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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To see ourselves as others see us has long been held a valuable if often salutary experience . To be surprised , even shocked by an encounter with the world is often a moment of existential , character - transforming significance .
As we have suggested , in our first encounter with the other the dominant experience is one of alienation . The other conforms to the category of stranger . Once we have assimilated the image of the other as a physical presence we are ...
For example , in our experience of estrangement there is in operation not a dynamic of relationality but a static balance of power . I have no power over the stranger and they have no power over me . In some ways this situation may be ...
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Myth and Imagination
Heroes and Otherness
With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility
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