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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Even the most disorganised of us – and I speak from experience here – are
confounded by senselessness . We like things to make sense , to have purpose .
In spite of our alleged move towards the postmodern where relativity and
... very well be shadowy and ultimately unreal , it is founded upon an eternal and
absolute blueprint . It is these absolutes that give us the confidence to speak of
truth and beauty and justice , to work towards an ideal society and the good life .
41 In spite of our often professed liberal sensibilities that prompt us to speak of
justice and rehabilitation and even redemption as the primary mode of dealing
with criminal and anti - social individuals , the heroes of our imagination speak
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Myth and Imagination
Heroes and Otherness
With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility
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