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 Vampire Slayer , the Harry Potter novels and a host of comic book figures
such as The Batman and Spiderman I hope to be deploying examples that are
familiar to the widest possible audience and that have a broad popular appeal .
There is no hope left in Elves or dying Numenor . This then is one choice before
you , before us . We may join with that Power . It would be wise , Gandalf . There
is hope that way . Its victory is at hand ; and there will be rich reward for those that
In this sense , in giving ourselves over to the other as a resource we also raise
the hope that such a resource will be available to us when we need it . This hope
is , however always just that – hope , never a claim or demand , the true hero ...
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Myth and Imagination
Heroes and Otherness
With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility
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