Whilst most people find intrigue in the heroes of a story, I find that the villains offer more food for thought. Why do they do what they do and What motivates them? The art of villainy is a subject that can be defined by arguably one of the best villains of all time, Professor James Moriarty. At first glance, he is an intellectual, a professor of mathematics at a small university. It is only as The Tale of Sherlock Holmes progresses that we derive who Moriarty is and his true intentions.
“He is a man of good birth and excellent education, endowed by nature with a phenomenal mathematical faculty. But the man had hereditary tendencies of the most diabolical kind. A criminal strain ran in his blood, which, instead of being modified, was increased and rendered infinitely more dangerous by his extraordinary mental powers. Dark rumors gathered round him in the University town, and eventually he was compelled to resign his chair and come down to London. He is the Napoleon of crime, Watson. He is the organizer of half that is evil and of nearly all that is undetected in this great city…”—Holmes, “The Final Problem” Continue reading