Villain Study (35%)
Due: Friday, June 3 at 11:59 p.m.
PLEASE CAREFULLY READ AND FOLLOW ALL OF THE ASSIGNMENT INSTRUCTIONS
Assignment: Write a 4 page analytical study of a villain.
Please double space your assignment and use Times New Roman, 12-point font or the default font in Word.
Choose a villain from a literary or cultural text(s). You can choose ANY villain from literature, film, television, pop culture (comic books, videogames, etc.), from any time period and from any culture. You can certainly choose to write about a villain from our course, but you do not have to. Again, you can choose ANY villain. Also, it can be a villain that you have already written about on the discussion board.
In your study you will engage in a detailed analysis of the villain and their villainy in at least one literary or cultural text. Remember, “cultural text” applies to film, television, videogames, comic books, etc. I am very open to different genres for this assignment. If the villain appears in various texts, you can write on more than one text (up to a maximum of three). I am limiting texts to three to make sure that your study remains focused and detailed in its approach.
Your study should in some way address the following. [Please note that the following are only guidelines and suggestions, and you do not have to address every aspect listed under each heading.] Your study should provide relevant background information, as well as an in-depth analysis of your chosen villain:
Context / Background:
Include a brief biography / history of your chosen villain. You might consider one or more of the following questions:
In which text(s) does the villain appear? Give a brief summary of the text(s) you will discuss in your analysis, as well as the villain’s role in said text(s).
What do we know about his / her birth and/or upbringing?
Who is his/her nemesis? Why?
Is there any other background information important to understanding his / her villainy (for example medical history / mental illness, childhood trauma, etc.)? Briefly introduce these points.
Analyze your villain through a detailed reading of the text(s) in which he /she appears. You might consider one or more of the following:
What makes them a villain? What crimes have they committed?
Is he / she a super villain? How and why?
What are his / her motivations? Are their motivations understandable in the context of the story?
What type of villain are they?
Sociopath / Psychopath / Presents with a mentally illness
Great manipulator / Puppeteer
Temptress / Tempter
Violent and/or Deadly
If your chosen villain fits more than one of the above characteristics, address how and why their complexity is important to their villainy.
Is gender, race, sexuality and/or nationality a factor in their villainy? How and why?
Villainy and Evil:
Is your chosen villain evil? Why or why not? Consider:
Their actions – are their actions purely evil or understandable in the specific context of the text?
Background / context – were they always evil? Why or why not?
If they present with a mental illness, does this mean that they are not responsible for their actions and thus not evil?
Do they challenge the norms of good and evil? In other words, can they be understood as morally good? Do they see themselves as such?
Do they ever talk about themselves as evil and/or good?
If they are evil / partly evil / their actions are evil, do they fit any of Svendsen’s categories of evil? How and why?
Stupid (banal) evil
Based on your analysis, what makes the villain you have chosen a great villain? In other words, why is he / she so interesting and/or intriguing to audiences?
For this assignment, while you can certainly use the headings provided above (Background, Analysis, Villainy and Evil, and Summation) to organize your villain study, I expect your study to follow the standards of a college level essay. I expect a formal presentation that includes proper sentences and paragraphs, formal language, a logical structure, and an in-depth analysis. I also expect you to edit your study for spelling, grammar, stylistic, and formatting errors.
PLEASE NOTE: To meet the scope of this assignment your paper must be at least 4 pages in length. The majority of your paper should be analysis; keep your background/context and summation brief.
Your paper can of course be longer than the required 4 pages. If you wish to include visual aids (photos, drawings, etc.), please include these in an appendix at the back of your study. Again, your study must be at least 4 pages of writing.
If you choose to use research sources, please include a documentation page (this page should be an extra page beyond the required 4 pages) and in-text citations. You can use any documentation style: MLA, APA or Chicago Manual Style.
Villain Study (35%)