Re OT: Buffy as Homeric archetype (formerly

Ven vendersleighc at
Tue May 21 20:38:19 EDT 2002

Michelle said

I was thinking of the Campbell description of the

superhero, and how Joss
Whedon has subverted this and made it more 
interesting.  Buffy is a
superhero, has a wise mentor and a group of wacky

friends, but in the real
world Buffy is nothing.  Her superpowers don't 
give her any other
advantages, she isn't made Mayor of Sunnydale or 
even paid a wage by the
Watcher's Council.  Since Buffy began, a large 
part of the show has been
about her struggle with authority, with her 
slayer duties, with her desire
to live a normal life...

Robert Graves wrote about hereo types in quite a
few books. I can't remember where i read it but
he talked about the "suffering servant", irrc he
was talking about Christ among others, but it
seems to fit Buffy well.

I discovered Campbell's books as a teenager, when
they were quite obscure. I was a bit bemused by
the later public  image of his work. Maybe I got
it from somewhere else but my imprseeion of the
hero who grows up to be "emperor of everything"
(Norman Spinrad's phrase) is that the hero is in
fact everyone (everyman). We are all the heroes
of our own stories -- so the hero myths are about
acheiving some state of enlightenment and control
in our own spheres. In truth I think there are
many ways of reading these texts and I agree that

Star Wars does seem to rest on a rahter dodgy

Actually I think there is quite a Star Wars
backlash at the moment, the Guardian had a "Ten
Reasons not to see Clones" article for example.
I'm finding that sour memories of TPM are making
me doubtful of going.


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