Can you recognize the lead character?
In many stories, the protagonist is apparent: Harry Potter, Lisbeth Salander, and Katniss Everdeen are absolutely the protagonists of their particular stories. However sometimes the lead character isnt so apparent.
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George R.R. Martin is notorious and cherished for exterminating main characters in his series A Song of Ice and Fire, and readers are frequently mislead or baffled about which character is the lead character at any given moment in the impressive historical dream tale.
In many cases, a false protagonist is planted to intentionally mislead the audience, but the story later on reveals another character to be the real protagonist. In other cases, main characters get dominant roles within a story, making the real lead character difficult to suss out.
If were unsure which character is the lead character, how do we set about recognizing them?
Common Misconceptions About Protagonists
While all of these characteristics are often associated with lead characters, none will help us definitively identify a storys protagonist.
Readers frequently hold misunderstandings about lead characters. Some typical misconceptions assume that the lead character is the point-of-view character, the character who gets the most screen time, the first-person narrator, the “good guy” (or hero), or whichever character draws the most attention from the audience. And in film, we frequently presume the character played by the most popular star is the lead character.
Here are a couple of examples of stories in which none of these requirement indicate the lead character:
Heart of Darkness: The first-person narrator is not the lead character.
A Song of Ice and Fire: With multiple point-of-view characters, its impossible for all of them to be the protagonist.
Lolita: Humbert is the protagonist, however hes certainly not an excellent guy.
Whos the Protagonist?
A story can have multiple protagonists. This is frequently the case in an ensemble, although the position of lead character often turns through the cast in numerous scenes or installations in a series. And some love stories or buddy stories may have co-protagonists. However these are rare, and even in many ensembles, like stories, and pal stories, among the characters fulfills the role of true lead character more than the others, even if only somewhat.
So who is the lead character in a story, and how can we determine them?
Other main characters might meet these criteria, however the protagonist usually meets all these criteria more intensely than any of the other characters.
The protagonist deals with difficulties, particularly the main obstacle or dispute within the story.
The protagonist requires or desires something (has a goal).
The villains actions are hindering the protagonists capability to attain the objective.
The lead character makes choices or choices, which are normally tough.
The choices made by the protagonist result in repercussions, bad and excellent.
The protagonist goes through individual change, which is often significant, as an outcome of the occasions within the story.
At its heart, the story is frequently about the protagonist; it is the lead characters story.
Maybe most notably, the story, at its heart, is ultimately about the protagonist.
Recognizing the Protagonist
These requirements for the lead character can be utilized to determine each primary characters role within a story to figure out which is the true lead character.
Have you ever discovered yourself wondering which character in a story is the lead character? Have you ever went into an argument with a friend about which character was the lead character in your preferred book or motion picture? How can you use a better understanding of lead characters to craft a more powerful, clearer lead character or a story with several or perhaps deceptive (false) protagonists?
Have you ever found yourself wondering which character in a story is the lead character? How can you use a much better understanding of lead characters to craft a more powerful, clearer protagonist or a story with several or even deceptive (false) lead characters?
A story can have several protagonists. These are rare, and even in lots of ensembles, love stories, and buddy stories, one of the characters satisfies the function of true lead character more than the others, even if just slightly.
Do all lead characters fall within the paradigms laid out above? No. There are constantly exceptions. Storytelling, character development, and recognizing a lead character are not precise sciences. However these requirements for the lead character can be utilized to measure each main characters function within a story to find out which is the real protagonist.