Am I the classic villain, or the dark hero?


The dark heroes are perhaps the toughest of the heroes to write and base a story around, as they become so dark they may turn their audiences and have them rooting for the villain. These heroes are usually driven by some kind of tragedy or traumatic event in their life that turns them against the laws of society and, in some rare cases, nature. Dark heroes do not break the rules like the swashbuckler but simply disregards them to get the job done. The best-suited example would be the millionaire Bruce Wayne. He witnesses the death of his parents , falls into a cave while disturbing a family of bats and become the well-known Batman who illegally punishes lawbreakers in his own unique way. Another character who easily falls into this category is Paul Atreides in Frank Herbert’s Dune. Driven to the deep deserts of Arrakis after a bloody coup led by House Harkonnen, Paul becomes “Muad’Dib.” In the beginning, he is nothing more than a revolutionary, but as the story unfolds so does Paul’s evolution into a messiah. While he does use his powers to liberate Arrakis, Paul also uses his newfound abilities to hold the universe for ransom.

This type of villain embodies all of our fears and insecurities – the Supreme Evil. These villains are the sociopaths or psychopaths of fiction. They act with a purpose (their own purpose), and care little about who or what is in the way of their goals. They are different from the scoundrel and swashbucklers who disregard the rules of society for fun. The classic villains break the rules because they believe the rules are a hindrance – this is something that makes the line between the Dark Hero and the Classic Villain a very thin one indeed. The only difference is that in the end the Dark Hero ultimately still works for the good side as viewed from the general perspective. The Classic Villain works for himself and his/her definition of good (usually what’s good for them).

Lately I’ve been feeling more and more like a villain. And I don’t know that I’m really trying to stop that. I genuinely feel like the world has taken a sharp turn against me. So fuck it.

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