– Sorry this one is late. I was sick this weekend and it through off my schedule. I did finish two books though, which was nice.
Hmmmmm… he has regrets?
If you call yourself “evil,” then you probably aren’t.
Unless you’re a Saturday morning cartoon villain, I mean. Nyeh heh heh heeeh!!
Eh, doesn’t really work. Evil can be honest or lie about itself, or be self-aware, without inherently changing. It’s not like Good, where self-delusion and arrogance can be a corruptive influence.
I have seen one convincing villain who knew he was evil. The guy from the Serenity movie, he knew he was doing terrible things, that he was a monster. He just believed that someone had to do these things to bring about a peaceful utopia for humanity, a utopia that he would never belong in because he was evil.
Thanos from the Avengers: Infinity War feels much the same to me. Except he doesn’t believe any of what he is doing is evil; regrettable, yes, but not evil. With the ending, I’m not sure if he thinks he has a place in his ‘better world’ or not.
Meh, acknowledging that you are evil doesn’t instantly make you not evil. It may be the first step towards it, but it may not.
True and thorough evil knows that it is evil, accepts it… enjoys it.
“True and thorough evil knows that it is evil, accepts it… enjoys it.”
I’ll disagree to that, while I’m not sure what exactly “true evil” means to you (meter maids?), I’m quite sure you can be thoroughly evil and blissfully unaware of it.
Adolf Hitler as standard example for evil seemed to think he was doing the world a favour trying to wipe certain groups out, not doing something bad.
I agree with you here. In fiction we accept the idea that someone is evil as part of their personality without questioning it, but in real life it doesn’t work like that. Everyone is the “Good Guy” in their own world. When people do “evil” things it’s always either because they think it’s the right thing to do, or they have a justification at hand (legit or not), like seeing themselves as the victims.
“Adolf Hitler as standard example for evil seemed to think he was doing the world a favour trying to wipe certain groups out, not doing something bad.”
He’s the standard example of evil because he accomplished a relatively large amount of death (Stalin and Mao both made him look like a rank amateur, but somehow, Hitler is still the one we talk about…).
But really, there’s a decent argument that he was simply mad (especially at the end). Brilliantly charismatic, but mad. We don’t blame the insane for what they do.
“Everyone is the “Good Guy” in their own world.”
No, they don’t. What I’m pointing out is that the most evil people are the ones who DON’T do this.
Most of the worst tyrants, for example, would fit this bill. Stalin, Mao, even Saddam Hussein (with his relatively-speaking “small” accomplishments in the “number of people killed” category) fit this. They don’t do stuff for the good of anyone but themselves, and generally, they know it and accept it.
Well, since I inadvertently got the ball rolling… *repositions glasses with middle finger*
To the average person, a “good” deed is helping an old lady across the street while and “evil” deed would be to push that same lady into oncoming traffic. The part that most people don’t stop and think about is… “reason.” What is the reason for seemingly “evil” actions? Most people wouldn’t think that there would be a reason to push an old lady into traffic… but, what if the person who did saw a reason? It doesn’t make them justified, by any means… but, in their head, they might have thought they were doing a “good” deed. Or, if they were mislead, they might have seen it as “being cool,” and since “evil” is, sometimes, “cool.” Or… there’s the possibility that they genuinely had something wrong with their brain. But, I digress.
“Good” and “evil” are entirely “human” concepts. Sometimes, in the case of the latter, they’re also used as justification, or a “coping mechanism,” because it’s easier to call someone “evil” than sit there and try to figure out just what makes them do the things that they do. Really, it all comes down to reason and rationale… “eye of the beholder” sort of stuff… which is why I scoff at “villains” who proclaim themselves to be “evil.”
If a “villain” takes pride in being “evil,” frequently declaring their “alignment” to the world with a mighty laugh, then they’re probably just demented or, as I said, “think it’s cool.” Saturday morning cartoon villains were frequently written like this because it’s far easier for kids to look at things in a black-and-white sort of manner, rather than having the writers spend minutes– nay, episodes, trying to explain why the bad guys think what they’re doing is “right.” But, then… some people are just jerks, too. Jerks, bullies, etc. Even that isn’t necessarily “evil.” It’s just… ya know… inconvenient and very upsetting for the people who don’t side with the “bad guy.”
