Talk:Protagonist

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John Procto[edit]

how is this an interesting or remarkable name? nothing against the crucible, but i'm not seeing how this is relevant. --preschooler@heart my talk - contribs 03:59, 19 April 2006 (UTC) style="color:#o9h762">contribs]] </large> 03:59, 19 april 2006 (UTC)

Careful Word Choice and Consistency[edit]

This article has improved but is still inconsistent and somewhat confusing. The article is about the "protagonist" not the "main character", "hero", or even "proponent." We need to be especially careful about using these words as synonyms, unless the article explicitly states that they are equivalent. There are generally subtle differences between the words, so they will need to be defined and differentiated between. This article needs more sources especially from reputable experts on the English language to back up the working definition of protagonist. "hero and "main character" are definitely not the same thing, and this article seems unclear as to which the protagonist is more closely related to. Please someone with a strong English background work on fixing this mess up. Dragonjimmyy2k (talk) 13:49, 4 March 2008 (UTC)


This page needs to be rewritten so tha it refers to the protagonist, not the main character. If nothing else someone needs to go through and substitute the words. --Dragonjimmyy2k 00:02, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

protagonist-the main charctor...

The writing of this article has become internally inconsistent. Is the protagonist the main character or not? Is "hero" the same as "main character"? The way the first paragraph has been butchered leaves it unreadable to me. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by ShaziDaoren (talkcontribs) 00:36, 2 May 2007 (UTC).

I concur with this. The article is confusing and uninformative. I think some of the information is also confused with what would be considered the tragic character of greek drama, characterized by recognition and reversal of situation. I have never before heard that it was necessary for a protagonist to actually go through a change to be considered as such (or that a main character and protagonist could be two separate characters), and I think there are plenty of examples in modern literature / film / theatre that back up this fact. Liontamarin 09:21, 9 May 2007 (UTC)
I too have an issue with that, not all protagonists are main characters. That would be a "primary protagonist". Just as not all antagonsits are Main characters either. --VorangorTheDemon 19:37, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

I found this sentence confusing: "The antagonist may be the story's hero - where the protagonist is a police officer for example, the antagonist could be a a terrorist." The phrase "for example" used after a dash implies that the example given is of the preceding statement. However, "where the protagonist is a police officer for example, the antagonist could be a a terrorist" isn't an example of "The antagonist may be the story's hero", unless the person who made it considers terrorists heroes. If I am correct about this being wrong, I request permission to change this to "The antagonist may be the story's hero - where the protagonist is a terrorist for example, the antagonist could be a police officer." — Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.167.4.114 (talk) 07:29, 26 November 2011 (UTC)

This article needs a complete rewrite.[edit]

For the 2007 documentary film, see Protagonist (film)

A protagonist is a term used to refer to a figure or figures in literature whose intentions are the primary focus of a story. Classically protagonists are derived from good will, however, this does not always have to be true. Protagonists cannot exist in a story without opposition from a figure or figures called antagonist(s). Classically in literature, characters with good will are usually the protagonists; however, not all characters who assist the protagonist are required to be simple protagonistic.

In some nineteenth century novels, for example, Wilkie Collins' "No Name," the protagonist, Magdalen Vanstone, is introduced with an extended description, and thereafter simply expresses the qualities given in the description. Similarly, in much "formula fiction" (as critic John Cawelti calls ?-, proto- (the combinative form of protos 'first') and agōnistes ('one who contends for a prize').

It should be pointed out that the protagonist is not always the hero of the story. Many authors have chosen to unfold a story from the point of view of a character who, while not central to the action of the story, is in a position to comment upon it. However, it is most common for the story to be "about" the protagonist; even if the Main Character's actions are not heroic, they are nonetheless usually vital to the progress of the story. Neither should the protagonist be confused with the narrator; they may be the same, but even a first-person narrator need not be the protagonist, as they may be recalling the event while not living through it as the audience is.

The main character is often faced with a "foil", a character known as the Antagonist (literature)‎ antagonist who most often represents obstacles that the protagonist must overcome. As with protagonists, there may be more than one antagonist in a story. (Note that the term antagonist in this context is much more recent than the term protagonist, and rests on the same misconception as the use of protagonist to mean proponent. See below.)

Sometimes, a work will initially highlight a particular character, as though they were the protagonist, and then unexpectedly dispose of that character as a dramatic device. Such a character is called a false protagonist.

When the work contains subplots, these may have different Main Characters from the main plot. In some novels, the book's main character may be impossible to pick out, because the plots do not permit clear identification of one as the main plot, as in Alexander Solzhenitsyn's The First Circle, depicting a variety of characters imprisoned in and living about a gulag camp.


