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 decline of the imagination Classical literature as well as religious texts such
as the Jewish scriptures , exhibited a considerable respect for the imagination as
a legitimate means for the exploration and transmission of truths about the world
7 It is this understanding of rational beings as ends rather than means that forms
the foundation of what Kant refers to as the ' Kingdom of ends ' . A rational being
is a member of this Kingdom when they subject themselves to the very laws they
Without exception this seems to be the case with the wide array of James Bond
villains , for example , as they plot to impose their will upon the world through
scientific means , economic means , military means and even by way of the ...
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Myth and Imagination
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