Antagonists and protagonists are two of the most prominent characters in fiction. Antagonists are usually “the bad guy” who opposes the protagonist. They provide obstacles for the protagonist to overcome, which makes their story more interesting. Protagonists are typically heroes that strive to achieve a goal or accomplish something important for themselves or others.

Your Antagonist

Antagonists don’t always have to be evil; they can also be people with different opinions than you, which gives them an obstacle too! Every thriller needs an antagonist because they are the bad guy. Antagonists can be obvious or subtle, but they always have to oppose the protagonist in some way. Antagonists also provide tension and conflict for your main character to overcome, making things interesting.

However, Antagonists do not necessarily have to be a person. They can be anyone from a stranger or a villain to an oppressive government, or an illness. It could be a place, a situation, a thing, or an attitude within the protagonist. In a war film, for instance, the antagonist may be an entire country.

The antagonist may have an entire group behind him/her, much like the protagonist does! This could be a large social movement or even just one other person who helps create conflict in your story.

And there is the Antagonist with an Opinion: This antagonist is not necessarily evil or bad; he/she may simply disagree with you about certain things. If your protagonist loves tech gadgets, this person might hate tech gadgets because of how easily accessible information is available and how people can communicate with anyone and everyone. Antagonists play a big role in the story because they challenge your protagonist’s beliefs, goals or opinions.

Antagonists vs Villains:

Antagonists and villains are different types of characters, but they can sometimes be one in the same. A villain is a character who makes it their mission to destroy your main character for selfish motivations or gains, while an antagonist does not necessarily have to want something bad from them; instead, they simply oppose the protagonist in a way that makes it difficult for them to achieve their goals.

Your Protagonist

Protagonists are typically heroes that strive to achieve a goal or accomplish something important for themselves or others. They may not always be perfect, but they have a positive impact on the story and can be something to look up to. Antagonists will want something bad for them and will do just about anything to get what they want, even if it means hurting others.

What are the 5 traits?

Protagonists and antagonists need to be clearly defined because they have different traits. Antagonists are typically mean and cruel, while protagonists often know the right thing to do even if it is hard for them. Antagonists can be up against one person or an entire force of something evil. Protagonists should always show bravery, never give up hope, and try their best!

1. Protagonists are more likely to have a conscience and morals

Morals are central to the development of your protagonist because it helps to set them apart from the antagonist. Antagonists tend not to have a conscience and only want things that benefit themselves, whereas protagonists will do anything for their friends or family.

2. Antagonists don’t care about the consequences of their actions


Antagonists don’t have a moral compass. They are often manipulative and sneaky, so they will do anything to get what they want. Antagonists tend not to care about the consequences of their actions because it doesn’t affect them in any way. The antagonist’s only goal is self-preservation while the protagonist wants everyone around them safe which makes for a very big difference between these two types.

3. Protagonists have a sense of purpose while antagonists do not

Purpose is what sets them apart from each other. Antagonists don’t have a sense of purpose. Even if they do want something out of their actions, there is no real reason behind it. The protagonist has a sense of purpose because they need to save someone or protect what’s important in their life. Antagonists tend not to think about the things that matter which makes them very different from protagonists who always have the other person in mind.

4. Protagonists are able to change while antagonists cannot


Flexibility is another distinguishing feature between these two types of characters. Antagonists are set in their ways and they don’t want to change, even if it’s something that is actually better for them or could help them along the way. They think staying who they currently are will work out just fine which makes them a static character.

Protagonists on the other hand are much more open to change and growth because they understand that being set in their ways will only allow them to remain stagnant as a person which is not beneficial at all long term.

5. Protagonists feel empathy for others, while antagonists only feel it for themselves or those they love

When it comes to empathy, protagonists feel it for everyone. Antagonists only empathize with people they are close to, like family members or loved ones, but not strangers or even enemies. Antagonists usually have no problem stepping on others if it will help them.

Protagonists move away from violent acts and have a sense of honour. They will defend them self or their loved ones if necessary, but not to the detriment of others.

Antagonists on the other hand see violence as a means of solving problems and don’t care who gets hurt in doing so while showing absolutely no remorse for what they did.

The Antagonist might feel empathy towards some people but it’s only because he feels sorry for them for what he’s doing to them.

Examples of Antagonists:

Some of the greatest villains of all times: The Joker (Batman), Lord Voldemort (Harry Potter), Cruella De Ville (101 Dalmatians), Scar (Lion King), the Wicked Witch of the West (The Wizard of Oz) …



Antagonists act out of pure malice while protagonist’s act out of love. Antagonists are focused on gaining power while protagonists are focused on self improvement and helping others achieve their goals. Antagonists show no remorse for actions taken toward the protagonist or anyone else, but they feel bad about what he is doing to the protagonist.

Protagonists always have someone else’s safety. They are identifiable, and they can be simple or complex depending on how they change throughout the novel … so make your protagonist interesting, likeable, and charismatic, a hero, a survivor, a fighter, or someone who cannot fit in but is still good at heart.

Antagonists won’t warm the reader’s heart but are built on a different set of values that make them complex in their own way. Antagonists have no redeeming qualities and they only want to hurt others for their own good … so be sure to make your antagonist nasty, powerful, cunning, selfish, gutsy, unpredictable, uncaring.

The Antagonist is a necessary part of writing and the most important character in your story, so take your time creating this interesting villain, get to know and understand them, because your readers will want to be able to identify with them.

That’s it! Hope you enjoyed this blog post about protagonists vs antagonists.


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