In the novel Red Dragon, Will Graham calls Lecter a "pure sociopath," but makes a point in mentioning that he only calls him this because a more appropriate term doesn't exist, meaning Lecter doesn't actually fit any psychological profile.This is echoed in the film version of The Silence of the Lambs, where Dr. Chilton refers to Lecter as a "pure psychopath," but given Chilton's incompetence, it makes sense that he would term Lecter's pathology so simply. Another reference to Graham's description in Red Dragon is made when Clarice tells a young security guard in the Tennessee asylum that "they don't have a name" for what Lecter is. According to the film's director, Jonathan Demme, Lecter is a good man trapped in an insane mind. Anthony Hopkins plays him as a refined, eloquent and seductive character who is very careful and cunning in his crimes. This is more in line with a sociopathic pathology, as sociopaths are known to be more organized in their actions. If you consider the prequel novel Hannibal Rising to be canon (which many fans of the Lecter mythology don't), it is suggested that Hannibal's pathology is a result of irreparable trauma he suffered as a child; however, others contest this simple summary of the novel, and maintain that Lecter's childhood trauma is merely one, if not the main event that causes his already sociopathic tendencies to manifest themselves at a young age; this is suggested by Hannibal continuing to murder people, even after dealing with the people responsible for the trauma. In other words, Lecter would have become a serial killer anyway, but events from his childhood simply accelerated the process and provided him with a special focus. Some viewers even maintain that Lecter isn't actually insane at all but does horrific things simply because he wants to and is smart enough to get away with them. They maintain that the people in the novels and films refer to Lecter as insane simply because it's easier to term him as such; it gives them a false sense of security and makes them feel that they know how Lecter's mind works when they actually have no idea. Simply put, it's possible that Lecter is a sociopath or a psychopath but, considering Graham's description, it's much more likely that Lecter is just pure evil.