The true antagonist in A Wizard of Earthsea is the dark side of Ged's nature. One of the greatest themes of the book is the balance of power and the balance between good and evil. When Ged allows his pride and arrogance to overcome his wisdom, he releases a dark shadow, which is really a representation of the dark side of his own nature. One can see this darker side of Ged's nature early in the story, as he knows and prizes his own difference and his ability to protect his village. When he goes to study magic, first with Ogion and then at the school of wizards, his desire for knowledge is a prideful desire. When he arrogantly tries to call up the spirit of a dead woman, that dark side of his nature takes on a life of its own, becoming a shadow which injures Ged. Ged spends the rest of the book trying to first escape and then conquer the shadow. Ged's conflict with the shadow symbolizes every man's conflict of good and evil within himself. It also symbolizes Ged's coming of age, as he grows from a boy to a man who is finally able to overcome his own shadows.