To me he's not a villain, he's a victim of his own actions.
That he is indeed. But he is also a broken man who totally lost it after his wife was taken away from him. I guess that putting the blame on others made hurt more bearable and seeking revenge was the only way to ease a bit his pain. I wonder what would have been of him if Arthur would have died at birth as well. He really seems to have loved Ygraine with every fiber of his body. I think that if Ygraine would have lived, he might have prosecuted those who abused magic using it for the wrong end against others, but that he would have been ok with peaceful magical beings.
Also, when did Merlin learn to read runes?
Maybe reading the book of magic that Gaius gave him? *shrugs*
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