally: When a male chorus is required, as in Aida, for example, the onstage "army", armed with spears or swords, usually consists of several singers and as many who remain silent, filling out the group. The silent ones are known as spear carriers, to differentiate them from the male chorus members. The Ancient Greek term for spear carrier originally meant a soldier armed with a spear acting as a bodyguard or ceremonial guard to noblemen. The modern meaning has its roots in classical Greek tragedy; as plays such as Antigone and Oedipus the King concerned the tragic fate of nobles, several nondescript soldiers or guards were required to appear in the background, and the term was used to describe the guards who just escorted the main characters. The 1968 Nebula Award-winning novel Rite of Passage, by Alexei Panshin, mentions the protagonist's observations of the role of spear carriers in real life: "A spear carrier is somebody who stands in the hall when Caesar passes, comes to attention and thumps his spear. A spear carrier is the anonymous character cut down by the hero as he advances to save the menaced heroine. A spear carrier is a character put in a story to be used like a piece of disposable tissue. In a story, spear carriers never suddenly assert themselves by throwing their spears aside and saying, ‘I resign. I don’t want to be used.’ They are there to be used, either for atmosphere or as minor obstacles in the path of the hero. The trouble is that each of us is his own hero, existing in a world of spear carriers. We take no joy in being used and discarded. I was finding then, that wet, chilly, unhappy night, that I took no joy in seeing other people used and discarded."

How to pronounce spear carrier?

  1. Alex
    US English

How to say spear carrier in sign language?

  1. spearcarrier


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of spear carrier in Chaldean Numerology is: 8

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of spear carrier in Pythagorean Numerology is: 5

Images & Illustrations of spear carrier

  1. spear carrierspear carrierspear carrierspear carrierspear carrier

Translations for spear carrier

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"spear carrier." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 16 Nov. 2019. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/spear+carrier>.

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