Musical Protagonist / Antagonist / Catalyst Trios That I Love?

Guten Morgen, Leute! Characters are an essential part of pretty much every story a person can think up. Characters are often the parts of a story that will stick with a person far into the future. In my personal experience, characters are often what recall my memory to books, musicals, movies, anything really. And, where there are characters, there are protagonists, antagonists, and catalysts. For today, we’ll be focusing on the musical protagonists, antagonists, and catalysts that I love! Los geht’s! 

  • Christine, the Phantom, and Raoul – When it comes to these three, I would say that the roles of protagonist, antagonist, and catalyst couls porentially be doled out and assigned to different characters depending on the way in which a person views the story of PHANTOM. However, I think that most people would classify Christine as being the protagonist, the Phantom as being the antagonist, and Raoul as being the catalyst. While I don’t necessarily agree with this ordering, I do think that that’s the generally best accepted ordering. These characters share a pretty complicated, intertwined storyline and due to my slightly unpopular view of the character roles of these characters, I have taken it upon myself to look into these characters quite a bit and have become quite attached to most of them!
PHANTOM, Oberhausen (Germany) production!
  • Sisi, Franz Joseph, and der Tod (Death) Looking at this arrangement I’ve set up, I think that it’s important to first establish that in regard to this trio, I’ve set it up to be that Franz Joseph is Sisi’s antagonist, not that he’s the musical’s antagonist (I think that would have to be Lucheni). So why is Franz Joseph Sisi’s antagonist? Well, that’s pretty simple, actually. He’s Sisi’s antagonist because he’s always hindering her, trying to sway her away from her dreams. And while it’s undeniable that he loves Sisi, he doesn understand her love and need for adventure. He doesn’t really understand Sisi at all, really. And, for years, he, by his lack of ability to stand up to his mother, makes Sisi miserable. He never stands up for her and drives Sisi deeper into her depression. I think it’s pretty easy to understand why der Tod is the catalyst in this situation: he drives the story forward. Whole it’s definitely easily said that der Tod doesn exactly help Sisi, I think that we also see that he doesn’t go about his business cognitive that he’s hurting Sisi. He doesn get a choice in what he does: he’s Death, after all. And while der Tod is often in direct opposition to Sisi and what she wants, I feel like he doesn’t quite fit the antagonist role.

(From left to right:) Franz Joseph, Sisi, and der Tod

  • Valjean, Javert, and the Bishop – In the case of LES MISÉRABLES, so many characters could potentially fit into that catalyst role but I think that the Bishop is quite possibly the best example of a catalyst in Valjean’s storyline. After all, Valjean would never have turned his life around if it weren’t for the fact that the Bishop showed him kindness. In that way, I do think that the Bishop is the most crucial catalyst in Valjean’s life. Why? Because, if it weren’t for the the Bishop, LES MIZ wouldn’t be the story we know today and it would be missing one of its key themese: forgiveness.

Simon Gleeson as Valjean, Hayden Tee as Javert


That’s it for me! Who are your favorite protagonist/antagonist/catalysts? Danke und tschüss!


9 thoughts on “Musical Protagonist / Antagonist / Catalyst Trios That I Love?

  1. Never thought of things like this. When it comes to Phantom of the Opera, I do believe Christine is the protagonist and Phantom is the antagonist. But don’t quite understand what makes Raoul the catalyst?

    But in the case of the Bishop, Javert, and Valjean, things make perfect. It is very clear in the opening song that Valjean is the protagonist and Javert is the antagonist. The bishop is a very crucial character in Les Mis. Without the kindness, forgiveness, and mercy he shows to Valjean, Les Mis just wouldn’t be the Les Mis we have come to know


    1. I think I’ve always seen Raoul as the catalyst of the story because without him, there wouldn’t be much of a story. He really drives the story forward, being the Phantom’s rival as it were and being the person who keeps Christine anchored to her sanity in a lot of ways so that she doesn’t fall completely under the Phantom’s spell.
      The Bishop, despite being present for only a small portion of the story definitely is very important. Without him, it’s unlikely that Valjean’s story would even take off at all.


      1. Without the grace of the bishop, Valjean would not have become mayor or even owner of the factory and never would have helped out Fantine. A lot of Les Mis would loss its brilliance because the love triangle probably wouldn’t have existed because Valjean never would have met Cosette, which means who knows what would have happened to Cosette. And so on


      2. Definitely! That just shows how complex Les Miz is. It’s pretty amazing, really! Every moment holds so much importance that changing any scene even slightly could potentially change the whole story.


      3. Even if there was one less death for instance, something wouldn’t feel right either. If Marius never loved Cosette, than he would have died on the barricade, which defiantly wouldn’t feel right either. Even if Eponine loved Marius even less, that still wouldn’t feel right. And so on. If one of the characters who died survived, that would so not make sense. Bizarre if one tiny little thing never happened, things wouldn’t even make sense at all


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