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Old 03-03-2018, 09:59 PM
 
1,422 posts, read 242,675 times
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Acting-related post to whoever wants to answer:
A. Screenwriter J. Gideon Sarantinos has a blog called ScreenFirm. He has a 8/18/2014 entry called "Protagonist Vs Main Character: Is There A Difference?" The following paraphrases the respective sections:

1. A "protagonist" is that ancient Greek theatrical term to indicate the character see first on stage and thus the story centerpiece. That term is still used in theatrical groups. When using "main character", that is more common for TV/film to say the same thing. Despite being interchangeably and almost the same, we do have some differences between the terms.

A protagonist is thematically attached to the story as drive the story and go through character development. That development is the arc of spiritually, intellectually, and emotionally growing. At the end of the story, they have come out as a person who has had an awakening. They have to have a unique goal and the most difficult challenges. This story is their story and the story exists because of them.

It adds the protagonist is basically the story's hero and who the audience most connects with. If protagonist and main character are to be distinct characters, the the protagonist is a more essential character.

2. The MC is that character who gets the most screen time. The story is being developed through their eyes as it is their POV is driving the plot. The MC is the storyteller and story-driver. Compare that to the protagonist who experiences it. Thus, the MC has a deeper connection to the story.

When the MC is not the protagonist holds, the MC drives the plot and are not the thematic glue of the story. An MC doesn't experience particular character development and instead acts as a vessel to let the protagonist develop.

To use a notable example, let's use "The Shawshank Redemption". Andy is the MC but Ellis is the protagonist.

B. In the case of "Fairy Tail", Happy, Gray, and Erza are main whereas Natsu and Lucy are lead characters (leads are the most important main characters). Using the descriptions above, I would argue that Lucy falls more under both the MC and protagonist parts. Natsu is the deuteragonist and second lead character. Of course, I am using the

The Tumblr blog called The Fairy's Tales has an 4/18/2015 entry called "Natsu and Lucy are both the protagonists of Fairy Tail". It mentions that "Putting discussion of whether main character = protagonist aside, Mashima-sensei used the exact same word in Japanese, 主人公, to describe both Natsu and Lucy. He doesn’t make a distinction between them.

Fairy Tail is mainly told in Lucy’s POV, but BOTH Natsu and Lucy are the protagonists. They both play an important role in the story. They are BOTH the 'main characters' in the sense that they take on the leading roles, and they are the only two to be described as “主人公”, which sets them apart from the rest.

However, there are times when Natsu is the only one that appears on promotional images. Fairy Tail is a shonen manga after all, and it’s not surprising that Natsu is the one that gets picked if only one character can be chosen."

Note: The Japanese character shown is typically translated as "protagonist", "main character", "hero/heroine", etc.

Upon reading the above, would you rather play a protagonist or main character? When there are multiple main characters, I personally use "lead character" for the most important character(s).

-links about protagonist vs. main character: ladygeekgirl.wordpress.com/…/antagonists-vs-villains-vs-an…/
krrouse.deviantart.com/…/The-Difference-Between-Villains-an…
iml.jou.ufl.edu/proj…/fall10/kane_amanda/character_types.htm
screenrioter.com/…/Main-Character-vs-Protagonist-in-Foxcatc…
aminoapps.com/…/who-is-the-tr…/pLtQ_uBLr1EW8WX1Vk7NKvxN7a8Dx

myanimelist.net/forum/?topicid=1547697
anime.stackexchange.com/…/who-is-the-main-character-of-fair…
vocabulary.com/articles/chooseyourwords/hero-protagonist/
jerryjenkins.com/multiple-main-characters/
well-storied.com/b…/how-to-define-your-characters-story-goal
narrativefirst.com/…/redefining-protagonist-and-main-charac…
narrativefirst.com/…/when-the-main-character-is-not-the-pro…
helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/protagonist-and-main-chara…/

gideonsway.wordpress.com/…/how-a-protogonist-differs-from-…/
screenwriter-to-screenwriter.com/…/the-confusion-between-m…/

fandomdonuts.wordpress.com/…/difference-between-protagonis…/

bayt.com/…/what-is-the-difference-between-the-protagonist-…/

softschools.com/examples/grammar/protagonist_examples/187/
enotes.com/…/what-difference-between-narrator-focalizer-474…
penandthepad.com/difference-between-observer-participant-na…
writingexcuses.com/…/…/13-1-hero-protagonist-main-character/
emwelsh.com/blog/main-character-versus-protagonist
cayceberryman.com/difference-villain-antagonist/
gideonsway.wordpress.com/…/what-to-consider-when-writing-b…/
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