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Spike Pre-Soul: Good or Evil?

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  • Spike Pre-Soul: Good or Evil?

    As some people might know, I wasn't the biggest Spike fan, although I adore James. I always viewed Spike as an animal, even after he got his soul, but after deciding to do a character analysis on him, like I did with my favorite Buffyverse charrie, Faith, I've kinda come to like him more after thinking about him.

    I decided that as a soul-less vampire and an evil one at that, Spike, unlike other soul-less creatures, recognized what love was and wanted to give Buffy his love but knew that he couldn't do it properly without a soul. He also wanted to be more human for her. Even without a soul once he becomes friends with Buffy, Spike the monster actually cared about Buffy in a certain way, and also Dawn and Willow (Who he affectionately called "Little Bit" and "Red") and even went to Joyce to have a shoulder to cry on in Season 3. He could have savagely killed her, as this was before he was "good" but he didn't. He also shared his love for the show Passions with Joyce, and they actually clicked well. I have a lot of respect for Spike since he showed Joyce respect and care pre-soul. Also I have respect that he was strong for Dawn after Buffy died in The Gift, he protected her, and would have probably died to save the one thing most precious to Buffy, I'm sure.

    What makes me wonder is how could a notorious, savage, evil soul-less creature ever see humanity again, even though he loved the kill and had no soul? Why would a vampire willingly have himself reinsouled? Vampire's, having no soul, are supposed to be incapable of genuine love, according to the Buffyverse (If I could remember the specific eps, I'd include which ones said that. If memory serves, it was Giles who said it). Spike "fell in love" with Buffy, but it wasn't true love. Spike yearned to give Buffy his love, but couldn't without his humanity, his soul. So he fought nearly to the death to do something no vampire has ever seemingly done, and he felt it was right.

    How was Spike destined to be different from Angelus, who I'm sure could never want to be reinsouled no matter what? That's what seperate's Spike from Angel, and potentially makes him...superior. Is that Spike the man and Spike the vampire both knew what was right, and strived to do it once Buffy became his lover and friend, but Angel the man and Angel the Vampire could seemingly never become like Spike. I think that's why Spike was a true champion, and why, when it comes to Angel and Spike, I think Spike is the real deal. I mean, when they fought for the cup for the Shanshu Prophecy, Spike prevailed, and I think it was for this reason:

    While Angel wanted to become human mainly to be with Buffy (Actually, probably only to be with Buffy without risking losing his soul), Spike seemingly saw the bigger picture. Sure, he could be with Buffy, but he knew he could be much more than that. Humanity wasn't a convinience for Spike like it would have been for Angel, but a way to redeem himself by no longer having to identify with the demon he once was. At least, this is what I beleive.

    What are your thoughts on Spike Pre-Soul? After becoming Buffy's ally but before acquiring his soul, was Spike good or evil? I still say he may have been good, since he saw the bigger picture in regaining his soul.
    47
    Good
    8.51%
    4
    Kinda in between
    48.94%
    23
    Evil
    42.55%
    20

  • #2
    This raises a question I've seen many people make: what does being vampired do to people?
    I think it varies.

    For Spike, he was a hopeless romantiC In life and stayed one as a vampire.
    But his mother who was a kindly woman become an absolute monster when she became a vampire.

    I think it depends on a person's willpower. They can retain their original personalities but they become I guess you could say animalistic in they take the need to feed and live above all else. WHat's right and wrong is not even close to as important as the urge to survive.

    But we see time and time again personalities determine the vampire. The vamp psychologist Buffy talks with in Season 7 for instance. Despite wanting to kill her, he was more interested in talking and knowing her because his personality was controlling the awakened demon in him.

    But then again, this isn't always true. Angel the man was a drunk whoring nobody. As Angelus he was an artist and very high cultured; allbeit in a very perverse way.

    It's all really hard to tell.

