Paradise Lost

Characteristics of The Antagonist 12th Grade

An antagonist is essential to any story. Establishing a clear “bad guy” gives the story more emotion, uniting the reader with the protagonist(s) against a common enemy that is easy to hate. Every story has an antagonist, but only some are evil. The qualifications to be considered evil are much more extreme; one must be completely heartless and indifferent to the harm they cause others, perhaps even enjoy it. Sometimes, a character may be considered evil that isn’t even the antagonist. Michael Corleone of Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather trilogy is an example of this. Whether Michael is evil or not depends on who you ask. There’s a case to be made that he is evil, as he is a mafia boss, making a living off organized crime and ordering murders. Perhaps the best evidence to support this is one of the final scenes of The Godfather Part II, where Michael has his brother Fredo executed. He does have a reason for this, as Fredo betrays the family earlier in the movie, but many view this reaction as unwarranted and truly evil. This is a fair argument, but Michael simply does not have the mind of an evil man. As terrible as the things he does are, he does them for the sake of his family, to provide for and protect them. His immoral...

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