Michael Henchard is certainly the main character of the novel, so it's easy to call him the protagonist. It's less easy to refer to him as a "hero." He's hardly perfect, but the title of the novel assures us that he is "a man of character," meaning a man of honor and respectability. Henchard might be deeply flawed, but he is at least very honest. He does have his virtues, too, in addition to his flaws. So do you think the author is being ironic when he calls Henchard "a man of character" in the subtitle of the novel? Is our protagonist "a man of character"?