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Hannibal Lecter - An Intelligent Psychopath?

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Hannibal Lecter - An Intelligent Psychopath? What would any normal person think of when they pictured a homicidal cannibalistic psychopath? Someone who was mentally sick and twisted, with a very low intelligence level, and someone who could not properly distinguish between right and wrong. It would be very unlikely that such a psychopath would be thought of as intelligent. Hannibal Lecter is the homicidal cannibalistic psychopath created in Thomas Harris' novel 'The Silence Of The Lambs'. Hannibal Lecter is portrayed in the story as a genius who is capable of many intellectual achievements, but at the same time is a cannibalistic murderer. Lecter was described to have committed many savage deeds connected to his cannibalistic appetite. For example, eating a man's liver. "A census taker tried to quantify once. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a big Amarone," This reveals a sardonic side to Lecter's humour. But he still does not feel that it is wrong to murder people by eating them. This is what he truly feels and we discover this when he says, "Can you stand to say I'm evil? ...read more.


The FBI agent who was investigating the actions of one of Lecter's former patients who was currently roaming the country killing young women in atrocious fashions received a note from Lecter which read, "O wrangling schools, that search what fire, Shall burn this world, had none the wit, Unto this knowledge to aspire, That this her fever might be it? I'm so sorry about Bella, Jack," Bella was Jack's wife who was currently dying and there was no possible way that Lecter could have come to know this. The only evidence which Lecter had to support this was the fact that Jack Crawford was still working despite his being so close to retirement and the fact that he was a stoic. "Jack would have packed it in ages ago especially because of Bella, I guess the only thing keeping him from it is Buffalo Bill," - Buffalo Bill bring the serial killer. The fact that Lecter was able to figure this out made a large impact on me. How could someone who thinks it perfectly all right to eat someone without significant cause be so alert to things? ...read more.


More likely it would be an ability he had to shut everything off and concentrate on smell. There were many times that this happened. "You use Evyan skin cream, and sometimes you wear L'Air Du Temps, but not today," "How did you know about the perfume?" "A puff from you bag as you got your card out,". There was also another incident like this. "'You have on a fresh Band-Aid, Clarice,' the band aid was out of sight on her calf beneath her trousers - he must smell it,". His ability to smell things - even when there were such small quantities of them was an ability which represented Lecter's much larger ability to observe and analyse things and always end up with the best and correct outcome. Hannibal Lecter was described as a "sociopath" in the novel - and to a certain extent, I agree with this. But sometimes I wonder if he was actually just so intelligent that it was sometimes easy for him to get stuck on one point of view like he was about his cannibalistic habits - he thought it was just like a storm, an "Act of god". He was a very interesting character who profoundly intrigued me. ...read more.

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