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Character Analysis : Vergil is a Sociopath

BLACKSWIPE

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Believe me when I say this. This is not an attack on Vergil, nor an attack on DmC. As you all know, I adore this game and its characters to pieces. I feel like when you can truly understand a character, it's almost as if you can truly make judgement on that character. (As Dumb as that sounds) As I slaved away in my Work Detail today, I started thinking of the characters of DmC and who they may really be. But then it suddenly clicked within my mind: Vergil is an extreme Sociopath. But isn't Vergil a Narcissist? Although a Narcissist and a Sociopath may seem very similar, I can safely say that Vergil is a sociopath. Both are very different, though seemingly the same. But before you can disagree with me, check out what I have provided below. For me this is what Vergil flat out captivating. He is a cleverly designed villain, who knows just how to win you over and how to push you away at the right times.

A sociopath will often have a superficial charm to them, very charismatic and charming. Though they may be charming and well-versed in their words, though it is simply a mask to deceive their victims. They are slick, clever, and easily to speak with. A Sociopath is very confident and not in the least shy. I find it sort of hilarious how Vergil spoke these very words to Dante; "All war is fought with Deception, and you have been deceived Dante." Vergil's charming guy mask was nothing more than bait to get people to follow him, to do his bidding. Dante and Kat were easily fooled by it and therefore used as tools.
  • A Sociopath often feels a grand sense of entitlement, that certain things are their "right" as a person. This can easily be identified in Vergil when he had decided that he would be the demon king, regardless of what Dante would think of it. From seemingly day one, Vergil had it all figured out and plotted within his head. When Dante defeated him, his insane world where he was king, had been shattered.
  • A sociopath often feels little to no remorse/guilt for others, they do not see the people around then as people. They see them simply as tools for their own objectives. Vergil used Dante and Kat, and countless other humans working in the Order, simply as tools. What little love Vergil had felt for Dante may have been real, but that was destroyed during Downfall.
  • A sociopath is also very Irresponsible, they do not take responsibility for their own actions. This is very obvious within Downfall. Vergil didn't take blame for his own actions, for what had happened after the final battle with Mundus. But instead, he had blamed others for his own faults and actions, and even his own deceased mother. He had created an enemy to attack, and singled out Kat and Dante as the ones who had wronged him.
  • A sociopath does not view people as people, but rather tools. They prefer to have their world and achievements built up for them, which clearly shows within DmC. We didn't see Vergil doing any of the work, except for a tidbit within the Mundus battle. He didn't even bat a lash when Kat had been taken by Mundus, easily willing to just throw her aside despite what she had done for him.
 

BLACKSWIPE

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Only thing I feel might make this problematic is that I do believe he genuinely cared about Dante, I just think he's a sociopath to anyone that is not his equal. Also, a small part of me wants to believe that Vergil really went full evil, because he was corrupted by Mundus in the battle prior to the final fight.
From what I've gathered, A sociopath is capable of love. I do believe that he wholeheartedly loved his brother, but when his 'king' image had been shattered, things went down south.
 
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From what I've gathered, A sociopath is capable of love. I do believe that he wholeheartedly loved his brother, but when his 'king' image had been shattered, things went down south.

Yeah, when he was jumping into the portal, I was like thinking "dude, come on, you lost fair and square don't take it so personally. Dante is technically leader now and he doesn't want anyone to rule anything." :p.
 

Gel

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NT Vergil is a Machiavellian.Not good or bad per se , but quite interesting...


"The Machiavellian Personality

In the early 1970s, psychologist Richard Christie and his colleagues
identified a distinct personality style that is characterized
by manipulativeness, cynicism about human nature,
and shrewdness in interpersonal behavior. Named after the
sixteenth-century political philosopher and Italian Prince
Machiavelli, this personality style is very nearly synonymous
with being a manipulator. Machiavellian personalities are
committed to the proposition that a desired end justifies virtually
any means. Machiavellianism is defined as a manipulative
strategy of social interaction and personality style that
uses other people as tools of personal gain.

Machiavellianism derives from the views of Prince Machiavelli
that a ruler is not bound by traditional ethical norms.
A prince, therefore, should only be concerned with power and
be bound only by rules that would lead to success. Prince
Machiavelli deduced these rules from the political practices
of his time:
• Never show humility; it is more effective to show arrogance
when dealing with others.
• Morality and ethics are for the weak; powerful people
should feel free to lie, cheat, and deceive whenever it suits
their purpose.
• It is better to be feared than loved.

