The antagonist owns my heart...but you probably already knew that.
"In many works, the main character has an antagonist, a character that opposes the protagonist's goals and and interest and so creates the major conflict in the work (Hamilton 130)."
I know this may come as a shock to most of you, but I am a huge fan of the antagonist. Maybe I'm just the girl who always falls for the bad guy, but I really think that they make the book, movie, play, etc. I mean what fun is a simple love story unless there is a bad boy in the background causing conflict for the good guy? What fun is a dectivie story unless the cop is sleeping with the criminal? How can there be ANY plot without an antagonist. Ok so maybe it's just me, but I love a good, devious, troublemaker in my stories. It keeps the plot juicy and makes me want to keep turning the pages. And the best part about an antagonist, is that it doesn't have to be a person! It can be nature, an internal personal conflict, a bad memory... all are possibilites.
I have no problem admitting that I'm a Shakespeare geek when it comes down to it... SO I think that my favorite example of an antagonist, is Macbeth. Poor, poor Macbeth. He started out good, and then just got more and more corrupt as the plot unfolded (I love when the protagonists turns into the bad guy haha). But take this quote for example:
"Whence is that knocking?—
How is’t with me, when every noise appals me?
What hands are here! Ha, they pluck out mine eyes.
Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood
Clean from my hand? No, this my hand will rather
The multitudinous seas incarnadine,
Making the green one red."
Macbeth KNOWS that killing Duncan has placed a huge burden on his soul, for we can obviously see that he is getting jumpy and paranoid about everything in the first line! What really gets me with this quote though is how we can still see traces of the protagonist in him, even though the antagonist is taking him over. It's like he knew what the right thing to do was, but figured the hell with it, I'm going to be evil! That's why the blood symbolizes his guilt.
But in all honestly, I think my girl Lady Macbeth had a lot to do with the corrupting.She is the one that basically tells him to shut up and wash his hands if he is worried about a little blood, haha. What a girl! Oh, the joys of being a woman. Persuasion is key haha.