English edit

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Etymology edit

Ancient Greek δευτεραγωνιστής (deuteragōnistḗs, literally second actor), originally in Greek drama, from ἀγωνιστής (agōnistḗs, a combatant, pleader, actor).

By surface analysis, deuter- (second) +‎ agonist (combatant, participant).

Pronunciation edit

  • IPA(key): /ˌduː.təˈɹæɡ.ə.nɪst/, /ˌdju.təˈɹæɡ.ə.nɪst/
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Noun edit

deuteragonist (plural deuteragonists)

  1. (narratology) A secondary character; specifically, the second most important character (after the protagonist).
    • 2001, Donatella Izzo, Portraying the Lady: Technologies of Gender in the Short Stories of Henry James, University of Nebraska Press, page 58:
      The issue is no longer about the artistic representation of woman going on within the story: rather, the art object, now unrelated to the actual woman (at a literal level, at any rate), becomes her deuteragonist and antagonist, and the opposition thus settled becomes further complicated by reversal, exchanges, shifts in their respective positions.
  2. (historical, ancient Greek drama) An actor playing a role (potentially all roles) requiring a second actor to be present on the stage, opposite the protagonist.
    • 2008, A. J. Boyle, editor, Octavia: Attributed to Seneca, Oxford University Press, page 93:
      The first disposition accords with the attested reality of Nero acting in masks resembling his own features or those of women with whom he was in love (Suet. Nero 21.3), especially Poppaea (Dio 63.9.5), and generates a set of roles for the deuteragonist all of which focus on failed counsel; it also underlines the parallelism between the Seneca-Nero and Nero-Prefect scenes, and reinforces the view that the First and Second Prefect are not identical.
    • 2018, Jacques Jouanna, translated by Steven Rendall, Sophocles: A Study of His Theater in Its Political and Social Context, Princeton University Press, page 201:
      In the distribution of the other roles between the deuteragonist and the tritagonist, the same criteria must have applied. When two characters had an important part in a tragedy and could not be played by a single protagonist, the second was played by the deuteragonist. [] The tritagonist, even more than the deuteragonist, had to play several secondary roles.

Usage notes edit

Much less commonly used in everyday speech than protagonist – while protagonist is a common term, deuteragonist is technical.

Synonyms edit

Coordinate terms edit

Translations edit

See also edit

Serbo-Croatian edit

Etymology edit

Borrowed from Ancient Greek δευτεραγωνιστής (deuteragōnistḗs, literally second actor).

Pronunciation edit

  • IPA(key): /deuteraɡǒnist/
  • Hyphenation: de‧u‧te‧ra‧go‧nist

Noun edit

deuteragònist m (Cyrillic spelling деутераго̀нист)

  1. deuteragonist

Declension edit

Further reading edit