As for an authentic villain, the real thing, the absolute, the artist, one rarely meets him even once in a lifetime. The ordinary bad hat is always in part a decent fellow.
Colette, Sidonie Gabrielle
Life is not simple and people can’t be boxed into being either heroes or villains.
For me the character of Ravana is dear, he is much maligned by Tulsidas in his Ramacharitmanas, but he was essential for the cowbelt hero to make his journey from being the mortal prince in exile of Ayodhya to the icon deity.
Ravana so much so is called one of the trishashti shalaka purusha’s or man to be followed in the Jain pantheon. He is the follower of Ajitanath the 2nd Tirthankara. Ravana is also recognized by the Buddhist Pantheon as the near Buddha soul, his journey to being a Buddha is documented in the Lankaavatara sutra’
The creator of the Rudra veena, the writer of Arakshastra and one other stream of Ayurveda, a great astrologer, and statesman his greatness as the ideal ruler is narrated in the AranyaKanda of the Ramayana.
The dashakanta, dashagriva, Lankeshwara the ten heads could represent his ten intelligences, his ego states or just his reflection in a navaratna mala.
The Handsome, masculine personality is captured in Kamba Ramayana.
His unparalled devotion to his mother and his intellectual bonding with his wife, Ravana to me is the hero of Ramayana.