Superhero Psyche: Batman vs The Joker

The Joker

Batman’s arch nemesis is something of a mystery.  He is certainly a cruel criminal mastermind whose devious machinations and sick sense of humor cause all he meets incredible pain, especially Batman.

He is also the master of reinvention, often changing his outward persona to suit his new schemes which indicates a penchant for the dramatic and perhaps multiple personality disorder.

The character has been depicted in many guises and on screen has been immortalized by Caesar Romero, Jack Nicholson and the late Heath Ledger.

There are arguments for and against his multiplicity and one overriding, consistent factor is his ever evolving insanity.

A psychopath is described as an individual with a lack of empathy and extremely unconscionable behavior which is generally hidden by the ability to behave outwardly normal.  Their behavior mostly leans towards the violent and often results in their victims’ death, as displayed by many serial killers.

The Joker is not a psychopath in the true sense of the word.  His behavior is more indicative of sociopathy.

A sociopath is generally quite charming although this is a falsehood designed to win favor from, and to manipulate others.  They are extremely cunning liars who embroil themselves in complex stories to reach their ends, humiliating and dominating whoever they choose as their instrument.

They also feel no guilt, shame or remorse for their actions which allows them to commit vile and heinous acts without reprimand by conscience.  They view people around them as a playground, opportunities to exploit.

Being emotionally barren, any outward expressions such as excitement or joy are faked, often as an experiment aimed at perfecting their camouflage which they constantly wear.  Their outward calm will eventually give way to impulsive behavior and the need for constant stimulation drives them to seek new adventures.

They have no concern for the impact of their behavior on others whom they view as insects or pawns in their games.  Their conduct becomes addictive to them, switching between cycles of anger and abuse, to shallow quests for approval.

Given The Joker’s nature, his sick sense of humor, callous acts of violence and destruction, perpetual teasing and taunting of Batman and murderous intent, it is safe to say he is well and truly entrenched in the sociopath camp.

Read Superhero Psyche: Batman.

Tell us your thoughts, is The Joker a deranged sociopath or something else altogether?

images: fliiby.com and gamerscircle.net