Are all antagonists villains? Can a character be the antagonist of a story without being a villain?

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  • Speed
    Lv 7
    3 weeks ago
    Favorite Answer

    I'm pleased that people use the term antagonist now as freely as they used to use villain, because it's far more accurate.

    Every main character has a goal they're trying to achieve. The antagonist is the person--or anything else--that makes it difficult to impossible. A villain can be the antagonist, of course, but so can the main character's inner self (as noted, Jekyll and Hyde), the weather (To Build a Fire), the main character's physical or intellectual limitations (The Gargoyle), the sociopolitical climate in which the main character lives (Game of Thrones), an animal (Cujo), and lots more.

    Villains are common antagonists--who doesn't enjoy hating the bad guy?--but antagonism certainly isn't limited to villains.

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  • Amber
    Lv 5
    3 weeks ago

    I don't think of them as the same thing, no. 

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  • 3 weeks ago

    Read more. Almost everything you can think of to ask about has already been done a dozen times over.

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  • 3 weeks ago

    Whether someone is a hero or a villain depends on their morality or role in society. A villain is a person who does things that are bad for most people in the story. A hero is a person who does things that are good for most people in the story. 

    However, a lot of recent media blurs the lines between heroes and villains, and a piece of writing advice I really like states that the best villains see themselves as heroes. There's also stories about, for example, war between two nations who both see themselves as the heroes and the other side as the villains. So the whole heroes-villains thing can be either a binary or a sliding scale, depending on the tone, complexity and/or message of the story.The divide between protagonists and antagonists is far simpler imho. A protagonist is the main character, and the antagonist is whatever thing is getting in the way of the main character's goal. The antagonist is most often a person or group of people, but it can also be a social/political system, a force of nature, the protagonist's own insecurities etc.. For the sake of these examples, let's say the antagonist is a person:A character who is both an antagonist and a villain would get in the way of or oppose the main character, and would also perform actions that harm people.A character who is both an antagonist and a hero would get in the way of or oppose the main character, but would perform actions that help people.A character who is both a protagonist and a villain would be the main character the story follows, but would perform actions that harm people.A character who is both a protagonist and a hero would be the main character the story follows, and would perform actions that help people.There can also be stories without heroes or villains, like as in a low-stakes conflict between two bickering coworkers that just can't help but get on each others nerves. Whoever the story follows would be the protagonist, and the other one would be the antagonist, but neither of them are "heroes" or "villains".This answer is getting long lol. Hope it all made sense

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  • 3 weeks ago

    Often times stories use internal conflict where the antagonist is a persons state of mind such as

    Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

    by Robert Lewis Stevenson in which the protagonist and antagonist are the same person. Also the antagonist can be a force of nature for example in

    The Martian

    by Andy Weir where the antagonist is the inhospitably of Mars and Space, or sometimes both in

    The Life of Pi

    by Yann Martel the antagonist is both the Ocean and a figment the protagonist's imagination.

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  • Trisha
    Lv 4
    3 weeks ago

    Not necessarily. A good example of a non-villain antagonist is in Catch Me If You Can. The antagonist, Carl Hanratty, is a good person. He is the antagonist because he is trying to capture Frank Abagnale, the protagonist, who is a criminal. But because DiCaprio is cute, we naturally sympathize with his character, despite his criminal tendencies.

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  • Cogito
    Lv 7
    3 weeks ago

    No, They aren't.  Yes, he or she can.

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