So, for my first Monster Monday post, I am going to introduce you to a human monster, someone who has made themselves a monster by being the most odious man in Anthony Trollope's Barchester, Mr Obadiah Slope.
Mr Slope arrives in sleepy Barchester as chaplain to the new Bishop, Proudie. He is young and full of zealous ideas, which upsets the stalwarts of Barchester's clergy - he is a cat among the proverbial pigeons. However, what sets him apart from other young men of God is his utter self-serving ambition. Mr Slope is the slimiest, most callous, manipulative toad I have ever had the joy to read, and he is also played to perfection by a young Alan Rickman in the BBC's 1982 adaptation, The Barchester Chronicles.
Mr Slope (whose name is best pronounced by Geraldine McEwan, who played Mrs Proudie, with a long drawn out 'sl', a disdainful 'oh' and a precise 'p!', sl - oh -p! :) ) conducts himself as if he speaks for the bishop in all things. He stirs feelings, he lauds his position, and he is not afraid to ruin others' lives if he thinks it will further his own position. And, worst of all, he sets his conniving cap at Mrs Eleanor Bold, young widow of Barchester and beloved daughter of Mr Harding, a soft-hearted and dear, dear clergyman! Where will his loathsomeness end? Will the lovely young widow, whose income is all the scheming chaplain is after, fall for Slope's wiles? You'll have to read, or watch Barchester Towers to find out! ;P
Tell me about an odious character you love to hate.