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Ambiguous Heroism: Anti-Heroes and the Pharmakon of Justice

Journal Article


Abstract


  • This paper identifies several key anti-heroes and their capacity for questioning how

    complicated, ambiguous forms of heroism are represented and negotiated in

    contemporary popular culture. Specifically, the paper uses as case studies three

    characters at different positions on the anti-hero spectrum – Doctor Who’s

    eponymous protagonist, the DC Comics superhero Batman, and 24’s anti-terrorist

    agent Jack Bauer. The paper questions ways in which these texts and their

    protagonists articulate complex notions of contemporary justice, morality and ethics,

    achieved partly through their fictional enactments and interrogations of justice and

    how justice is constituted. The paper attests that these characters complicate

    audience notions of law and justice, and how the conceptual challenge of the

    ‘good’/‘evil’ binary results in a more nuanced understanding of this particular form of

    heroism.

Publication Date


  • 2016

Citation


  • Comerford, C. "Ambiguous Heroism: Anti-Heroes and the Pharmakon of Justice." IM E-Journal .11 (2016): 1-13.

Number Of Pages


  • 12

Start Page


  • 1

End Page


  • 13

Issue


  • 11

Place Of Publication


  • Australia

Abstract


  • This paper identifies several key anti-heroes and their capacity for questioning how

    complicated, ambiguous forms of heroism are represented and negotiated in

    contemporary popular culture. Specifically, the paper uses as case studies three

    characters at different positions on the anti-hero spectrum – Doctor Who’s

    eponymous protagonist, the DC Comics superhero Batman, and 24’s anti-terrorist

    agent Jack Bauer. The paper questions ways in which these texts and their

    protagonists articulate complex notions of contemporary justice, morality and ethics,

    achieved partly through their fictional enactments and interrogations of justice and

    how justice is constituted. The paper attests that these characters complicate

    audience notions of law and justice, and how the conceptual challenge of the

    ‘good’/‘evil’ binary results in a more nuanced understanding of this particular form of

    heroism.

Publication Date


  • 2016

Citation


  • Comerford, C. "Ambiguous Heroism: Anti-Heroes and the Pharmakon of Justice." IM E-Journal .11 (2016): 1-13.

Number Of Pages


  • 12

Start Page


  • 1

End Page


  • 13

Issue


  • 11

Place Of Publication


  • Australia