I was thinking the other days that there are so many book villains that are so well created and have such a powerful impact on the story they are part of, that there is no way we cannot somehow have a weird love-hate feeling about them. I started to think of my favorite villains and so this list came to my mind, so I decided to share it with you.
Cathy Ames is the villain John Steinbeck created for his novel “East of Eden”. She is the wife of Adam Trask, with whom she has the twins: Caleb and Aron. In the beginning, the author describes her as being a very beautiful woman but changes this description along with the story
Cathy was born with an innocent look that fooled many; she had golden blond hair, hazel eyes, a thin and dedicated nose and a small chin to make her face look heart-shaped(….)
Her head jerked up and her sharp teeth fastened(…) her jaw was set and her head twisted and turned, mangling his hand the way a terrier worries a sack.
Cathy thinks that there is only evil in this world. Because of this, she accepts her sinful mind and acts as a symbol of devilry.
“East of Eden” is one of the best books ever written and a great merit is due to the amazing way Steinbeck managed to shape his main antagonist.
It is very difficult to pick just one antagonist from “A Song of Ice and Fire”. If you think about it for more than a minute, in the end, all of the characters are villains in a way. However, my favorite one is Cersei Lannister. Why?
She is evil, but also very lovingly towards the people that matter to her (the list is very short, but that is irrelevant). The evilness that she is capable of, is all because of all the wrongs life gave her. Cersei hates that she was born a woman, but she knows exactly what assets she has besides her brains
Tears aren’t a woman’s only weapon. The best one’s between our legs
For me “A Song of Ice and Fire” is one of the best things I have ever read, but I cannot think about this story without Cersei in it, so I hope George R.R.Martin will keep her alive till the last page.
This is a couple that was brought to life by Victor Hugo in his novel “Les Misérables”. They are not the only villains from the book, but they are so wicked that you cannot read the story without remembering them.
They own an inn and take advantage of all their customers by cheating them. When they lose their business, they start to blame everybody but themselves for their failure.
In all Thénardier’s outpourings, the words and gestures, the fury blazing in his eyes, this explosion of an evil nature brazenly exposed, the mixture of bravado and abjectness, arrogance, pettiness, rage, absurdity
I read “Les Misérables” when I was a child and I wasn’t much of a fan of this novel, but I remember that I really hated these two, due to the way they blackmailed Jean Valjean, the main character.
Even though this story is not in my top favorite reads, I still have the image of the villains vivid in my mind, so I think that “Les Misérables” is a novel worth to lecture.
Of course, we all love Sherlock Holmes. I mean, how can you not? But I bet that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories wouldn’t be anything without Professor Moriarty’s existence.
In order to create him, the author searched for inspiration in several places such as the mastermind criminal, Adam Worth, and mathematicians, Carl Friedrich Gauss and Srinivasa Ramanujan. This mix of genius made Moriarty to be the perfect nemesis for Sherlock Holmes, just as he also agrees
The greatest schemer of all time, the organizer of every devilry, the controlling brain of the underworld, a brain which might have made or marred the destiny of nations—that’s the man!
From my point of view, this is the perfect example of “villain that we love to hate”
“The Picture of Dorian Gray” is the only novel written by Oscar Wilde. The plot is set in the Victorian era and has as main character the rich, beautiful and vain Dorian Gray. As he poses for the painter Basil Hallward he talks about how the most important thing in life is beauty.
After ending his wedding engagement because of vanity reasons, he discovers how his portrait changes and Dorian understands that his painting takes all the ugliness from inside him, leaving him beautiful on the outside. Realizing this, he locks the portrait and for eighteen years, he does every wicked, immoral thing that he can without aging a day.
You will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you never had the courage to commit.
I think that Dorian Gray is one of the most important figures among the literature villains, being also one of the few that is the protagonist and antagonist at the same time.
“Crime and Punishment” is the first book that I read written by Dostoevsky and because of it, I fell irreparable in love with Russian Classics. Maybe this is the reason why I decided to add Svidrigailov in this list, but anyhow I think he deserves his name among the literature villains.
He is a very complex character, just as all Dostoevsky’s creations.
There was something about Svidrigaïlov which gave him a certain original, even a mysterious character
Most of the sins he has on his conscience are in his past and in the present, he somehow can appear generous. However, this doesn’t stop him to blackmail the protagonist, Raskolnikov and his sister, Dunya, also trying to rape the later.
I want to stay on the same page as above and talk about another classic novel from Russia. And let me tell you, this one really is the reason for all the evilness in the world, because well…he is the Devil himself.
In “The Master and Margarita”, Bulgakov describes his antagonist not as the red, horned creature who is the ruler of Hell, but as a sociable, philosophic, foreign professor by the name of Woland.
His vileness is not conclusive until the moment of his Ball, which was the reason for him to visit Moscow. I left this character to be the last because I wanted to finish this article with a quote from the “Master” of villains himself:
What would your good do, if evil didn’t exist?