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 German idealist philosopher Hegel made a similar point when he argued
that religion - and he had Christianity in mind here – was essentially a less
sophisticated way of portraying the abstract truths of philosophy . Religion used
... The products of the imagination are considered , for various reasons which we
shall consider shortly , somehow less ' real ' , less ' true ' and thus less ' relevant .
On the other hand , in certain contexts we reward people for their imagination ...
However , in more complicated times where the enemy was less easy to spot and
sometimes dwelt ' within ' , the mission of the hero was far less clear cut . It was
during these more cynical times that the super powered vigilante came into its ...
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Myth and Imagination
Heroes and Otherness
With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility
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