The main difference between anti hero and villain is that an anti-hero is the main character of a story who does not possess heroic qualities, whereas a villain is a black or evil character who opposes the hero of a story.
Anti heroes and villains are evil characters in a book, play, film, or story. Although these characters share some similarities, there is a distinct difference between anti heroes and villains.
Key Areas Covered
1. Who is an Anti Hero
– Definition, Features
2. Who is a Villain
– Definition, Features
3. Similarities Between Anti Hero and Villain
– Outline of Common Features
4. Difference Between Anti Hero and Villain
– Comparison of Key Differences
Anti Hero, Hero, Villain
Who is an Anti Hero
An anti-hero is a central character who lacks the typical heroic qualities of a conventional hero. Basically, anti-heroes are vague and complex characters who have dark sides. Anti-heroes go against the general rule and operate on their own rule. These characters are generally outcast characters from society.
There are different types of anti-hero archetypes, such as the pragmatic rebel, the unscrupulous anti-hero, and the hero by any means necessary. The nature of pragmatic rebel anti-heroes is realistic. They usually associate both good people and bad people do whatever is necessary to complete their goals. Unscrupulous anti-heroes are considered to be good, although they are driven to perform their self-interest rather than the greater good. Sometimes, unscrupulous anti-heroes also enjoy the dark side. Their actions are often dictated by past disturbances and inner conflict, which are revealed by their backstories. Severus Snape in Harry Porter is an example of such an anti-hero. Furthermore, in the famous folk story Robin Hood, Robin Hood is an anti-hero because he has a grey character. He breaks the law and steals from the rich, but he also distributes the stolen wealth among the poor.
To sum up, a typical anti-hero character can be identified by the complex character, cynicism, good intentions, internal struggle, being a realist, and identifiable imperfections
Who is a Villain
A villain is the main evil or black character in a story. The female form of a villain is villainess. All movies, books, plays, and TV series have a main villain. Therefore, villains are crucial for the plot of any story. In most stories, villains are cruel and evil scoundrels. They are also cunning, immoral, and arrogant. Moreover, they do not care about the law, ethics, or even basic human qualities.
In a story, the villain is the opposite of the hero. In fact, villains stand against the hero of the story and create the obstacles the hero must overcome. The Wicked Witch of the West in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, the Evil Queen in Snow White, and Voldemort in Harry Potter are some examples of villains in stories.
Similarities Between Anti Hero and Villain
- Anti heroes and villains are dark characters in a play, film, or story.
- Moreover, they act against the general rule and operate on their own rule.
Difference Between Anti Hero and Villain
An anti hero is an emotionally broken hero who fights for justice in a villainous way, whereas a villain is an evil character in a story or play who opposes the hero.
Although anti-heroes may sometimes have good intentions, villains do not have good intentions at all.
Anti-heroes are characterized by complex character, cynical nature, good intentions, internal struggle, realism, and identifiable imperfections, while villains are characterized by evilness, arrogance, cruelty, selfishness, cunning, and immoral behavior.
Villains do not hesitate to do anything to achieve their goals, while anti heroes go beyond their limits to achieve justice.
The main difference between anti hero and villain is that an anti hero is an emotionally broken hero who fights for justice in a villainous way, whereas a villain is an evil character in a story or play who opposes the hero. In other words, anti heroes are grey characters, whereas villains are usually black characters.
1. “Villain.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 18 May 2022.
2. “What Is an Antihero? Definition and Examples for Writers.” MasterClass, 7 Dec. 2021.