High machs (Machiavellists) tend to constitute a distinctive type. They tend to be charming, confident, and glib; but they also are
arrogant, calculating, and cynical, prone to manipulate and
exploit. In the context of laboratory experiment games, high
machs display a keen and opportunistic sense of timing, and
they appear to capitalize especially in situations that contain
ambiguity regarding the rules."

This looks like a mixture of Narcissism and Antisocials. Now lets take a look at some of the 48 laws.

Law 3

Conceal your Intentions

Keep people off-balance and in the dark by never revealing the purpose behind your actions. If they have no clue what you are up to, they cannot prepare a defense. Guide them far enough down the wrong path, envelope them in enough smoke, and by the time they realize your intentions, it will be too late.

Law 7

Get others to do the Work for you, but Always Take the Credit

Use the wisdom, knowledge, and legwork of other people to further your own cause. Not only will such assistance save you valuable time and energy, it will give you a godlike aura of efficiency and speed. In the end your helpers will be forgotten and you will be remembered. Never do yourself what others can do for you.

Law 8

Make other People come to you – use Bait if Necessary

When you force the other person to act, you are the one in control. It is always better to make your opponent come to you, abandoning his own plans in the process. Lure him with fabulous gains – then attack. You hold the cards.

Law 11

Learn to Keep People Dependent on You

To maintain your independence you must always be needed and wanted. The more you are relied on, the more freedom you have. Make people depend on you for their happiness and prosperity and you have nothing to fear. Never teach them enough so that they can do without you.

Law 20

Do Not Commit to Anyone

It is the fool who always rushes to take sides. Do not commit to any side or cause but yourself. By maintaining your independence, you become the master of others – playing people against one another, making them pursue you.

Law 35

Master the Art of Timing

Never seem to be in a hurry – hurrying betrays a lack of control over yourself, and over time. Always seem patient, as if you know that everything will come to you eventually. Become a detective of the right moment; sniff out the spirit of the times, the trends that will carry you to power. Learn to stand back when the time is not yet ripe, and to strike fiercely when it has reached fruition.

Law 43

Work on the Hearts and Minds of Others

Coercion creates a reaction that will eventually work against you. You must seduce others into wanting to move in your direction. A person you have seduced becomes your loyal pawn. And the way to seduce others is to operate on their individual psychologies and weaknesses. Soften up the resistant by working on their emotions, playing on what they hold dear and what they fear. Ignore the hearts and minds of others and they will grow to hate you.




 

LysseC

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NT Vergil is a Machiavellian.Not good or bad per se , but quite interesting...
Wow! I didn't know that Machiavelli's thought was the inspiration for sketching out a kind of personality in psychology too, but I surely the description of Vergil as a machiavellian as really fitting! I admit that, before reading this, I have already thought that, if Vergil (as a character) ever read something that inspired/guided him in his decisions in politics (what he is doing can be considered politics in a certain sense), surely Machiavelli's "The Prince" could be that book.
(Ehm, I know it's not really on topic, but Niccolò Machiavelli wasn't a prince, he was a Florentine counsellor and ambassador. He wrote a book called "The Prince" in which he described how a man should act if he wanted to become a monarch and maintain his power as such. :p)

However, back to Vergil. I completely agree, he is Machiavellian. However, we also must consider that this is not only a trait of his personality. Since Vergil is acting as a political leader (at least, he is involved in politics), we must consider that, AS SUCH, he has to act in certain ways and take certain decisions. He is (knowingly or not) following Machiavelli's advices about how a "prince" (a leader of men) should act; obviously, this is easy for him because he has the "right" personality traits (the Machiavellian personality).

