Main character

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The main character , main character or main role in literature or the performing arts is the character who is at stake in the story, the story of which is told, the plot ( dramaturgy or choreography ) of a story , novel , script or film plot , of a play or the libretto of a musical theater (ballet, opera), etc., the protagonist . That is why he is also known colloquially as the " hero of history".

Function of the main character as the protagonist

The story of the main character or protagonist , their conflicts , their adventures or their mental or physical development form the substance of the story. Mostly the protagonist can be recognized by the fact that he experiences a change in the course of the play, i.e. develops through the events and experiences (mostly for the better). The protagonist does not have to be identical to the title character of a work, but this is often the case. Sherlock Holmes solves crimes, Tamino has to pass exams, Harry Potter has to fight Voldemort, but at the same time he is growing up.

Usually an antagonist appears in the stories , who pursues opposite goals as the main character, the criminals in Holmes, The Queen of the Night in Tamino, Voldemort in Harry Potter. Then the conflict between protagonist and antagonist determines the narrative. At the same time, there are often significant minor characters who experience their own story as an accompaniment, Doctor Watson for Holmes, Papageno in the Magic Flute, Ron and Hermione for Harry. If the secondary character is the main character's companion, it is often called a sidekick in comics and films .

The main character does not have to be a human . In addition to aliens in science fiction , z. For example, families , countries or ideas can become the main characters in a story. The same applies to the antagonist.

There are numerous special forms, such as the first lover in the opera. See also: Leading Lady and Leading Man

Sometimes the main character is also the narrator ( first person perspective ), a special narrative perspective , the story can be told personally in the third person, another fictional character can tell the story of the main character (Dr. Watson in Sherlock Holmes ), an omniscient (authorial ) Narrator can know everything about the main character and communicate it to the reader.

Main character vs. Title character

Although it is actually mostly by one and the same figure - is the main character and must roll not always with the title character / -Pulley be equated. The title character is by definition that character in a work who gives it its name - its title (see book title , film title ) - while the main character is always the one who is at the center of the narrated story and / or who significantly drives its action ( see introduction ). The title and main characters do not have to be identical, although this is very often the case in practice, provided that a work title is named after a character that appears in the work. An example: The "Lord of the Rings" is the title character of Tolkien's novel trilogy , but in the plot itself the antagonist of the main character Frodo.

Examples of title characters are Goethe's "Heinrich Faust" (work: Goethe's Faust ), Cervantes' " Junker Don Quixote von der Mancha " ( Don Quixote ), Schiller's "Wilhelm Tell" ( Wilhelm Tell ) or J. K. Rowling's " Harry Potter " ( Harry Potter ).

The main role in the performing arts

In the performing arts and for a main is role- busy performer as the main performer called. In most cases it is at such a major figure at the same time to the protagonists of each plant , but it is also possible that an antagonist holds the lead role.

Impersonating a main character can go hand in hand with supreme fame , especially for film actors . The most important film award that an actor can win is the Oscar in the category " Best Actor " or " Best Actress ".


Web links

Wiktionary: main character  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations