SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

vol.21 issue2The Presence of Civic, Service and Infotainment Roles in the News about Culture and Show Business of Chilean JournalismThe Contemporary Artist in the Communication of Unofficial History: Rhetoric of Disappearance in the Colombian Conflict author indexsubject indexarticles search
Home Pagealphabetic serial listing  

Services on Demand




Related links

  • On index processCited by Google
  • Have no similar articlesSimilars in SciELO
  • On index processSimilars in Google


Palabra Clave

Print version ISSN 0122-8285


CANET, Fernando  and  GARCIA-MARTINEZ, Alberto Nahum. Ambivalent Responses to the Ambiguous Antihero Morality: Tony Soprano and Walter White as a Case Study. Palabra Clave [online]. 2018, vol.21, n.2, pp.364-386. ISSN 0122-8285.

The popularization of the antihero is linked to the dramatic and narrative need of seriality: the constant dichotomy between the family and professional spheres, between noble and petty actions, desire, moves the story forward, generates suspense and renews conflicts. This prolongs the story for dozens of hours. Vic Mackey (The Shield), Dexter Morgan (Dexter) or Nucky Thompson (Boardwalk Empire) could serve as an antihero example. However, the two most radical and complex cases are undoubtedly the protagonists of The Sopranos (Tony Soprano) and Breaking Bad (Walter White). The emotional affinity with the antihero has recently become the object of study. This paper proposes a new angle of study: the antihero's relationship with the rest of the characters in the series. For that purpose, we will select the characters - main or secondary - that the writers use as narrative strategy to guide the emotional and moral responses of the spectator the emotional and moral responses of the viewer in their particular relationship with the antihero. We will mainly focus on the reactions of these characters to the amoral behaviors of the antiheroes. We propose a methodology of textual analysis that, based on cognitivist theorists, will serve as a mechanism to better understand the construction of the antihero and to investigate the effects of authorial decisions on viewers.

Keywords : The Sopranos; Breaking Bad; cognitive theory; television studies; character engagement; antihero narratives; moral emotions.

        · abstract in Spanish | Portuguese     · text in Spanish     · Spanish ( pdf )