What are the greatest character examples of Good and Evil?

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Seiji, Nov 27, 2014.

  1. Taking all sources of entertainment: literature, comic books, anime, video games, film, folklore, etc., and excluding both God and the Devil, what characters do you think are exemplars Good or Evil?

    Describe what you would call good or evil, and describe the whys of your answer.

    Look forward to reading the responses! :)

    EXAMPLE: Emperor Palpatine of the Star Wars saga. He encapsulates greed, corruption, and the thirst for power. He is cruel, manipulative, and will throw the lives of millions away all for the sake of another vote. He has no qualms in sacrificing his most loyal companion and servant, all for just the chance of something better or stronger.
    #1 Seiji, Nov 27, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2014
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  2. Sonya, from Crime and Punishment. Perhaps I'd need to reread it to think more about her as a character, as I recall being more focused on Raskolnikov at the time, but as I recall she certainly fits the bill.
  3. [​IMG]

    The Operative: I'm sorry. If your quarry goes to ground, leave no ground to go to. You should have taken my offer. Or did you think none of this was your fault?
    Capt. Malcolm Reynolds: I don't murder children.
    The Operative: I do. If I have to.
    Capt. Malcolm Reynolds: Why? Do you even know why they sent you?
    The Operative: It's not my place to ask. I believe in something greater than myself. A better world. A world without sin.
    Capt. Malcolm Reynolds: So me and mine gotta lay down and die... so you can live in your better world?
    The Operative: I'm not going to live there. There's no place for me there... any more than there is for you. Malcolm... I'm a monster. What I do is evil. I have no illusions about it, but it must be done.
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  4. Damn, that's an awesome choice, Grumpy. I really loved his character. In DnD terms, I'd say he's the perfect example of Lawful Evil.
  5. The Joker

    even in the dark knight movies, he is less a character and more an unexplainable force of nature

    he has no backstory, just a force for carnage and chaos
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  6. Oh boy... Here I go....

    The figure of GOD as a Lawful Evil in Dante's Inferno.
    Despite people not being sinners he demands being acknowledged, and will unjustly send people to hell even if they do not commit a sin...
    .... I'm done for now.
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  7. Vegeta.


    He was born as a ruthless Saiyan, killing off species on a planet just so he can sell the planet. He was cold blooded and even when children were involved, he was not afraid of being ruthless as shown in one of the episode fillers when he so called "Saved" a planet and the child thanked him, but he still ended up blowing it up entirely just for shits and giggles. His partner Nappa whom he had known since childhood had failed in his battle against Goku, so Vegeta called him weak and ended up blowing up Nappa. Not caring for the fact that he had known him since childhood. He did not accept weaklings.


    However, after years living on earth, he began a family. Getting married and even having a son. Eventually, he got comfortable enough and became fond of the planet. However, he maintains his ruthless attitude from before and will kill if needed to. His family has become his life now. He has become one of the earth's protectors now and his changed ways has been accepted by the group as they now consider him their second strongest ally along with being one of the most important characters.

    #8 GhostJoker, Nov 27, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2014
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  8. @Ozzie Chanter

    Hey. I'm not touching that subject in an IRL matter. I knew what I was getting into by even mentioning Dante's Inferno.
    Things should be fine as long as everyone stays mature about it and knows I'm going by his indirect image in the book XD.
  9. Lord of the Rings has some goods ones, but I'll just pick one for each.

    For best example of good, I'd have to go with Gandalf. He has spent decades working against the super obvious evil overlord, he's wise, he's kind to everyone who isn't a total scumbag, so on and so forth. Dude's basically a wizard messiah.

    For the best example of evil, I'd go with Grima Wormtongue. Saruman started out with good intentions and would be more suited as corrupted good guy than a pure evil, and Sauron is basically a Satan allegory so he's a boring choice. Wormtongue though? Dude's slimy and selfish and creepy and is totally fine with letting the world burn so long as he gets what he wants. That there is pretty solid evil.
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  10. Keuka

    The only villain who ACTUALLY destroyed the world
  11. Dagoth Ur
    If you claim yourself a hero that creates his own fate.

    "You are bold. I honor your independence. You are one to teach the gods their limits. I hope the bards will praise the glory of your death in song."

    I'm not really sure if he's evil or simply insane. He has clear minded goals and accepts the mantle of responsibility for the death and destruction war inevitably brings.
    Who among us is willing to say we would have the strength to defy the will of the god's themselves?
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  12. *raises hand*
  13. Oh if you think he is bad, just wait till you get a load of mine...

    If we can't count the Bible as literature (since I'm an atheist and hold it as nothing more than literature), I'd probably have to go with...

    Pure Evil

    Fiction: Lady MacBeth. She is so twisted, so disgusting, and so disturbed, that she would happily smash a newborn baby just recently popped out of her against a rock if it meant that her husband would gain even an inch of power as a result. Holy shit. Not only that, but her pure, sickening evil, is enough to totally and utterly corrupt her husband into a tyrannical psychotic who murders people willy nilly if he even suspects they might act against him. When she realizes how evil she really is, and what she's done to her husband, she can't even stand living anymore and kills herself.

    She literally kills herself out of the sheer horror of realizing just how evil she is.

    That's pretty fucking nuts, isn't it.

