Can Heathcliff Be a Stereotypical Villain Character

What is a stereotypical villain? Well for me a stereotypical villain is normally a man who is bad mannered and generally evil to his surrounding people. You hardly ever see a female villain because women are seen in the stereotypical eye as being weak and mild and they always need men to save them. For instance in a child’s story book a damsel in distress would be saved by a knight in shining armour after being captured by some evil villain.

But it’s not just in children’s storybooks; no it’s also in everyday television soaps.

For example in a soap called Eastenders there is a particularly nasty man called Nick Cotton who has done some terrible things to the people around him. What makes a stereotypical villain? Well most of them wear black clothes, have some sort of scar on their face or stubble to make them look rough or they have an unclear or suspicious background.

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They are also outcasts of society or have some kind of deformity. Villains made be unpleasant characters but they are what help to make any story or script play interesting.

Without them the story would be dull and almost factual which is bad as they are supposed to be STORIES. In Emily Bronte’s well-known book ‘Wutherings Heights’ there is a character called Heathcliff whose history is described as a ‘cuckoo’s’, which is reference to a homeless person. This is true as Mr Earnshaw was away on a trip when he found him and decided to bring him home.

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From the very beginning he was not accepted by anyone apart from Catherine and Mr Earnshaw and when Mr Earnshaw passed away and Hindley inherited Wuthering Heights he was cast off from the family and made to sleep outside the house.

I think this was a big factor in Heathcliffs change because he was made to be the stable boy he felt hate and anger towards Hindley and the rest of the Earnshaw family. Throughout the book many people describe Heathcliff as being a dark skinned gipsy and there is a lot of animal imagery for him such as I’ll be damned before I be thy servant! ‘ growled the lad. He also has what I’d describe as different personalities. One personality acts lovingly towards Catherine, but the other is cruel to everyone else. I also think he is a very revenging man and he wants to try and punish all those who were in any connection with Hindley.

He only wants to do so because Hindley was so cruel to him, if Hindley hadn’t of banished Heathcliff to the stable he might not have turned out to be so evil. He manages get revenge on Cathy and Edgar by dividing them, he discovers a plan to inherit Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange and he disinherits and degrades Hareton. He becomes extremely cruel to Cathy, Hareton, Hindley and Linton by being systematic towards them. He is very passionate and non-aggressive towards Catherine but he feels rejected by her and when she dies he wants her to haunt him and torture his soul until he dies and can be with her again.

He shows how obsessive he is about her by exhuming her body after twenty-two years after her death which any normal man wouldn’t even dream of doing. He goes through many changes in the course of his life; he starts off as a dirty ragged, black haired child to a highly educated clean gentleman and back to a degraded and bitter man. He is also regarded throughout the story as an outsider by almost everyone, from the beginning to the end. So as you can see I think he has a lot of the stereotypical villain characteristics. For one he is dark skinned which most stereotypical villains are because it makes them look rough.

He is considered an outsider, which is another stereotypical characteristic, but he shows loving and caring feelings towards Cathy. So he is not a complete stereotypical villain. Ok he has more bad characteristic than good for instance he was mean to nearly everything human and non-human. He killed a flock of baby birds by covering their nest, which prevented the mother from being able to feed them. He did it because they brought back memories of Catherine which in my opinion is just stupid because he didn’t have to see them he could have avoided them therefore avoiding the pain.

He and Catherine used to visit the young birds as children and when they separated he felt that the birds were too painful to look at so he killed them. But that’s not the only thing he killed he also killed his dog so I think he can be considered a stereotypical villain. So my final conclusion is no he can be considered a stereotypical villain because he is hateful to all life, he’s an outsider, dark skinned and hated by almost everyone else in the book. I have also taken into account his good streak but it is a very thin streak. It was only directed towards one person and even then it was love that made him good not his personality.

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Can Heathcliff Be a Stereotypical Villain Character. (2020, Jun 01). Retrieved from

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