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Antagonist Acting against the protagonist

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Protagonist Goal To understand antagonists and conflict in a story, you first need to figure out what the protagonist wants, what the overall goal the protagonist has during the story, or what is at risk for him or her during the story. The protagonist’s goal: Is usually a concern throughout the story May be different from what the protagonist wants in the very beginning of the story Is usually resolved in the end, positively or negatively May end up less important to the protagonist in the end of the story

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Antagonist Some characters and things act against the protagonist’s attempts to achieve his or her goal. These are antagonists. Anyone or anything that interferes with the protagonist reaching the goal can be an antagonist. The word antagonist means “acting against” (“ant” = against, “agonist” = one who acts.)

Basic Kinds of Antagonists:

Basic Kinds of Antagonists Person: another person or other intelligent entity; if there are multiple protagonists, sometimes they will be antagonists to one another (person vs. person) Natural phenomena/environment: a mountain, a storm, a radioactive planet, etc. (person vs. nature/environment) Society: groups of people or organizations (person vs. society) Protagonist: an inner conflict within the protagonist (person vs. self)

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Not “Bad Guys”, Interferers It’s not doing “good’ or “bad” things that makes a character an antagonist, it’s whether they interfere with what the protagonist is trying to accomplish.

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Main Antagonist There may be a single antagonist in a narrative, two, or several. Sometimes a character will begin as an antagonist, but will then stop getting in the way or even start to help the protagonist and thus will switch roles and no longer be an antagonist. If there are many antagonists, there are probably many little conflicts. However, the most important antagonist is the main antagonist. This antagonist causes the central conflict of the story, the one the story is really about.

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Protagonist Story begins with a protagonist

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Protagonist Protagonist’s Goal The protagonist wants something

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Protagonist Protagonist’s Goal Antagonist Antagonist Antagonist Antagonists get in the way

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Protagonist Protagonist’s Goal Antagonist Antagonist Antagonist This causes conflict CONFLICT CONFLICT CONFLICT

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Protagonist Protagonist’s Goal Antagonist Main Antagonist Antagonist The main antagonist causes the central conflict CONFLICT CONFLICT CENTRAL CONFLICT

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In your journal answer the following questions: What does Seth want in On the Bridge? What is his goal? Who or what do you feel gets in the way of what he wants? Who or what are antagonists? How do they interfere with Seth’s goal? Who or what is the main antagonist? What is the central conflict caused by the main antagonist?

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Protagonist Protagonist’s Goal Antagonist Antagonist Main Antagonist Antagonist Antagonist Central Conflict Conflict Conflict Conflict Conflict

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