The most interesting characters in literature are often the ones who are complex and have a likeable and unlikable side. Some readers are able to overlook a character's flaws and still love them while others end up hating a character or finding them annoying because of their personality. Here are just ten of the characters in literature that you'll either love or hate.
Jaime Lannister (A Song of Ice and Fire)
A Song of Ice and Fire is a series that is filled with morally ambiguous characters, but few are as divisive as Jamie Lanister. When he is introduced in the books there is very little to like about this character as he appears selfish, arrogant and cynical. His unhealthy relationship with his sister and callous disregard for the life of others also does little to endear him to readers. However, as the story progresses, readers can't help but see a different side to this character and many end up sympathising or even liking him.
Romeo Montague (Romeo and Juliet)
Some see Romeo as an idealistic lover who would do anything for the love of his life, Juliet, but forgets that he was initially madly in love with Rosaline.When Rosaline does not return his affection he becomes a melancholic, sad mess before simply shifting his attention to Juliet. So, while some people think of him as one of the most romantic characters of all time others consider him to be an overly dramatic teen who is responsible for a lot of unnecessary deaths.
Bella Swan (Twilight)
Some find the constant lip biting and clumsiness of Bella adorable while to others it just makes her even more annoying. The way she falls so quickly and utterly for Edward can also be seen as either very romantic or very creepy. In addition, while she is considered to be confident by some others see her more as stubborn and dangerously naive. All of this combines to make Bella one divisive character who fans either love or hate.
Depending on who you ask, Hamlet is either a tragic and enigmatic hero or an unstable and brooding madman. His determination to avenge the unjust murder of his father is seen by some as noble, but the way he goes about it and the manner he treats other innocent people in the process is frowned upon by others. For many readers the question in Hamlet isn't to be or not to be, but whether to love or hate his character.
Amy Dunne (Gone Girl)
Is Amy Dunne a strong female character who wasn't afraid to take destiny into her own hands or was she a manipulative, lying, homicidal villain? That is the question many readers of Gone Girl asked themselves after reading the book. The truth probably lies somewhere in between, but there is no doubt that Amy is not a typical protagonist and left many readers wondering whether they should be rooting for or against her.
Ender Wiggin (Ender's Game)
Andew "Ender" Wiggin is a character thrust into a situation where there are no good options and his actions make him a hero to some readers and a villain to others. Ender is bullied since early childhood for being a third child in a society where two children are seen as enough, but rises up despite this adversity. Ender also always finds a way to triumph over his enemies, but instead of simply defeating them, he preferes utterly annihilating them, which to some readers is a bit too extreme. Ender is also able to understand his enemy to the point where he grows to love them, but then destroys them, which makes him a hero to some readers and a monster to others.
Golum (Lord of The Rings)
While some readers see Golum as a tragic character in search of redemption, others have less sympathy for him. Even his intentions are seen by some as only selfish, while others regard it as evil. To complicate matters even further is the fact that he was instrumental in getting rid of a great evil, making him somewhat of a unwitting and unwilling hero in the eyes of some readers. Whether you love or hate Golum, one thing is for sure, the books would not have been the same without him.
Christian Grey (Fifty Shades of Grey)
Rich, handsome, charming and powerful, what's not to like about Christian Grey? Well some readers agree with his love interest Anastasia that he is the epitome of male beauty, while others consider him to be a deeply disturbed individual. For some Christian is merely misunderstood and meeting the right woman brought out his romantic side, but others find his abusive, manipulative and controlling side a bit harder to overlook. This means that while some considering his relationship with Anastasia to be beautiful and romantic it can also be seen as abusive and controlling.
Professor Snape (Harry Potter)
One of the most polarizing characters in the Harry Potter series is Severus Snape, who some regard as a tragic hero while others view him as being purely bitter and conniving. While some readers can appreciate his complexity, intelligence and determination, many others find him to be abusive, petty and arrogant. There is also a lot of debates over whether his unrequited love for Lily was tragic or creepy. Examining all the aspects of his character would delve too deeply into spoilers, but suffice to say Snape has as many fans as he has haters.
Katnis Everdeen (Hunger Games)
At first glance Katnis Everdeen is the perfect heroine. She's self-sufficient, intelligent, cares deeply for her family and determined enough not to let anything stand in her way. She also turns traditional gender roles on their head by being the hunter while her love interest is the baker. However, not all readers found Katnis to be such a great role model. To some she is a selfish and self-centered character who allows everyone around her to make the decisions while whining about everything.