Sometimes the villain is referred to as the persecutor and the hero as the rescuer. These character archetypes are deeply embedded in our subconscious so we respond to them in our stories.
The VICTIM is typically portrayed as innocent and helpless. They are forced into a situation undeservingly. However, the typical victim archetype can be skewed. Maybe they aren’t entirely blameless and must accept some measure of responsibility for their predicament. Humans don’t always act sensibly.
In an attempt to loosen the constraints of the drama triangle, victims may trade some of their passivity for assertive, targeted behavior. In essence, they are adopting aspects of the hero’s role by taking ownership of their situation.
The VILLAIN tends to be a witch or beast represented as a “monster”. The classic villain doesn’t commit nefarious acts for the sheer joy of it. In their minds, they are battling for a cause, an ideology and the greater good.
There are villainous aspects to heroes and victims when victims justify their own hurtful behavior to others. In modern character paradigms, villains can become supporters, as their bonds with the heroes and victims are strengthened.
The HERO is gallant, noble and praiseworthy. The hero must act in the greater good despite the danger. In the purest sense, a hero must act altruistically until justice is achieved. The Hero can be morphed so that an element of self-satisfaction is introduced into their quest. Consider Dorothy pouring water over the wicked witch in the “Wizard Of Oz”. This represents humanity’s propensity for selfish acts to make us feel better and alleviate our pain, rather always doing what is right.
The hero must free themselves from the attack and counter-attack vicious circle with the villain. Heroes no longer need to fight with their fists, but must find alternative solutions to problems. They can either manage them or avoid them. The hero still needs to fight for justice rather than simply accepting the situation as it stands.
As we redraw character archetypes and blend their traits, we create more exciting combinations of them.
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