The Protagonist Archetype

Do you know what a the protagonist archetype is? Some people think it is the Main Character. The Dramatica Theory will guide us through the Journey of

Protagonist ArchetypeThe Guy in Trouble

The Protagonist, in a well structured dramatic plot, is that player that is presented with a problem to solve when the Point of Attack is triggered.

The protagonist usually carries 2 main dramatic functions to the player (or players) that it influences throughout the story. Those functions will guide his personality to follow some actions that are always attached to a protagonist. Those are:

Pursuit and Consider

His job, from the moment a problem is presented, is to try to solve that problem.

If the Protagonist should decide not to solve the problem, then there would be no story.

protagonists are not always positive, tho

In other words,


In order to solve the presented problem, the protagonist uses physical skills and mental skills.

Physical skills = Pursuit

Using his physical skills the protagonist runs after the solution of the main problem.

Mental skills = Consideration

Using mental skills  (Analysis, or Evaluation) the protagonist tries to estimate the situation over and over to find the solution or means for the solution of the problem.


Famous Protagonists

Protagonist Story
Luke Skywalker Star Wars
Dorothy The Wizard of Oz
Harry Potter All stories
William of Baskerville The name of the Rose
Indiana Jones all movies
 Most villains in James Bond stories.
James T. Kirk Star Trek
Simba The Lion King

The protagonist is the diametral opposite archetype of the Antagonist, therefore, they play opposite functions in the story.

Not all characters features need to be opposite to the each other when dealing  with opposite archetypes, but it is advised that a few evident ones are designed for that matter. This way the reader/viewer can spot them more easily.

Most good stories have more one or more sub-plots running along with the main plot. The protagonists for all plots don’t have to be the same.

The following is a great explanation about the Protagonist-Antagonist dinamic pair.

If you have anything to add, please leave a comment.

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