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Identifying the Protagonist and Antagonists

It has long been accepted to divide the characters of literary works on the positive (protagonist) and negative (antagonist), heroes and anti-heroes. Many great writers said that creation of antagonists requires more efforts and time, than creation of protagonist.

Protagonist is the main character of a literary work, movie, or other work of art. For the first time protagonist was introduced in a tragedy in 534 BC, when in Athens Thespis staged his tragedy.

Antagonist is a character, counteracting the main character (protagonist) on the way to achieving his or her goals. Confrontation of antagonist-protagonist is one of the possible driving forces of the central conflict in a work. Antagonist’s actions not only create obstacles protagonist has to overcome, but also can also be the cause of the development of protagonist’s character. Sometimes, there can be no antagonist in the plot of a work.

Antagonist can act not only as a single character, but also as a group of characters (family, organization, etc.) or a non-personified power – a natural disaster or social order. There can also be a broad definition of antagonist that includes not only the external force toward the protagonist, but also the general principles of the moral or personal traits. There’s also a more narrow interpretation of the concept, when antagonist is considered as the only main villain of the work.

In classical literature, especially in Greek tragedy, the protagonist is usually a positive character, a carrier of good, while the antagonist is a negative character, a villain. However, the negativity of the antagonist can be smoothed, for example, in Romeo and Juliet, parents and family members of the main character, acting as antagonists, are not villains, but stubborn bullies and fools. But in this case, the antagonist is a figure of the author’s disapproval. The ratio of protagonist being more virtuous than antagonist can be completely disrupted, for example, in Shakespeare’s Macbeth, more virtuous Macduff is against the main character. There can also be stories, when protagonist and antagonist are characters equal to each other (Achilles and Hector in Homer’s Iliad).

Antagonist in different genres has various characteristics. Thus, in comedies, antagonist usually involves protagonist in comic situations; in thrillers and horrors, antagonist is connected with the most vivid and naturalistic scenes of fights, violence and death. The image of antagonist as the personification of evil can be a major artistic challenge of a genre. For the western, a rapprochement between protagonist and antagonist it typical as well as similarities in the modus operandi and their methods. In the women’s love novels, antagonist is usually older and more experienced than a protagonist – antagonist provokes the heroine to break taboos and puts difficult tasks in front of her, contributing to the initiation of a female heroine.

It has long been accepted to divide the characters of literary works on the positive (protagonist) and negative (antagonist), heroes and anti-heroes. Many great writers said that creation of antagonists requires more efforts and time, than creation of protagonist.

Protagonist is the main character of a literary work, movie, or other work of art.

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Assignment ID
100000607
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CREATED ON
July 10, 2016
COMPLETED ON
July 11, 2016
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$15
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Essay Example Comments
toniramsey1057
December 7, 2016
toniramsey1057
Minor corrections, received a 100% on final.
toniramsey1057
December 7, 2016
toniramsey1057
I gave the writer very little time to complete a four page History paper. After he completed it, I realized it was to be single spaced, not double.
lennond88
December 6, 2016
lennond88
Work was late.