Etymology of Villain

Established in ancient Rome, it exposes the contempt of the ruling elites with respect to the peasants, being observed in Latin under villānum, villānus, to refer to the humble villagers who served in the lands of their respective patrons, associated to ‘villa’, comprising the residences of a rural area, on the Indo-European *weik(1) -, for ‘clan’ or ‘community’.

The villagers were perceived as ignorant and rough, thus the conception is gradually transformed into the evil figure, changes that can be read throughout the works of William Shakespeare, for example using it to describe a provocative woman in “Troilus and Cressida”, of 1609, or in “The Comedy of Errors”, of 1623, in opposition to honor and respect, on the other hand in “Essays of Elia”, by Charles Lamb, published in 1823, explicitly proposes the evil character on a literary level.

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