The Antagonists In Sir Gawain And The Green Knight

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The role of antagonists in preceding and contemporary literature has always been illustrated as a negative and opposing force in a story. Hence the term “antagonist,” which was derived from the Greek word “antagonistēs” meaning rival or competitor (LiteraryDevices Editors). However, the role of an antagonist is just as essential as the role of the protagonist. The antagonist, who can also be called a “villain,” plays a driving force in a story to persuade the protagonist, also known as the “hero,” to reach the ultimate ending. An ultimate ending can be the “happily ever after” ending in fairytales or fulfilling a mission in tales of quests. There are numerous glorious characters that have been illustrated as antagonists in the stories and poems written by renowned writers, namely, William Shakespeare. In A Midsummer Night’s Dream, William Shakespeare introduces a captivating character, Oberon, King of the Fairies. It cannot be easily identifiable that King Oberon is the antagonist, however as the plot thickens, it can be argued that he does indeed take on the role as the villain. On the contrary, in the unknown author’s poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, the Green Knight takes on the challenging role of the antagonist, which is clear from the very beginning of the poem. Throughout the essay, I will compare and contrast the…show more content…
A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight can both be examined as low fantasy tales. A low fantasy tale is ‘characterized by being set in the primary, or "real" world, or a rational and familiar fictional world, with the inclusion of magical elements’ (Jonathan Mackley). However, they fall into contrasting sub-genres. While the former can be argued as a “fairy story” because of its inclusion of magic and fairies, the latter, even though it involves magic, can be regarded as more of a chivalric fantasy
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