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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As Solzhenitsyn points out , we feel there is little need for voluntary self - restraint
, as we are free to operate to the limit of the law . Thus in condemning Richard
Nixon , virtues of decency and honesty were invoked , but the legal system
As we suggested in Chapter Two , the ability to feel as others feel , to empathise ,
is a significant heroic power , it motives and drives the hero to confront the source
of another ' s pain because it is a shared pain , there is an immediacy of ...
And after that , you don ' t feel the same towards the other person any longer . '
No , ' he said , ' you don ' t feel the same . ' 12 The concept of individualism
denounced in France , by De Gaulle for example , was certainly not confined to
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Myth and Imagination
Heroes and Otherness
With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility
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