Professor Guerrero's Blog

mguerrero@gmail.com

Co-author of East of Tiffany's, 13 short stories of a Latino immigrant's success in USA; a journey from West Harlem to Sutton Place and Park Avenue. Check out the reviews in Amazon.com and in Barnes and Noble.

on KINDLE on NOOK

My best seller as of now is

Titanes de la Filosofia

Professor Guerrero's Blog: Greatest villains: Shylock, Iago, Claggart Professor Guerrero's Blog: Book Reviews, Human Interest Articles, Accounting Lessons, and Writing Techniques

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Jane Austen  

Boethius: Consolation of Philosophy

How to Become a Writer  

Personal Finance  

Self Help, Wealth, & Learning

Greeks Romans Trojans  

Feminism  

Great Gatsby: Is Nick Gay?

All my books are now in NOOK

Ideas About the Novel is a prophetic book that all writers must own.

Ideas About the Novel by Ortega y Gasset - my translation $0.99


Next to Cervantes, Benito Perez Galdos is the most beloved Spanish writer of all times.

Torquemada at the Stake by Perez Galdos- my translation $0.99

Lazarillo of Tormes - my translation $0.99
Read it in contemporary English -- No Thous, Thees, or King James' Bible language. Transliterated into easy language for enjoyable reading pleasure. Because The Lazarillo of Tormes pointed a new direction, European and American literature benefited with titles that today are considered classics: Cervantes’ Rinconete and Cortadillo; Daniel Defoe’s Moll Flanders, Henry Fielding’s Tom Jones and Joseph Andrews; Tobias Smollett’s Roderick Random, and Peregrine Pickle; Voltaire’s Candide; Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield. And many others to include American works ranging from Mark Twain to Saul Bellow.

Dehumanization of Art by Ortega y Gasset - my translation $0.99
The Dehumanization of Art— is now a constant in music, literature, aesthetics, and philosophy, having come to mean that in post-modern times human-shaped mimesis (representation of the human) is irrelevant to art. According to Ortega, the arts don't have to tell a human story; art should deal with its own forms—and not with the human form.

Sentence Openers
How writers open their sentences makes prose agile, interesting, and athletic. This e-book teaches how to break the pattern Subject-verb-object--and discard openings that begin with nouns, articles, and pronouns.

East of Tiffany's - bestseller $5
With the city as its backdrop "East of Tiffany's" is filled with earnest tales of love, loss, faith, success and morality. While business terminology is interwoven throughout these short stories, it's not business lessons that I take away with me, but life lessons. The circumstances and the characters' profound humanity are relatable despite their zip code . "Luke, Postmodern Man" offers a new vista into faith, suffering, and love of neighbor. Way after you read this book you'll find yourself thinking about the various characters throughout the series of stories and will find solace in their unwavering faith. The narrators' ability to reflect on their hardships with such serenity is inspiring.



My writing was as flat as a sidewalk. And then I downloaded ...

Mary Duffy's Toolbox for Writers
After I purchased Mary's e-book I started to get 'A's in my essays and term papers! Every page is filled with great writing tips, training lessons, and wonderful useful writing skills! Not only do I write essays for college, but also short stories!
--IVONNIE Indrawan
College student
Sentence Openers on KINDLE

Sentence Openers on NOOK













All my books are now in KINDLE


Ideas About the Novel by Ortega y Gasset - my translation $0.99
Torquemada at the Stake by Perez Galdos- my translation $0.99
Lazarillo of Tormes - my translation $0.99
Dehumanization of Art by Ortega y Gasset - my translation $0.99
Sentence Openers
East of Tiffany's - bestseller $5


The most beloved short story from Spanish literature
All my books are in NOOK $0.99 or in Amazon KINDLE $0.99








All my books are now in NOOK

Ideas About the Novel is a prophetic book that all writers must own.
Ideas About the Novel by Ortega y Gasset - my translation $0.99

Next to Cervantes, Benito Perez Galdos is the most beloved Spanish writer of all times.

Torquemada at the Stake by Perez Galdos- my translation $0.99

Lazarillo of Tormes - my translation $0.99
Read it in contemporary English -- No Thous, Thees, or King James' Bible language.

Dehumanization of Art by Ortega y Gasset - my translation $0.99
The Dehumanization of Art— is now a constant in music, literature, aesthetics, and philosophy, having come to mean that in post-modern times human-shaped mimesis (representation of the human) is irrelevant to art.

Sentence Openers
How writers open their sentences makes prose agile, interesting, and athletic.

East of Tiffany's - bestseller $5
With the city as its backdrop "East of Tiffany's" is filled with earnest tales of love, loss, faith, success and morality.



My writing was as flat as a sidewalk. And then I downloaded ...

