Document Type

Student Research Paper


Spring 2019

Academic Department


Faculty Advisor(s)

Dr. Louis Martin


This paper analyzes the relationship between recent cultural changes in Western society and the growing popularity of sexy anti-heroes and villains in film and television. The first section discusses the way society’s concepts of villainy have changed since the birth of film-making thanks to changing moral and religious values. I then use four characters: Captain Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean, Loki from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Lucifer from the FOX and Netflix series Lucifer, and Damon Salvatore from The Vampire Diaries to explore how television and film industries use attractive actors and sexualize immoral behavior to make such characters attractive to audiences. Based on these analyses, I argue that the explosion of sexualized antiheroes in modern film and television is a product of our own human desires for freedom from the confines of social standards, which we can embrace more fully than ever before thanks to society’s growing secularity and detachment from traditional Puritan values.


EN 498 and EN 499. SCAD project