Thursday, 25 April 2013

V is for Villains

Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono /
We all love a good villain in our fiction. The following quotes all contain things that should be kept in mind when crafting the villain in your story:

"Evil, when we are in it's power, is not felt as evil but as a necessity, or even a duty." Simone Weil

"All Cruelty springs from weakness." Seneca

"Monsters are real, and ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win." Stephen King

"I like villains because there's something so attractive about a committed person - they have a plan, an ideology, not matter how twisted. They're motivated." Russell Crowe

"Life is not that simple, and people can't be boxed into being either heroes or villains." Jessica Hagedorn

"You can figure out what the villain fears by his choice of weapons." Connie Brockway, The Bridal Season

"A villain must be a thing of power, handled with delicacy and grace. He must be wicked enough to excite our aversion, strong enough to arouse our fear, human enough to awaken some transient gleam of sympathy. We must triumph in his downfall, yet not barbarously nor with contempt, and the close of his career must be in harmony with all its previous development." Agnes Repplier

"An excellent man, like precious metal, is in every way invariable; A villain, like the beams of a balance, is always varying, upwards and downwards." John Locke

"The villain of any story is often the most compelling character." John Hodgman

"Evil is a point of view." Anne Rice, Interview with a Vampire

"All things truly wicked start from an innocence." Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast

"No one becomes depraved all at once." Juvenal, Satires

"Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction." Blaise Pascal

Do you have any good villain quotes to share? Let me know in the comments section below, I'd love to hear from you.


  1. I don't have a quote, but there has been a villain or two in abook that I just hated to dislike. Sometimes they are more dynamic than the hero.

  2. Blaise Pascal said that about evil? Interesting coming from the man who wrote on religious theory.

  3. I like your recognition that evil doesn't necessarily feel evil when we are in its thrall. And perhaps that good and evil are more bound up in each other than we might like to think. Nearly done with this challenge: all the best finishing up!