The Real Antagonist In A Wizard Of Earthsea

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Somebody once said, ‘that you don’t really understand an antagonist until you understand why he is a protagonist in his own version of the world,’. A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin is about the journey of a boy named Ged from a clueless little boy into a knowledgeable teenage wizard; going from an antagonist to an extremely powerful antagonist. Now, the quote is especially true for Ged. During his time in Roke at the School for Wizards, he worked very hard to be the best, and in turn caused almost total destruction. For example, when Jasper challenged Ged on Roke Knoll, Ged wasn’t thinking of anything except for beating Jasper and being the best. Ged was so blinded that he would do anything to be the best, whether it was a good thing or not. After taking up Jasper’s challenge, he released a vicious entity into the world that was after him. He thought he was being the heroic protagonist, when really he was being the evil antagonist. Many think that the shadow is in fact the antagonist, but that simply is not true. Ged is the antagonist in A Wizard of Earthsea. This can be seen by understanding the definition of an antagonist, seeing antagonists in real life, as well as the dark side of Ged’s nature.

Most people are accustomed to having the main character be the protagonist. According to John August, a renowned American screenwriter, director, producer, and novelist, ‘in most cases, hero, protagonist, and main character are the same thing,’. ( April 21 11:43 am). I mean, think of your favourite fairytale – take Cinderella, as an example. Cinderella, the main character, happens to be the protagonist and hero of her own story. But, like John August said, this is the scenario that happens in most cases. Ged is one of the special cases, because Ged is the antagonist in A Wizard of Earthsea, and this can be further understood in the definition of an antagonist. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines an antagonist as ‘one that contends with or opposes another’. In A Wizard of Earthsea, the two that content each other the most are Ged and his schoolmate, Jasper. Now, the two boys have never been friends. This could be because Ged and Jasper are too different, as they come from two very different backgrounds. Or perhaps it was because Ged was never really taught how to interact with other people his own age, since he lived in a small town and was quite isolated. Nonetheless, the point is Ged and Jasper had their main disputes over their differences. When the two first meet, Jasper’s duty was to show Ged around the school. They immediately started off on the wrong foot because of Ged’s lack of manners, with Jasper saying to Ged: ‘Though I have heard that manners make the man. – Where now?’ (A Wizard of Earthsea, 50) This point is especially proven in Chapter ____ when Jasper challenged Ged on Roke Knoll. They opposed each others’ views and decided to assert (something) as a position in (their argument): (explain their argument). Really, Ged opposing Jasper without any real meaning would make him a bully, and aren’t they the antagonists that we see the most in our everyday life?

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Antagonists are often seen as the bad guys, and this is due to some similarities with all antagonists that put them in a bad light. Ged is the antagonist in a Wizard of Earthsea, and this can be seen in antagonists in real life. The name ‘Adolf Hitler’ stirs up commotion when you speak it in public. Something in common with Ged and Hitler is that they were both willing to do anything for what they wanted; essentially, their end goal, which is why whenever you say Hitler, heads will turn towards you. As well, they thought that what they were doing was good. Adolf wanted to terminate all of the Jewish people from Germany because he thought it would benefit the greater population and himself. Ged wanted to show off his skills because he thought it would benefit him. Both thought they were doing something beneficial, but in reality it was far from it. Hitler ended up killing innocent people who had only one thing different about them from Hitler: their religion. Ged ended up making a fool of himself and becoming the target of a powerful entity that was out for his blood. Ged’s entire character matches up with what some people would call the most feared antagonist of the twentieth century. (Add more on

Everyone has a dark side to their nature, whether they choose to acknowledge it or not. Some people’s dark sides are more prominent than others, allowing a range of room for humanitarians and serial killers. Ged is the antagonist in A Wizard of Earthsea, and this can be seen in the dark side of Ged’s nature, which can be seen throughout the entirety of the book. The dark side of human nature can be a number of things. If we look at the dark side of human nature as the seven deadly sins, they would be pride, envy, greed, sloth, wrath, lust, gluttony – at 7:28 pm April 19, 2019. When you fulfill all the seven deadly sins, that makes one evil and an antagonist. Ged, who everyone thinks it the hero, has fulfilled all seven of the deadly sins. Ged is a very prideful person. Pride, according to 8:25 pm April 19, 2019 is ‘the excessive belief in one’s abilities’. Ged was so prideful in his power to beat Jasper on Roke Knoll that his sin turned into a living evil entity: the dark side of himself; the shadow. Ged is also very envious of others. He envied the amount of power that others had so much that he tried to match their power and prove he was better than them. This also matches Ged’s greed. He desired for his own gains in power. For sloth, most people believe that sloth refers to laziness, and that is true, but there is another definition. Sloth is really apathy. When a person is apathetic, they no longer care about doing their duty to others. This is especially seen in Ged during the first few chapters of the book, when Ged is apprenticing with Ogion, the mage. Ged was so focused on impressing the girl in the clearing that he no longer cared about his duty as an apprentice. He completely neglected everything just to impress a girl, which relates again to Ged’s pride. Wrath is the sin of rejecting love and patience we should feel for others and instead choosing violent and hateful interaction. Ged does this exactly on multiple occasions, such as when he rejects patience in learning how the world works and instead decides to learn advanced magic. Lust, in our context, can refer to more than just sexual desires. Lust, to Ged, can refer to Ged desiring something forbidden: dark magic. Ged lusts after the dark magic on 2 occasions: once staying at Ogion’s home as an apprentice, and once again when he is challenged by Jasper on Roke Knoll. Gluttony can be construed as the sin of excessive materialism. This can be overeating, as well as overusing things and having too many things, from sports cars to excessive usage of water. Ged is a person of gluttony because he overuses his powers.  


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