The Thin Black Line: Anti-Hero or Villain?


The Punisher. Deadpool. Roland Deschain. Dexter Morgan. Severus Snape. Elric of Melnibone. John Wick. Michael Corleone. John McClane. Tyler Durden
Judging by the actions of these characters, they certainly can't be called "heroes". Dexter Morgan is a serial killer killer. The Punisher hunts and murders criminals. John Wick has the highest body count of any movie character.
So, if they're not "heroes", are they villains? No, that's not the right term, either. Severus Snape saves Harry Potter's life. John McClane rescues hostages from Nakatomi Towers.

Thus, the "anti-hero" is born!
Villains vs. Anti-Heroes: What's the Difference?
A villain is defined as, "the antagonist, the character who tends to have a negative effect on other characters" and "a cruelly malicious person who is involved in or devoted to wickedness or crime; scoundrel; or a character in a play, novel, or the like, who constitutes an important evil agency in the plot." (Source: Wikipedia)
Pay attention to that last one. The villain is the "evil agency in the plot", essentially the opponent to the main character (protagonist).
On the other hand, an anti-hero is defined as, "a protagonist who lacks conventional heroic qualities such as idealism, courage, or morality." (Source: Wikipedia)

Read the entire article in the July/Aug. 2017 issue of InD'Tale magazine.

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