What is an antagonistic character

An antagonistic character is the opposite or opposite of the protagonist. It is what the protagonist faces in the development of the conflict, both in the field of literature and in other artistic manifestations.

The word antagonist is related to antagonistic which means something contrary. It comes from the Greek antagonistés which is made up of the suffix anti- which refers to something contrary and agon or agonistés which means combat, fight, fighter or player.

The role played by the antagonist is to prevent the hero from carrying out his mission, that is, he is the force that opposes resistance to the wishes of the protagonist.

protagonist and antagonist

In the literary world, especially in narratology, the protagonist is the most important figure in the story. He is also known as the hero, a character with a marked objective, whose difficulties will make him experience changes throughout the story.

The antagonist, on the other hand, is the opposite that accompanies the protagonist in the main conflict of the narrative. Generally, he is the one who generates the protagonist’s problem and increases the tension of the conflict in the fictional work.

Sometimes, some internal aspect of the protagonist, such as fear, can represent the antagonist of the story. Which gives rise to both (protagonist and antagonist) being within the same character.

The bad character of the story

It is common to identify the antagonistic character with the villain that prevents the hero from gaining glory. We assume that this rival plays the role of him using foul play, his acts are considered unethical, evil, corrupt or cheating.

But the antagonistic character does not always meet these characteristics. Sometimes, he only represents a force that provides balance to the protagonist.

Others, although a certain character is the opposite side of the story, it does not have to be from malice; perhaps it is a healthy competition that separates both characters, who pursue a common goal.

In conclusion, the antagonistic concept always represents an opposition for the protagonist, but it should not always be associated with evil.

See also:

How to cite: Vicente, Eva (11/16/2022). “Antagonist”. In: letsupnow.com. : Consulted:

Degree in Classical Philology from the Complutense University of Madrid (2007).

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