the notion of antihero is used to define the character who,
in a story, exhibits behaviors and characteristics that do not coincide
with those presented by conventional heroes. Thus, although their
actions may be considered heroic, their procedures and purposes are not.
In fiction, the antihero is often selfish, hermit, gruff
and heartless until his heroic actions function as redemption. With
social recognition and a new conception of himself, the antihero becomes and
ends the story in a position close to that of a traditional hero.
The idea of antihero is also used to name the character
who does not have the qualities attributed to heroes, even if his goals and
achievements are the same. Heroes are generally brave, strong, and
beautiful - the antihero lacks these attributes. A cowardly and unattractive
young man who, thanks to his efforts, manages to save his people by confronting
a villain can be considered an antihero.
One of the alternative names that this type of hero sometimes receives is an antagonistic protagonist,
and this reinforces the differences that can be seen between his characteristics
and those of the conventional hero, especially the questionable nature of his
methods and motivations.
Two prominent examples of novels in which the protagonist can be described as
anti-hero are El ingenioso hidalgo don Quijote de la Mancha and La
vida de Lazarillo de Tormes and its fortunes and adversities. In the
acclaimed saga of criminal novels titled Millennium, created by the
Swedish writer Stieg Larsson, we can appreciate a modern version of antihero, in
this case a young hacker named Lisbeth Salander with an
antisocial personality and little related to the traditional heroine model.
In the world of comics there are many characters that respond to this
description, such as Red Hood, The Darkness, John Constantine, Deadpool, Ghost
Rider, The Punisher and Vegeta. It goes without saying that many of them have
come to the cinema, generally as protagonists, and this movement can be very
positive for those people who feel drowned in a world that pursues perfection as
the only form of success or recognition.
The antihero has gained special popularity in recent years, precisely because
of that revitalizing effect it has on those who do not see Clark Kent when they
look in the mirror. Perhaps the etymology of the word does not do its best to
clearly express its meaning, since it makes us think of something negative: at
first glance, antihero seems to be a synonym for villain or
antagonistic character, and this interpretation is not necessarily correct.
In addition to the benefits that the staging of an antihero can bring so that
certain people rejected by society can be reflected in a main
character, the flexibility it offers when defining their personality is greater,
and this can open doors at doses of humor and humanity much greater than
possible in characters as rigid and cold as Superman.
One of the aspects that is usually worked on in greater depth when creating
an antihero that a hero is his past, the events and experiences that led
him to become a being alien to social impositions. He usually has very
painful stories, has suffered a deep disappointment in a relationship or a loss
due to the activity of a criminal gang; Starting from suffering, he decides to
rebuild himself, paying no attention to anything other than his thirst for
revenge or his particular way of understanding morality and justice. The
antihero is said to be less extreme or defined than the hero and villain.