The Contagonist

The following  excerpt is taken from

The Dramatica Class Transcripts

William S1 : Could you touch on Contagonist?…

Dramatica : Sure, William! First of all, Dramatica sees 8 archetypal characters. But, Dramatica also sees Millions of non-archetypal characters. It all depends upon how the character elements are combined. The elements fall into “families”, by their natures. Some are Motivations, Some are Methodologies, Some are the character’s Purposes. Others are their Means of Evaluation. There is an internal and external trait, in each of these four categories, and there are sixty four elements all together (by the time we divide Universe, etc., down four levels.

That means that there is one special arrangement in which, eight character each get eight traits, internal and external from each category. And when all eight traits are from the same “family” it forms an archetypal character. These archetypes even form quads! Two quads of four! But they are easiest to see by their dynamic pairs. Protagonist / Antagonist, Reason / Emotion, Sidekick / Skeptic And Guardian / Contagonist. Darth Vader is a Contagonist.

These characters are defined by the elements they contain. Guardian has Conscience, and Help. Contagonist has the dynamically opposed elements of Temptation, and Hinder. Reason has Control, and Logic. Emotion has Uncontrolled and feeling. As you can see, each of these archetypes, has the same elements as more complex characters, just in a consistent or more simplified arrangement.

William S1 : What is the difference between the dramatic purpose of Antagonist and Contagonist?

Dramatica : Now, the contagonist is not the antagonist. The Antagonist is made up of Avoid (or prevent) and Re-consider. This is dynamic to the Protagonist who is Pursue, and Consider. In other words, the antagonist is out there to stop the Protagonist, the contagonist is just trying to push them off the path, Look at conscience and temptation fighting it out. That is the job of Obi Wan and Darth.

William S1 : Can the Contagonist be thought of as the Antagonist’s ally?

Dramatica : Actually, William, it is only a story telling convention, that often the Contagonist is the Antagonist’s ally. But they might also be attached to the Protagonist as well. You see, when we are looking at objective characters, we are not seeing them by their relationship to the Protagonist, but by their function. The contagonist Tempts and Hinders. They will do it to everyone everywhere, not just to the Protagonist. This is often confusing, because most people think the Protagonist has to be the Main Character.

Dan Steele : if viewed from goal standpoint – is antags goal to stop protag, while contag’s goal is to achieve his own objective?

Dramatica : Yes, Dan, in reference to the goal, Protagonist functions as Pursue, and the antagonist functions as Avoid. So, you can see that when we have a Main Character, who is also performing the function of preventing the giant corporation from building a shopping mall in the ecological park, they are a Main Character and an Antagonist! They are trying to stop someone’s goal. The effort to pursue is there first, THEN this character responds.