When the Hero is also the Villain


What makes us think of certain people as heroes or villains? Is it their compassion? Their body shape? Their selfless or greedy acts? Or, is it our own perspective that controls the way we look at them? Can someone be both a hero and a villain? To answer these questions, let us view some familiar characters that were categorized as heroes or villains, and discuss the scientific explanation behind this categorization.

One of the most famous fictional superheroes is Spiderman. When Spiderman first appeared, everyone saw him as the villain of their city; everyone—the police, the people, and the press—feared him. Few weeks later, however, Spiderman became Metropolis’s superhero; all of a sudden, everyone fell in love with him! What happened? The whole thing is connected to our people’s perspective as individuals. It is easy to look at Spiderman as the villain when we see him destroying buildings, or wrecking cars; it is also understandable that when we know the reason behind Spiderman’s actions, which is to save lives, we immediately change our perspective and look at him as an amazing superhero!

The same theory could be applied on the Joker, one of the most notorious villains of all time! Is he really a villain or a victim? Most importantly, could he be someone’s hero? By asking these questions, we realize that there could be multiple sides and various versions of the same story, some of which are the complete opposite of the others.

One of the most amazing movies, one that I personally love, is Maleficent. For years, Maleficent was portrayed as the ultimate villain, the witch that almost killed Princess Aurora. However, our whole perspective on Maleficent changed once we saw the untold chapter of her story, the one that gave us a hint of the reason behind her evil acts. Only then do we figure out that Maleficent is the victim of cruelty and that she only wanted to retrieve what was stolen from her; she was driven by revenge, which is wrong, but because she was not cruel to begin with, it led her to believe in love again.

Apply that to each and every known story of heroes and villains, concentrate on the reason behind the villains’ acts and you will be stunned to see another side of these stories you never thought existed.



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SCIplanet is a bilingual edutainment science magazine published by the Bibliotheca Alexandrina Planetarium Science Center and developed by the Cultural Outreach Publications Unit ...
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