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Not all Heroic Characters meet the heroic type at first, some would exhibit the following traits:

  • Knowledgeable enough to adapt
  • Rebels against social institutions and norms
  • Have a disturbing past, like committing a crime or having an abusive childhood
  • Intelligent
  • World-weary
  • Self-critical and introspective
  • Self-destructive
  • Struggling with integrity
  • Treated as an exile, outcast, or outlaw
  • Rebellious
  • Test the limits of those around them
  • Sense trouble with society

Despite of this, these characters don’t exhibit the traits for long and eventually take up the role of heroism, since they’re not the villains of the work. The reason for this is the anti-hero’s goal is simply survival and seeks a greater good for either themselves or society, while a villain just makes it worst for society.

Showing mercy is the key difference between and anti-hero, who does show to a degree, and a villain, who doesn’t.

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