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Post Reply Does the main character HAVE to be the same character as the protagonist?
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Posted 5/9/15

Trinitywarrior wrote:

No. I think shows that manage to have the main character and the lead character be different are often very good.


Than shows with a protagonist?
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Posted 5/9/15 , edited 5/9/15


Is an 'unreliable narrator' bad or good?
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Posted 5/9/15 , edited 5/9/15
Depends how you look at it. They're good for story, but in you only consider reliable information, they are bad for it.

An unreliable narrator is a narrator who's narrations are seriously flawed. They give false information on things, or warped views on things. Often times, these narrators are insane. A simple example is a narrator stating a woman's dress is pink when it's blue.

Now, most of the time, you won't know they are unreliable. In fact, in first-person, you normally just trust what the MC says. You often times find out how messed up they are at the end of a story, making for a twist ending.

You won't really get a better explanation other than experiencing it. Here's a for "The Tell-Tale Heart". Not very good format, but it beats nothing.

http://xroads.virginia.edu/~hyper/POE/telltale.html




EDIT: In case you meant good or evil, there's no real dictating they have to be evil. But honestly, I've only seem them portrayed as evil.
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Posted 5/9/15

NordicPyro wrote:

Depends how you look at it. They're good for story, but in you only consider reliable information, they are bad for it.

An unreliable narrator is a narrator who's narrations are seriously flawed. They give false information on things, or warped views on things. Often times, these narrators are insane. A simple example is a narrator stating a woman's dress is pink when it's blue.

Now, most of the time, you won't know they are unreliable. In fact, in first-person, you normally just trust what the MC says. You often times find out how messed up they are at the end of a story, making for a twist ending.

You won't really get a better explanation other than experiencing it. Here's a for "The Tell-Tale Heart". Not very good format, but it beats nothing.

http://xroads.virginia.edu/~hyper/POE/telltale.html




EDIT: In case you meant good or evil, there's no real dictating they have to be evil. But honestly, I've only seem them portrayed as evil.


Thanks for the information.
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Posted 5/9/15 , edited 5/9/15

qualeshia3 wrote:


PurpleDjango wrote:


qualeshia3 wrote:

Let me know if a thread like this one exist or not.
Thanks a bunches.

Explain your opinion in great detail.

I can really use help on this with some advice from the follow writers and readers out there. The title speaks for itself.

Bonus Questions:

1) Would you rather read or write in first or third person?

2)How can you write first person and tell everyone's point of view?

Enjoy!!!


No, the protagonist can be ONE of the leading characters of the show.



Like a lead character?


The Protagonist can be either the main character, or any of the lead characters.
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Posted 5/9/15

qualeshia3 wrote:


Magical-Soul wrote:


qualeshia3 wrote:


Magical-Soul wrote:

"Main Character" and "Protagonists" are exactly the same thing.

There is no story where the main character and protagonists are different. For if you ask: "Who's the main character?" You would reply the same for either question.

Protagonist = Main character.

Do not separate the two, there is nothing dividing them.


Really now? Not one has more influence on the story than the other.


Absolutely none.

If you search "main character" or "protagonist" both will say they're also the other.

There can also be two protagonists or two main characters, even if one is more important than the other.

A good example of two protagonist/main characters is Tom and Jerry. Neither Tom or Jerry is necessarily more important than the other, and they're both the catalysts for everything. But Tom would probably be the more important of the two.

Most stories are told from Tom's perspective, even if Jerry is sometimes the "hero".


I always thought that the main character was similar to the title character while protagonist is not.


No, like Tom and Jerry names are both in the title, but they do not possess different titles.


Protagonist is just a more elegate term for "main character" as that's two words. Protagonist is the proper way to say it for a story of some kind. People here may tell you differently from animes/games/movies they've experienced, but the writers of these stories will never say the protagonist and main character are different roles, nor are they different people.

The synonyms for protagonist are central/lead/etc. It's contradictory to have a "main character" than a "protagonist" you can't have both. You can have two protagonists or two main characters. But giving them separate titles that mean the exact same thing negates the other.

Deuteragonists is what people normally mean when there's another character of some importance.

Examples? Sonic is the protagonist, Tails is a deuteragonist in the earlier games.

It's easy to get caught up with playing with words, but it just makes things harder to understand. xD

Short answer? Nah, they're not different. There's just two ways to say one thing.

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Posted 5/9/15


Okay then.