I didn’t really stop and think about it, ’til just now… but, the Prince’s echo, here, might have the right idea. Just calling himself “evil” is way easier than trying to explain to Modest – mature as she might be – the hows and whys of what he – or, his real-world counterpart – has done. The downside? It will, probably, lead to questions like… “Well, can’t you just stop being evil?” And… that question, as simple as it may be, can sometimes make the difference between a character being a “sympathetic villain…” or, being a poorly-written, irredeemable pile of poop.… unless, again, they’re a cartoon villain. But, if that’s the case, then they’d better be likeable, like the previously-cited Skeletor (He-Man), Psy-Crow (Earthworm Jim), or Jack Spicer (Xiaolin Showdown), instead of being completely and totally ineffectual and boring, like the main baddie from Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures.
*lets glasses slip back down* That’s my take on the whole thing, anyway.
I think you’re right that the Prince is identifying himself as evil here to simplify everything for Modest, instead of explaining what could be thousands of years of motivations to her. Of course, Modest is already convinced that he’s evil. She saw him kill her best friend. She’s smart enough to realize that people are complicated, but nothing is going to change her mind.
Unfortunately, understanding the “why” of an evil act doesn’t inherently change the fact that it is an evil act. Now there may be some extenuating circumstances, in your example, the old lady may have been a monstrous human being responsible for the systematic torment of dozens of little children (yes, such people have actually existed, without even dipping into Nazis, go look up “The Monster Study” sometime), and somehow escaped any form of punishment from the authorities.
But much of the time, ‘extenuating circumstances’ are little more than a convenient excuse in an attempt to avoid repercussions. Since truly evil people are quite capable of lying, and even lie convincingly, those circumstances may be entirely made up. The circumstances may also be quite irrelevant to the long-term safety of everyone around them. A psychopath may have had a horrifically traumatizing childhood, but that doesn’t mean the murders they committed are no longer ‘evil’ simply by uncovering it, nor should they be allowed even a small chance to continue their destructive behavior.
Uh, I love good discussions like that 🙂
A misconception a lot of people seem to have is that explaining the acts of an “evil” person means excusing it. The problem I have with using the term “evil” in a real-life context is that it makes people stop thinking critically. “Oh, something terrible happened! How could this happen? Should we probably look at our society and try to take countermeasuress, so something like it can’t happen again?” “Nah it’s just because they were evil and we aren’t evil, are we?” “Oh, ok then…”
The thing is: It is important to understand why people do horrible things. But that absolutely does NOT mean that they are off the hook! Just because you try to get behind the reason of someones crimes does NOT mean that you sympathize with them.
“I’m bad, and that’s good. I will never be good, and that’s not bad; there’s no one I’d rather be than me.”
Oh, no! The Prince is going Turbo!
Ah, tragic figure then
This is gonna be really random, but I’m slightly out of it and noticed it
The first page of this chapter, “There and back again”
Is listed as “Here and back again” both in the archives and the hover text :O
Oh. I hadn’t noticed. Its possible thats what I originally intended to call it, and then forgot.
Whoa. Is that a good side I see?
He can’t undo what he has done.
I had kind of suspected that his motives were more complicated than simply “Evil and power”. He has absolutely done a lot of evil things, but his moment of reflection as he watched Marah be carried away by the Drudge Angel always made me wonder what his overall intentions were.
My suspicion is that whatever his intention was, it took the form of a “the ends will justify the means” philosophy that led him down an evil path.
I think so too. I think he’s deep into “the ends justify the means”.
I hate that phrase SO SO SO much.
Means are literally ONLY justified by ends. Always. Forever. That is the only way any means, anywhere, anytime, for any reason is justified.
I know what people mean when they say it, it’s just a REALLY bad way of saying it.
Insert Princess Bunhead speech here, which I can’t be bothered to look up right now even though it’s one Youtube search away.
I don’t like making posts from my phone.
ok, now i´m insanely curious about his background/origins….also, who is the snake god? is he somehow related to the medusas?
I think the Serpent God was first specifically mentioned in this strip (and the notes for the strip). The Magical Land of Yeld game has some more info as well.
When the bad guy starts fishing for empathy watch your back.
This Kickstarter could be potentially very useful for the Yeld game:
Oh, those are really cool. Looks like they’re doing amazingly well too.
Everyone else: *debating evil and other plot/empathy stuff*
Me: I bet he needs to have horns in his helmet cause they’re hollow and filled with his deformed eyes. Or maybe it’s not even a helmet… I wonder if that’s even armor… Is he always naked or never not naked…?
Eww. Like eyestalks?
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