    Now onto just Spike, I do also give him credit for growing to care for the Summers family and kinda even the Scoobies. Of course it all spanwed out of his love for Buffy but it went beyond that and though it might have been selfish, great and noble things can be selfish.

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    • #3
      I view him as evil, if he were good there would have never been a reason as to why he needed to get a soul. It would have been a pointless exercise.

      He may have fell for Buffy but that doesn't make him good. He's not the only soulless vampire incapable of love. Vampires like Drusilla clearly were able to love as well, as were James and Elizabeth. And he's also not the first soulless vampire to show compassion towards a human like Spike did for Dawn or Joyce, Harmony showed genuine compassion towards Gunn when he breaks down sobbing over his involvement in what happened to Fred. Ats showed many different sides of vampires.

      I determine good by how the person thinks and acts. Soulless Spike never once expressed any remorse for the people he murdered. Not once, there isn't a single quote to support it. He does however, joke about the decorator he ate in 'Dead Things' and on numerous occasions stated that if it weren't for the chip in his head he'd kill people like Xander and the Scoobies in general, he says this up until 'Entropy.' And in 'Smashed' the first thing he does is go looking to kill a woman. There's great debate about the fact he was 'talking himself into it' but that's irrelevant for me, because he went in for the kill. The chip went off and that only happens if Spike intends to hurt the person, so therefore he went in for the bite, there's no other way to look at that one.

      And of course you have Spike's blasé attitude to Katrina's death in 'Dead Things' as he states "one dead girl doesn't tip the scales." As Buffy says, "that's all it is to you, just another body." And she's correct, that's all it was to him. This is in contrast to how Angel acted about Faith accidentally killing Finch in 'Consequences' when he understands the value of a human life and the effect it can have on someone who accidentally takes it. There's a big example of why a soul counts and why a soul changes the individual you are.

      And I disagree pretty strongly that Spike went to get his soul for the bigger picture. It was never about that IMO. The whole time Spike maintains it was for Buffy;

      "That bitch is going to see a change"

      "Make me what I was, so Buffy can get what she deserves"

      "What mustn’t a man do for her, to be hers"

      "I did this for you (Buffy) the soul, the changes, it's what you wanted!"

      The only time he ever says otherwise is to Angel in 'Destiny' when he says he did it because he knew he had a destiny, which is just a load of crap. He never even thought of a destiny until he learns about the Shanshu and states very clearly he doesn't "give a piss about atonement or destiny." Angel was right to say "really, heard it was just to get into a girl's pants" because as blunt as that was, it's the more accurate. Buffy even asks Spike in 'Beneath You' "Did you think you could just come back here and be with me?" in which he replies "first time for everything." That was his motivation.

      IMO the soul was a title to him, he didn't understand what it meant. Spike even says as much in 'Never Leave Me' when he says he forgot what it was like to have a soul, because it had been so long since he had one. He had always mocked Angel for the soul, he called it "crap" and was foolish enough to insinuate it was something Angel could "outgrow." Not until after he got a soul did he come to realise what a soul actually meant, he states in 'Beneath You' "Angel should have warned me." So IMO it was just a title to him, he didn't think it would honestly change him or his outlook on life, he couldn't remember what it was like to have one, he just thought he needed one for Buffy to love him because Angel had a soul, after he gets a soul he realises the impact it has.

      Never did Spike show remorse, show that he didn't want to kill people or become a hero, not once. There's no evidence he went looking for that soul because he wanted to help people. And I see no evidence why the soul wasn't needed or why he still wasn't evil, up until season six when he's still making threats against people like Xander, when he's harbouring demon eggs designed to wipe out entire human populations, when he goes hunting for a girl the second he thinks the chip has stopped working, when he doesn't value a human life, when he jokes about the people he's killed or when he's trying to make Buffy doubt herself by putting fears into her head about what her friends would think of her if they found out she was sleeping with him. All of that is pretty strong indicators to me he was still evil.
      Last edited by vampmogs; 21-06-08, 05:38 AM.
      "The earth is doomed!" - Banner by Nina

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      • #4
        I think that Spike was still completely evil-- Dead Things, to me, shows 100% proof of that. For all of the times he helped Dawn, didn't betray the Scoobies, staked vamps with Buffy-- Spike is still not a "good" creature. He does not understand the distinction, at all, between doing something good and actually having morals. Buffy says this to him-- "You can't understand why this is killing me"- and she's completely right.

