Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights is quite a memorable villain, though some would classify him as an anti-hero. Abused and discriminated against since childhood, he is an angry, vengeful man. When his beloved Catherine marries the wealthy Edgar Linton and claims it would "degrade her" to marry Heathcliff, he starts a decades-long vengeance plot, one which almost drags the following generation into the same misery which characterizes his own.
Heathcliff is a complex creation. His outsider status and love for Catherine make him sympathetic, but his sadism and ruthlessness temper the idea that he just needs the love of a good woman to save him (as Isabella Linton foolishly believes when she elopes with him). Still, he is no banal mustache-twirler. He continues to rivet and enrage readers almost two centuries after Wuthering Heights's publication.