However, I don't think that this is all that could be said about him, especially when the relationship with Dante is concerned. I think that in this case there is much more to be said than "simply" Vergil having a Machiavellian personality.
I am not a psychologist, and know very little of these things, so excuse me, and correct me, if I use terms improperly. :)
I think Vergil has a strong inferiority complex, when Dante is concerned. I think this is quite made clear in VD: the flashbacks of Dante beating him as a child right after followed by the flashbacks of the ending of Mission 20; Hollow Kat saying "Dante, now that's a real man! ... You'll never be half the man he is"; his Hollow self voicing his fear that Eva never loved him as much as she loved Dante; Hollow Dante continuously mocking him during Mission 3. Moreover, hints were left in DmC too: the flashback showing Dante helping him on his feet when they were children is notably repeated at the end of Mission 20, and in the comic Vergil says something along the lines of "Without Dante we cannot win this war".
All these elements gave me the clear impression that Vergil, deep down, suffers because he feels inferior to Dante, at least physically. He "has been searching for Dante for a long time", as he himself says, not only because he wants to be reunited with his brother, but also because he feels he needs him. This combines with his Machiavellian personality, surely, that makes him think that others should do the work for him. But in Dante's case there is also the underlying feeling that it should be Dante who has to do the fighting because he is more apt than Vergil to this task. It's like there are two sides to their relationship, at least for what Vergil is concerned: on the one hand he admires and needs his brother, but on the other other hand this admiration becomes "poisoned" by his feeling of being worthless, so, when Vergil starts conceptualizing the difference between him and Dante not in terms of "Dante is stronger" (admiration), but "I am weaker" (insecurity), then he starts hating his brother. So the problem with Vergil is, I think, that something happened when he was a child, that made him insecure (probably something involving his relationship with his mother and his twin). As long as he was not confronted with Dante, he probably got reinforcements, events in his life that helped him think he was not completely worthless (probably his successes as a hacker), and developed his Machiavellian personality; but once he got directly confronted with the origin of his insecurities (Dante), then his fears resurfaced, and... well, Vergil's Downfall is the outcome.
(Btw, this is the reason why their brief "I'm stronger"-"I'm smarter" exchange is not to be underestimated: when Dante says "I'm stronger" he is inadvertently saying something that may very well hurt Vergil, even if Vergil doesn't show it and simply goes on joking)
 

darkslayer13

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one thing the "Vergil as a sociopath" theory doesn't seem to take into account is that Vergil didn't decide to take over the world because he wanted power. he genuinely believed that the best thing for the world would be if he and Dante took over and was absolutely baffled that Dante didn't agree. everything Vergil did was for what he perceived as the greater good not for his own benefit. i don't think a sociopath would try to better the world like that and there is no evidence Vergil wasn't telling the truth about his motives. if he actually intended to deceive Dante he wouldn't have casually mentioned that he was planning on taking over and expected Dante to help him. it's clear that Vergil has some type of personality disorder but it doesn't seem like that one.
 

Gel

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When Nt Vergil says his mother didn't loved him as much as she loved Dante he speaks the truth( at least "his" truth). A lot of parents says they love their children but they treat them ( inadvertently or not) differently.
An example: ( probably what we have here)
We have two boys of the same age; one of them is a good boy: he does whatever his mother told him and has always good grades;he just want to please his mom. The other one just do whatever he wants: he screams, beats up his other brother, is insuccessful in school.
Everytime the bad boy does something good he is praised/ everytime the good boy does something nice he is ignored, because he always good.
At the end of the day the good boy just learn to himself " being nice is a bad thing",Momma prefers my brother, since she gives him more attention than me".
I can see Vergil thinking this to himself everyday: good boys never win.

About being machiavellian:
There are so many profiles, complexes, neuroses as human souls in the world.Being psychopat, against all belief, it doesn't mean you don't have feelings.You have and it is that feeling who makes you to act like you do because those people deserve everything you do to them.He has good feelings towards his brother since his perception tells him Dante is not guilt of whatever their parents did.Vergil just hates the fact of not being just like Dante (" because momma loved Dante so much!").
There why Nt Vergil was my favorite character in game, he was "human", just as human as anyone of us and I felt more related to him since he was more fleshed out than any other character imo.
There is no hell as the human mind.
 

Domenic93

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Yeah, when he was jumping into the portal, I was like thinking "dude, come on, you lost fair and square don't take it so personally. Dante is technically leader now and he doesn't want anyone to rule anything." :p.
I"m surprised Donte just let him leave, If I was donte I would have grabed him by the collar of his rediculus coat, and said "vorgil your acting stupid, your not going any were until you've calmed down and are ready to give up rulling"(though the humans do need a leader who knows whats going on how/can to fight the threat, etc) and taken yamato, if he puts up a fight say "what are you going to do bleed on me?" put him in some room that was still standing throw vergil in,
 

darkmanifest

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one thing the "Vergil as a sociopath" theory doesn't seem to take into account is that Vergil didn't decide to take over the world because he wanted power. he genuinely believed that the best thing for the world would be if he and Dante took over and was absolutely baffled that Dante didn't agree. everything Vergil did was for what he perceived as the greater good not for his own benefit. i don't think a sociopath would try to better the world like that and there is no evidence Vergil wasn't telling the truth about his motives. if he actually intended to deceive Dante he wouldn't have casually mentioned that he was planning on taking over and expected Dante to help him. it's clear that Vergil has some type of personality disorder but it doesn't seem like that one.

