Villains are usually the evil characters in stories. They usually are motivated by something bad, like making lots of money, getting rid of people they don’t like, or taking over the world. A villain, or supervillain if part of a comic book universe, often appears as the nemesis of a hero or superhero in a book or a film. They represent the evil agency in a story and show how people can be swayed from good to evil, and from evil to good. Sometimes stories show that villains are only human, and become villains because they are the victims of unfortunate circumstances. Examples of villains include Voldemort in Harry Potter, Professor Moriarty in Sherlock Holmes, and Cruella De Vil in 101 Dalmatians. All are pretty bad.
A villain adds contrast to a story and often battles the hero. The general qualities that a villain has are that they believe they’re the good guy, have likable qualities, and are an opponent that make the hero look good. Villains are typically clever, accomplished, respected by society, and have many of the same characteristics of the hero but are misdirected. They are also merciless, persuasive, proud, deceitful, vengeful, and are jealous of the hero.
Qualities of a great antagonist are that they are driven by a goal, have relatable character flaws, are loyal to a cause, family, or ally, and adapt easily to obstacles. They also often have a secret information they are withholding from everyone, superior intelligence or strength, and create feelings of distrust. Antagonists are characters that stand in opposition to the protagonist of the story and share some of the same traits as the protagonist.
Some villains are not entirely evil, but have good intentions. Some of these villains are Venom, Loki, and Magneto. They often save civilians, protect their families, or are victims. Villains also believe they are doing the best for society, as they are not truly evil and want to accomplish something that seems right to them. If a villain is evil or not depends on the perspective of the observer.