Thursday, October 3, 2013

Love corrupts

That was a shocking title, wasn't it? Perhaps a little much so, but oh well. I'm not bashing the concept of love. This is a Christian blog after all, and given that apostles of our Lord said 'God is love', it really wouldn't do to bash it. We all know (or at least we should), that love is an essential element in our heroes. What we sometimes don't realize is that love is an essential element for our villains.

Of course, I should clarify my terms here. What do I mean by love? Obviously I'm not using the Christian definition of agape, or selflessly putting one's neighbors above yourself, but neither am I  using it to describe eros, since what I'm trying to describe is not necessarily sexual (although falling in love and sexual lust could fall into this). What I'm going for is a more common term: anything the character has a passion for--an obsession.

Every villain has a obsession: something they love above all else. Without it they wouldn't be motivated to act. A villain with absolutely no emotion is a rather dull character, since nothing drives them to cause mayhem. The fact is that villains love, in a twisted sense of the word: sometimes they love themselves, sometimes they love security, sometimes they love the hero, but whatever their love is, it's always corrupted.

The main difference between the heroes' love and the villains' is that the villains' is myopic. The villain takes one good thing and stretches it to the point where it starts to create havoc in the world. So much havoc, in fact, that the thing he loves is deeply hurt. The Hero's love is Divine, it stems from God himself, and thus desires self sacrificing service. Even in non-christian books, the characters that love often come very close to Christianity in their ideas. The villains' love is a diabolical love, that is ultimately rooted in idolatry. This sort of love is corrupting. Both the hero and the villain are subjects of passion, the difference is in the passions' nature.

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