From LitWiki

"The central character (masculine or feminine) in a work. The character who is the focus of interest" (Harmon & Holman 246).

  • A hero traditionally has positive qualities such as high ethical standards, commitment to duty, perseverance, and courage. An antihero possesses negative qualities such as cowardice and dishonesty.
  • "In criticism the terms carry no connotations of virtuousness or honour" (Cuddon 406).
  • "An evil man or a wicked woman may be the central characters, like Macbeth and Lady Macbeth" (Cuddon 406).

See also: heroic ideal.

Works Cited:

  • Harmon, William and Holman,C. Hugh. A Handbook to Literature. 7th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall., 1996.
  • Cuddon, John Anthony. A Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory. 3rd ed. Worcester, Great Britain: Billings & Sons Ltd., 1991.
  • Harris, Robert. "Homepage." Virtual Salt. 2 Jan 2002. 10 Feb. 2006.