digplanet beta 1: Athena
Share digplanet:

Agriculture

Applied sciences

Arts

Belief

Business

Chronology

Culture

Education

Environment

Geography

Health

History

Humanities

Language

Law

Life

Mathematics

Nature

People

Politics

Science

Society

Technology

"Bad guy" and "Bad guys" redirect here. For other uses, see Bad Guy.
For other uses, see Villain (disambiguation).
A rendering of an archetype of a villain as a late 19th-century businessman

A villain (also known in film and literature as the "antagonist," "baddie", "bad guy", or "black hat") is an "evil" character in a story, whether a historical narrative or, especially, a work of fiction. The villain usually is the antagonist (though can be the protagonist), the character who tends to have a negative effect on other characters. A female villain is sometimes called a villainess (often to differentiate her from a male villain). Random House Unabridged Dictionary defines villain as "a cruelly malicious person who is involved in or devoted to wickedness or crime; scoundrel; or a character in a play, novel, or the like, who constitutes an important evil agency in the plot".[1]

Etymology[edit]

French villeins in the 15th century before going to work, receiving their Lord's Orders.

Villain comes from the Anglo-French and Old French vilain, which itself descends from the Late Latin word villanus, meaning "farmhand",[2] in the sense of someone who is bound to the soil of a villa, which is to say, worked on the equivalent of a plantation in Late Antiquity, in Italy or Gaul.[3] The same etymology produced villein.[4] It referred to a person of less than knightly status and so came to mean a person who was not chivalrous. As a result of many unchivalrous acts, such as treachery or rape, being considered villainous in the modern sense of the word, it became used as a term of abuse and eventually took on its modern meaning.[5]

Folk and fairy tales[edit]

Vladimir Propp, in his analysis of the Russian fairy tales, concluded that a fairy tale had only eight dramatis personae, of which one was the villain,[6] and his analysis has been widely applied to non-Russian tales. The actions that fell into a villain's sphere were:

  • a story-initiating villainy, where the villain caused harm to the hero or his family
  • a conflict between the hero and the villain, either a fight or other competition
  • pursuing the hero after he has succeeded in winning the fight or obtaining something from the villain

None of these acts necessarily occurs in a fairy tale, but when any of them do, the character that performs the act is the villain. The villain therefore could appear twice: once in the opening of the story, and a second time as the person sought out by the hero.[7]

When a character performed only these acts, the character was a pure villain. Various villains also perform other functions in a fairy tale; a witch who fought the hero and ran away, and who lets the hero follow her, is also performing the task of "guidance" and thus acting as a helper.[8]

The functions could also be spread out among several characters. If a dragon acted as the villain, but was killed by the hero, another character (such as the dragon's sisters) might take on the role of the villain and pursue the hero.[8]

Two other characters could appear in roles that are villainous in the more general sense. One is the false hero: this character is always villainous, presenting a false claim to be the hero that must be rebutted for the happy ending.[9] Among these characters are Cinderella's stepsisters, chopping off parts of their feet to fit on the shoe.[10] Another character, the dispatcher, sends a hero on his quest. This might be an innocent request, to fulfil a legitimate need, but the dispatcher might also, villainously, lie to send a character on a quest in hopes of being rid of him.[11]

Villainous foil[edit]

The Wicked Witch of the West from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is an example of a literary villain.

In fiction, villains commonly function in the dual role of adversary and foil to the story's heroes. In their role as adversary, the villain serves as an obstacle the hero must struggle to overcome. In their role as foil, the villain exemplifies characteristics that are diametrically opposed to those of the hero, creating a contrast distinguishing heroic traits from villainous ones.[citation needed] Others[who?] point out that many acts of villains have a hint of wish-fulfillment,[12] which makes some people identify with them as characters more strongly than with the heroes. Because of this, a convincing villain must be given a characterization that provides a motive for doing wrong, as well as being a worthy adversary to the hero. As put by film critic Roger Ebert:

"Each film is only as good as its villain. Since the heroes and the gimmicks tend to repeat from film to film, only a great villain can transform a good try into a triumph."[13]

Portraying and employing villains in fiction[edit]

Tod Slaughter always portrayed villainous characters on both stage and screen in a melodramatic manner, with mustache-twirling, eye-rolling, leering, cackling, and hand-rubbing (however, this often failed to translate well from stage to screen).[14][15] Brad Warner states that "only cartoon villains cackle with glee while rubbing their hands together and dream of ruling the world in the name of all that is wicked and bad".[16] Ben Bova recommends to authors that their works not contain villains. He states, in his Tips for writers:

