Posted by kumydabookworm:
Do you think that Draco could be classed as the shadow protagonist, in relation to his friends? Draco = Shadow, Crabbe = Mind(?), Goyle = Body, Pansy = Spirit(?). The others need him to lead them, they can't function without him, but Draco is quite capable of going off on his own when he wants to. Just a thought...I'd be interested to see if there could be a shadow character that was a PROTAGONIST in relation to the other three parts of the complementing quartet.
Could you argue that Voldy is the shadow protagonist to Bellatrix, Lucius and Snape? If we're saying that a shadow is someone who is capable of working without the others, who compliments/contrasts the other characters. You could describe Voldemort as a spirit or mind character (probably the latter), but I see him more as a shadow.
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On a rather bizarre off-note, I'd like to point out the comparison with Paradise Lost - just to highlight the Mind/Body/Spirit/SHADOW situation. You cannot have Heaven without God, and the Holy Trinity. In contrast there is Satan, and you cannot have Hell wihout Satan. Seeing as you cannot have good without evil (something to contrast good), the world cannot function without Satan - you cannot spot the good from the bad. The shadow character is therefore necessary in maintaining the balance between good and evil - the Holy Trinity plus the shadow character, Satan. Does that work? God (in relation to Paradise Lost, you understand, I'm not really venturing into religion here) is the Spirit character(?), whilst Satan is the antagonist - the shadow.
Conclusion of that ramble: the shadow character is necessary to the trio?
The trio needs a contrast, an enemy, someone to keep the balance. Look at this in view of the Founders: Slytherin showed the others what they did not want to happen - and by doing that, he highlighted what they fought for, but they didn't even realise they were fighting for it before then. He also is necessary to highlight the darker side of the students. What Vorona said about ambition is particularly interesting in relation to this - ambition has a darker underside in Hogwarts because it is associated with Slytherin.
You could argue that Snape does this for the Marauders: he showed them what they knew they didn't want, he personified what they were fighting against, as Draco does for Harry.
I'm not even sure if I completely understand what I'm trying to say, to be honest... Oh well.