Mary Duffy's Toolbox for Writers
After I purchased Mary's e-book I started to get 'A's in my essays and term papers!
--Ivonnie Indrawan
College student
Sentence Openers on KINDLE

Sentence Openers on NOOK





Available in KINDLE $0.99


Available in KINDLE $0.99

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Greatest villains: Shylock, Iago, Claggart

Laurence Fishburne and Kenneth Branagh as Othe...

Image via Wikipedia

Who doesn't love 'good villains,’ if your pardon the oxymoron? Villains are the antagonists, the bad guys, the 'black hats" in the story, without whom the story would be useless. Tough, wily, intelligent villains can challenge the other characters in your fiction.
Weak villains call for weak heroes.
It’s not the good heart of the hero, nor the beauty of the heroine, nor the noble actions of the good characters that make great fiction—not at all. It’s the caliber of the scoundrels that call for the good deeds and ennobling actions of heroes, super-heroes, and even secondary characters.
Of all the villains in literature I will mention my three favorite ones.

Shylock (Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice).

Note that though Shakespeare didn’t describe Shylock him in great detail, but we can easily picture him as black-bearded, stooped, curly sideburns, and in a long black coat. We can conjure the image of a despised money lender. What we read about is his hatred: If I can catch him once upon the hip [meaning off guard] I will feed fat the ancient grudge I bear him He hates our sacred nation.

Iago (Othello)

Having poisoned Othello’s mind, Iago further incites Othello to kill Desdemona by asking that she be spared. When Othello asks Iago to kill Cassio, he says:
‘Tis done at your request. Bu let her live.
Othello reacts:
Damn her, lewd minx!
O, damn her! Damn her!
Come, go with me apart,
I will withdraw
To furnish me with some swift means of death
For the fair devil
Now art thou my lieutenant.

Claggart (Melville’s Billy Budd).

Joseph Claggart, —the master at arms that tortures Billy Budd— was just born bad. But what makes this villain even more menacing to unsuspecting victims is that he hides his depravity behind a normal outward appearance that is rational, temperate, and even innocent. Even his speech was coherent and precise. Recall that Uriah Heep, Dickens’ villain in Oliver Copperfield, also spoke with a mellifluous voice—a voice laden with malice and ill-will.

Furthermore, note that in all three the indispensable trait of depravity is present. Yet, the fact that they exhibit a natural depravity to hurt others for no reason or very little reason, they form part of the human race. And as such, they are human; readers must perceive them as human—not monsters.

Writers must be careful not to de-humanize their villains: just remember that even psychopaths, at one time or another, feel compassion for others or for one another. So, don’t make your villains one hundred percent evil.

In the midst of all their treacheries and wrong doing, find a bit of humanity. Although villains are human, some part of their humanity —physically or spiritually— is missing or is deformed. Attach a few redeeming incidents that might create that bit of sympathy that readers are willing to concede. Nothing major, but some tiny detail that opens a window into the evil character’s soul.

What do we know of Shylock? We know he carries the hatred for the wrongs done to his race. What do we know of Iago? He was wronged by Othello. What do we know of Claggart? We know that in his case there’s absolutely no reason whatsoever, unless we can infer a pent-up homosexual attachment.

Villains don’t just appear fully clothed and ready to inflict pain. Something drives them there; and it is the writer’s job to fill that vacuum. Although it would fulfill the readers’ curiosity to dig into the soul of the villain, master writers will not supply the facts for that. What can be more itching than to look for these facts and not to find them? That lacuna will frustrate readers, will drive them to vexation, and will annoy them. But that is exactly the writer’s job—frustrate! Good writers do not succumb and start providing excuses, reasons, and much less logical explanations. Reason and passion run parallel, like subway tracks; so don’t force them to meet.

However, like all human beings and even heroes —recall Achilles— we all have physical and spiritual weaknesses. The weaknesses must be present throughout the work so that when the villains get their comeuppance, readers will not feel cheated. Let readers guess that the demise of the villain will come through the weak chinks in their armor.

A final recommendation: should you have a created well rounded villains, villains that often readers root for, then you may be justified in keeping them alive. Let them live so that they can reappear in other stories and created havoc all over again.

Although I've mentioned only a few villains, the literary dimension contains a myriad of these scoundrels. The reason we remember only a handful of them, is because their deeds go beyond the pale, beyond the normal canons of acceptance of cruelty and wicked acts.

Senada Selmani, model

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Shylock was an exaggerated portrayal of a Jew during Elizabethan times. Although Shakespeare seems anti-Semitic, during that era, loaning money was the only job a Jew could have in such a rigid Christian society.

 

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Professor Guerrero's Blog

Co-author of East of Tiffany's, 13 short stories that will warm your heart - See 101 reviews in Amazon.com and 37 in Barnes and Noble.

on KINDLE on NOOK

BROWSE: MORE THAN 560 ARTICLES

Book Reviews   Accounting 1   How to Become a Writer   Personal Finance   Self Help, Wealth, & Learning

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