It wouldn't matter if I used main character in first-person narrative and/or protagonist in third-person narrative?
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Posted 5/9/15


This is slowly becoming confusing for me.
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Posted 5/10/15 , edited 5/10/15
Well, imo the main character doesn't have to be the protagonist (the phrase is a bit confusing lol)
There are actually 3 books I can remember that do that. (and explore in 3 different ways the same thing)
- Portuguese language -
1.Noites na Taverna - Luiz Álvares de azevedo

2.Iaiá Garcia - Machado de Assis

3. Clarice Lispector

Well, I could try explain and detail them, but it would take too much time from me, and it would be very hard too, since I don't have english language skills enough to detail them (it would be very confusing to read)

About international books...
perhaps Sherlock Holmes and Kafka's Metamorphosis ?
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No, the main character does not have to be the same as the protagonist. For example, in the famous novel and movie the Great Gatsby, the main character is Jay Gatsby because the whole story is basically about him; but, the protagonist is Nick Carraway, who we identify with and see progress as a person throughout the story. At least, that's my interpretation of the different between main character and protagonist.

1. Personally, I tend to write in first person, but I enjoy a good third person depending on the content of what I'm writing.
2. You could always do first person for the protagonist and third person for the other characters.
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Posted 5/10/15

Magical-Soul wrote:


qualeshia3 wrote:


Magical-Soul wrote:


qualeshia3 wrote:


Magical-Soul wrote:

"Main Character" and "Protagonists" are exactly the same thing.

There is no story where the main character and protagonists are different. For if you ask: "Who's the main character?" You would reply the same for either question.

Protagonist = Main character.

Do not separate the two, there is nothing dividing them.


Really now? Not one has more influence on the story than the other.


Absolutely none.

If you search "main character" or "protagonist" both will say they're also the other.

There can also be two protagonists or two main characters, even if one is more important than the other.

A good example of two protagonist/main characters is Tom and Jerry. Neither Tom or Jerry is necessarily more important than the other, and they're both the catalysts for everything. But Tom would probably be the more important of the two.

Most stories are told from Tom's perspective, even if Jerry is sometimes the "hero".


I always thought that the main character was similar to the title character while protagonist is not.


No, like Tom and Jerry names are both in the title, but they do not possess different titles.


Protagonist is just a more elegate term for "main character" as that's two words. Protagonist is the proper way to say it for a story of some kind. People here may tell you differently from animes/games/movies they've experienced, but the writers of these stories will never say the protagonist and main character are different roles, nor are they different people.

The synonyms for protagonist are central/lead/etc. It's contradictory to have a "main character" than a "protagonist" you can't have both. You can have two protagonists or two main characters. But giving them separate titles that mean the exact same thing negates the other.

Deuteragonists is what people normally mean when there's another character of some importance.

Examples? Sonic is the protagonist, Tails is a deuteragonist in the earlier games.

It's easy to get caught up with playing with words, but it just makes things harder to understand. xD

Short answer? Nah, they're not different. There's just two ways to say one thing.



Yes, all of this. You can have the protagonist be the villain and the antagonist be the hero but main character and protagonist are the same thing.
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Posted 5/10/15
I'm no expert, but it seems to be pretty widely accepted that "main character" and "protagonist" are one and the same. From what I found, those who are attempting to distinguish between them are also unable to agree on what the distinguishing factors should be. This seems like more of a semantic argument than an artistic one. In other words, by definition the two terms should have the same meaning, and the only reason that might change is if the literary community decides there's value in redefining one of them in order to distinguish between different types of characters.
xxJing 
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Posted 5/10/15
I know a few shows that don't have a specific protagonist, or a specific main character, or whatever you would like to call it.

.hack//sign - Technically the show is about Tsukasa, however more often than not it's about other characters discussing how to help Tsukasa than Tsukasa actually doing anything.

Psycho-Pass - It's kind of difficult to tell whether it's Kogami or Akane. They both have equal impact on the story.

Bokurano - The story revolves around 12 kids who pilot a giant robot in order to save the world, the twist is that only one pilots it at a time, and every episode 1 kid dies. Each episode focuses around a different kid, meaning they are all protagonists for an episode or two then it moves on.

Durarara - Technically it's supposed to be Mikado, but sometimes the story just forgets about him. I'd say this series doesn't have a single main character.

Baccano - This one doesn't even technically have a main character. It's a bunch of stories that come together.

DLH112 
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Posted 5/10/15 , edited 5/10/15
I don't know about the exact semantics of this, but I want to mention Final Fantasy XII. The plot revolves completely around Ashe pretty much, but the 'main'/player character is Vaan, who is almost completely inconsequential to the story. Vaan is only used because he is an 'outsider'/inexperienced and will ask questions, and therefore produce exposition for the player.
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Posted 5/10/15 , edited 5/10/15
No, they do not have to be the same. The main character is whose eyes we see through. The protagonist is the one who is after the story goal. Yes, the protagonist can be the main character, but the main character does not have to be the protagonist. For example in Death Parade
. The protagonist does not equal hero as a villain can be a protagonist, while the hero is the antagonist. The main character can be really any character you want them to be, as long as they are the ones whose eyes we see through.

1) I prefer to write in first person as I like to write from their perspective.
2) Not sure sure exactly by that unless you just describe everyone else's point of view.
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