Who is the Gothic Villain? Is he a villain/hero? Is he a dangerous lover? The villain is usually dark and handsome, though he might have some tell-tell sign that warns he is wicked. The villains ranged from dark priests to mysterious bandits. Some start out as heroes but turn into villains. The Gothic villain has several identifying characteristics. They are shifty, cunning and can mold their behavior to match the need of the circumstance. Villains will utilize intimidation, deception, and even flattery to attain their objective.
So, who is the villain-hero? This villain may start out at the beginning of the story as a hero, or he may possess heroic characteristics, such as charisma, or he may have a …show more content…
Some of the tales that Poe utilized the Aristocrat villain: “The Fall of the House of Usher,” such characters appear in his stories ‘Metzengerstein’ (1840), ‘Berenice’ (1840), ‘Ligeia’ (1838), ‘The Oval Portrait’ (1842), and ‘The Masque of the Red Death’ (1842)” (Poe).
Poe had another villain; one that was not a typical gothic villain, this villain was the guilty conscious. These include ‘The Black Cat,’ ‘The Tell-Tale Heart,’ and the doppelganger story ‘William Wilson’ (1840). In, ‘The Black Cat’ and “The Tell-Tale Heart,’ it is the villains guilty conscious that give away his deed—in both cases the deed is murder. In the Tell-Tale Heart, it is the still beating heart of the old man that gets louder and louder and louder. In ‘The Black Cat’ it is the screaming animal on his wife’s head that is his undoing.
While the stories ‘The Pit and the Pendulum’ (1843), and ‘The Cask of Amontillado’ do not utilize a guilty conscience as their villain, “they [do] share the same paranoid intensity demonstrated in these tales” (Poe).
Sensationalizing controversy and fears, in the face of the quickly transforming social and economic environment, turn into the typical medium for gothic authors to engage in the aesthetic and political questions brought about by current events. The Gothic Villain personifies the evil the writers see in their society.