Guilt comes in many forms but is, first and foremost, an emotion.
I’m going to apply the 5 types of guilt to my antagonist – Stefan Pereira – and then give a verdict. Let’s see how he fares:
#1: Guilt for something he has done.
It’s appropriate to feel guilty when you’ve done something wrong. To not feel so may be a sign he’s a psychopath. (Only maybe? That’s a dead cert. He has no remorse for his actions and is not deterred by the fact he got ‘caught’)
#2: Guilt for something he didn’t do, but wants to.
(Again, he feels in no way guilty for wanting to kill Fern, simply sorry he failed)
#3: Guilt for something he thinks he did.
(There maybe an element of truth in this one. Stefan does have issues surrounding his parents. Could there be some guilt for the way he has treated them? I’m not convinced, but am prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt – for a while, anyway)
#4: Guilt that he didn’t do enough to help someone.
(Does he feel his inaction contributed to him being separated from his sister? Had he stood up for her against their mother, maybe things would have been different. I’m going to have to give him this one)
#5: Guilt that he’s doing better than someone else.
(I don’t think he has one iota of survivor guilt in him. He will always – and I mean always – blame others for his downfalls and credit himself entirely whenever good fortune comes his way)
After all that, is he guilty as charged? His motives for the attack might be considered ambiguous, even dubious. Does that make him guilty or simply misunderstood?
Of course, I know the answer – but what will the judge decide?