This chapter examines the treatment of evil in Mervyn Peake's work. In early works such as ‘The Touch of the Ash’ and his Slaughterboard tales, Peake amused himself with the cardboard characters of boys' stories. In Titus Groan, he depicted a character who consciously and deliberately chooses to do evil in pursuit of power, which led to his most developed – and literary – examination of human evil in Gormenghast, as Steerpike's choices reduce his options until he is cornered, literally and figuratively, and killed. Having done this, Peake began to reflect on the relationship between evil and art.
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