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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Mike Alsford. Of course the difference between Superman and the Batman
reflects one of the fundamental tensions within the heroic character – and brings
us back to the Stan Lee quote on Spiderman referred to earlier – that between
We can admit that we're killers but that we're not going to kill today, that's all it
takes, knowing that we're not going to kill . . . today.5 This of course returns us to
the Kantian notion of duty and 'ought' referred to back in Chapter Two.
We have already referred to Superman ' s alter ego , the very ordinary Clark Kent
. It is as Kent that Kal - El becomes incarnate in the world , establishes his
humanity , and prevents himself from becoming a distant and remote figure
dwelling in ...
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Myth and Imagination
Heroes and Otherness
With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility
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