Teaser Tuesday: Heroes and villains

Today’s tease comes from The Romance of Religion by Dwight Longenecker. Reviews/comments for it, The Reactionary Mind, and Blood of Honour to come this week..

The truly romantic warrior sees the evil in the world and wants to fight it, but first of all he sees the evil in himself and wants to fight it. He realizes that he cannot hope to change the world if he cannot change himself. The truly righteous warrior, therefore, is not a person who knows he is right but a person who knows he is wrong. The righteous warrior realizes he is a hypocrite. He knows that in a dark corner of his own life, he is just as capable of monstrous crimes as the worst of humanity. In other words, the righteous warrior may be full of confidence, but he is also full of humility.

However, with his strength every romantic hero carries a weakness; he nurses a wound and aches with some tragic flaw. The way he treats his weakness distinguishes him from the villain. The villain is never a total monster. He is a hero gone wrong. He is a romantic hero who has given in to the dark side of the force. The villain has ceased to fight against evil—most importantly, he has ceased to fight against the evil within himself. He is a villain because he has no self-doubt. He has forgotten that he has a flaw; indeed, what should be his aching wound has become the defining characteristic of the villain. At some point he stopped fighting the darkness within and so became one with the darkness without. Because the villain refused to dominate his dark side, it has dominated him.

About smellincoffee

Citizen, librarian, reader with a boundless wonder for the world and a curiosity about all the beings inside it.
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