Why do we love to hate certain characters? Why are we attracted to characters that are so obviously terribly flawed?
I was thinking about this today and came up with a variety of reasons.
- Pity – We understand that they are flawed, but they don’t see their wrongs, so we feel badly for them. (Example: King Lear, Gatsby)
- Entertainment – Because we wouldn’t actually be that evil and manipulative in real life even though it looks like fun. (Iago, Richard III, Mrs Coulter)
- Association – We can relate to their problems and understand their situations. (Severus Snape, Daisy Buchanon, Mrs Coulter, Narcissa Malfoy)
- Anger – Because they evoke emotion that makes us want to rip our brains out. (Dolores Umbridge, Madame Morrible)
- Frustration – This is also known as ‘Horror Movie Syndrome’ when you constantly find yourself yelling into the page ‘Don’t do it!’ and then they do it anyways. (Macbeth)
I’m sure there are more. That was fun. Thoughts?