A character type which relies heavily on cultural types or names for his or her personality, manner of speech, and other characteristics. In their most general form, stock characters are related to literary archetypes, but they are often more narrowly defined. In the Old Comedy of Greek drama, common stock characters included the alazon (the imposter or self-deceiving braggart), the bomolochos (the buffoon); and the eiron, the self-derogatory and understating character. Stock characters in Elizabethan drama include the heroine disguised as a handsome young man, the gullible country bumpkin, and the machievelle as a villain. Stock characters in medieval romances include the damsel in distress, the contemptuous dwarf, the chivalrous, handsome young knight, the wild man of the woods, and the senex amans (the ugly old man married to a younger girl). In modern detective fiction, the prostitute-with-a-heart-of-gold, the hard-drinking P.I., and the corrupt police-officer are stereotypical stock characters. Stock characters in western films might include the noble sheriff, the whorehouse madam, the town drunkard.