“You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.” – Harvey Dent in The Dark Knight
That’s a depressing phrase to consider. It means that for Batman, there really is no way to win, especially when he is already considered a villain in the eyes of Gotham. Heroism isn’t what it should be in Gotham, as evidenced by the responses of those around Dent regarding his support of Batman.
At this point in the story, it’s hard to not believe in Harvey Dent. He’s a public official who supports Batman, he’s Gotham’s white knight, and he is wise enough to speak dialogue like this.
The irony of this quote makes it even more memorable considering that Harvey Dent didn’t do just one of those, he did both. He died a hero in the eyes of Gotham, but those who saw him in his last moments knew the villain he actually became.