Superman, Wonder Woman, Spiderman "what do all these characters have in common? They are all products of the human desire to be saved. However, there are many cases today in which we see the exact opposites of these characters, the anti-heroes. The anti-hero is one who cannot be classified as a hero, for that said character lacks natural heroic qualities. However, the anti-hero cannot be described as a villain either. Although this particular individual may have some of the personality flaws traditionally assigned to villains, the anti-hero may have heroic intentions to gain the sympathy of the audience. Anti-heroes can be awkward, obnoxious, passive, or dishonest "but they are always, in some way, flawed or failed heroes. One can find examples of anti-heroes in many different films and works of literature. Two prime examples of anti-heroes today are Boris, Woody Allen's character in Love and Death, and J. Alfred Prufrock from the poem, "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,"" by T.S. Eliot. These two characters exhibit distinct personality traits, which classify them as anti-heroes.
Boris, in Woody Allen's film Love and Death, is an anti-hero through and through. He is a man living in Russia in a time of war, and is called to join the army. When he receives word that he is to join the army, he states that he is a pacifist and will not fight. Boris is then called a coward, but replies by stating that he is a "militant coward."" This gives an example of how not heroic he is; while at the same time establishes that Boris does indeed hold morals that he is willing to stand up for. Boris is also helplessly in love with his cousin, Sonia, who is in love with his brother, Evan. This creates a situation in which he will not only receive sympathy from the audience, but also generates awkwardness, for he is in love with his cousin. Boris has both the good fortune of a hero and the bad fortune of a villain.