In tongue-in-cheek melodramas of the 1800s, villains wore black capes and laughed menacingly while they curled their long mustaches. Oftentimes these sinister men would tie damsels to railroad tracks or threaten to kick old ladies out of their soon-to-be-foreclosed homes. Audiences would boo and hiss whenever these loathsome characters crossed the stage.
These types of characters are still very popular today. In fact, scores of new melodramas are published every year. Each of these companies offer a variety of whimsical, over-the-top plays complete with dastardly bad guys:
However, for those who prefer a more realistic and emotionally complex antagonist, look no further than Nils Krogstad from A Doll's House.
Read this detailed character analysis of this play's so-called villain. Then, decide whether or not he is worth all the booing and hissing!