Understanding the Villain – Part I

The world hates the villain, probably much more than it loves the hero.

I often wonder about, where do villains come from? How does a person become a villain? Are villains any good to the society?

And in this series of posts I try to answer these questions.

Let me first begin with my definition of the villain in literature.

Villain (in literature): A character that is physically and /or intellectually superior to the rest and dominates 95% of the plot, until (s)he is reformed, tamed or killed in the last 5% of the narrative primarily because the author – in order to please the world – betrays him/her.

However, hence forth the emphasis will more on real life villains  (if we may call them so).

The origin

I have not encountered a villain who is not extraordinary in at least one way – physically, intellectually, ambition wise or even spiritually. I would compare it with a over grown fruit in a bunch of average sized fruits. Only that unlike a human being, a fruit is not an aware about its oddity.

So the credit or the blame of the origin can be fixed primarily on genes.

The first check

But there are people who are suppressed by their oddity without realizing its potential and are rendered useless or rather harmless. Thus the life conditions, nurture, company determine whether an individual realizes the potential inherent in his/her anomaly. This is the first check.

 The second check

Once that potential is sensed, it is tested at rudimentary level and the individual realises the devastating potential.

This is the second check where the individual under the burden of the acquired ethics may abort the journey to become a full blown villain.

Once an individual realizes the potential and is unapologetic about exploiting it to explore the extent of devastation it can cause, he is on course to metamorphose into a real villain.

But what are the factors that make some cross the second check?

This I will answer in the next post.

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