Who is the Antagonist?
This video explains what role an antagonist serves and how to identify the antagonist in a story. Fun fact: the antagonist doesn’t have to be evil, contrary to popular belief. Why? Watch the video to find out.
or otherwise nasty character in the novel that you root against.
You know, the person who stands in the way of the protagonist.
You should know by now, however, that literature is never simple.
Yes, many times, the antagonist is clearly evil. He's the guy who, if you saw him coming
down the street, you'd move to the other side.
Sometimes though, the antagonist is the traditional other figure, the person who finds himself
on the opposite side of the tracks from the person who is lucky enough to have his name
on the cover of the book. And if the protagonist is an anti-hero, the
antagonist might be someone who is traditionally considered a good guy.
In Paradise Lost, Satan is the protagonist, making the big G-O-D the antagonist of the
story. The antagonist doesn't have to be God, Satan,
or the spawn of Satan, either. It can just be a person, or entity, with an
opposing point of view, whether it's a rival sports team, or a rival suitor.
Finally, the antagonist might not even be human.
It could be anything from a maybe-mythical white whale, to unachievable hopes and dreams,
to simply...humanity in general. Whatever or whoever throws up major roadblocks
for the protagonist. So when you have your eyes peeled for the
antagonist, remember the following: The antagonist opposes the protagonist, and
is usually the source of all the conflict. However, the antagonist isn't necessarily
evil. He or she just has a conflicting point of view.
And the antagonist... might not even be human...