1. Lemur
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    Lemur New Member

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    Corruption

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Lemur, Apr 11, 2011.

    I'm really trying to find a good way to show the corruption of characters in both fantasy and scifi settings but I'm having a bit of a time doing it. Are there any good movies or books about the fall of a hero that I could look into? Anyone have some insight as to this?
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Star Wars III: The Clone Wars is technofantasy that focuses on the corruption of Anakin Skywalker.

    There are multiple characters corrupted in The Lord of the Rings:
    Saruman the White was corrupted by pride and obsession.
    Sméagol was corrupted by curiosity, although he had a streak of greed to begin with.
    Boromir was corrupted by pride and the need to please his father, who was similarly corrupted by despair (more examples can be found)

    In the sixth season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Willow was corrupted by grief.
     
  3. Ellipse
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    Ellipse Contributing Member Contributor

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    Rise of the Lich King is a novel that tells the story of the princely paladin Arthas who, while having the best intentions for his people, slowly ends up being one of the greatest threats the world has ever known. It's a good story, especially if you are into WoW lore.
     
  4. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    Any Greek myth.
     
  5. TheSpiderJoe
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    TheSpiderJoe Senior Member

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    I definitely recommend Rise of the Lich King (not because I'm a WoW fan either)

    Corruption is an interesting device to tackle. You have to take someone who essentially is pure and either dilute it slowly with events that play out over years or drop the whole thing in a vat of evil and watch it happen overnight.

    I believe the key to a good corruption story or corrupted character is their attitudes and emotions towards the other side. Something akin to irony in a sense. Think a about how pure one person can be and fight against the darkness only to become their greatest warrior after one incident. Or maybe that character could be inherently playing for the wrong side all along and suddenly realized this corruption was actually putting them where they belong.
     
  6. Deleth
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    Deleth Member

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    Corruption is something I believe happens over a gradually, over any amount of time with little, purposeful steps.

    A good example of this is in the book by Terry Brooks: A Knight Of The Word

    It's an urban fantasy, telling the story of John Ross who for all intents and purposes is a paladin of the Word, and throughout the story is corrupted to the point that he can no longer use his powerful divine magic, he comes back to the side of good, but it has great example of the effects that falling to the sway of evil has on someone who is truly trying their best to be good.
     
  7. Backbiter
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    Backbiter Contributing Member

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    Not necessarily, although I understand what you're getting at.

    Greek heroes do experience their own fatal flaws, which in a sense could be considered corruption. Also, in epics such as The Odyssey, the heroes experience a "fall", in a sense, in which all hope seems lost and nothing seems to go right. This is not necessarily corruption, but a fall it is, even if they do eventually rise back up from it. Also, the Greek gods can be pretty damn corrupted on occasion.

    Cogito, you had some excellent suggestions as to where to look for examples. I'm currently writing a character of my own who faces corruption on a certain level, and I never once thought to go back to The Lord of the Rings for research. Now that you put the idea into my head, it is a very good source for examples of corrupted characters.

    - Backbiter
     
  8. Daggers
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    Daggers Member

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    If you want to look at films for good examples of corruption I'd say watch The Dark Knight a few times. Harvey Dent is a prime example of how a good character can be corrupted.
     
  9. Backbiter
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    Backbiter Contributing Member

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    Dent is an amazing example of a character with ultimately pure motives going very bad very fast through corruption. Wounds to his personal life and the ones he cares about destroy his purity and corrupt him into something evil, driven by revenge and a false sense of justice.

    Going back to The Lord of the Rings for a minute, I had a bit of a breakthrough. The Ring itself is corruption; it corrupts nearly everyone it comes in contact with. Frodo is a prime example of this corruptive power.

    - Backbiter
     
  10. sereda008
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    sereda008 Senior Member

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  11. Backbiter
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    Backbiter Contributing Member

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    Corruption of government and/or society, sure, but we were mainly talking about the corruption of a person.

    - Backbiter

    EDIT: Although, this is still a fair point.
     
  12. sereda008
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    sereda008 Senior Member

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    But you see, a group of people is always made up of individuals persons.
     
  13. Backbiter
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    Backbiter Contributing Member

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    That's a good point. Maybe we could try to go in depth a little and talk about what exactly makes these Ukrainian people corrupt. Maybe certain circumstances in the country? Economic problems? Political debates? I'm afraid I'm not too up-to-date on current events, so I wouldn't really know if something drastic has happened.
     
  14. Daggers
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    Daggers Member

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    I think the corruption you were talking about previously is a little different. When you're looking at Government or leaders the corruption we're talking about comes from power.

    What I gathered from earlier posts was that you wanted to look into corruption on a more personal, human and emotional level?
     
  15. Backbiter
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    Backbiter Contributing Member

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    This is what I was talking about earlier, sereda. Daggers sums it up pretty well.
     
  16. Depressing Jester
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    Depressing Jester Member

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    If you want a really good, over-time example of corruption, Check out the Eisenhorn Trilogy by Dan Abnett. It's set in the Warhammer 40k universe, which a mix of fantasy and sci-fi. It takes the three books to show how he falls(sort of) from Puritan to Radical. While he doesn't go evil, he is changed from the beginning.

    Corruption always starts with small things. The character believing he/she still has control. But as it goes on, the characters arrogance rises when he/she still believes that even as life is spiraling around them, they still are in control.
     

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