An Atypical Antagonist

Discussion in 'Character Development' started by X Equestris, Jan 22, 2016.

  1. MichaelP

    MichaelP Banned

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    I agree. In most of my stories, the protagonist and antagonist are in a gray area when it comes to morality. I often have my antagonist doing something "evil" from the protagonist's perspective, but this "evil" act is often for a justified reason.

    For example, suppose the protagonist is watching tv with his girlfriend, when suddenly the antagonist smashes through the front door with a shotgun, blinded by revenge because the protagonist had accidentally killed the antagonist's child in a car crash months earlier. The protagonist has felt guilty and even suicidal for his mistake, and when the antagonist threatens to kill him, he's internally conflicted over whether he should try to save himself or let himself die. Who's the bad guy? The remorseful murderer who got no prison time or the vengeful grieving parent?

    If I remember correctly, it was Ben Bova who said that a story should be tellable from the antagonist's perspective as well.
     
  2. Lew

    Lew Contributor Contributor

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    If some knocked you over the head, fractured your skull, and left you with permanent brain damage, just to steal you wallet, I don't think you would find his moral view, that what others have is his to be taken by force, to be subjective
     
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  3. Oscar Leigh

    Oscar Leigh Contributor Contributor

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    I would find his view subjective. I don't see what you're saying. Are you trying to say I wouldn't agree with him? Or that the sheer practicality of what he did is not subjective, which is not what I'm talking about.
     
  4. Lew

    Lew Contributor Contributor

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    If you can see that what he did to you could have right and good from his perspective, than I can at least say you are true to your moral convictions.
     
  5. Oscar Leigh

    Oscar Leigh Contributor Contributor

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    Um, what? Okay let's be clear. What I'm saying is there's no objective way of determining whether you should be a good of bad person. You can disagree with questionable people all you like but you can't say their standards are worse unless they're unintelligently designed. Morality isn't about being superior it's about your choices.
     
  6. 123456789

    123456789 Contributor Contributor

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    Are you an expert on game theory? How do you know there isn't an objectively "correct" morality based on optimizing odds of survival for the human specifies or odds of any given individual?
     
  7. Oscar Leigh

    Oscar Leigh Contributor Contributor

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    Because it's differs whether you value your survival or compassion for others higher. Everything in morality starts with our emotions. Did we feel for others or do we not care? From that mostly instinctual basis we then make choices about how we want to apply that. The thing is that all the bases are equal. Why do one person's level of of empathy and compassion make another's level worse?
    The simple truth is that societal morality: good, is based upon consensus not superiority.
     

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