        Spike may do helpful or beneficial things in Season Six, but everything that he does can be seen as purely selfish. Even helping Dawn out in between the seasons five and six-- Spike's either doing it because of Buffy, or because he quite simply has nothing better to do. I don't think that he ever genuinely wanted to help.

        And in my mind, that's great. I don't think Spike should have been redeemed at all before he got the soul. He should still have been 100% pure evil-- that was the whole purpose of the soul in the first place, to make Spike understand the distinction between right and wrong. I love the scene in Soul Purpose when Lindsey points out that Spike is actually doing good just to help others, not to impress....women.

        Because if Spike was at all good before he got the soul, it throws the entire Buffyverse out of whack. If there is even the slightest chance that vampires aren't pure evil, but rather can be saved by love and encouragement and therapy, then....why is Buffy slaying them? If loving her helped Spike, shouldn't she just take every vampire under her wing and try to help them? The only way this doesn't taint Buffy, and make her an immoral killer, is if vampires are inherently evil demons, incapable of any sort of redemption.

        Of course, there's also the theory that Spike is somehow just special, and that he alone was able to retain traces of humanity. I don't buy this either, for two reasons. Firstly, we've seen lots of vampires (James, Harmony, Drusilla) maintain some of their human aspects. They're still able to "love", just like Spike, so I don't think he's any sort of anomaly. Also, if Spike had some remains of a soul/humanity/whatever, and still went around murdering, stealing, raping, causing general chaos....that's not really a good thing. In my mind, that damns him even more instead of redeeming him.
        The story's kinda bland. It's about this guy named Dumbledore Calrissian who needs to return the ring back to Mordor.

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        • #5
          Spike is neither evil or good. Why because he lacks the freedom of choice.
          One can only be good or evil by choosing to do good or choosing to do evil.

          Spike does Evil acts but does not have the oppurtubity to do good therefore he is not evil.

          Spike is not good because any good deeds he did were for the sole purpose of himself and good is doing something that benefits all because it benefits all. However any good he does fufills the act requirement but not the thought requirement. Because IMO he does not do it to benefit all. Only himself.

          The REAL debate is if souled spike is good or evil.
          Last edited by Revan; 21-06-08, 07:44 AM.
          "I never learned from a man who agreed with me.'" Robert Heinlen

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          • #6
            There's nothing wrong with being selfish as long as it betters yourself and other people.
            Firm fact is society and people only progress through being selfish; the rive to succeed for glory or money or fame is selfish but where would we evolve without it?

            Spike's selfish love for Buffy made him care about Dawn and Joyce and the others...so what's wrong with it?

            Also, his frequent threat of "if I didn't have this chip in my head" was blatantly obvious posturing and not legit. Least that's what I gathered.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Nikkolas View Post
              There's nothing wrong with being selfish as long as it betters yourself and other people.
              Firm fact is society and people only progress through being selfish; the rive to succeed for glory or money or fame is selfish but where would we evolve without it?

              Spike's selfish love for Buffy made him care about Dawn and Joyce and the others...so what's wrong with it?

              Also, his frequent threat of "if I didn't have this chip in my head" was blatantly obvious posturing and not legit. Least that's what I gathered.

              I was wondering when someone would finally point that out. *g*

              Very rarely in life do people think when they do something for someone that they love, "Oh I'm doing this not for myself or her, but for the greater good". *g* It's the desire to do something for someone that we care about that spurs us on. Human beings have been 'guilty' of that ever since we walked the planet I'm afraid. So for an unsouled Vampire such as Spike to do that, isn't such a bad thing. In fact in Joss's verse it's an amazing thing!

