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Compare and contrast the presentation of the villain in Othello, Wuthering Heights and The Collecter.

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Introduction

Compare and contrast the presentation of the concept of the villain in ?Othello? by William Shakespeare, ?Wuthering Heights? by Emily Bronte and ?The Collector? by John Fowles. Othello by William Shakespeare, Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte and The Collector by John Fowles each has a villainous character woven into the text. My idea of a traditional villain is someone guilty or capable of a crime or wickedness, this suggestion shall be used in my evaluation of the characters in each text to decide whether the characters have been presented as convincing villains and if they fit the description of ?the villain?, as someone who is evil and devious. It could be said that the main villain in the play ?Othello? by William Shakespeare is the character Iago. He is a typical villain in the fact that he is completely capable of causing wickedness. He quotes in the play ?By Janus, I think no? this is a good indication of Iagos personality as Janus is a two-faced Roman god. This is significant as Iago manipulates Othello by pretending to be loyal and trustworthy, when in reality he is deceitful and only interested in personal gain. Iago?s character has no redeemable qualities as even when he is kind to people it is false. This is a contrast to the character Fredrick Clegg in John Fowles? novel ?The Collector?. Clegg kidnaps a young woman and holds her captive in his basement, although Cleggs? act can be described as villainous as it is a crime, he nevertheless doesn?t fit the stereotypical description of a villain as in his mind what he has done isn?t a immoral act to carry out. In contrast to Iago, Clegg does have a more caring side, this is revealed when Miranda describes Clegg as pandering to her needs, ?he bought me things I didn?t even ask for? showing that Clegg is being selfless. ...read more.

Middle

It can be noted that Clegg has an obsessive personality which would perhaps make a reader less likey to warm to him as a character. He also has trouble talking about deeper feelings and emotions because he repressed them violently in his childhood - a response to the deaths of his father and uncle, and the rejections of his aunt and mother ?My father was killed driving. I was two. That was in 1937. He was drunk, but my Aunt Annie always said it was my mother that drove him to drink?. This is similar to Heathcliff?s who also had a difficult upbringing. It could be argued from this that that a reader would not view Clegg or Heathcliff as true villains as they almost have a justification for their actions. Clegg was also deprived of a "normal" childhood by living with a "nonconformist"; this would make him feel different, which would make him make himself immune to outside problems, which is why he can't ever talk below the surface or take responsibility for his actions. Clegg can?t admit that he has stolen Miranda?s freedom ?Do you think a madman would have treated you the way I have?? this makes him seem naive and obsessive, convincing himself that his actions are right, hoping that Miranda will forgive him for taking her once she has time to get to know him. Clegg has dreams about their life together, marriage and children, this also makes Clegg seem quite deluded and makes reader feel sorry for him rather than dislike him as a character or view him as a villain. Clegg?s personality is not typical of a cruel, manipulative villain but of an outsider who doesn?t understand what is right and wrong. His intensions towards Miranda are good in his own mind, supported when he calls her his "guest" rather than the prisoner. Clegg promises Miranda that when she got ill he would call for a doctor. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is in similar to Clegg, who talks about being with Miranda ?in the great beyond? however Clegg doesn?t express his feelings for Miranda like Heathcliff does for Cathy, Clegg is much more matter of fact about her death, for example ?we are just like insects, we live a bit and then die and then that?s the lot?. In this part of the novel Heathcliff shows his vulnerable side which isn?t typical of a villain and supports the idea that he perhaps isn?t a true villain. In conclusion the presentation of the concept of the villain in ?Othello? by William Shakespeare, ?Wuthering Heights? by Emily Bronte and ?The Collector? by John Fowles are all very different. The Presentation of Iago in ?Othello? is of a manipulative man who will use anybody to achieve his goals; he is also the villain as he murders other characters and is the main cause of the breakdown between Othello and Desemona. Shakespears presentation is clever as the character within the novel, with perhaps exception of Emilia is not aware of Iago?s true nature whereas the audience is. Clegg in ?The Collector? is more complex, although in society Clegg?s ideas of love and kidnapping are not typical but in his own mind he is not doing anything wrong, he claims to feel for his ?victim? Miranda and treats her well but ultimately his actions lead to her death which would class him as a villain. Lastly Heathcliff in ?Wuthering Heights? comes across as a dark character, his difficult past gives reasoning to why he acts the way he does, however his cruelty to others would make him a villain, however his love for Catherine shows another side to him and her death reveals to a reader just how much he is capable of caring for someone. It can be noted from these three texts that all do have qualities of a villain, for example hurting others, causing death and cruelty, however all the characters mentioned are villains in different ways and have different motivations as to why they act in that way. ...read more.

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