- The villain is the hero of his or her own story. ..symbiotic relationship with hero… Unity of opposites?
- Your villain is a dark reflection of your hero’s wants, needs and desires.. he/she is doing what the hero would do, If not constrained by morality, purpose, or righteousness…
- The villain may define the hero and vice versa…may ‘complete’ the hero…fulfil something lacking in the hero..for a time…
- If the hero is ‘haunted’ by his or her past…then the villain/antagonist may be within the psyche of the hero. A war going on within the hero between ‘good’ and ‘bad’, potency and impotency.
- A successful villain is both fascinating and repulsive.
- The villain stops the hero realising his/her dream.
- Very often more powerful than the hero but then loses power and potency as the hero grows on his/her journey…
- Maybe the nature of villainy subject to change unlike heroism?
EXAMPLE: Count Fosco in The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins.
(Narrated by protagonist Marian Halcombe ) Reads like a ‘discovery’ rather than creation! (Bowen)
He looks like a man who could tame anything. If he had married a tigress, instead of a woman, he would have tamed the tigress. If he had married me, I should have made his cigarettes, as his wife does–I should have held my tongue when he looked at me, as she holds hers.
I am almost afraid to confess it, even to these secret pages. The man has interested me, has attracted me, has forced me to like him. In two short days he has made his way straight into my favourable estimation, and how he has worked the miracle is more than I can tell.
It absolutely startles me, now he is in my mind, to find how plainly I see him!–how much more plainly than I see Sir Percival, or Mr. Fairlie, or Walter Hartright, or any other absent person of whom I think, with the one exception of Laura herself! I can hear his voice, as if he was speaking at this moment. I know what his conversation was yesterday, as well as if I was hearing it now. …Is it his face that has recommended him?
It may be his face. He is a most remarkable likeness, on a large scale, of the great Napoleon. His features have Napoleon’s magnificent regularity–his expression recalls the grandly calm, immovable power of the Great Soldier’s face. This striking resemblance certainly impressed me, to begin with; but there is something in him besides the resemblance, which has impressed me more. I think the influence I am now trying to find is in his eyes. They are the most unfathomable grey eyes I ever saw, and they have at times a cold, clear, beautiful, irresistible glitter in them which forces me to look at him, and yet causes me sensations, when I do look, which I would rather not feel. …The marked peculiarity which singles him out from the rank and file of humanity lies entirely, so far as I can tell at present, in the extraordinary expression and extraordinary power of his eyes.
His manner and his command of our language may also have assisted him, in some degree, to establish himself in my good opinion. He has that quiet deference, that look of pleased, attentive interest in listening to a woman, and that secret gentleness in his voice in speaking to a woman, which, say what we may, we can none of us resist. …He may construct his sentences more or less in the foreign way, but I have never yet heard him use a wrong expression, or hesitate for a moment in his choice of a word.
All the smallest characteristics of this strange man have something strikingly original and perplexingly contradictory in them. Fat as he is and old as he is, his movements are astonishingly light and easy. He is as noiseless in a room as any of us women, and more than that, with all his look of unmistakable mental firmness and power, he is as nervously sensitive as the weakest of us. He starts at chance noises as inveterately as Laura herself. He winced and shuddered yesterday, when Sir Percival beat one of the spaniels, so that I felt ashamed of my own want of tenderness and sensibility by comparison with the Count.
The relation of this last incident reminds me of one of his most curious peculiarities, which I have not yet mentioned–his extraordinary fondness for pet animals.
Some of these he has left on the Continent, but he has brought with him to this house a cockatoo, two canary-birds, and a whole family of white mice…. His white mice live in a little pagoda of gaily-painted wirework, designed and made by himself. …They crawl all over him, popping in and out of his waistcoat, and sitting in couples, white as snow, on his capacious shoulders. He seems to be even fonder of his mice than of his other pets, smiles at them, and kisses them, and calls them by all sorts of endearing names. .
“Of all the books you have read or movies you have seen, who is the villain that you remember most? What made them so bad and so memorable?” What did they achieve ? And why?
Now think of a name for your own villain and write a RANT from the point of view of your villain.
Try to hear the voice or your villain and allow their words to erupt on the page or in your head. How do they speak, what do they say…allow your villain to emerge through the use of the RANT!!
The Woman in Black
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