by Anton Chekhov
Character Role Analysis
Vanya's name is on the cover of the play, so that gives us a hint that he's the head honcho. Of course, the fact that he's a bit of a disappointment when it comes to heroes is all part of the play's big joke. He's mediocre, and he doesn't do anything to change his mediocre life, which is what the play criticizes. Vanya's at the center of the criticism, so we'll call him the protagonist.