Expository Literary Essay: The Antagonist

DIRECTIONS: Write a well-organized composition on the topic below.

In some literary works, readers can learn as much from the antagonist as from the protagonist. Although the antagonist may reveal negative aspects of human behavior, this revelation is often vital to understanding the author’s message.

From the novels, short stories, full-length plays, and poems you have read, select a work that has an antagonist with distinctly negative characteristics. Identify this antagonist and describe the negative qualities or behavior this character exhibits. Using detailed references from the work, explain the antagonist’s role in plot development and the actions of specific characters and in conveying a general message about society or human nature.

As you write your composition, remember to:

  • Give the title and the author of the work.
  • Identify the antagonist and his or her negative qualities and behaviors.
  • Give specific examples, reasons, and details to explain the antagonist’s role in the development of the plot, in the lives of other characters, and in conveying the author’s message.
  • Give any necessary plot information but avoid giving a plot summary.
  • Write in complete sentences.
  • Write coherent and well-developed paragraphs.
  • Use correct grammar, spelling, punctuation, and capitalization.
Expository Literary Essay Plan
Expository Literary Essay Plan
Holistic Expository Essay Rubric
Holistic Expository Essay Rubric
Critical Response Rubric
Critical Response Rubric
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