In literature, an antagonist is a person, or a collection of characters, which stands in competition to the protagonist, that's the main character. The term “antagonist” comes from the Greek phrase antagonistēs, which method “opponent,” “competitor,” or “rival.”
It is not unusual to refer to an antagonist as a villain (the horrific guy), towards whom a hero (the best guy) fights so as to save himself or others. In a few cases, an antagonist might also exist inside the protagonist that reasons an inner warfare or a moral struggle interior his mind. This inner struggle is a chief subject matter of many literary works, together with Doctor Faustus, through Christopher Marlowe, Hamlet, by way of William Shakespeare, and A Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man, by using James Joyce. Generally, an antagonist appears as a foil to the main individual, embodying features which might be in evaluation with the characteristics of the main man or woman.
Examples of Antagonist in Literature
Example #1: Antigone (By Sophocles)
A classical instance of an antagonist is that of King Creon in Sophocles’ tragedy Antigone. Here, the feature of the antagonist is to hinder the main man or woman’s progress, via evil plots and actions. Antigone, the protagonist, struggles towards King Creon, the antagonist, in her effort to give her brother a decent burial. Through his evil designs, Creon tries to hamper her in this try by using pronouncing that her brother became a traitor, and decreeing that “he ought to be left to the elements.” This protagonist-antagonist struggle turns into the topic of this tragedy.
Example #2: Othello (By William Shakespeare)
Another example of an antagonist is the individual of Iago in Shakespeare’s Othello. Iago stands as considered one of the maximum notorious villains of all time, having spent all of his time plotting in opposition to Othello, the protagonist, and his spouse Desdemona. Through his evil schemes, Iago convinces Othello that his spouse has been dishonest on him, or even convinces him to kill his personal spouse regardless of her being trustworthy to him. The component that separates Iago from different antagonists is that we do not actually recognise why he wants to wreck Othello.
Example #3: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (By Robert Louis Stevenson)
In his novel Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Robert Louis Stevenson explores the theme of doppelganger wherein Hyde is not simplest an evil double of the honorable Dr. Jekyll, but his antagonist. Jekyll creates Hyde by means of a series of clinical experiments if you want to show his statement:
“Man is not definitely one, however absolutely two.”
He method that a human soul is a aggregate of evil and good. In other words, each man’s antagonist exists within himself. Hyde is the manifestation of the evil that existed inside the honorable Dr. Jekyll. Well-known as a first rate Victorian gentleman, Jekyll could never have fulfilled his evil desires. He separated his “evil-self” and gave him a separate identity, as a result inventing his personal antagonist who, as a result, brings his downfall.
Example #4: To Kill a Mocking Bird (By Harper Lee)
Bob Ewell is a malicious antagonist in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mocking Bird. Being satisfied that Mayella may also have been responsible of committing a crime, Ewell is bent on ensuring that someone else gets the punishment. Ewell keeps on following Atticus, Judge Taylor, and Helen Robinson – even after the case is finished – and goes to the extent that he almost kills the Finch kids. In defense of Boo over the killing of Bob Ewell, Heck Tate said:
“To my manner of thinkin’, Mr Finch, taking the one guy who’s completed you and this city a super favour an’ draggin’ him along with his shy approaches into the limelight – to me, that’s a sin. It’s a sin and I’m now not approximately to have it on my head. If it turned into some other guy, it’d be different. But no longer this guy, Mr. Finch.”
Function of Antagonist
Conflict is a basic detail of any plot. The presence of an antagonist along a protagonist is vital for the typical method of a plot. The antagonist opposes the protagonist in his endeavors, and for that reason the struggle ensues. The protagonist struggles in opposition to the antagonist, taking the plot to a climax. Later, the conflict is resolved with the defeat of the antagonist; or, as in tragedies, with the downfall of the protagonist.
Popular Literary Devices
- Ad Hominem
- Deus Ex Machina
- Double Entendre
- Flash Forward
- Half Rhyme
- Internal Rhyme
- Line Break
- Non Sequitur
- Pathetic Fallacy
- Poetic Justice
- Point of View
- Red Herring
- Tragic Flaw