Wednesday, December 30, 2009
A Question of Villainy
As the standard myth system goes, a main character usually mirrors the postive attributes of the society. The hero carries the hopes and conqers the fears of those who create the myth. Conversely, the villain embodies the terrors and sins that humanity wishes to overcome.
Our cultutre enjoys a "good" villian, someone acting bad with such style that we love to hate him. We shiver when she gives madness an element of sex appeal.
Stories like Buffy The Vampire Slayer came out of making bad guys look good-that is to say, appealing-and ultimately act good in some way. But that is the crux of my pondering; can a villain be the center of the story without doing the good deeds that heroes are required to perform? Could 101 Dalmations be told from the point of view of Cruella DeVil? And if it was, would the audience need to sympathize with her in order to stay interested or could Cruella remain as greedy, vengeful and insane as she is in the original?
At this point, I don't know of any stories (written, filmed, staged or sung) that explore this idea of the unrepentant or unreformed villain as main character. I think the only way to answer this line of questioning is to write a story from this perspective and see how it is received. Any thoughts?
at 3:48 pm