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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Jekyll was no worse ; he woke again to his good qualities seemingly unimpaired ;
he would even make haste , where it was possible , to undo the evil done by
Hyde . And thus his conscience slumbered . 30 The villain is often construed as
31 While this may appear a rather simplistic analysis it once again cuts to the
heart of the essential distinction between the hero and the villain – the hero
makes themselves available to the other while the villain merely makes use of the
15 If being a hero has to do with the giving of oneself and one ' s abilities and
powers over to the wider world then , by the same token , being a villain has to do
with the withholding of oneself from that world . We have spoken of the villain as ...
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