A couple of weekends ago, three of my roommates and I were sitting in our apartment watching “Good Will Hunting.” After the movie ended, the conversation somehow got onto the topic of protagonists and how we’re hard-pressed to find a protagonist that we like more than the supporting characters. We determined that the reason is because supporting characters tend to be more intricate and developed, whereas the protagonist in a story is usually an overused trope. Here are seven inspirational quotes from supporting characters in books, television and film.
1. “No one could possibly understand the depths of you, but you presume to know everything about me because you saw a painting of mine, and you ripped my f***ing life apart. You’re an orphan right? You think I know the first thing about how hard your life has been, how you feel, who you are, because I read Oliver Twist? Does that encapsulate you?” – Sean Maguire, “Good Will Hunting”
Although Robin Williams’ monologue as Maguire was longer, these simple lines resonated with me. We all go through life assuming that we know other people before they open their mouths and say something to us, and even after they do speak, we still think that we can fully understand their experiences. It’s a good reminder that just because we can sympathize for someone, doesn’t mean that we can also empathize with them.