Hello everyone and welcome back to #theorythursday. Today I am going to be talking about who the protagonist is in the story. This may seem extremely simple and straightforward, but I have chosen to write about the protagonist because I want my website to be a place where literature and literary theory is accessible to everyone, and there may be readers who aren’t overly familiar with terms such as “protagonist” and “antagonist”, etc.
I use the term “protagonist” a lot, and it is a term that anyone who is talking about literature should become familiar with.
So let’s dive in.
Who is the protagonist?
The term “protagonist” refers to the main character (or main characters) in the text. It is the person (or people) whom the story revolves around.
The word “protagonist” has arguably become associated with the idea of goodness, so the term “protagonist” is often used to describe the “good guy” and the term “antagonist” is often used to describe the villain of the text – I will talk about this on another Theory Thursday.
I do think that although I usually describe the “good guy” as the protagonist out of ease, I think it is slightly more complicated than that as not every protagonist is purely good. Characters can be nuanced and complex, and of course there is the idea of the anti-hero etc, but these are topics for another day.
Why is it important to know who the protagonist is?
I think it is important to know who the protagonist is because they are the main character in a work, and when one is discussing a text, the term “protagonist” is used often so it is important to understand who that term is referring to.
This has been Theory Thursday. I hope you all have a lovely Friday Eve.