Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Character Analysis

(Avoiding Spoilers)

Living… with his brothers Leonardo, Michelangelo and Donatello, training under their master, Splinter the rat. All of them were mutated around the same time. Unable to assimilate into normal society, the mutants found a sewer under New York City to make their home. Raphael was bitter about this social inequality from a young age.

Profession… a masked, cloaked crime-fighter like his brothers. But Raphael sneaks out without the other ninja turtles because of some latent desire to be outside with the humans—or maybe just to get a chance to beat them up. Luckily though, he does more beating up of punk criminals than he does of innocents. Master Splinter warns Raphael not to go out alone, but Raphael—as is often the case—breaks the rules and does things his way.

Interests… street-walking, pizza, and sais (an ancient Japanese weapon, something like a handheld spear or pitchfork). When he loses one of his weapons in the street, he goes out looking for it, and gets into even more trouble than the sai was worth in the first place.

Relationship Status… single. He’s probably too moody to be in a serious relationship. As a teenager, Raphael is not yet ready for that kind of commitment.

Challenge… meditating enough to calm his tumultuous spirit. Raphael has a hard time relaxing. Splinter recognizes this early on, and suggests meditation as a form of focusing his energy on more productive outlets than anger.

Personality… the most emotionally complex of the turtles, Raphael is often contemplative, thinking of deeper questions such as, Is it really worth it to help the same people who would scream at your appearance if they saw you in broad daylight? As much as Raphael likes to mouth off, though, he truly loves his brothers and master. And when Splinter gets kidnapped, Raphael is perhaps most dejected of anyone.


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