I'm pretty sure his claims of bettering the world were just a justification for his desire for power. The depth of his pride made him believe that not only did he deserve power, but that everyone else would be better off if he had it, turning into a feedback loop that let him justify all the horrible things he did to achieve said power. Mundus made very similar claims, and does anyone here believe that he took over the human world out of the goodness of his heart?

As for him so blandly expecting Dante to be on his side despite all evidence to the contrary, well, I hate the way that was handled, but in-universe, I can blame it on the delusion of pride once again.
 
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LysseC

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Mundus made very similar claims, and does anyone here believe that he took over the human world out of the goodness of his heart?.
Meh, maybe not exctly pure goodness of heart, but I, for one, think that he did so out of a genuine desire of "helping".
It doesn't seem to me that he was lying when he said he was fighting for the good of humans, but the problem is that he has a misguided conception of what was good for them.
Mundus seems to me more the type to simply want power and cover it up with the excuse of bringing about peace and order when it suited him.
 

Loopy

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Mundus seems to me more the type to simply want power and cover it up with the excuse of bringing about peace and order when it suited him.
Yeo, Mundus says he wants to help humans be peaceful, but he profited from what he did. Even if he was controlling humans to stop them being violent towards each other, it doesn't negate the fact that he profited from their souls.
 
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darkslayer13

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in Mundus' case it seems like a blatant lie but Vergil seemed to mean it. evil overlords are not shocked when the hero objects to what they are trying to do no matter how prideful they are because they know they are hurting people for selfish reasons. well intentioned extremists on the other hand may expect everyone to have the same view because they think it will benefit everyone.
 
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Loopy

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in Mundus' case it seems like a blatant lie but Vergil seemed to mean it. evil overlords are not shocked when the hero objects to what they are trying to do no matter how prideful they are because they know they are hurting people for selfish reasons.
Mundus did seem surprised that he was being challenged though. He says in that video something like 'I don't know who you are, or why you have been stupid enough to attack me.' So that does show that he was not expecting anyone to stand up to him. He thinks no one would dare oppose him because he's like god, so when Vergil and Dante do, Mundus says they're stupid to even try it.

Maybe he did care in some way for humans, even if it was only in the sense of keeping them safe so that they would breed more and thus supply him with more souls and power.

Plus, Vergil shooting Lilith and killing his child did give Mundus the perfect argument to justify controlling humans.

As for Vergil, it did seem like he honestly belived that he was doing the right thing, and that Dante would stand with him, noy just as his brother, but as the only other being who is equal to him in terms of power. Vergil really did think, whether through pride, or brotherly love, that Dante would take his side.
So when Dante does go against him, Vergil is hurt, angry and confused. It's like he never could have predicted Dante turning on him and not taking his side.

I'm wondering if there was a sequel game if Vergil would try and convince Dante to join his side...
 
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LysseC

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Mundus did seem surprised that he was being challenged though. He says in that video something like 'I don't know who you are, or why you have been stupid enough to attack me.' So that does show that he was not expecting anyone to stand up to him. He thinks no one would dare oppose him because he's like god, so when Vergil and Dante do, Mundus says they're stupid to even try it.

Maybe he did care in some way for humans, even if it was only in the sense of keeping them safe so that they would breed more and thus supply him with more souls and power.

Plus, Vergil shooting Lilith and killing his child did give Mundus the perfect argument to justify controlling humans.

As for Vergil, it did seem like he honestly belived that he was doing the right thing, and that Dante would stand with him, noy just as his brother, but as the only other being who is equal to him in terms of power. Vergil really did think, whether through pride, or brotherly love, that Dante would take his side.
So when Dante does go against him, Vergil is hurt, angry and confused. It's like he never could have predicted Dante turning on him and not taking his side.

I'm wondering if there was a sequel game if Vergil would try and convince Dante to join his side...
Ithink that in this case Mundus is surprised not because he thinks he is in the right, but because he thinks he is simply too powerful for anyone to attack him. Vergil, on the other hand, is surprised that Dante opposes him because he thinks to be in the right.

As for the sequel, that would be interesting to see, but I think that after VD now Vergil is set on demonstrating that he is more powerful than Dante, he is no more interested in having him as an ally, now he just sees Dante as a rival to be surpassed (just like he is doing with Hollow Dante).