Frank Troy is the principal antagonist in Far from the Madding Crowd. He is not particularly malevolent but is impulsive, cynical, and irresponsible. He cruelly abandons Fanny Robin and only develops a conscience about his behavior when it is already too late. Most of the time, Troy is too feckless and egotistical to consider the effect of his actions on anyone else. He makes decisions quickly and acts irrationally.
Newland Archer is also a somewhat shallow and selfish character, though he has a clearer ideal of what he ought to be than Troy does and consequently hides his negative character traits better, from himself as well as from others. Archer can be thoughtful, but he has a conventional mindset and is obsessed with following the correct social forms, an attention to detail which he mistakes for a sense of duty and with which he masks his selfishness. He is more careful and less ruthless than Troy in pursuing what he wants, and this timidity means that his fate is less sensational.
The settings of the two novels could scarcely be more different. Far from the Madding Crowd is set in the English countryside and is the first book to be set in Hardy's fictional county of Wessex. The Age of Innocence takes place in the midst of New York high society. This means that although Frank Troy is from a higher class background than his military rank would suggest, Newland Archer is the more socially sophisticated and educated of the two characters.