Who is an anti-hero?

Whether it is Harry Potter or Superman, everyone loves the protagonist who always does the right thing. But there is something oddly appearing about one who doesn’t quite seem so righteous all the time. Someone who is not always nice and lives a bit on the dark side. Yes, we are talking about anti-heroes!

An anti-hero is a protagonist who lacks some of the conventional attributes of a traditional hero – like courage or morality. While their actions are at times noble, they don’t always act for the right reasons.

Unlike heroes, anti-heroes go against the grain of society. They lack morals or just human kindness. Anti-heroes can be malicious as well as pitiful. The key to a real anti-hero is he or she will do the right thing only when it gives them what they want and benefits them somehow. They’re only in it for themselves.


The term anti-hero was first used as early as 1714, emerging in works such as Rameau’s “Nephew” in the 18th century. Mark Twain’s flawed hero Huckleberry Finn is hailed as the first anti-hero in children’s literature in the U.S.

Anti-heroes vs villains

There is a thin line between an anti-hero and a villain. And so it might be easy to confuse the two. The main quality that sets an anti-hero apart from a villain is that anti-heroes are not completely irredeemable. While they may not always save the say, they still have qualities that will make you root for them, or perhaps, they will make you see things from their perspective. On the other hand, villains are usually depicted as evil characters who the readers wait to be brought to justice.


Picture Credit : Google