Main Character or Characters[edit]

In an ancient Greek drama, the Main Character was the leading actor and as such there could only be one main protagonists, or the chief persons of the drama"[1]. This plural use and the use outside of drama attract the disapproval of Fowler in his "Modern English Usage", insisting on the derivation from PROTOS=first. When there is more than one protagonist the story becomes more complex[citation needed].

Main Character as proponent[edit]

The use of 'Main character' in place of 'proponent' has become common in the 20th century and may have been influenced by a misconception that the first syllable of the word represents the prefix pro- (ie. 'favoring') rather than proto-, meaning first (as opposed to deuter-, second, in deuteragonist, or tri-, third, in tritagonist). For example, usage such as "He was an early protagonist of nuclear power" can be replaced by 'advocate' or 'proponent' [1].

Main Character in psychodrama[edit]

In psychodrama, the "Main Character" is a person (group member, patient or client) who decides to enact some significant aspect of his life, experiences or relationships on stage with the help of the psychodrama director and other group members, taking supplementary roles as auxiliary egos.

References[edit]

Category:Protagonists by role Category:Fiction Category:Fictional character types

de:Protagonist es:Protagonista eo:Ĉefrolulo nl:Protagonist ja:主人公 no:Protagonist pl:Protagonista ru:Протагонист sq:Protagonisti simple:Protagonist sv:Huvudperson th:ตัวเอก


Agent 47[edit]

In Hitman, Agent 47 is the main character, and the character which most people support, or think of themselves as, although 47 is infact the 'bad guy'. In this case would 47 still be constdered the protagonist? or the antagonist? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Kenjoshii (talkcontribs) 22:12, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

IMHO, strictly speaking, a protagonist is someone who has the main role, regardless of whether (s)he has a "good" or "bad" role. Kushalt 15:45, 6 January 2008 (UTC)<dezzy>

This is very true. But maybe in the case of the book that you are reading Agent 47 may be both the antagonist and the protagonist depending on the sequence of events that happen in the book. Sometimes the protagonist creates obstacles for him/herself without the doing of anyone else in which case the protagonist would also be the antagonist because of the obstacles he creates for him/herself. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.184.36.243 (talk) 16:46, 31 August 2009 (UTC)

Usage section violates copyright[edit]

I have deleted the "Usage" section of the article, which consisted of three subsections: "Protagonist or Protagonists", "Protagonist as proponent" and "Protagonist in psychodrama". The first two of these are cut-and-paste copyright violations, taken from the American Heritage Dictionary, as presented at dictionary.reference.com (with a couple of trivial rephrasings). I see no fair use justification: although only a small amount of the AHD is copied into this particular article, it doesn't seem feasible to check whether substantial fractions of the dictionary have been copied into Wikipedia as a whole.

The "Protagonist in psychodrama" section is completely unsourced but most of the rest of the article is also unsourced so I've moved that text into the main section, rather than deleting it. The deleted text can be found in this [version of the article]. Dricherby (talk) 10:41, 10 February 2009 (UTC)

Protagonists move the story along[edit]

I believe this is the distinction: It has nothing to do with the size of the role (indeed, in the play and film Edward, My Son, Edward, the central character who features in it, doesn't appear.) Without the protagonist, who WANTS something, there is no story. The antagonist(s) strive to prevent this happening, hence conflict. Dramatists and story writers need to be clear on this, and the identities of who does what to whom and why. Also, the protagonist, (usually the hero or antihero of the plot) may "change" in the achievement of the goal, the antagonist(s) usually don't. We're talking classical writing technique here, and of course there are always exceptions to the rule. JohnClarknew (talk) 09:27, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

Sonic the Hedgehog[edit]

Instead of deleting this obvious joke, I'm going to leave it as an example why people shouldn't take Wikipedia seriously.Sanitycult (talk) 22:44, 19 January 2010 (UTC)

Who says it's a joke? It might not be the best example to use, but Sonic is the protagonist of his video games. Web wonder (talk) 16:55, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

mind if I change it to Sponge Bob Square Pants? Better yet, why not Joey the Retarded Fish, the protagonist of my fan fic? Just checking (looking forward to any of your inane threats as a bonus)Sanitycult (talk) 07:56, 4 February 2010 (UTC)
Sonic and Spongebob are legitimate, verifiable protagonists. Joey the Retarded Fish, the protagonist of your fictional fan fiction, is not because it is not published by a reputable source. If it was appropriate to list protagonists, they would be legitimate names. Sailorknightwing (talk) 02:30, 18 January 2011 (UTC)

it is the main character of a literary, theartical —Preceding unsigned comment added by 70.135.171.116 (talk) 01:23, 15 April 2010 (UTC)

Heroic Terrorists[edit]

"The antagonist may be the story's hero - where the protagonist is a police officer for example, the antagonist could be a terrorist." This was a mistake, right? For now, I'm going to revert it with a clearer and less-backward example. Milhisfan (talk) 06:28, 5 April 2012 (UTC)