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Difference Between Protagonist and Antagonist

Protagonist vs Antagonist
 

Protagonist and antagonist are the archetypal characters always present in a narrative, play, or a movie. 

• Protagonist is mostly a good guy who is forced to get involved in a struggle with the antagonist, the villain who opposes him. 

• Protagonist represents our initiative while antagonist represents our resistance to change.

 

When you are reading a fiction or even a mythical story, there is always a constant struggle between the good guy and the bad guy. There is a central character in the story who is the good guy and there is also a bad guy placing obstacles in his path. The terms protagonist and antagonist are used to refer to these characters though many people remain confused between these terms. This is because a protagonist can also be a bad guy at times. This article attempts to take a closer look at these terms to come up with their differences.

Protagonist

Protagonist is a word that is derived from Greek word meaning the chief actor or one who plays the first part. He is the one who gets caught in the vortex of struggle because of the antagonist in the play or the narrative. If you have seen Harry Potter movies, it is the character of Harry Potter that is the central character, and he happens to be the protagonist in these movies. Being a good guy most of the time, a protagonist gets all the sympathy of the audiences or the readers, but if he is anti-hero or a bad guy, the sympathy of the people does not lie with him. The audience is still kept interested with a gripping storyline and the antics of the protagonist. A protagonist is always a human being with a cause with which audiences can easily identify.

Antagonist

Antagonist could be a person or circumstances or conditions that place an obstacle in the path of the protagonist. Antagonist comes from a Greek word that means an opponent or a rival. Coming back to the example of Harry Potter movies, the antagonist is Voldemort who is seen creating obstacles in the path of Harry all the time.

Protagonist vs. Antagonist

• Protagonist and antagonist are the archetypal characters always present in a narrative, play, or a movie.

• Protagonist is the central character who is the focal point of a story.

• Protagonist is mostly a good guy who is forced to get involved in a struggle with the antagonist who opposes him.

• Protagonist has the sympathy of the audiences who want to see or learn about his victory over the antagonist.

• Protagonist is always a human being whereas antagonist can also be a circumstance or a natural calamity. It can even be an animal force.

• Mostly the antagonist is the villain who places obstacles in the path of the protagonist.

• No story or narrative can be gripping without the introduction of antagonist in a story with a protagonist.

• Protagonist represents our initiative while antagonist represents our resistance to change.

• When the central character is bad or an antihero, it becomes difficult for the audience to sympathize with him or identify with him. Then, it is also difficult to call him a protagonist.


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