Paulo Coelho - “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho

A Comprehensive Analysis of Literary Protagonists - Sykalo Evgen 2023

Paulo Coelho - “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho

Paulo Coelho's "The Alchemist": An Examination of Character Dynamics

The philosophical and allegorical novel "The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho tells the story of Santiago, a shepherd kid on a mission to find his personal legend and realize his ambitions. Throughout the story, Santiago comes across a wide range of individuals who are crucial in determining his fate. Using the established criteria, this analysis will concentrate on Santiago, one of the main characters, exploring his static or dynamic nature, his position in the narrative, his background, his personality traits, his relationships, his actions, his conflicts, his growth, and his overall relevance.

Is a character dynamic or static?

The main character, Santiago, has a significant metamorphosis during the course of the adventure, which gives him personality. Santiago is a static character at first, happy with his existence as a shepherd and reluctant to change. But as the narrative goes on, he is forced to face his desires and beliefs due to his interactions with other personalities and the difficulties he confronts, which results in profound personal development. Santiago's transformation from a passive dreamer to an active dreamer-chaser is evidence of his dynamic personality.

The Story's Role of the Character

Santiago is the main character and the focal point of "The Alchemist." His main responsibility is to investigate the themes of one's own tale and pursuing one's aspirations. The voyage of Santiago serves as a metaphor for the common human experience of self-realization and self-discovery. In addition to moving the story along as the protagonist, he also represents the universal human search for fulfillment and purpose.

History of the Character

Santiago's upbringing as a shepherd has greatly influenced who he is. His straightforward lifestyle and strong bond with the natural world serve as the basis for his spiritual quest. Santiago was raised in Andalusia, Spain, and his modest upbringing has helped shape his humility and curiosity about the secrets of the universe. Though not fully explored, his family and cultural history provide a suggestion of a foundation that both orients and propels him toward his destiny.

Personality Qualities of the Character

A variety of characteristics that change as the story progresses define Santiago. He is initially shown as inquisitive, daring, and idealistic. The plot of the unfolding adventure was put in motion by his fantasies of discovering treasure in the Egyptian pyramids. Santiago demonstrates fortitude, flexibility, and a readiness to take lessons from every encounter as the narrative goes on. His encounters with the Englishman, the crystal trader, and the Alchemist himself demonstrate his openness to many viewpoints and his potential for personal development.

Character Interactions

Santiago's growth is greatly influenced by his interactions with other individuals. He begins to fulfill his Personal Legend after meeting the enigmatic king Melchizedek. Fatima, the love interest, serves as a metaphor for both inspiration and diversion. Santiago is mentored by the Alchemist, who helps him comprehend the Soul of the World. These connections help to mold Santiago's path by offering direction, difficulties, and emotional nuance.

Actions of the Character

Santiago's behavior reflects his development as a person. He shows courage to follow his aspirations by selling his sheep and setting out on a perilous adventure. Santiago's actions are motivated by a combination of spirituality, intuition, and a strong bond with nature throughout the entire story. His determination to finding his Personal Legend is demonstrated by his readiness to accept chances, such as traveling across a desert and engaging in tribal warfare.

Conflicts of the Characters

Throughout his voyage, Santiago deals with both internal and external conflicts. He struggles inside with dread, doubt, and the want to give up on his pursuit of a more comfortable existence. Outside of him, he faces difficulties including conflicts between tribes, the danger of robbers, and the difficulties of the desert. These confrontations act as growth-promoting catalysts, encouraging Santiago to persevere through hardship and be true to his goals.

Evolution or Change in Character

His journey of transformation is the central theme of Santiago's persona. His perception of the world and his place in it is shaped by his interactions with the Englishman, the Alchemist, and the crystal dealer. When Santiago learns to listen to his heart and the universe's language, things start to change. His character has undergone a significant change as a result of this insight, which allows him to realize his destiny and connect with the Soul of the World.

Providing Evidence to Support the Analysis

Numerous examples throughout the narrative attest to Santiago's dynamic personality and his significance to the plot. One crucial encounter is when he meets Melchizedek, who inspires him to follow his personal legend. The choices Santiago made to traverse the desert, engage in tribal warfare, and learn the Language of the World all demonstrate his development. Specific instances, like the advice Melchizedek gave and Santiago's comments on the voyage, provide hard proof of his developing personality.

Importance of Character

Santiago is more than just a made-up character; he represents the novel's underlying philosophical ideas. His trip represents the universal human search for meaning and self-awareness. Coelho's advice to follow one's dreams, listen to one's heart, and connect with the spiritual essence of the world is further supported by Santiago's lively personality and the final realization of his Personal Legend.


Santiago is the central figure in "The Alchemist," leading readers on a profoundly enlightening voyage of self-discovery. Santiago's transformation from a meek shepherd to a powerful dreamer is skillfully interwoven throughout the narrative. The novel's main themes of spirituality, personal legend, and the connectivity of the cosmos are all influenced by his relationships, acts, conflicts, and personal development. Santiago's significance comes from his portrayal of the collective human path toward attaining our full potential in addition to his personal quest.