Ursula the Sea Witch, commonly known as Ursula, is a devious and power-hungry sea witch who wants to rule the Seven Seas with an iron fist. She is already plenty powerful without it and destroying it has no ill effects on her.
Ursula was kicked out of Atlantica because she attacked King Triton and tried to seize the throne. Her entire Villain Song "Poor Unfortunate Souls," is where she swears up and down she's not evil anymore and only uses her magic only to help those in need. She does admit that "once or twice, someone couldn't pay the price," and she had to "rake 'em across the coals"... right in front of a huge garden full of the "poor unfortunate souls" she made deals with. Ursula deliberately makes the terms of her deals with mortals nearly impossible to fulfill, because she wants her clients to fail and turn into polyps she's duly surprised and enraged when Ariel almost succeeds anyway.)
Throughout The Little Mermaid, Ursula becomes more and more deranged as her plan achieves more success. By the time she's got the trident in her hands and transforms into a giant monster, the little sanity she had is completely gone.
Personality and Traits
Ursula has a really big attitude problem and a wicked sense of humor. After her banishment from Atlantica, she established herself as a physical beacon of hope towards unfortunate merpeople, allowing them to strike deals and business propositions that would supposedly result in their happiness, should they successfully fulfill their end of the bargain. During such deals, she speaks in an extremely manipulative tone, as if her only concern is the pleasant satisfaction of her customers.
This makes her schemes easier to fall for, though should she feel a deal is going nowhere, she resorts to pressuring her victims into accepting her offer, additionally portraying herself as their last attempt at making their dreams come true. However, if Ariel's deal is to be believed, Ursula sadistically ensures her customers fail at upholding their end of the deal, resulting in their souls being forever in her possessions and their bodies becoming permanent members of her living garden, as polyps. The motivation of such practices are never revealed for any individual other than Ariel, whom Ursula uses to obtain power over the seas, implying the sea witch simply enjoys causing havoc to the innocent, having no sense of true morality or remorse for those she torments. Apart from this, Ursula may also be acquisitive and cannibalistic, as she is seen eating some sort of tiny sea creature alive.
She is also very nasty, vengeful, and acrimonious, holding a vendetta against King Triton for a prolonged period of time, spending her days spying on his relatives to eventually take advantage of them and concoct a scheme capable of ending in her favor—as the oppressive ruler of the seas. This also ties into Ursula's duplicitous, power-hungry, and manipulative nature, which drives her motivation throughout the film, and is greatly expressed once she finally crowns herself queen during the climax.
Despite her irredeemably negative and antipathetic traits, Ursula has a softer side to her personality, seen with her relationship between herself and her minions, Flotsam and Jetsam. Ursula lovingly refers to the duo as her "babies" and has been shown to treat them with affection, despite barking orders at the two from time to time when enraged. She is also extremely protective and sympathetic of them, even expressing her remorse over killing them with the trident by accident before driving herself into a murderous state towards Ariel for causing it in the first place.
She is also very flamboyant, enthusiastic, classy, vivacious, and ostentatious, as she presents herself with confidence and an eye for high standards, as evidenced by her belief that lurking in doorways is rude. In addition, she regularly flaunts her curvaceous appearance in a sultry manner, and spends time in her vanity, admiring her own physical appearance. She has the power to alter her appearance, but simply chooses not to, showing contentment with who she is as a person, but distaste with her social status and lack of complete power over the ocean.