Friday, October 28, 2011

Killer Characters Blogfest: Antagonist


This week I am participating in the Killer Characters Blogfest, hosted by Deana Barnhart and E.R. King. Today it is the Antagonist. The role of the antagonist in fiction is to oppose the goals of the protagonist. The antagonist can take many forms -- a villain, a boss, that girl who always does better than you in exams -- but the greatest antagonists are those who are deeply enmeshed with the protagonist. You don’t get more enmeshed than Edward Hyde.


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Dr Henry Jekyll is a man struggling with dark impulses who strives to be a decent, morally upright man. By drinking a potion he separates himself from his baser instincts becoming -- literally -- a different man: Edward Hyde. 

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 At first, Jekyll doesn’t try to fight Hyde. Hyde is free from conventional morality; free to be violent and lustful, and wanton. Jekyll is working on a theory of moral dualism: if Hyde holds all the wickedness, then Jekyll will hold all the goodness. It spirals quickly out of control.  When Hyde starts appearing without the aid of the potion, Jekyll realises Hyde’s true strength. By then Jekyll has lost the battle.

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Hyde, as a facet of Jekyll, is one of the most frightening antagonists in literature. Because if Jekyll has a Hyde just waiting to burst out of him, don’t we all? Am I my own worst enemy? Are you yours?

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Who is your favourite literary antagonist? 

25 comments:

  1. Indeed, you don't get much closer than these two :-)

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  2. Am I my own worst enemy? Frightening notion... but something worth examining.

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  3. Great choice! You're right, antagonists don't get much more intimate than Mr. Hyde. I love that story. Wish I'd thought of it.

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  4. Such a good choice! I loved the way you explained it too. Ooo, gave me cold chills.

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  5. Oh, great choice!! Like LG said, I wish I'd thought of it. It's so fun to read all of the posts for this fest, I love the choices!

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  6. @ Sarah, that's what I love so much about them!

    @ Thanks, Mood!

    @ MISH, agreed!

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  7. Thanks, LG! Hyde will always be the creepiest antagonist to me! Once I thought of him, no other antagonist matched up.

    Thanks, Deana! Cold chills, just in time for Halloween! :)


    @ Julie, it's great reading all about killer characters I'd forgotten about or, better still, being introduced to new ones!

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  8. Good choice! I like your reasoning for why you picked him. Mr. Hyde IS Mr. Jekyll. As you said, we can be our own worst enemy. Thanks for participating in the blogfest!

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  9. That is a great choice. I need to go read that book now!

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  10. Awesome choice, he is definitely a creepy character! (Or should I say "they are"?) Read that back in college, loved it. And I like your pictures!

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  11. I've never read the book. Now I want to. This is a great post. Do we all have a little Hyde in us? Shivers.

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  12. @ Thanks, E.R, and thanks for hosting the blogfest, it's been fun!

    @ J.A, thanks! It had been ages since I read it as well, then I picked it up again for the blogfest. Worth it!

    @ Cortney, I love the last picture as well!

    @ Hi Jenny. It's only a short one, and worth a read!

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  13. Love this! It's so chilling. You're so right--we all have darkness inside of us, and that darkness taking over is a frightening idea.

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  14. Great choice! I thought about picking him. We all have goodness and badness within us, and this book is a great reminder of that.

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  15. THAT is a terrific choice! There are so many possibilities, but I love the ones where the villian is a real person, because evil in real people scares me WAAAY more than make-believe monster evil!

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  16. So so true. It's scary to think what lies deep within us. I've always wanted to read this story but haven't gotten to it yet. Heard it's amazing.

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  17. Hyde is a great character :) I love the symbolism of that story.

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  18. Creepy thought, Jen... You're absolutely right, though. Everyone has a Hyde inside, waiting to be let out. Or maybe... maybe waiting not to be "let" out--maybe it's just biding its time. God, I won't sleep tonight. Great job!

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  19. Thanks for all the comments, everyone! This blogfest has been so much fun, and everyone has picked great characters!

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  20. creepy & classic
    love it!
    hes the victim of his own selfish sub nature!

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  21. A real classic. A protagonist who is also an antagonist. Good choice.

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  22. Fabulous choice! I wouldn't have even thought of this, but I love it. Very brilliant. I love the contrast between the two.

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  23. I love this book! The cover at the top is one of my favorite covers ever. I have this version and another, older version, but this one is just so much creepier.

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  24. Thanks everyone!

    @ Sommer, I love this cover as well, and I wish I owned this version!

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