Looking for stories with pitiful but sympathetic villains
November 23, 2007 8:00 AM Subscribe
What are some stories with pitiful but sympathetic villains?
posted by phoenixy to media & arts (42 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I'm looking for fiction/non-fiction/movies/plays/TV shows/whatever with a weak bad guy the audience is supposed to find sympathetic.
In particular, I'm trying to find cases where the bad guy is genuinely bad but who also doesn't really deserve what's coming to him. The character should not be too threatening or powerful--I'm looking for characters who are kind of pitiful and in over their heads. He doesn't have to be an antagonist, but it doesn't count if he is portrayed in such a way as not to seem all that bad (as in a lot of crime stories, for example, or stories where the character mopes around feeling guilty). It is also key that the character is *supposed* to be sympathetic and at least a tiny bit likeable.
I'm having a tough time coming up with examples for this kind of thing...two characters that are close are Kardue'sai'Malloc (from Daniel Keys Moran's Star Wars universe stories) and Fagin. Malvolio, Wormtongue, and Gollum are a little further off but still along the lines of what I'm looking for.