Difference Between Protagonist and Antagonist

By: | Updated: Apr-9, 2023
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Difference Between Protagonist and Antagonist

Stories would be inadequate and unexciting if there wasn’t any dispute among the leading characters. Recurrently, main characters are rutted opposing one another. Not merely, but each and every story demands at least two main characters to make the conflict to existence. They are the nucleus of a story and are frequently the greater cultivated characters.

Summary Table

Protagonist Antagonist
The character who attempts to solve the conflict in the story. The character who creates conflict in the story.
Portrayed as the hero of the story Portrayed as the villain of the story
Readers give more empathy to this character Readers give less empathy to this character

These characters are typically noted to as the protagonist and antagonist. Protagonist is the character who conducts oneself most of the pursuit of the objective – that’s why they’re frequent so-called “heroes.” Antagonists behave as hindrance in the way of the protagonist’s accomplishment, consequently making them their paramount opposition.

The strife between these two characters sets up melodramatic scenes and retains readers turning pages. That’s why it is momentous to have a persistent conflict betwixt protagonists and antagonists. There are dual ways of conveying conflict into a story: external and internal. The most customary way is amidst characters who adore each other or detest each other or something like that. Alternately, a conflict can happen intrinsically. The main character may have to clear up some sort of internal warfare with himself or herself. This is done in multiple ways like unravelling a challenge, having a disaster of conviction, or establishing who you want to be.

There are genuine sameness between these characters, but disparity as well. Before we get into how to tell the divergence, let’s outline them.

What is a Protagonist?

A protagonist is a character who pursues the purpose and makes things arise in a narrative. They are as a rule the main characters and are commonly indicated to as heroes. Protagonists want to be victorious in life, they want to succeed against antagonists or something like that.

More repeatedly than not, protagonists are the ones who set out to make things happen. In some instances, they have internal struggles with themselves which can be settled in a story. They regularly know what to do and are the most can-do characters, even if they are not ordinarily the main characters in a work of fiction.

What is an Antagonist?

An antagonist is a personage who acts in opposition to the protagonist. They crave to stop what is going on, or somewhat like that. Antagonists can incorporate characters who are external or internal to the narrative.

External antagonists want to prevent the protagonist from accomplishing their ambition. Internal antagonists want to demolish a character’s conviction and make them question themselves, which triggers them to break down. They want to provoke the protagonist to miscarry at somewhat they are trying to do.

Difference Between Protagonist and Antagonist

How are They Related?

The two varieties of antagonists work in divergent ways to carry disagreement into a story. They are also related in that they’re both essential to the story, but they have differences which make them unique. For example, external antagonists want to keep the protagonist from reaching their goal and internal antagonists want to destroy the protagonist’s certitude so that they will collapse.

Both characteristics can be implemented to characters in tales, but it is vital for readers to apprehend the disparity between protagonist and antagonist because they are dissimilar. The antagonist may be the one who wants to attain what the protagonist desires, or contrariwise. In cases where they both want an objective, they will be at each other’s throats until someone wins.

More often than not, the two types of protagonists and antagonists are introduced at the same time in a narration. This shows how they interact with each other to bring battle into a tale. There may be some characters who don’t have an obvious conception about what their ambition is, but still want it for some rationale. That’s why it is influential for the main characters to have a clear idea about what they want.

What are the Differences?

Even though both natures of protagonists and antagonists can convey battles into a tale, there are some considerable divergences between them. Here are some of the dissimilarities between protagonist and antagonist.


The contrast between protagonist and antagonist can be seen in the narrative itself. Protagonists make conflict into a story considering they want to win against antagonists, while antagonists carry battle into a story because they want to block the protagonist from fulfilling their objective. The fact that both kinds of protagonists and antagonists are related in that they bring dispute into a story, it is critical to recognize the distinction between them.


The difference between protagonists and antagonists is how they are represented in a story. Protagonists are customarily the character who does best of the pursuing of the goal, and the hero of the story. They are oftentimes the protagonists who have outward disagreements with antagonists, but inward as well if they have a trouble that needs to be worked out.

In the interim, antagonists are mostly the one who wants to cease, and they’re usually characterized as the villain of a story. They can also be the antagonist who has domestic struggles with themselves.

Reader’s Empathy

The readers’ empathy towards the protagonist and antagonist is unlike due to the distinction in their story and in what way they are delineated. Protagonists are frequently the main characters in a narration, which means that readers will incline to sympathize with them more than antagonists. In some cases, antagonists may be the ones who want something from protagonists.

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