              Yes, others Vampires have loved, but only one so far ever went and got himself a soul after doing something so dire, that he felt he need one.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Revan View Post
                Spike is neither evil or good. Why because he lacks the freedom of choice.
                One can only be good or evil by choosing to do good or choosing to do evil.

                Spike does Evil acts but does not have the oppurtubity to do good therefore he is not evil.
                No, let's get this straight. Spike could perfectly well choose to do good. He doesn't have to hurt or kill people. He does have some understanding of the concepts and is capable of choosing between them. What he doesn't have is anything in him to motivate him to be good for its own sake. That isn't to say that he isn't evil. Any creature that is capable of understanding morality and making choices is capable of being either good or evil, regardless of their emotional capabilities.

                I was wondering when someone would finally point that out. *g*

                Very rarely in life do people think when they do something for someone that they love, "Oh I'm doing this not for myself or her, but for the greater good". *g* It's the desire to do something for someone that we care about that spurs us on. Human beings have been 'guilty' of that ever since we walked the planet I'm afraid. So for an unsouled Vampire such as Spike to do that, isn't such a bad thing. In fact in Joss's verse it's an amazing thing!
                No, but they might think "Oh I'm doing this for them" as opposed to "Oh I'm doing this because it will help me get close to them". Most people, when acting for someone they care about, will be motivated by the former. Spike, on the other hand, was always motivated by the latter, which really is being selfish.

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                • #9
                  No, but they might think "Oh I'm doing this for them" as opposed to "Oh I'm doing this because it will help me get close to them". Most people, when acting for someone they care about, will be motivated by the former. Spike, on the other hand, was always motivated by the latter, which really is being selfish.
                  Are you telling me that no human has ever done that in trying to encourage/create a relationship with someone? Folks in love can be quite selfish I'm afraid. Look at the letters pages in many magazines to see that. *g*

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                  • #10
                    Vampires without a soul are evil, if not ... Buffy is evil because she kills vampires without checking if they are capable of being good. So yes, Spike is evil just like all the other vampires. He did some good things, but all those things were for himself one way or another.

                    Some arguments I see on the internet when people say that Spike is a 'good' vampire. And my ideas about those points.

                    But Spike helps the Scoobies!
                    He likes hitting, and if he can only hit demons ... why not hitting demons. Besides, the scoobies talk to him and amuse him.

                    But Spike didn't tell Glory that Dawn was the key!
                    What if he told Glory? Buffy wouldn't talk to him anymore or worse stake him and how big is the chance that Glory would say 'Okay, thank you very much ... there is the door.", much bigger chance that she would stake him. The savest thing to do was keeping his mounth shut because nobody would kill him.

                    But Spike did babysit Dawn over the summer, he cares about her!
                    Dawn was the closest person to Buffy he had, and he 'loved' Buffy. Besides, was else should he do? Go away, the demons don't want him ... the scoobies talked to him, gave him blood and he was 'safe'. The minute Buffy returns, Spike doesn't care about Dawn anymore and leaves her alone ...

                    But Spike loves Buffy.
                    Yes, so did Angelus he just didn't want to admit that. I don't think that anybody want to say that Angelus is good. Spike also loved Drusilla and Drusilla loved him back. Darla and Angelus loved eachother just didn't call it love and James and Elisabeth were also in love. Their love, isn't the kind of love we know but whatever they feel, they all feel it ... not just Spike.

                    But Spike fought for his soul.
                    Yes, but not because he wanted to be a better person. He wanted Buffy back, his soul would force her to come back to him. Angel was probably the closest of all when he said that Spike wanted his soul to get back into her pants. Besides, Spike always believed that Angel was a wuss and that he was being dramatic with his soul. Spike saw it as a way to return to Buffy and he didn't think about the consequences of the soul for him.

