Sherlock VS Moriarty


Moriarty is one of the most iconic and famous villains in the whole of literature. He is so iconic, that you do not even really need any background knowledge of Sherlock Holmes to know the character Professor James Moriarty. This man is just as smart and devious as Sherlock himself, if not even more so, because of the mean criminal streak that comes with this cunning and dastardly character that Holmes – being the hero – would not process. Sherlock Holmes and Moriarty are possibly two of the greatest enemies of all time, but like with Batman and The Joker, they are the yin and yang of each other, and must co-exist.

This is not where the similarities end either. Moriarty – much like The Joker – is evil and very egotistic, and wants to surpass his particular antithesis, even if it means nearly failing at their well prepared scheme. Both Sherlock and Moriarty have borderline mental conditions; one uses his for good however, and the other for evil. The motivation behind what Moriarty does to Sherlock seems to be a whole lot of bravado and a colossal game of one-up-man-ship. Sherlock displays signs of this also, but virtually always figures out Moriarty’s scheme and topples it to emerge the victorious hero. Sherlock is not without his own issues, however; he can act reckless and on occasion let bravado get the best of him, whereby he does not turn Moriarty over to the police or kill him when he has the chance.

Of course, like with many examples of exemplary literature, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s books and been integrated into other more main stream media such as the cinema, with the Sherlock films starring Robert Downey Jr or the critical acclaimed BBC 1 drama series written by Stephen Moffat called Sherlock. Both forms of media paint a very different Moriarty to what the books have portrayed him as, but in doing so they have been crafty in creating some equally devilish version of this much loved villain. The movie version does not give a great deal of depth to the character unfortunately, however, he is portrayed fiendish and twisted like he should be. The reason for this lack of depth in my view is that Moriarty in this version has only been in the one film ‘Sherlock Holmes – A game of shadows’, so there has not been a whole lot of time to let us the audience to get a feel for the character. This is completely different on the television side of things where I feel that the character has been made Moffat’s own reinvention of this great character. This portrayal is very twisted and sick and you can tell by watching the character that there are a lot of personality defects and this guy comes off as plain creepy.

In the ‘Final Problem’, it all comes to an end for Sherlock and Moriarty when they both ‘die’ falling off a cliff, which I find is an ironic death because they are such genius’ yet it’s something uncontrolled like mother nature that kills them; such a brutal death for two such clever men must have seemed somewhat anti-climactic when this story was first published.

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