Another dumb question from me, I expect. Is there anything wrong with enjoying the villains are characters from books and movies and such? a lot of times my favorite characters are the bad guys, the antoagonists, especially if there’s a lot of fun psychology behind why they are the way they are, or a history of abuse, or something psychological, instead of just “they’re evil”. If they’re really well written, I often feel as sorry for them, and what they’ve gone through, as I do the hero,but is that wrong since they’re not the good guys?.I don’t think they crimes they commit, the theft, murder, etc, are ok, but they’re still the ones I enjoy most to watch, to delve into to theorize about, to write.
Well, is it really the character himself/herself that you like (would you hang out with the person if they were real?), or is it more that you like the thought and detail that went into the creation of such a deep character by the author?
If the first, then there could definitely be a big chance of it being wrong, but if the second, then I’d say that it is fine.
It’s not wrong to appreciate an antagonist in a fictional work. That’s why you read the book in the first place: to see the conflict of good against evil.
You can only go wrong when you *apply the events of a fictional work and the character’s acts as examples for your own life, in contradiction with your religious or moral upbringing.
If you find yourself rooting more for the bad guys than the good guys, however, take a break. Consider why you feel that way. What events in your life cause you to shine and polish that rebellious streak inside you, despite what you know of good and evil in real life? Do you feel opposed because you crave individualistic desires against a just authority source, or because of the injustice towards individuals by an injust authority?
It’s not inherently bad to be rebellious. Jesus and his Apostles were definitely that in their time. Christians today are certainly that against an increasingly secular and anti-religious society. The more you understand yourself, the more appreciation you will gain for fictional media, as well as gain a better appreciation of morality, not to mention improve your own tastes of what constitutes a decent story.
Thanks for your time guys :3 Very sensible answers.
to BzKoss- I suppose what I mean by “like” is, “Gosh, I feel bad for them too, as well as the hero. I wonder about all those blanks in his back story we don’t know about…he’d make a great subject for some short stories, and oh, I wonder what would happen if this was changed, how he’d react. And such a nice design; I’d like to draw him and the protagonist sometime.” I’m pretty sure hanging around some of my favorites wouldn’t be very safe for my emotional well being!
do you like the villan because of them being the bad side and therefore evil
do you like them because there is something that you relate to better ?
Do they portray a sense of evil that you feel you can’t access in good?
Is it living out some kind of desire?
if its the evil that attract you to the villan…
could it be that you see evil as tempting because trying too hard with being good so the bad guys in literature are more appealing to you to get that healthy balance we all need so we don’t feel overwhelmed.
Time to take a deeper look why you might like them more which only you can reach the answers.
…no…none of that…actually, I think it’s a bit because the villains tend to be more tragic than the heros, at least in my favorite films and books. It never is the evil that draws me, more like the tragedy and sadness that often accompanies them. I sure don’t have a draw or desire for such evil.
Then I would say you would fall under my #2 and that you’re alright.
I think most people, even if they deny it, share your feeling. I know I do. And I also think there’s a good psychological explanation for it. On the base level, I think there’s an element of fright at play; much like people enjoy the “scare” of a horror movie. However, there is a deeper level with characters like Anton Shugur (No Country for Old Men) or the Joker (The Dark Knight). They present an image of such cold, calculating evil, which is more frightening than a zombie or vampire, etc., because they are all too human. The deeper part of our “enjoyment” comes from the fact that, in some vague and distant way, we relate to them. How many of us have never had one of those days where we could just “kill somebody”, etc.?
Their presence is intense and invokes a real emotional reaction in people because they are archetypal manifestations of our own dark, selfish, sinful sides. I never find myself rooting for the characters; indeed, I cheer when their schemes are thwarted, in the same way I rejoice when I resist the temptation to evil myself. And I think that’s what lures us into such a web of feelings about these characters, heroes and villains alike: they are both the struggle within each of us.
Ultimately, I don’t think we really “like” these villains, in the same sense that we “like” heroes; I think it is more that we are deeply fascinated by the extremes of evil they allow us to safely confront and work through.
I often find myself enjoying the villain more than the good guys. There are a number of reasons behind this.
- The villains are often much better written. They are usually more interesting to listen to than the hero, and have much more engaging personalities. They’re people you disagree with on a fundamental level, but they’re charisma and rationalizations always sound so good XD
- They do more interesting stuff. They live a lifestyle which, like it or not, a lot of us envy. Even though we recognize it to be an immoral lifestyle, it looks like a lot of fun, so we envy them. (The movie Scarface is a good example. We abhor Tony’s lifestyle morally, but his limitless wealth and lack of restraint is very appealing)
- They do what we want to, but can’t. Take the show Dexter for example. (Yes, Dexter is a villain, whether we like it or not he’s killing people, which is never right) There have been many times in my life where I think someone should be punished for something but they aren’t. The movie Swordfish is another example. The villain is obviously in the wrong, but on some level we agree with his motivations, and so we sympathize. They are at times acting as balancing agents, but through immoral means.
- We genuinely sympathize with them. The Godfather is probably the best example of this. Michael did everything he could to stay away from his family’s business, but in the end he succumb to it and it consumed him. He winds up losing everything important to him. Every time I watch that movie his transformation makes me feel so bad for him, and I want to help him, even though by the end he has obviously abandoned what he once stood for.
- They are fun. Plain and simple, it’s fun being evil. If being evil weren’t fun then there would be no evil. It represents “Freedom” that we Christians could never engage in because we recognize and understand the consequence of that freedom.
If what you like about them is that they are doing evil things then, yes. But I doubt that is what you are doing.
My favorite antagonists are the ones who sincerly believe that they are doing good.
When I read or watch a story where the villain exists just for the sake of giving the protagonist someone to oppose I usually find the plot to be quite hollow. That isn’t a villain; that is simply a human natural disaster like a tornado or an earthquake. I find it interesting that for stories where the “villain” is a disaster or some kind of dangerous animal the writer frequently tries to create an anthropomorphic vendetta between the danger and the protagonist. We humans like to think life, including danger and evil, have meaning and purpose.
For a story with a villain to ring true there has to be a motivation for the villainous behavior. In fact, in the best stories the protagonist actually identifies with and respects the motivations of the villain even while opposing him.
I don’t know if I’d say that I actually like villains but I certainly do appreciate the role they play in drama.
Over the years people have had a fasination with mobster characters. The God Father, Goodfellas, even the real ones like John Gotti. Hollywood portrays these people as likeable people, maybe even heros instead of the criminals that they really are.
I do appreciate them from a theatrical and literary standpoint, not a moral one. In books and movies, a well written villain is always fiendishly brilliant usually much more intelligent than the protagonist, crafty, charming-even genteel, calculating, affected, full of intrigue, has a sophisticated sense of humor, can make a devastating mockery of virtue, and all of this makes their villainy attractive in some way.
How could you not like