10 greatest villains in all of literature

There are many unforgettable villains in literature, but only a handful of them have stood the test of time. To make it onto this list, our villains had to be terrifying, ruthless, conflicted, and compelling. Our villains are the most memorable ones we could find in contemporary and classic literature. These 10 are our favorite literary bad-guys. 

10. Dr. Moriarty from Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Known as the “Napoleon of Crime,” this man is Holmes’s mysterious archenemy and the criminal mastermind who is behind almost every case Holmes solves. He does not take it well when his plans are foiled and has no qualms about killing the innocent to take out his revenge. He is the one who is finally able to defeat Holmes in “The Final Problem,” as he had been threatening to do since their first encounter.

1 of 10

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.