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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A Jedi uses the Force for knowledge and defence , never for attack . 21 The
villain coerces , imposes and seeks to destroy anything that it cannot bend to its
will . The hero takes the more dangerous path , the one that always runs the risk
of self ...
GEORGE : I said I wish I ' d never been born . 3 George is granted his hasty wish
and lives , for a short time , in a world in which he had never before existed . In
this George - less world - perhaps overly emphasised for effect - all is not well .
BUFFY : But we never . . . ANGEL : We never win . BUFFY : Not completely .
ANGEL : We never will . That ' s not why we fight . We do it ' cause there ' s things
worth fighting for . 14 The old adage ' all that is required for evil to flourish is for
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Myth and Imagination
Heroes and Otherness
With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility
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