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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To be able to ask such questions as ' Is this right ? ... The question ' Is it right or
good to be a soldier ? ... In many ways the hero helps to raise questions about
the kind of decision we have to face and the values that Myth and Imagination 7.
All of these mythic stories represent imaginative responses to primal questions
concerning human origins and destiny ... That the world could be explored and
indeed understood in this imaginative mode was beyond question by those who
To then go on and pose the question What is it that could be taken from me or
done to me that might jeopardise my humanity ? ' simply increases the size of the
question mark . Part of the attraction of the hero is their apparently clear and ...
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