"In the real world there are no villains. No one actually sets out to do evil... Fiction mirrors life. Or, more accurately, fiction serves as a lens to focus of what they know in life and bring its realities into sharper, clearer understanding for us. There are no villains cackling and rubbing their hands in glee as they contemplate their evil deeds. There are only people with problems, struggling to solve them."[17]

David Lubar adds:

"This is a brilliant observation that has served me well in all my writing. (The bad guy isn't doing bad stuff so he can rub his hands together and snarl.) He may be driven by greed, neuroses, or the conviction that his cause is just, but he's driven by something not unlike the things that drive a hero."[18]

Sympathetic villain[edit]

In an attempt to add realism to their stories, many writers will try to create "sympathetic" villains, the antithesis to an antihero. These villains come in just as many shapes and sizes as antiheroes do. Some may wish to make the world a better place but go to antagonistic lengths to do so (such as Doctor Octopus in Spider-Man 2, who commits various crimes in an attempt to complete his goal of creating a cheap, renewable source of energy, and Dr. Horrible in Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, who wants to rule the world so that he can solve all of its problems), or may employ a code of honor in fighting his enemies, even if it is to achieve antagonistic goals (examples include Murdock, a secondary villain in the game Fire Emblem: Fūin no Tsurugi, who is honorable, but fights the player's army due to loyalty to his country). Other sympathetic villains may be pushed to antagonistic lifestyles by society's mistreatment of him due to prejudice against something he is a part of (such as racism, as is the case in American History X), but goes to absurd lengths to achieve the equality he desires. Others may include those manipulated by higher forces (such as Jack Torrance being manipulated by the Overlook Hotel in The Shining).

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Random House Unabridged Dictionary Web Result. Retrieved from http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/villain.
  2. ^ Robert K. Barnhart, ed. (1988). Chambers Dictionary of Etymology. New York: Chambers Harrap Publishers. p. 1204. ISBN 0-550-14230-4. 
  3. ^ David B. Guralnik, ed. (1984). Webster's New World Dictionary. New York: Simon and Schuster. 
  4. ^ "Villain". Oxford English Dictionary (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press. September 2005. 
  5. ^ C. S. Lewis (1960). Studies in Words. Cambridge University Press. 
  6. ^ Vladimir Propp, Morphology of the Folk Tale, p 79 ISBN 0-292-78376-0
  7. ^ Vladimir Propp, Morphology of the Folk Tale, p 84 ISBN 0-292-78376-0
  8. ^ a b Vladimir Propp, Morphology of the Folk Tale, p 81 ISBN 0-292-78376-0
  9. ^ Vladimir Propp, Morphology of the Folktale, p60, ISBN 0-292-78376-0
  10. ^ Maria Tatar, The Annotated Brothers Grimm, p 136 ISBN 0-393-05848-4
  11. ^ Vladimir Propp, Morphology of the Folktale, p77, ISBN 0-292-78376-0
  12. ^ Das, Sisir Kumar (1995). A History of Indian Literature: 1911-1956, p 416. Retrieved from http://books.google.com/books?id=sqBjpV9OzcsC&pg=PA416&lpg=PA416&dq=archetype+villains,+%22wish+fulfillment%22&source=web&ots=D88bD2p9Ih&sig=QinMvLWyin7usw-bDdfmTSTulcE&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=4&ct=result.
  13. ^ Review of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan by Roger Ebert.
  14. ^ Bryan Senn (1996). Golden Horrors: An Illustrated Critical Filmography of Terror Cinema, 1931–1939. McFarland. p. 481. ISBN 978-0-7864-0175-8. 
  15. ^ Jeffrey Richards (2001). The Unknown 1930s. I.B.Tauris. p. 150. ISBN 978-1-86064-628-7. 
  16. ^ Brad Warner (2007). Sit Down and Shut Up. New World Library. p. 119. ISBN 978-1-57731-559-9. 
  17. ^ Ben Bova (2008-01-28). "Tips for writers". benbova.com. p. 2. Retrieved 2008-12-05. 
  18. ^ "Villains Don’t Always Wear Black". Revision Notes. Darcy Pattison. 2008-01-28. 

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Villain — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
1000000 videos foundNext > 

Ek Villain Full Songs Audio Jukebox | Sidharth Malhotra | Shraddha Kapoor

The wait is finally over!!!! We present to your full audio songs of Ek Villain starring Sidharth Malhotra and Shraddha Kapoor. Don't forget to share it with ...

Ek Villain: Galliyan Video Song | Ankit Tiwari | Sidharth Malhotra | Shraddha Kapoor

Watch this mystical number in the melodious voice of Ankit Tiwari from Ek Villain starring Sidharth Malhotra and Shraddha Kapoor. It is directed by Mohit Sur...

