The protagonist is the hero of a work and the leading role in a narrative or a drama. The term goes back to the theater of antiquity, where he was the performer of the first role of a play (leading actor). Thus, the protagonist stands before deuteragonist or tritonist; the second and third roles in drama. His opponent is the antagonist.
This classic meaning, however, can only be regarded as a background of the word and is now very inadequate. Meanwhile, the protagonist is not limited to the theater, but can be identified and identified in almost all narrative media.
So there are protagonists in all sorts of cinematic and literary works, and in computer games we have to understand the hero – the figure, which is controlled by the player – as the protagonist of the action. Consequently, we can hold that the protagonist is the main agent in an act. He is thus the figure that ultimately comes to the end.
Note: The word protagonist is derived from the Greek (πρωταγωνιστής, protagonistés) and means “first” or “main trading”. You can translate “prótos” with “the first” and “ágo” with “move, lead or act”.
Identify the protagonist
The protagonist does not necessarily have to be the title figure of a work, even if this is usually the case. The title figure is the figure that is named in the title of a work.
We recognize the protagonist that he is the figure of a work that is undergoing a development and determines the action in one piece. This development is usually the positive (good). The protagonist makes this development due to the experiences and experiences he experiences in a work.
Frequently, the protagonist is examined in some form or has plans that he pursues in the action. These plans are often endangered by the antagonist. By mastering and overcoming these obstacles, the protagonist matures in the course of the work and experiences the transformation in question.
Note: The antagonist does not necessarily have to be a living being. Sometimes abstract things or landscapes (for example, in adventure romans) can form the typical antagonist. In principle, therefore, the antagonist can be anything that hinders the protagonist in his progress (bureaucracy, religion, magic, environment, etc.). The antagonist is therefore the personification of the threshold which the protagonist must overcome. However, there must not always be an antagonist.
Does the protagonist need to be good?
Frequently the mistake is made to call the antagonist a villain and the protagonist as good. Nevertheless, the protagonist is not necessarily the positive hero.
In principle, the typical protagonist is equipped with positive qualities, but especially in the modern age they can also be malignant or anti-heroic. This means that the balance between antagonists and protagonists can also tilt.
Sometimes the protagonist even inflicts damage in a narrative. If we think of the film “Fightclub”, for example, it becomes clear what is meant. After all, the main character tries to hunt half the city, beating people and causing chaos.
The antagonist is the system (police, bureaucracy, democracy), which stands in the way of the actors. The relationship between good and evil is therefore not always clear.
Well-known protagonists and examples
The protagonist meets us both in classical plays and in contemporary works. Let us look at two typical and well-known example constellations.
Constellation using the example of Harry Potter
The novel series “Harry Potter” by the English author Joanne K. Rowling has become a cult in the field of youth literacy in recent years. Here, too, the individual constellations can be clearly shown on the basis of the principle presented.
Harry Potter is also the classic protagonist of the work and also the title character of the Roman series. Lord Voldemort, as a dark antagonist, stands in the way of “good” Harry and tries to prevent him from his different plans.
Harry are very different characters, but we find in Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger nice examples for the deuteragonist. They are certainly the “second main roles” and allow us a different view of the main actor, as they express themselves about it and communicate with it.
Constellation using the example of Lord of the Rings
A further, very clear example of this constellation between the antagonist and the protagonist can be found in the romance series “The Lord of the Rings” by British writer J. R. R. Tolkien. But the roles are clearly divided between the characters.
Frodo Beutlin is clearly to be identified as a protagonist, who is developing strongly due to numerous examinations during the course of the novel. Sauron, as the personified evil, tries to hinder the Hobbit and his companions during their journey.
In this case, almost all the companions of hobbits can be regarded as deuteragonists. Namely Sam, Pippin, Legolas, Gimli or Aragorn would be called, even if the portfolio is of course much bigger and more complex.
Short overview: The most important to the protagonist at a glance
The protagonist is the “main trade” in a work.
In the course of the narrative, he usually experiences a development towards the positive.
This is due to various experiences, examinations and experiences.
The opponent of the protagonist is the antagonist who tries to cross the plans of the P and is often also the character counterpart.
The second and third main rollers are referred to as deuteragonists and tritonists.
The protagonist does not have to be good!
Synonyms: main character, main character, main character, hero, hero, matador, matador, key figure, pioneer, pioneer, pioneer, pioneer