The above is a comprehensive list of characteristics which define the antagonist of a story. I would assume that the good guy would be just the opposite of the bad guy. In the old days it was easy to tell who was good and who was bad. The good guy always wore a white hat and rode a white horse. He never frequented the saloon. He went to church and he married the most beautiful, faithful woman in the county.
I used to perform in melodrama theatre. The good guy would always be greeted by cheers and applause, while the villain entered to boos and hisses. Pretty cut and dried, eh?
Today things aren’t as clearly available to us. Today we need to use discernment before deciding who is who. We need to do our research before speaking for or against someone. We need to take care about what we say, so we don’t offend anyone. We must be open to every point of view otherwise we’re considered narrow minded or unbending. As I look at the list above, it seems some of the antagonist’s attributes have switched over to the protagonist side, but that’s a post for another day.
I don’t know where I’m going with this, but it seems to me, as a writer, that these two forces are necessary for the advancement of a good story, so I need to know as much about them as I can. It also seems to me that the protagonist must have an antagonist in his life in order to overcome the obstacles he faces. On the other hand, the antagonist is dependent on the protagonist for his side of the story to be told as well.
In our relationships, in our feelings about others, in our words spoken or written, we often speak or say things without the benefit of thinking them through before we speak. With the advent of social media, texting, Twitter and so many more instant platforms, the words fly randomly without thought about how they might affect another person. Electronics can be amazing at times, but they can also do a lot of damage. Instant news and reporting without fact checking can be the ember that emblazons riots, rage and anger.
As with most things I write about, I usually turn to my Manual for Living – the Bible. Here’s how that book begins.
“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth,” Genesis 1:1.
The last two verses of the Bible say this,
“ He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus! The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen,” Revelation 22:20-21.
Between those two books are many instances of good overcoming evil, protagonists and antagonists, amazing stories of ordinary people doing extraordinary things, hope for a future and the love of God.
The greatest love ever known was that of God’s own Son, Jesus.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life,” John 3:16