Fiction Briefly

The Privileged Hero - Black Panther

A fight over the throne of Wakanda represents two opposing ideas of justice. Revenge can be sweet but effective leadership requires more substance.

The Naive Hero - Clarice Starling : Silence of the Lambs

Clarice Starling doesn't have experience, but she has instinct and determination. She's going to need both to catch a killer even with help from a cannibal psychopath in this analysis of Silence of the Lambs.

The Disguised Hero - Django

Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained touches on the harsh realities of human nature and the difficulties of going undercover.

The Shortsighted Hero - Mulan

Sometimes taking one's "place" in society requires breaking with tradition. In this adaption of an ancient Chinese tale, Mulan carves a place for herself but sets her aims low. Still, she serves as an example of courage in the struggle to be one's self.

The Stubborn Hero - Antigonê

Can a woman in ancient Greece win an argument and remain living? Sophocles has us pondering the ambiguity of right and wrong as the gods remain silent over human disputes.

The Incompetent Hero: Psyche

Ancient Roman author, Apuleius, makes his heroine in Cupid and Psyche the butt of a joke, but is Psyche as pathetic as she seems?

The Subversive Hero: Joker

The hero's journey can be used for villains, too, and it may have you rooting for the bad guy.

Fictionalizing a Hero: Hamilton

Creator Lin-Manuel Miranda makes strategic storytelling choices to keep viewers entertained as opposed to well-informed.

The Forgotten Hero: Theseus

Before George Washington and King Arthur, Theseus created a democracy and pulled a sword out a stone. He also made the Labyrinth famous.

The Killer Hero: Hercules

You think you know someone until you do a background check... A look at Hercules's punishment after killing his wife and young children using Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey.

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