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The Dark Side

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We all avidly watch films, read novels, and listen to stories that depict evil characters and their horrific deeds. We find ourselves both horrified and repulsed by such persons; yet the evil characters in novels and films often disconcertingly have the most appeal. It might be that examining the forbidden always provides a small shudder of excitement and fear, so evil in its many forms remains endlessly fascinating providing excellent material for writers, dramatists, journalists and others.  Accounts of evil do unerringly grab our attention and most of us are fascinated, horrified and captivated by the Iagos and Darth Vaders even while identifying with the aspirations and goals of the Othellos and Luke Skywalkers. Given that we recognize that evil involves the very worst types of actions and very worst kinds of people, why is this so?  In a recent IAI panel entitled the “The Lure of Lucifer: Why do we love Evil?’ the cultural critic Terry Eagleton suggested that as an historical matt...

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