AP English Literature & Composition | PROTAGONISTS | 60second Recap®
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AP English Literature & Composition | PROTAGONISTS | 60second Recap®

September 15, 2019


Protagonist. That’s a fancy way of saying
main character. I’ll tell you everything you need to know about protagonists—just give
me one minute of your time. Here’s an easy way to figure out the protagonist. Open your book. Does the book use the word
“I” a lot? Like there’s a person telling you a story about him or herself? There’s your protagonist. And that book you’re
reading is his or her story. If your book doesn’t use “I,” it means there’s
a narrator telling the story. So to find your protagonist, look for the
person whose name is mentioned the most—perhaps whose name is even in the title. Seriously—it’s that obvious. Now that you know who the protagonist is,
think of him or her as your traveling companion. You’re going to go on a journey with this
character. Sometimes it’s from one physical location
to another, and sometimes it’s from some emotional place to another. Whatever the journey, you’re going to watch
that character change. And that’s because of this last thing—you
might call it the most important point about a book’s protagonist. To really understand that main character,
you need to understand what he or she wants. What’s the protagonist’s problem or issue
and how are they going to solve it. The protagonist’s motivation is what gets
the journey going—and hopefully will motivate you to read that book.

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  1. A protagonist isn't a main character, it's a character who is trying to cause something to happen. Just as an antagonist isn't just a villain, it's a character who is trying to prevent something from happening. Sometimes the main characters are antagonists and the villains are protagonists. Like in your average episode of Scooby Doo

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