    Pure Good

    Fiction: Superman. No, really, think about it. This guy refuses to kill unless there is absolutely no other option at all, period. He will recapture the same malevolent villains over, and over, and over again, just to bring them to prison. He is so filled with optimism, kindness, mercy, and love for humanity, that he will spend hours, flying just a few feet from you, silently, radiating charisma and pure sheer love, just to ensure that you won't kill yourself. He's like Jesus without the insane father figure and random destruction of a fig tree. Hell, he doesn't even want people worshiping him, he wants people to live their lives, safe and sound, learning how to be kind and loving and tolerant of one another. His entire goal in life is to see life flourish. All life. From cats and dogs to human beings.

    Superman is less a human character, and far more a character built on the premise of pure, shining, goodness in a can of whoop-ass. So if I had to pick a character that embodies pure, holy, loving, absolutely righteous kindness in the world, it'd be the guy who, with ultimate power, asks nothing of us, and is willing to lay down his life to protect us. Purely because he loves us. That much. No matter how fucking stupid we can be.


    But... If we could, count the Bible as literature... Since I don't worship that particular deity, or any other deity for that matter...

    Trigger Warning (open)
    No, really, if you consider God to be all merciful, loving, benevolent person, turn back now. This is a literary deconstruction of the character, not a personal opinion. You will not like what I'm about to say, and it may just hurt your feelings a lot, and that's not what I'm out to do. I'm not out to disprove your deity, or make you question your faith.

    If, however, you choose to read further anyway, I appreciate it. And if you can tolerate it, I will further appreciate your integrity of character.

    So, why would I consider the God of the Bible to be the greatest literature villain of all time?

    It's simple, really. He created the entirety of the universe, in all its pain, and flaws. He created all creatures to serve man, to be devoured by man, used by man, slain by man in sacrifices to him--he cares not for animals whatsoever, and made them beings with inferior intelligence purely so humanity could have perfect slaves to use and abuse as they pleased. The same humanity who he created purely to worship him, to sing his praises, to love him unconditionally. It gets worse when you realize that God is a character so petty and so desperate to have his self worth realized by others that he gave humanity free will purely so he could force them to love him of their own free will. Then, he created an impossible test in which humanity had no knowledge to know of deception, created a tree of knowledge with appealing fruit, and then delivered a snake to tempt them. Then, being omniscient, he pretended not to be aware of their being deceived.

    Then he punished them for their naivety because their free will didn't work the way he wanted.

    At one point, when humanity turns away from him, he grows so hate filled and spiteful that he drowns the entire world, innocent and guilty alike, man woman and child, animals, plants--everything dies. He only saves a small part of it purely so he can start the whole cycle over again and try to have them worship him with their free will, which he gave them purely so they could choose to worship him and thus feed his ego further.

    He orders the destruction of entire cities, the slaughter of ethnic groups, the mass rapes of women and mass slaughters of men, he endorses slavery and even describes how to treat your slave, and he has random spasms of deranged insanity. Such as granting the power to slaughter a thousand Palestinians to a man who murders people for losing a bet, on the condition that he never cuts his hair. He sends an angel down to talk to a guy for abusing his Donkey, and then the Donkey starts talking too. This is stuff I wish I could make up, I really do, but the creativity of this character can only be described as that of sheer, undivided madman on a power trip who snorted way too much cocaine.

    Hell, even to his most loyal follower, he happily engages in a bet with Lucifer (as the madman forgets he's omniscient for a moment here, completely in character) about the loyalty of one of his followers. He takes away his follower's family, property, and wealth, and leaves him lonely in destitution. However, Lucifer decides that's not enough and ups the ante. God then decides to degrade the health of one of his most loyal followers with horrifyingly vicious diseases. Then, once he wins the bet, he just leaves that follower to rot in his own shit and die.

    Then, as if his ego wasn't large enough, he makes himself into a man, makes it a Jesus Sue (literally born of Mary Sue), who proceeds to love people. Very briefly. Before allowing himself to be nailed to a stick by Romans and dying three days later. Then he goes to Heaven after forgiving everyone's sins. The sins he fostered on them in the first place. Only, wait, no, that doesn't count, if you don't believe in the main protagonist of the story, you still go to hell anyway. Then he promises that at some undisclosed date, he's going to throw a shitfit and murder everyone. Again. Presumable he tells the world this so he can satisfy his inner sadist some more.

    God is perhaps the most arrogant, insecure, malevolent, disturbed, psychotic, sadistic madman, who fetishizes violence to such an insane degree that he shows utterly zero compassion, mercy, or even regret for the things he's done. Even towards the most loyal of his own followers.

    And -that-, is a literary dissection of God, and why I think he's probably the greatest example of evil epitomized in a character in the Western World.

    Oh, and if you're wondering where Shakespeare got the idea to have Lady MacBeth promise to smash her baby's head against a rock... Here you go.
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  14. 0______0




  16. I will give one thing to the Bible. While it is an incoherent mess if you count it as one continuous line of fiction, (probably because the editors were largely themselves incapable of coming to an agreement on what books should be canon and what shouldn't be, and in what order they should go in) the individual short stories have stuck with us and impacted our culture for hundreds of years and serve as the foundation for even some modern tropes, like the sacrificial lion.

    That's pretty impressive, for an 1800 year old book. It's definitely worth reading if you want to increase your understanding of Western Literature, whether you believe in it or not.
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  17. We need some good guy examples

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  18. Pure evil? It doesn't get much worse than this lady, in my opinion.
    Behold! Dahlia Gillespie from Silent Hill who set her own six years old daughter on fire. The said daughter pretty much burned to crisp, yet she kept her alive using magic for seven years, knowing full well she was in a constant agony the entire time, in preparation for a ritual that would allow her daughter to give birth to a god. Yeah, the god in question is about as benevolent and peaceful as you can probably imagine.
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