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Category::played    Hamlet::example    Person::william    Audience::while    Called::major    Leading::story

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In Shakespeare's Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, Hamlet is the protagonist. He is set in a tragic situation, where the ghost of his dead father urges him to take revenge on his uncle, who had murdered the father. Portrait of Hamlet by William Morris Hunt, oil on canvas, circa 1864.

The protagonist (from grc πρωταγωνιστής (protagonistes), meaning "player of the first part, chief actor") or main character is a narrative's central or primary personal figure, who comes into conflict with an opposing major character or force (called the antagonist).<ref>πρωταγωνιστής, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus Digital Library, and Online Etymology Dictionary</ref> The audience is intended to mostly identify with the protagonist. In the theatre of Ancient Greece, three actors played every main dramatic role in a tragedy; the protagonist played the leading role while the other roles were played by the deuteragonist and the tritagonist.

The terms protagonist and main character are variously explained and depending on the source, may denote different concepts.{{ safesubst:#invoke:Unsubst||date=__DATE__ |$B= {{#invoke:Category handler|main}}{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}[citation needed] }} In fiction, the story of the protagonist can be told from the perspective of a different character (who may also but not necessarily, be the narrator). An example would be a narrator who relates the fate of several protagonists - perhaps as prominent figures recalled in a biographical perspective.


Protagonist sections
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