Baddest Bad Guys in Literature

Here’s another Top 10 list, this time about the worst bad guys there are (in literature):

10. Claudius from Shakespeare’s Hamlet
He killed his brother and married his sister-in-law, which makes him a pretty bad guy.  But he didn’t even have the guts to murder King Hamlet with dignity—no, he poured poison in his ear while he slept.  Claudius is a coward on top of a murderer, which is what gets him on this list, though only in the 10 slot.
9. Dr. Moriarty from Sherlock Holmes
He’s the anti-Holmes.  All the skill and wit and none of the desire to do good.  An evil mastermind with no hesitations about killing innocents to get to Holmes.  The “Napoleon of Crime,” he is the only one that is able to defeat the great Sherlock Holmes.
8. The White Witch from The Chronicles of Narnia
Cold, cruel, and beautiful, the White Witch claims the throne as Queen of Narnia and brings with her a winter that lasts 100 years.  She is conniving and evil, seeking out the weaknesses in human character and exploiting them to further her power over the inhabitants of Narnia.  Anyone who stands against her, or simply annoys her in the slightest, is turned unforgivably into stone.
7. Big Brother from 1984
Dictator of the totalitarian state of Oceania.  His name has become synonymic with corrupt government and power abuse.  He is the all-seeing entity that is “Watching You” always, and is a source of total fear in the people he rules.
6. Jekyll/Hyde from The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
While Jekyll is considered the “good” side of the character, he is truly only the lesser of two evils.  Hyde is always somewhere in the back of his mind, his experiment merely brings that part of him into the open, rather then hiding it from the people around him.  Hyde is the most disgusting version of Jekyll—he tramples a child with no second thought, but the instant his own safety is put in danger he goes crying to Jekyll to save him.
5. Lord Voldemort from Harry Potter
He was willing to split his soul into fragments for the sake of gaining immortality.  He killed his father for the sin of “impurity” and destroyed numerous innocents for the same reason.  A literary version of Hitler, Voldemort has no capacity for remorse for his actions and is portrayed as so cold and heartless he seems completely inhuman.
4. Count Dracula from Dracula
Though the idea of Dracula has become something almost desirable in recent culture, Dracula is truly a vile, wicked character that preys on the innocent and feeds babies to his “wives” to please them.  FlavorWire calls him “a brutal, smelly, scheming, foreign, abusive, wife-stealing, wife-beating, arrogant, bigamous, presumptive, bigoted, thieving, monomaniacal invader of decent British homes”.  He is the definition of everything a vampire is supposed to be.
3. Sauron from The Lord of the Rings
The most power being in all of Middle Earth, folk from the Shire, Gondor, Rohan and the rest of Tolkien’s world fear and loathe him.  He murders anyone and everyone who stands in his way and destroys homes and villages without provocation.  His thirst for power drives him to do unspeakable things to his enemies and his allies alike, and corrupts whoever comes into contact with his rings of power.
2. Iago from Shakespeare’s Othello
Originally a trusted friend of Othello, Iago tricks him into killing his wife because Iago lies and tells him she has had an affair.  His only reason for this seems to be spite, rather than any reasonable motive.  After Othello kills his wife and her alleged lover, Iago then tells what Othello has done and Othello is tortured to death because of it. Iago has no motivation. NONE.  I mean really…what the hell.
1. Satan from Paradise Lost
The archetype himself, Satan is the example for everything that a bad guy should be.  He’s a fallen angel, something that was once beautiful that is spoiled by greed and power.  His famous quote, “Better to reign in Hell, than to serve in Heaven,” displays the corrupt nature of Satan’s character because he believe that to have power over the worst of the worst is still superior to living under the command of the best of the best.

What do you think? Did we totally miss one? The order messed up? Let us know in the comments.


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