Villain protaganists

Discussion in 'Movies and Television' started by AniProwl, Nov 7, 2009.

  1. AniProwl

    AniProwl Banned

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    For my final research paper in English, I have to use Peter Schaffer's play Amadeus as my main source for an analysis of a villain who usually is a main character. In the case of the play, that is Salieri

    By using TV tropes, I found out that this type of character is called a Villain Protagonist.
    Villain Protagonist - Television Tropes & Idioms

    Also, my teacher said other examples would be Shakespeare's Macbeth which I haven't read yet. I talked to him via phone and asked him if characters like Darth Vader apply. He said yes.

    So, I want to ask what other characters in media are applied to this term.
    Does anyone have any good examples?
     
  2. smkspy

    smkspy is one nice fucking kitty

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    Mickey and Malore Knox from Natural Born Killers.

    Any lead from a gangster movie is a villain protagionst.

    Bonnie and Clyde.

    I'm on the fence about Darth Vader being a villain protaganist. Someone needs to convince cause I really don't see it.
     
  3. GogDog

    GogDog Logic's wayward son Veteran

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    Light in Death Note is a good example. He was pretty sinister, yet was certainly the protagonist.
     
  4. Optimus Sledge

    Optimus Sledge Yar har fiddle di dee

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    I can kinda see it. With the prequel stories, the whole Star Wars series of films is about the fall and redemption of Anakin/Vader, but that's really a retrospective thing. A New Hope doesn't feature Vader as a protaganist. Hell, he's pretty much the Dragon for that film.
     
  5. Erector

    Erector I ruined the Hall of Fame

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    Alex DeLarge in A Clockwork Orange, perhaps?
     
  6. Cyber-Kun

    Cyber-Kun UNLEASHED!

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    In certain books, Dr. Doom is a good example
     
  7. smkspy

    smkspy is one nice fucking kitty

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    Yeah, this is kinda the way I see it too. Though in the prequels, I see him more as the tragic hero than a villain protagonist.
     
  8. GogDog

    GogDog Logic's wayward son Veteran

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    Anakin was a protagonist in the prequel triliogy, but not a villain until the end. The original Vader was in no way a protagonist. A protagonist is someone whom the story centers around, which was Luke. Vader was a classic antagonist.
     
  9. Sol Fury

    Sol Fury The British Butcher Administrator News Staff

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    I think you really ought to read Macbeth.
     
  10. Optimus Sledge

    Optimus Sledge Yar har fiddle di dee

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    Vader really isn't a good example. I can see the argument, but I don't agree with it.

    By the way, if the OP has read the TV Tropes article, how many more examples does he need?
     
  11. AniProwl

    AniProwl Banned

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    Do you think Ben Linus from LOST qualifies as a Villain Protagonist?
     
  12. Cruellock

    Cruellock Disney Villain

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    Sweeny Todd, and yeah, read Macbeth. Very good story.
     
  13. jonatron26

    jonatron26 Well-Known Member

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    does tyler durden count?
     
  14. Nachtsider

    Nachtsider Banned

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    William Gull from 'From Hell'.
     
  15. Pravus Prime

    Pravus Prime Sorcerer

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    Pretty much.

    I think anyone arguing Vader has a very thin ice arguement at best. He's a Hero until Palpatine moves the switch on his back from Good to Evil, then he's unrepentantly evil until Luke at the last second gets him to switch back. Add in that he's not any kind of protagonist in the original trilogy and you don't have much of an arguement.

    The TV Tropes has all the examples I can think of, with the best (IMHO) being Dr. Horrible and obviously The Tragedy of MacBeth.
     
  16. Boardwise

    Boardwise is scary - Sig Killer - M Super Mod

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    Verbal Kint in The Usual Suspects might be a good example of a villain protagonist
     
  17. gil

    gil Godmaster

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    Chev Chelios, from the Crank movies.
     
  18. jonatron26

    jonatron26 Well-Known Member

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    the guy from "Catch Me if You Can."
     
  19. Lunar Archivist

    Lunar Archivist Well-Known Member

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    Riddick from The Chronicles of Riddick series probably qualifies.

    If we can expand the search parameters to include comic books, I would say that Catwoman, the current incarnation of the Secret Six, and Deathstroke the Terminator (back when he still had his own title) from DC and the original Thunderbolts from Marvel also count.
     
  20. Aernaroth

    Aernaroth <b><font color=blue>I voted for Super_Megatron and Veteran

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    No, because very little of the series actually focuses on him as the main character.

    Oooh, tough call. By the end of the film
    we know that he is actually the villain and has been the whole time, but we also know by then that his entire story is suspect, and very likely lies. And in that story, although he's a protagonist, he's not a villain, more a tragic figure.

    Be careful in which characters you choose, because there's a fine line between a Villain Protagonist (The VILLAIN, who is the MAIN CHARACTER of the story) and an anti-hero (A HERO, who does EVIL THINGS in order to succeed).

    You'll also likely find that even the worst Villain Protagonists are going to have redeeming qualities and a heavy dose of pathos, otherwise the audience wouldn't be able to support them, identify with them, or want to see anything but their downfall.

    Off the top of my head, some other Villain Protagonists would be...

    Alex from A Clockwork Orange
    Jekyll/Hyde in Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
    The Invisible Man in The Invisible Man
    Lestat in Interview with The Vampire

    Thats all I can think of for now. There's probably a bunch of other great examples in classical literature that I'm forgetting right now, but MacBeth is a very good case to work with.


    Edit: Remembered a couple more.

    Fantomas from the works of Allain et Souvestre
    Grimly Feendish from the old British WHAM! comics
    Hannibal from Hannibal Rising
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2009

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