                    And about fighting for love, Spike is a fool for love. That doesn't make him 'good', and in normal cases, when a vampire 'falls in love', it's with another vampire or they sire the person they fall in love with. Spike couldn't sire Buffy so he tried to find another way.


                    The only vampire who is 'special' and confused about good and evil was Lawson because he was sired by a soulled vampire. Spike was one of the most cruel vampires ever and he is not a special case. The chip forced him to stop killing people but it didn't make him good or a little bit good.
                    Last edited by Nina; 21-06-08, 11:22 AM.

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                    • #11
                      Oh I don't think Spike pre soul could be called 'good', He was without a soul of course, and so in Joss's verse, evil. He wasn't called 'William the Bloody' for nothing! Trouble is as seasons went on he became more and more morally 'grey' in his behavior.

                      But Spike fought for his soul.
                      Yes, but not because he wanted to be a better person. He wanted Buffy back, his soul would force her to come back to him. Angel was probably the closest of all when he said that Spike wanted his soul to get back into her pants. Besides, Spike always believed that Angel was a wuss and that he was being dramatic with his soul. Spike saw it as a way to return to Buffy and he didn't think about the consequences of the soul for him.
                      I believe at that point he was getting his soul for Buffy and for himself. He finally realised that without that moral compass to guide him, he would only end up repeating what he had done to her again at some point, and when Buffy kicked him across the room you could see he was clearly deeply shocked at what he had almost done to her. I don't think he did think about the consequences of what it would do to him mentally, but then Spike always has been about acting first and thinking later when it comes to matters of the heart.
                      Last edited by sueworld; 21-06-08, 11:49 AM.

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                      • #12
                        One interesting point I have noticed is how he acted in Tabula Rasa. After all, he didn't remember that he had a chip in his head preventing him from being a violent killer. According to the "serial killer in prison" interpretation of chipped Spike, he should have become interested in killing people once more; maybe not the Scoobies around him who seem to be his friends, but someone. And yet, he doesn't act like such thoughts are on his mind. It seems that Spike's inclinations to kill really have grown weaker than they were in pre-chip times.
                        Last edited by Ojuice5001; 21-06-08, 12:32 PM.
                        "When you have an obsession you pretty much fit it into your schedule no matter what." --Cordelia

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                        • #13
                          That's a gigantic plothole I think, the writers probably didn't even think about it and just wanted to make them all funny. It doesn't make sense, the chip stops Spike from hurting people, it can't stop him from being evil or thinking evil. And a soulless creature with a demon inside can't be like soulled people. A soulless vampire can't act like Spike did in TR, or they have to destroy the whole mythology of vampires.

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                          • #14
                            I personally believe that up until receiving his soul Spike was still evil though perhaps slightly more morally grew than the average vampire. I do however believe that due to his nature as a romantic crossing over from when he was a human allowed him to feel the closest thing to love for Buffy that a vampire could. After all we have seen that up until recently it is almost as though Spike needs someone to love whether it’s reciprocated or not. When he was human it was Cecily, then for a hundred years it was Drusilla and now it’s Buffy. Despite this love however I think it is pretty fair to say that up until receiving his soul he was simply to quote Buffy “A serial killer in prison” something he himself accidentally admits to before realising what he is saying.

                            I did have more to say but most of it has been said by Vampmogs and others so I don’t feel the need to make a post repeating the points made by others.
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                            • #15
                              I think in the main Spike is not one or the other. He's more all about himself, if it benefits him to be good he'll do something for the good team, and if its in his favour to be evil he'll do something for the bad team. In the end for him it was rarely about anyone else but himself. I think he leaned more towards evil rather than good, but I'd put him in the selfish camp more than good or evil. He did die saving the world, but I don't know if he'd have done it had it not been connected to Angel in some way. I think the stuff from NFA was more good than the stuff at the end on the hellmouth. He was a character that straddled a divide, could a evil person become good kind of thing.

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