protagonism, n.
/proh tag"euh nist/, n.
1. the leading character, hero, or heroine of a drama or other literary work.
2. a proponent for or advocate of a political cause, social program, etc.
3. the leader or principal person in a movement, cause, etc.
4. the first actor in ancient Greek drama, who played not only the main role, but also other roles when the main character was offstage. Cf. deuteragonist, tritagonist.
5. Physiol. agonist.
[1665-75; < Gk protagonistés actor who plays the first part, lit., first combatant, equiv. to prôt(os) first + agonistés one who contends for a prize, combatant, actor. See PROTO-, ANTAGONIST]

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      in ancient Greek drama, the first or leading actor. The poet Thespis is credited with having invented tragedy when he introduced this first actor into Greek drama, which formerly consisted only of choric dancing and recitation. The protagonist stood opposite the chorus and engaged in an interchange of questions and answers. According to Aristotle in his Poetics, Aeschylus brought in a second actor, or deuteragonist, and presented the first dialogue between two characters. Aeschylus' younger rival, Sophocles, then added a third actor, the tritagonist, and was able to write more complex, more natural dialogue. That there were only three actors did not limit the number of characters to three because one actor would play more than one character.

      In the early days of Greek drama, the dramatists chose and often trained their own actors. By 449 BC, however, the leading actors were chosen by the chief magistrates of Athens, the archons. These leading actors, the protagonists, were responsible for selecting the supporting actors, the deuteragonists and tritagonists. The protagonists also competed for acting prizes that were independent of the contests for the best tragedies. The term protagonist has come to be used for the principal character in a novel, story, or drama.

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Universalium. 2010.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Protagonist — Protagonist …   Deutsch Wörterbuch

  • protagonist — 1. This is a good example of what Fowler (1926) called a ‘popularized technicality’, i.e. a term used in a special domain (in this case, ancient Greek drama) and extended into general use with consequent (and controversial) shifts in meaning. In… …   Modern English usage

  • protagonist — PROTAGONÍST, Ă, protagonişti, ste, s.m. şi f. 1. Persoană care joacă rolul principal într o piesă de teatru, într o operă, într un film; p. gener. erou, personaj principal. 2. Reprezentant de frunte al unei mişcări, al unei teorii etc.; promotor …   Dicționar Român

  • Protagonist — Sm Erster im Wettkampf, Hauptfigur per. Wortschatz fach. (18. Jh.) Entlehnung. Entlehnt aus l. protagonista, vielleicht nach dem Vorbild des Englischen. Dieses aus gr. prōtagōnistḗs, zu gr. prõtos erster und gr. ágōn Kampf .    Ebenso nndl.… …   Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen sprache

  • Protagonist — Pro*tag o*nist, n. [Gr. prwtagonisth s; prw^tos first + agonisth s an actor, combatant, fr. agw n a contest.] One who takes the leading part in a drama; hence, one who takes lead in some great scene, enterprise, conflict, or the like. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Protagonist — Protagonist,der:⇨Vorkämpfer Protagonist 1.→Pionier 2.→Hauptperson …   Das Wörterbuch der Synonyme

  • protagonist — protagònist (protagonȉst) m DEFINICIJA 1. a. glumac nosilac glavne uloge b. nosilac radnje u književnom djelu (romanu, drami); glavni junak 2. retor. pokretač zbivanja, projekta i sl.; začetnik, inicijator ETIMOLOGIJA grč. prōtagōnistḗs …   Hrvatski jezični portal

  • Protagonist — (v. gr.), 1) Schauspieler, welcher die erste Rolle spielte; 2) der zuerst in der Volksversammlung sprach; 3) Sieger in den Wettkämpfen; 4) der die Oberhand in etwas hat …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Protagonist — (griech.), der Erste im Wettkampf, auch erster Schauspieler, Hauptrolle (s. Deuteragonist) …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Protagoníst — Protagoníst, (grch.), im altgriech. Drama der erste Schauspieler, der die Hauptrollen spielte …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Protagonist — Protagonist, griech. dtsch., der erste Kämpfer, Schauspieler, Redner, Redner …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

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