And with this final essay my school year is complete. As you can see, I have a clear assignments list. This last essay I wrote was for Advanced Composition and is about the three kinds of characters in stories. I’ll probably be posting the other essays I did for Advanced Composition. This was an essay I had 15 minutes to prep for and 30 minutes to write, so forgive any errors you see, but I am posting it completely unedited, exactly as I submitted it. Hopefully you guys enjoy reading my little monologue on modern dramatis personae. 🙂
Modern secular novel, movie, and TV show heroes seem to have turned into imbeciles, boring faces, or fallen to slapstick comedy, while bad guys have grown more attractive, complex, and intriguing. This sad state of affairs points at a world who has lost interest in the “good guy” – which has become cliché and boring – while villains take the spotlight because they do what others cannot do. In considering characters, however, most people overlook the third party to the trio. When people think of the dramatis personae from any kind of media, heroes and villains come to mind. Most people forget about the antihero, the complex character who can never quite act hero-like or villain-like. With the way the dice have fallen, the hero has disappeared into obscurity, and the villain remains for people to fix their attention on. Studying the antihero character just might repair the way society has fallen.
Everyone knows the right thing to do. God imprinted this concept on all human beings from day one. Heroes do just that. They always do the right thing no matter what. Hard decisions cause them no trouble, and sometimes they do not even have to deal with difficult choices. Straightforward defines the place of a hero. With all the fairytales and kids’ stories out there, authors now portray heroes as cliché, handsome knights ready to save the damsel in distress. Only ever desiring the right thing, heroes have no conflict over wanting to do evil. No one can relate with this kind of character. Modern pens have turned the hero into a boring, flat character.
On the other hand the villain attracts people. Why? Simply because the villain does what the rest of the human population cannot or should not. Villains have a free pass to wreak whatever havoc they wish. Movies, novels, and TV shows provide the means to escape reality. People like a place where they can do, think, and say whatever they wish. Just as God imprinted good on people, He has also given society a conscience to know evil. But as Adam and Eve did in the Garden, humans always wish to do what they cannot or should not.
Stealing the place for the most human character, antiheroes blur the line between good and evil. People relate the most with these characters. Vigilantes attract viewers because of this very reason. Antiheroes have to deal with the difficult decisions. Usually a lot of moral and internal struggle follows in their wake. Despite wanting to do the right thing, antiheroes always make mistakes. Stories portraying an antihero often deal with complicated moral issues which step beyond black and white. These could go from anything such as killing one to save others, to euthanasia, or abortion.
Movies, novels, and TV shows provide entertainment. People use them as an escape to leave reality behind and experience what they cannot do. They watch, read, and absorb these stories for the sake of relating to the characters. Authors portray villains as more attractive than the heroes because they can do the bad things others cannot do. Heroes on the other hand have fallen into the trash as cliché, redundant, and repetitive. Nobody likes a do-good. This leaves no connection between the viewer or reader and the character. Key to reviving entertainment and bringing the focus away from evil, the antihero should replace the hero. Antiheroes struggle with their desires and their longing to do right, and they have complicated, intriguing, and relatable character arcs. Secular society has sided with the villains, and the antihero just might draw it back.