Heroes and Villains
Hercules, Jesus, James Bond, Luke Skywalker, Gandalf, Frodo, Harry Potter, Buffy Summers, Spiderman, Batman, Captain Kirk, Dr. Who, Darth Vader, Sauron, Voldemort, Lex Luthor, Dr. Doom, the Daleks, the Borg. Almost anybody living in the developed West would be able to group these individuals into two camps: the heroes and the villains. However, what criteria they may use to do this is less clear.
Mike Alsford introduces us to a range of heroic and villainous archetypes on a journey through film, television, comic books, and literature. On the way, he addresses questions such as: What is a true hero? What is a true villain? Have we misunderstood these terms? What kind of societal values do our mythical heroes and villains represent? In trying to understand the extremes of hero and villain we are made more aware of our own ethical standards and given a space in which to explore contemporary concerns over notions of right and wrong, good and bad.
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6 It was Alexis de Tocqueville ( 1805 – 1859 ) , the aristocratic expert on America
, who was to develop one of the most influential and critical understandings of
individualism . For him individualism was the natural outworking of democracy ...
Back in the seventeenth century John Locke made a similar point as he sought to
develop the notion of a social contract , a socio - political tool for maintaining
social cohesion in the face of the natural freedom of humanity . Locke argues that
To be a hero does not require power or ability or status or recognition or
knowledge but simply that one exists fully in and as part of the world . This is
something that we learn as we grow and develop social skills but it is equally
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Myth and Imagination
Heroes and Otherness
With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility
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