This post includes a character analysis of Lucille Sharpe, the main antagonist of the 2016 film “Crimson Peak”. Beware of spoilers.
The 2016 gothic romance directed by Guillermo del Toro stars Jessica Chastain as Lucille Sharpe.
In “Crimson Peak”, Lucille Sharpe is the sister and lover of Sir Thomas Sharpe, a baronet who seeks investors for his clay-mining invention. The siblings live in Allerdale Hall, a decaying mansion located in a red clay mine.
Lucille and Thomas have been luring wealthy women into marrying the latter. Then they would kill them with poison just to inherit their money. Nonetheless, everything changes when Thomas marries Edith Cushing, an aspiring writer, and falls in love with her.
Thomas’ change of heart made Lucille increasingly jealous and violent. As a result, she tries to sabotage their relationship. In a moment of rage, Lucille kills her brother. Then she goes after Edith. However, the young woman fights back and kills Lucille with a shovel.
Edith’s childhood friend, Alan McMichael, takes her away from Allerdale Hall. While Thomas’ ghost disappeared, Lucille chose to stay behind. She is now a ghost, dressed in black, playing the piano inside the walls of the collapsing mansion.
Note: For those who are interested, here is another article discussing the meaning behind the ending of “Crimson Peak”.
Lucille Sharpe Character Analysis in “Crimson Peak”
Crimson Peak presents Lucille Sharpe as a beautiful aristocrat who dresses in sophisticated clothes, often in dark colours. She has pale skin, dark hair and piercing blue eyes. Her brother, Thomas Sharpe, is the only remaining family member that she has. During her spare time, Lucille often plays the piano.
In terms of personality, Lucille Sharpe is manipulative and ruthless. She has an unhealthy obsession with her brother, with whom she maintains an incestuous relationship. If someone stands in her way or is deemed a threat, Lucille will not hesitate to kill them. And she can be very cold and cruel to her victims, given that she has no remorse or empathy for them.
Lucille Sharpe grew up in a very hostile environment. According to Lucille, her mother was always very cold towards Thomas and her. When the matriarch found out about the siblings’ affair, Lucille murdered her in cold blood.
After running out of funds to finance their lifestyle, Lucille and Thomas came up with a macabre scheme. Thomas would persuade wealthy women, often lonely and older, to marry him. Then Lucille would slowly kill them by poisoning their tea.
Lucille Sharpe’s Motives in “Crimson Peak”
Overall, Lucille’s motives in “Crimson Peak” revolve around her love for her brother, Thomas. Her first victim was her mother. Since she could not bear the idea of losing Thomas, Lucille did everything in her power to prevent it from happening. Unfortunately for her, that included “silencing” her mother after she found out about their affair.
Out of her love for Thomas and desire to protect him, Lucille developed an unhealthy obsession with her sibling. That also led her to want to control him. To keep her brother around, Lucille will often manipulate Thomas to stay with her. When he told Lucille that he was going to leave her for another woman, she lost her mind and killed him out of rage.
Lucille Sharpe and Relationships
Aside from her relationship with Thomas, there is someone else who plays an important role in Lucille Sharpe’s fate in “Crimson Peak”. That person would be Edith Cushing, her sister-in-law and “love rival”.
Lucille Sharpe and Thomas Sharpe
The relationship between Lucille Sharpe and Thomas Sharpe is complex and twisted. For the most part, Lucille is the dominant and controlling partner in the relationship, while Thomas is the submissive and conflicted one.
Before Edith’s arrival at Allerdale Hall, the siblings were inseparable. Their intimate bond came from sharing a traumatic past and committing horrible crimes together. In order to provide for themselves, Lucille and Thomas schemed against lonely rich women to take their money away.
Lucille and Thomas’ forbidden affair was doomed from the start. Their bond was tested when Thomas fell in love with Edith. He sacrificed himself for Edith, which made Lucille even more enraged at her. She even tried to kill her sister-in-law, which led to her demise.
Lucille Sharpe and Edith Cushing
The two women in Thomas Sharpe’s life had a hostile and tense relationship. Both Lucille and Edith wanted Thomas, but for very different reasons. Ever since Edith moved to Allerdale Hall, Lucille has always acted very coldly towards her.
Lucille’s behaviour toward Edith could be justified by her jealousy. She saw Edith as a threat to her plans and her bond with Thomas. At a certain point, Lucille tries to regain control by showing off her incestuous relationship with Thomas. When Edith caught the siblings in the act, Lucille didn’t even act surprised, she wanted Edith to know.
Despite her efforts to sabotage Thomas and Edith’s relationship, her brother was determined to move on and leave her. Since Lucille couldn’t let that happen, she decided to kill the person she loved the most, Thomas, making Edith a widow.
Overall, Lucille Sharpe’s personality is a major factor in her relationships with other characters in the film. Her controlling and manipulative nature leads to a toxic relationship with her brother and a murderous jealousy towards Edith. In addition, Lucille’s dismissive attitude towards Alan McMichael also shows her lack of regard for others outside of her immediate circle.
One could say that Lucille Sharpe is a master of deception, hiding her true nature behind a mask of sophistication and charm. Despite being the “villain” of “Crimson Peak”, Lucille Sharpe is also a victim of her oppressive upbringing and a product of her environment.
As a result, it’s fair to suggest that Lucille Sharpe is a tragic and complex character. Her heinous actions in “Crimson Peak” are motivated by both love and greed. Ultimately, Lucille succumbs to her own demons, which drive her to madness.
Lucille Sharpe’s downfall started the moment Thomas Sharpe fell in love with Edith Cushing. For the very first time, she felt her brother slip out of her control, and she couldn’t stand it. Despite wanting to live a free life with Thomas, Lucille fails and becomes a ghost trapped in Allerdale Hall. In a way, she couldn’t let go of the past and her sins, hence her decision to stay in the mansion.