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Types of Protagonists in Your Character Analysis Essay

Knight on a Horse

Between the major and minor characters of a story, the most distinguished are the hero and the villain. The protagonist is the main hero of the story, the one to follow all the way through his adventures and the root for in the main conflict with the antagonist. What types of protagonists are encountered most often in fiction?

Perfect Hero

The strongest, the smartest, the luckiest… His heart is pure and his mind is sharp. He selflessly defends the ideals he wants to protect. This type of hero is perfect in every way, and that itself is enough to raise an eyebrow of an experienced reader. On the other hand, many people may feel inspired by such a protagonist, will believe in restoring world justice and will want to change for the better themselves. Superman, King Arthur, Hercules are all perfect heroes that have no weaknesses and stand on the side of justice.

Anti-Hero

The anti-hero does not possess the traits of a typical hero. Even though he is the main character, often his features are repulsive. We would not want him near us, because his thoughts are dishonest and his actions graceless. He is not necessarily evil, but we cannot find it in ourselves to gift him with compassion. A classic example of an anti-hero is Holden Caulfield from The Catcher in the Rye. When analyzing this type of character, we may want to research his backstory or find their flaws within the text to prove his character features.

Average Hero

A character that appeals to almost everybody, the average hero represents his title in every aspect of his life. He has an average life, an average income, average friends, and average ambitions. Usually, his peaceful routine life is suddenly disrupted by an unscheduled event, leading to turmoil of adventures. We sympathize with the average hero, because we often see ourselves in one. He is loyal, brave, and ready to face danger in order to preserve something valuable to him. Anyone can become the average hero in any moment of their life, and maybe we love the fiction that features average heroes exactly for the fact that our secret dreams lie in the hope that tomorrow our adventure will begin. Bilbo Baggins from The Hobbit is a perfect example of the average hero.

Superman in Business Suit

Underdog Hero

The misunderstood, the misfit, the outcast. Who will root for them? They are often shy, come from a shaky background or are damaged because a physiological trauma. Their difference makes them special, and in the course of the story, they use it to their advantage to climb above everyone else and save the day. This type of hero is popular in literature for teenagers, as they are often misunderstood but want to be successful and appreciated nonetheless. The worldwide beloved “boy who lived”, Harry Potter, is the epitome of the underdog hero.

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