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Fiction Novels and TV Shows: The Appeal of the "Gray" Protagonist

Analyse and inform why there is such a success in the main characters who are usually supposed to be the "good" guys, but it tends to be better when they have their own flaws as well. Old fiction books and television shows tended to portray the "perfect" protagonist with all virtues. Now, there seems to be more success when it’s not always black or white ("bad" vs. "good")

  • Can you give some examples please? – SaraiMW 2 years ago
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  • Maybe its because the perfect protagonist doesn't provide any tension. In order to generate obstacles, and having a character who is perfect won't provide this. – vmainella 2 years ago
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  • Rick from Rick and Morty is a good example of this. Despite his negative qualities he and at times abusive treatment of his family he truly cares about them. In a lot of ways that is one the reasons why he is the Rickest Rick because he has not completely stopped caring about his family. – Blackcat130 2 years ago
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  • In general, all characters have flaws - even the characters that are deemed as "good" guys. Well developed characters just have more development as a whole and thus more development to their flaws. Some examples to multidimensional protagonists are Deadpool and Batman - both characters have defining traits that make them heroic and flawed. For this topic, it would help having an example of a "black and white" protagonist to compare or juxtapose against a "gray" protagonist. – jay 2 years ago
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  • Fine idea, but it needs a sharper thesis. Compare modern day villains to older, mustache twirly ones? There was a good video essay on Wisecrack about this recently, about the need for morally complex villians in a more morally complex age. Article should at least touch on the 90's antihero architype. Major problem is idea is too general, needs either a modern focus or a historical focus. – ecoriell1 2 years ago
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