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The protagonist is the primary, and usually the most important, or leading character in a narrative or a piece of literature/text. They are often called the hero (man/boy) or the heroine (woman/girl); however, this term is not always used to describe the protagonist. The term itself traces back to Greek drama and theater, where the protagonist was the first actor. The first actor is the person with the leading role in the play, supported by all the other actors in character. In some scenarios, we can have more than one protagonist.
The protagonist may be in conflict with another character, who is call the antagonist, which stems from the Greek “anti” or “rival.” Therefore, the antagonist is the rival of the protagonist, or lead character.
While we often think of the protagonist as the lead character in a fictional story, the term protagonist can also be applied to real-life situations and stories. For instance, an autobiography is a true story written by the person who experienced it. This means that while the story is real, it is still a narrative with characters who happen to be real in our world. This means that the author of the autobiography is both the author and the protagonist of the story written. We can think of this in terms of ourselves. We are living our own lives and have our own stories. Since we tell stories about things that happen to us and things we do, we are the authors and protagonists of our own lives.
When we consider that real-life people can be considered protagonists, it is important to note that not all protagonists are perfect or righteous. Protagonists in well-written stories have character flaws, faults, and problems. A protagonist could be the murderer of horror story. A protagonist may also be a victim in a horror story. Keep in mind that you do not have to like the protagonist, as not all protagonists are likable. They can range from people just like you to people completely opposite of you.
It is up to the reader or audience to determine who is the protagonist and on who the story focuses. You must look at the point of view in which the story is being told, or how exactly the story is being told by the narrator. It may be easy to determine the protagonist if a character is telling a story through their point of view. However, it may take time to discover the protagonist of a story if a narrator is telling a story about characters. In literature, the protagonist is thought to keep the story and characters together and interconnected.
We should also remember that protagonists do not always have to be human. This is especially true in television and movies. Animated movies often feature characters that are talking animals. The protagonist may be a talking rat who wants to cook in a five-star restaurant. The protagonist could even be a dog trying to find his way back home after getting lost. Black Beauty is a famous novel that follows the story of beautiful black horse. The magic of film also allows inanimate objects to be the protagonist. Film allows us to give character and voice to things that may not in the real world. For instance, The Brave Little Toaster tells the story of a vacuum, toaster, blanket, radio, and lamp. In this animated film, the inanimate objects become the protagonists of the story.
The following is a list of protagonists from various forms of literature:
- Pip- the orphan from Great Expectations
- Annie – the orphan from the musical Annie
- Harry Potter – from the Harry Potter series
- Katniss – from The Hunger Games
- Luke Skywalker – from Star Wars
- Ferris Bueller – from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
- Peter Parker – from Spiderman
This bundle contains 5 ready-to-use protagonist worksheets that are perfect to test student knowledge and understanding of what protagonist is and how it can be used. You can use these protagonist worksheets in the classroom with students, or with home schooled children as well.
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Link will appear as Protagonist Examples and Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, July 17, 2017
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.