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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The refusal to dominate as the primary mode of relating to the world is a characteristic trait of the hero and this is often in the face of aggression and abuse . Compare the attitude and behaviour of Peter Parker in the above quote ...
... only of paranoia and fear of vulnerability which leaves domination as the only option for engagement with the world . ... there follows a reduction in the possibility of dominating power and an increase in the power to participate .
Similarly , for every mad scientist who utilises their knowledge in the cause of world domination there are those who choose to use their knowledge , however petty , to dominate and control their friends and family .
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Myth and Imagination
Heroes and Otherness
With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility
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