Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Villians we sympathise with (Part 3)

A big "Thank you" to Miss Laurie from Old Fashion Charm (which is one of my favourite blogs, I encourage you to check it out if you haven't already), who has been kind enough to give us 6 more suggestions:

Mr Elliot

Mr Elliot is a villain in Jane Austen's Persuasion. He is the cousin of the main character Anne Elliot who re-unites with her family after a falling out when he married a very rich woman who was of inferior birth. After the death of his wife he desires to move up socially, to do this he reconcilles with the Elliots to gain higher social connections. Mr Elliot is very sly in his actions and changes his thoughts, opinions, manner and actions to suit whatever situation he is in. He also proposes to Anne with the intention of setting her up as his wife whilst still keeping Mrs Clay as his mistress.  
Personally I cannot even force myself to sympathise with Mr Elliot, I find him to be a slimeball, he is totally creepy and the only two villains I can think of right now which are worse than he is are Mr Collins (Pride & Prejudice) and Alec D'Urberville (Tess of the D'Urberville's). I am not sure whether I believe his admiration for Anne's character is sincere but I supose you could sympathise with him in the fact that he does lose Anne and is ultimately left with Mrs Clay who is just alike him in disposition and perhaps she will also play him just as she played everyone else.

Mr Elton

Mr Elton is one of Jane Austen's villains in her novel Emma. He is a clergyman who after being rejected by Emma literally runs-off and picks up a wealthly wife as if to shove it in Emma's face. If I had to name why I sympathised with Elton it would be because of his wife, although it could be said they deserve each other, or like many other villains this is in fact his punishment, his wife is a horrible character. Mrs Augusta Elton is much worse than Mr Elton she is a social climber, annoying and utterly ridicuclous. She is rich and constantly reminding those around her of the fact, she sticks her nose into everyone business because ultimately she believes everything is her business. She believes she is the best thing to come to Highbury and is determined to control every situation, ball, party and person! The information given to us in the novel about Augusta is not much however it is enough to give us an insight into the person she is, I cannot begin to imagine what it would be like for poor Mr Elton living with Augusta as his wife :)

John Thorpe 

John is a character out of Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey (my favourite novel!) and although I have never really thought of him as a villain, most likely because I like him so much, he is such a great character and absolutely hilarious, he can definitely be counted as a villain. John is, I think, one of those characters you love or hate as he is quite dimwitted, rude, obnoxious and always talking about horses or carriages especially at the most inopportune times. John is the chief instigator of all the trouble the befalls Catherine Morland during the course of the novel as he lies to General Tilney about Catherine being wealthy. I find it quite easy to feel sorry for John, particularly because he is such a hilarious character but also because he did intend to marry Catherine and the lie about her wealth ultimately brought her closer to Henry Tilney, the man whom he was contending against for Catherines attentions. We never really get to know what happens to John, his character disappears after he helps the plot in the right direction, so i must admit I feel sorry for him in the fact that he is a character who unintentionally points the story in the right direction but doesn't gain the anything, and is never heard of again.

The last 3 suggestions were:

- Mr Tulkinghorn (Bleak House)
- Mr Smallweed (Bleak House)
- Bradley Headstone (Our Mutual Friend)

Unfortunatley I don't know anything about these characters so I am going to have to do a little research on them before I post up their small profile. If you know of them I would love to hear why you think people may feel sympathetic towards them despite that they are villains.

Also have you noticed all our villains are males!? I wonder if in general we sympathise more with male villains then female ones? I would love to know any female villains you sympathise with?

*UPDATE (14/05/11):
As you are most likely already aware Blogger has had some issues the past couple of days, the result for this blog was some posts being temporarily taken off. Although the posts were restored the comments were not :) so if you posted a comment on this post I have re-posted it from the notification email I received :)


Tristans_Isolde said...

Miss Laurie wrote:

Most of the time I try not to sympathize with villains, usually I just enjoy watching them because like Mr. Elliot and Mr. Elton they are such interesting characters. A few villains I do feel sorry for but most you just can't feel sorry for because they chose their own paths and consequences.
I'm so glad Northanger Abbey is your favorite Jane Austen too! I adore all of the characters and John Thorpe is so funny! I love thinking of him as a used car salesmen especially in the parts of the books where he's trying to impress Catherine by giving her the details of his carriage "gig". I love the photos you chose of these delightful Austen scoundrels!
The best way to learn more about the three Dickens villains is to watch Bleak House and Our Mutual Friend if at all possible. Both are amazing miniseries which I always enjoy!
Yes, it's strange that there's no lady villains. I just can't think of any in classic literature, but there must be many.

Tristans_Isolde said...

Very true, they do often bring their fate upon themselves.
John Thorpe is very much like a used car salesman!!! haha. I think a lot of the characters in Northanger are so funny, its such a great book!
I really should watch both Bleak House and Our Mutual Friend. They both sound very interesting :)

Mal said...

I just had a "hey I know that actor from another show!" moment! The actor who plays John Thorpe is also Roy in Robin Hood!

RosieP said...

["He is the cousin of the main character Anne Elliot who re-unites with her family after a falling out when he married a very rich woman who was of inferior birth. After the death of his wife he desires to move up socially, to do this he reconcilles with the Elliots to gain higher social connections."]

William Elliot had no need to "move up socially". As Sir Walter's heir, his position in society was already guaranteed. But I do realize that he was genuinely attracted to Anne. He could have easily settled for Elizabeth and put himself in a position to keep a permanent eye on Sir Walter. Elizabeth genuinely wanted him for a spouse.