Duryodhana, on the other hand, is very much the bad guy of the story. Yet I don't think he was evil. I feel sorry for him because he had so much and was not able to be happy.
I think he is very human. I think I am more like him than like the Pandavas. The Pandavas were born from Gods, Duryodhana from a somewhat-weak man (We can have a discussion about Dhritarashtra another time!)
Duryodhana was lost, confused, discontented without knowing why. He felt things deeply and was hurt easily. He was very, very human.
While many of the other characters are better than us, showing us what to look up to and how to be, I think Duryodhana is our baser instincts.
I've read a number of versions of The Mahabharata, all of them abridged in some way. In fact the only unabridged version I read for a college class, only had the first three books translated at the time. But anyway, the version of the story that always clings to me is the Peter Brook's movie. There's a scene in that movie that makes me cry every time I watch it.
Duryodhana is arguing with his mother. She says something along the lines of, "Why can't you be happy and content with everything that you have?"
He shouts at her, "I want to be discontented...."
A man says: I have enough to eat and wear. I need nothing more! Shame! He says: I don't know anger! Shame! I am like a dried up stream, like a wooden elephant. All because my father was born blind, because one does not give a throne to a blind man...A man's body grows from birth and everyone is delighted in the same way his desire grows, his desire for power.
Of course I think he is wrong, that he should realize the greater truth that the kingdom is not his and it was never meant to be. But my heart aches for him because I know how hard it is to remove one's own desires and see the world as it is without the bias.
I think God had some sympathy for him too, as he did find contentment after death.