Silas Lynch is the ultimate villain in Griffith’s melodrama. The film climaxes with Lynch literally drunk on the excesses of power. He swoons from alcohol, reels with anger and bloodlust, and stops short of raping Elsie only when her father suddenly enters. The fact that Lynch first appears in the second part of the film, just after Lincoln’s assassination, helps to establish him an evil, otherworldly antithesis to Lincoln and the values for which Lincoln stood. The biracial Lynch symbolizes the “disunion” referred to in the film’s first frame (“The bringing of the African to America planted the first seed of disunion”). He is both a literal and a figurative embodiment of relations between blacks and whites, which are depicted as inherently corrupt and ungodly. As the second part of the film progresses, Lynch’s motivations are revealed to be greedy and contrary to the ideals of the South or of any unified nation. He is a divider, not a uniter.