SparkNotes Blog

6 Iconic Literary Villains (Who Were Actually Pretty Bad at Being Villains)

As a society, we like our villains to be cunning, powerful, and evil, or at least just like really, really mean. But sometimes even the most iconic malefactors fall far short of this sinister standard.

It feels a bit bold for me—a person who can’t even take control of her life, much less take control of the world—to be calling anyone out like this. Look, I’ll be the first to say it: I could never be a villain. I don’t have the gumption, the cruelty, or the street smarts.

But hey—as it turns out, neither do these guys.