Ek Villain: Banjaara Full Video Song HD | Shraddha Kapoor, Siddharth Malhotra

Awari Full Video Song - Ek Villain = link : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iEvye095Xu4 ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ Shahfx Mixez ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ Ek Villain: Banjaara Full Video So...

Disney Villains - The Musical feat. Maleficent

Maleficent and her fellow Disney Villains have had enough! Subscribe for more: http://bit.ly/SubscribeAVbyte Behind the Scenes: http://youtu.be/IFB5Yh4XvdA W...

Zaroorat Full Video Song | Ek Villain | Mithoon | Mustafa Zahid

Here is the full video track of 'Zaroorat' from the movie Ek Villain starring Sidharth Malhotra and Shraddha Kapoor. It is directed by Mohit Suri. Do not for...

Ek Villain - New Official Trailer

The official new trailer of the most keenly anticipated romantic thriller of the season - Ek Villain. The director of Murder 2, Raaz 2 and Aashiqui 2, Mohit ...

Top 10 Disney Villain Songs

They're the tunes that make these animated bad guys look good. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we're counting down our picks for the top 10 Disney villai...

Ek Villain- Galliyan ᴴᴰ FULL Video Song HD - Ankit Tiwari - Sidharth Malhotra - Shraddha Kapoor

Awari Full Video Song - Ek Villain = link : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iEvye095Xu4 Ek Villain- Galliyan Video Song - Ankit Tiwari - Sidharth Malhotra - ...

Ek Villain - Official Teaser | Sidharth Malhotra, Shraddha Kapoor, Riteish Deshmukh

From the Director of 'Aashiqui 2', comes a musical romantic thriller 'Ek Villain'. Starring Sidharth Malhotra, Riteish Deshmukh and Shraddha Kapoor, the keen...

Ek Villain: Galliyan Full Audio Song | Ankit Tiwari | Sidharth Malhotra | Shraddha Kapoor

Listen to the full song Galliyan in the melodious voice of Ankit Tiwari from Ek Villain starring Sidharth Malhotra and Shraddha Kapoor. It is directed by Moh...

1000000 videos foundNext > 

46757 news items

 
Hollywood Life
Wed, 30 Jul 2014 08:07:44 -0700

We were shocked when Nick Viall announced on 'The Bachelorette: After The Fianl Rose' that he 'made love' with Andi Dorfman. A source close to Nick tells HollywoodLife.com EXCLUSIVELY how 'The Bachelorette' runner-up feels after revealing such ...
 
Telegraph.co.uk
Wed, 30 Jul 2014 02:11:15 -0700

Move over Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield, there's a new Spiderman in town – and he doesn't take competition lightly. In the video above, our masked hero is seen battling a baseball cap-wearing stranger on South Anne Street in Dublin's city centre.

TVLine

TVLine
Wed, 30 Jul 2014 09:13:12 -0700

The Flash doesn't premiere until Oct. 7, but things are already heating up in Central City. RELATED The Flash Welcomes Wentworth Miller as [Spoiler] — Plus: More Scoop on Robbie Amell and Firestorm. Kelly Frye (Rake) will guest-star as Bette San Souci ...
 
Mic
Wed, 30 Jul 2014 11:11:15 -0700

He's known as "the Demon" — a violent, zealous, loose cannon, thought to be the man who shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, killing all 298 people on board. As we scramble to understand what really happened that tragic day, we're learning more ...

Screen Rant

Screen Rant
Wed, 30 Jul 2014 16:48:45 -0700

Gotham, Fox's upcoming drama based on DC comics characters, revolves around Detective Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) as he deals with the crime running rampant in his hometown. However, the series has also been heavily promoted as an origin story for ...

KDramaStars

Hollywood Reporter
Tue, 29 Jul 2014 11:46:38 -0700

Is AMC's The Walking Dead planning to bring in current comics villain Negan? In a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment from the newly released season-five trailer, Glenn (Steven Yeun) seems to be in imminent danger from an unknown character seemingly ...

Comic Book Resources

Comic Book Resources
Wed, 30 Jul 2014 13:37:30 -0700

MOVIE URBAN LEGEND: The song “Let It Go” in Frozen saved Elsa from being a villain. It obviously comes as no surprise to any observers of the filmmaking process that what ends up on the screen is a result of a series of edits, evolutions and ...

Den Of Geek

Hollywood Reporter
Sat, 26 Jul 2014 22:08:22 -0700

There's already history for Ra's al Ghul, who has been mentioned by name over the course of the past two seasons as a distant, but powerful overarching villain. His daughter, League of Assassins member Nyssa al Ghul (Spartacus' Katrina Law), was the ...
Loading

Oops, we seem to be having trouble contacting Twitter

Talk About Villain

You can talk about Villain with people all over the world in our discussions.

Support Wikipedia

A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia. Please add your support for Wikipedia!