What nouns can be used to mean someone who is angrily inciting hatred in a public area against innocent people? I'm imagining a person who might stand on a raised platform in a town square addressing a large audience. The kind of bigot who might blame a poor harvest on an innocent for a ridiculous reason. Eg. "She has a hooked nose and must, therefore, be a witch who consorts with the devil." Or "He's a hunchback, so he must have angered the gods in a previous life, and now we're paying the price!"

This is to describe a character in a piece of creative writing. "Benjamin was a (insert word)."

  • There are distinctions between rabble-rouser , provocateur, and agitator on the one hand, and demagogue on the other. The dictionaries I searched before I saw that the question was closed indicated that while rabble-rousers, provocateurs, and agitators do stir up trouble, it can be with the best interests of the people they're stirring up in mind. Demagogues, however, generally have nefarious purposes in mind, as they seek to sway the masses in favor of their own political purposes, which often involve hate and violence toward others. The other types may want to help the masses. – Isabel Archer May 23 at 13:21

This kind of person might be described as a "rabble-rouser," defined by Merriam-Webster as "one that stirs up the masses of the people (as to hatred or violence)." Alternatively, they might be a "provocateur," which Merriam-Webster defines as "one who provokes."

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