Back in the days when role-playing games were all the rage, anyone who created a character was compelled to choose an alignmenta basis for the character's motivations and loyalties, intended to guide their actions in whatever fantasy world they would inhabit. As defined within the game, a person's alignment could be plotted along two axes: One to gauge ethical behavior from "lawful" to "chaotic," and the other to gauge moral behavior from "good" to "evil."
Simple as it may seem, this system serves quite well to analyze diverse groups of characters from any well-constructed story. In fact, to create the best character-driven stories, one is practically required to represent each of the basic alignments within the cast. I have provided the examples below from some of our family's favorite books, movies and television shows (plus one example from a well-crafted political circus):
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