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loser

And while I’m in this pensive mood, I must say that I often feel for the cast-off. The runner-up. The character whose main job is to lose to the protagonist.

Hector, the heroic loser in battle against the sociopathic Achilles, is one of my favourites. Paris, the suitor in Romeo & Juliet (rather than the original whose seduction of Helen caused the Trojan war) is killed by Romeo and never really understands the story he plays such a pivotal role in. Even Polyphemus, whose only mistake is to have a run-in with that scheming bastard, Odysseus*.

And Judas. Who I wrote about here.

I know they have lesser roles in greater stories, and their role is to lose, but despite that, or maybe because of that, there’s a humanity, a vulnerability, that they share.

 

*I do love Odysseus though. There’s something about a braggadocious, storytelling adventurer that appeals to me, and I wrote about him here.

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