Monday, January 4, 2010

Good versus bad.... a timeless tale

We're going to discuss the bad guys this month. Seems fitting after the so-called season of peace. Whoever decided December was a time of peace and love, hasn't been to the mall lately. Maybe that's what has put us in the mood to discuss the antagonist.

At any rate, no matter what you think of the protagonist, the antagonist is just as important. Where would Sherlock Holmes be without Professor Moriarty? Captain Ahab without the whale? Adrian Monk without the six-fingered man?

Those famous protagonists would be forgettable without their counterparts. The interacti
on between the good guys and the bad guys is what makes the story compelling.

Someone once told me that the antagonist is the hero of his own story. (Nope, don't remember who said that. Sorry!) I think that's true. The antagonist of any story has to do whatever he or she is doing for a reason. If the author doesn't know the reason, the reader (or viewer, in the case of movies and television) won't know.

Moriarty is able to challenge Holmes. The whale kept alluding Ahab. The six-fingered man was one step ahead of Monk. Those difficulties were what kept the story line alive.

Often, as my daughter and I watch television programs or movies, we offer our opinions to the characters. No, they don't listen any better then the football coaches or referees my husband screams his thoughts to. But one thing we often find ourselves saying is "they have to do that or else the show would be over." Those are the times when the characters aren't real enough for us.

I'm curious. Which antagonists are your favorite? Who do you "love to hate" either in fiction or real life? Let me know.

But, meanwhile, try to be good to each other. Maybe we can bring the spirit of love and peace back to the mall....



Slamdunk said...

Good post.

I am a big fan of writer Tony Hillerman and I think he cleverly develops his characters so the antangonist is capabale in the reader's mind of challenging the protagnist.

Nichole R. Bennett said...

I love Hillerman's work! He did a fantastic job with his characters.

Oh that my antagonist and protagonist would be so well written!


kanishk said...

Not many authors could pull something like this off, but you my dear, have done it!

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