The first post of the challenge, I’ve decide to write about a very negative person of any story. I picked up things about sketching an antagonist by reading books with antagonists with varying degrees of insanity. When you read a book, you often tend to look only at the negativity of the villain. He/She is almost always look upon just as the tormentor of the protagonist. It is easy to over look the development and evolution of a negative character. When I started writing pieces of fiction, I found it difficult to sketch a negative character. It was difficult to show progression and various shades of grey. I decide to stop and assimilate about all the negative characters I’ve come across so far.
Obviously, JK Rowling’s Voldemont was the first person I looked back to. It was an easy reference to make and understand. Here is a little analysis,
Voldemont is a very complicated antagonist. He needed to be complicated to match a teenager’s character growth into adulthood. In the first book, he was a mere parasite eating off flesh to survive. In the second book, he was little powerful – the memory of a 16 year old boy. It was wicked of JKR to use the memory of a 16 year old. That’s the age when a strong sense of right and wrong is developed in a human. In fact, the readers actually get the feel of the real Voldemont from that book. By the end of the series, she managed to show more shades of grey, so much so that he is undoubtedly the super villain of all times universally. That’s the perfect example of gradual development of a negative character in the tone and direction of only being evil.
The other example of an Antagonist, which confused me a bit was that of Loki’s from Norse Mythology. Is he evil? Yes. No. May be. He is amusing, mischievous and dubious. He is this adorable villain. He is the type that girls fall in love with. (Hard to fall in love with Voldy, if you get the drift!)
Then there is the most debated character of all times – Severus Snape. One can’t seem to decide if he was an antagonist or a hero. He bullied Harry, taunted Sirius and was generally cruel. Only that he turned out to be still in love with Lilly and have apparently cared for Harry. Does that make him any less of an Antagonist. No. He has enough shades of grey to qualify, but all his grey is justified.
The corleones from Mario Puzo’s Godfather – They are part heroes part villains. They are leaders and they do anything to protect their blood line. Are they evil? To others, yes. To their family, no.
In conclusion, I decided there were the following types of antagonists
- The proverbial bully with not enough shades of grey to qualify as pure evil – The likes of Draco Malfoy may be?
- The circumstantial antagonist – Severus Snape or Euruce from Sherlock Series.
- The pure evil – You can’t possibly like them one bit – a La Voldemort
- The pack leader – White witch from Narnia or Corleones from Godfather (or if you follow the series ‘How to get away with murder’, Analise Keating is a perfect example)
These are my own classifications, what are yours!?