Emma being the villain doesn't seem to make much sense to me. In my eyes, a villain is a villain only if they have evil purposes. (Well, admittedly there are complications, exceptions, etc., but that's kind of the basic theme.) If Harriet was the heroine of Emma, Emma would be the antagonist because she is keeping Harriet from happiness, but she wouldn't be the villain because she isn't doing it intentionally. But Harriet isn't the heroine; Emma is. And Emma, while certainly not being perfect, tries to be good as a general rule, and so she can't be the villain.
So what about Mr. Elton? Well. Mr. Elton certainly seems to be a good choice for a villain. He's slimy and mean and revengeful and mercenary...but that doesn't make him a real villain. Think about Wickham;Wickham lives a wild life and tries to ruin others. Mr. Elton is a respectable clergyman who is somewhat disagreeable. He doesn't actively work towards wrecking anyone's life.
|The lovelight in his eyes...:D|
There's Mrs. Elton, who really shouldn't be allowed in civilized society. She's petty, over-sweet, and has a too-high opinion of her own social standing (and a too-high opinion of herself in general!), but again, she doesn't actively work towards someone else's destruction. Admittedly she makes Jane Fairfax's life miserable, but she does it with good enough, if misguided, intentions.
And then there's Frank Churchill. When he makes his grand entrance, he's already engaged to Jane Fairfax, but he's so anxious to hide it from his aunt (see! Another reason why I don't like him! I kind of agree with Mr. Knightley on this; he should be able to stand up to his aunt if he loves Jane so much.) that he pretends to be in love with Emma. As she herself points out, he could very well have broken her heart and pretty much destroyed her life. It was only good luck that he didn't. He was only thinking about himself, and he nearly ruined not only the heart and health of Jane Fairfax, the creditability of Mr. Dixon, the happiness of Emma, and the respectability of his father, but also his own life. I think Frank Churchill is a lot like Willoughby: he played with a woman's feelings for a trivial reason and it nearly backfired. What kind of a man does that?
|Heehee, I spy Obi-Wan before he was Obi-Wan...|
What do you think of Frank Churchill? Who do you think is the real villain of Emma?