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  1. Acanthophis
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    Acanthophis ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) Contributor

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    Antagonists

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Acanthophis, Feb 12, 2011.

    Right, so I have a few questions about antagonists.

    1. What really is an antagonist? Do they have to be evil? Can they just be opposition for the protagonist?

    2. The main opposition in my story is a man who has ideologies about the world; they aren't bad ideologies, but the means in which he goes around making them happen are. Really though, he just wants humanity to prevail, and something always has to be sacrificed for good things to happen, right?

    I'm sure he is an antagonist, but I've heard antagonist used in so many ways my brain isn't sure which one is the 'right' one. Also, I'm not a fan of dictionaries for these kind of things, since so many people have so many different opinions. I'm just looking for a generalisation of one.

    I think... my own post doesn't make sense to me.:eek:
     
  2. Holden
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    Holden Senior Member

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    An antagonist doesn't have the be the archtypical evil villian trying to control (or destroy) the world. Simply put, the opposition to the protagonist, the person(s) who are trying to stop the protagonist from achieving his/her goal(s) is the antagonist. Nothing more, nothing less.
     
  3. goldhawk
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    goldhawk Senior Member

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    Far too many people think:

    good guy = hero = protagonist
    bad guy = villain = antagonist

    But you can mixed them up any way you want.

    Consider Les Misérables. The antagonist is a police officer, and no, he's not corrupt; he's just trying to do his job.
     
  4. Acanthophis
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    Acanthophis ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) Contributor

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    OK thanks. That makes more sense than the things my teachers taught me (excluding creative writing teacher) told me.
     
  5. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Hope I helped. :)
     
  6. Acanthophis
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    Acanthophis ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) Contributor

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    You all helped, thanks!:D
     
  7. Show
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    Show Contributing Member Contributor

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    No, antags don't have to be evil. Protags don't even have to be good. Although I imagine you'd find more good antagonists than evil protagonists. (Just a guess on my part)
     
  8. Unit7
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    Unit7 Contributing Member Contributor

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    As said before, Antagonist don't have to be evil. An Antagonist is a character or force(nature or society) who opposes the protagonist. The Protagonist is simply the character the story follows. So an Antagonist could be someone who is some evil dictator who is hell bent on staying in power or he could be your protagonist's teacher or principal. They could very well be a rival student(not sure why I went with the school theme but you get the idea)

    It sounds like your character is a anti-hero. A anti-hero is a protagonist who in some ways are unlike the traditional hero. Take Death Wish's Paul Kersey. After his wife is killed and daughter sexually assaulted he becomes a vigilante and sorta cleans up the streets of criminals. Unlike say Spiderman or Superman who wouldn't kill the bank robbers and thugs, Paul Kersey wouldn't mind. Actually maybe I should have used Punisher to go with the Superheros.

    Atleast thats how I understand anti-heroes. Generally all around good guys but have no problems with getting their hands a bit dirty to achieve their goal.
     
  9. Acanthophis
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    Acanthophis ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) Contributor

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    Both of my characters are 'good guys' in a sense, the protagonist is the one who wants humanity to remain how it is, and the antagonist has some ideas that he thinks could make humanity better. Both do bad things to 'stop' the other from accomplishing their goals.
     
  10. goldhawk
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    goldhawk Senior Member

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    Sounds like an interesting story. Why done you just write the thing and not worry about putting labels on it?
     
  11. Acanthophis
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    Acanthophis ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) Contributor

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    I am writing it, I was just curious about what an antagonist really is.
     
  12. goldhawk
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    goldhawk Senior Member

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    It's a label. Labels, like titles, should be decided after a work is finished. And since your editor is going to change your title, don't worry about it. And don't worrying about labels. Just write it the way you think best.
     

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