Black Michael is the villain of the novel entitled The Prisoner of Zenda created by Anthony Hope. He is stepbrother of King Elphberg. He is not the legal heir to the throne because he is the son of the king’s second and morganatic marriage.
Black Michael is the owner of castle of Zenda and the surrounding estate. Being the favourite of the late king of Ruritania, he was appointed as the Duke of Strelsau. He is schemer and evil by nature.
Selfish and Hypocrite
Black Michael is a selfish man. He loves Princess Flavia just to get the throne. He is a hypocrite and makes a false show of love towards Madam Mauban. He has become popular among a small number of people of the country by his hypocrisy. He is over ambitious and greedy.
A Wicked Person
Black Michael is a sinful man. He makes plot to get the throne with the help of his companions, but always tries to delude them. That is why his followers betray him, when he is expecting complete victory. He invites Rassendyll to the Summer House through a conspiracy, but fortunately Rassendyll survives. This sharp and evil act shows his wickedness.
A Cruel Man
Black Michael is indeed a cruel person. When the king has been in his noose, he treats him in a very harsh and inhuman manner. He does not feel pity for his brother even. Black Michael is a coward man. He wants to save his life at any cost. He does not come out to handle the situation at any time.
A Cool-Minded Criminal
Black Michael is a wicked but a cool minded and genius criminal. When he sees that Rassendyll has impersonated the king of Ruritania he does not make it known to the people to keep his villainy secret. We see that even Rupert’s interest and love for Mauban do not irritate him. It shows that he is a controlled emotion criminal.
A Slave of Lust for Power
Black Michael becomes utterly blind for power. At any rate he wants to usurp the sovereignty form his brother. His lust for power corrupts him and brings his decline.
The Tragic End
Black Michael always deceives his close companions. That is why he is killed by one of his own followers. Thus, the villain of the novel receives a tragic end.