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Most Memorable Villains in British Literature?In British literature, who are your most...

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mjay25 | Student, Graduate | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted April 11, 2012 at 8:44 PM via web

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Most Memorable Villains in British Literature?

In British literature, who are your most memorable villains, and why?

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e-martin | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted April 11, 2012 at 9:07 PM (Answer #2)

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I look at Kurtz from Heart of Darkness as an anti-hero very close to being a villain. His character is extremely memorable, mysterious, symbolic and haunting. His last words, "the horror, the horror" have echoed through literature for over a century now and still maintain their enigmatic power. 

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted April 11, 2012 at 10:24 PM (Answer #3)

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I just hated to love the villain of Anthony Burgess' A Clockwork Orange, the young "droog" thug, Alex. Guilty of "ultraviolent" acts of assault, raping older women as well as young "devotchkas," and finally murder, Alex nevertheless finds a way to beat the ultra-progressive British judicial system. An experimental treatment helps to cure him before he eventually returns to his old ways.

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rrteacher | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted April 12, 2012 at 12:26 AM (Answer #4)

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I also think Kurtz is a great villian. He makes my skin crawl, anyway. Another one, though he experiences a change of heart, is Ebenezer Scrooge. Dracula, from Bram Stoker's work. Iago is probably Shakespeare's worst villain, though Macbeth or Claudius are also pretty bad. Grendel and his mother from Beowulf, Big Brother from 1984, though he's more of an institution than a person. The Green Knight is another. Finally, or course, there is Lucifer/Satan   from Paradise Lost.

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kiwi | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted April 15, 2012 at 11:01 PM (Answer #5)

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My vote goes with Mrs Danvers in Daphne du Maurier's "Rebecca". She is sinister, evil and a clever torturer. She was also magnificently portrayed in the Hitchcock film based on the novel. Chapter twelve, where she calmly coaxes the new Mrs de Winter to consider suicide is chilling in the extreme.

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jihyunkim67 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Assistant Educator

Posted May 21, 2012 at 5:29 AM (Answer #6)

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Richard Rich in A Man for All Seasons is a villain-like character in British literature as well as British history. A man who sold out his friend Thomas More for an exchange with higher position and wealth, claimed a false testimony which lead to the execution of a highly admirable hero.

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