I have a question regarding one of the antagonists of my story. First, a summarized background/history on the character [this is not set in stone]: His name is Ilhan Kaveh, he suffers from mania, paranoia, and a hint of schizophrenia. Childhood events had a great and detrimental impact on how he lives now. His mother died when he was only six. After that, he was neglected, and later on abused by his father, having been locked in a large chest for several hours on more than one occasion. At the time, his father was an influential court advisor to the king of Mahrakam (a sort of Eurasian country, like Turkey). Over the years, Ilhan grew mentally unstable and, obviously, grew to fear and loathe his father. Ilhan distanced himself but remained in the city and due to the symptoms of his developing mental illness, acting on impulse and delusions of grandeur, he staged a coup on his father and the court itself. In this, he managed to kill his father, other members of court, several members of the royal family, and the king himself. From there, Ilhan usurped the throne. Present day [34 years later]: Now in his early sixties, Ilhan still holds the throne. His symptoms have worsened. His paranoia has been the cause of death for several advisors in his court. He rules in an absolute monarchy, but has advisors for his frequent lack of good judgment. That certain lack of judgment has him currently igniting a war which he cannot hope to win. And his severe bouts of paranoia has a mercenary group scouring the surrounding regions, locating and killing off any descendants of the former dynasty. Even with all this on his plate, he is often very deliberate when his thoughts become actions. It takes a great deal of persuasion and medicinal treatment to calm his impulses. Now to my question. I'm having difficulty determining how to portray this character to potential readers. I know most will probably say: "write him the way you want to". But I can't decide if I want him to be pitied, or perhaps frightening in his unpredictability, or maybe even have him as a little of both. So what I'm asking you guys, as potential readers, how should I portray this character to the greatest effect? If I can, in fact, write a character such as this well enough to be believable. I'm open to any suggestions/opinions. ps. Sorry if it's vague in places. I haven't been to sleep in 24 hrs and you could say I'm a wee bit tired.