Tales from the Island of Serendip
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Very good, and among my wife's favorites. Interestingly, I met Roger Zelazny in the early 90's before becoming acquainted with his books. He was a super nice guy. Sadly, many of the greats have passed away. :(

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Powerful stuff Pat! What is the source please? I don't recognize it.

 

I do recall, though not from where, that Pallas Athena was known as the "glaucos eyed", or "owl eyed" goddess, because the Greek word for owl resembled the name of a local grape, glauxos, that was luminous by moonlight.

 

Hence she was the Moon Goddess - "far seeing", and wise.

 

And I forgot to say, that is where we get the term "glaucous moon"; and Athena's eyes glowed in the dark, like an owl's.

Edited by Flex Mentallo

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Very good, and among my wife's favorites. Interestingly, I met Roger Zelazny in the early 90's before becoming acquainted with his books. He was a super nice guy. Sadly, many of the greats have passed away. :(

 

Your wife has excellent taste. Lord of Light is my favorite Zelazny novel, because it invokes the Hindu pantheon. Terrific book.

 

And for the same reason I like Creatures of Light and Darkness.

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So, Perseus was a hero, beloved of the Moon Goddess, Athena, and Medusa was an evil monster, right?

 

 

caravaggio_120_testa_di_medusa_1598.jpg

 

 

Not hardly.

 

In fact Medusa was a victim, Perseus a simple dupe, and Athena vengeful and manipulative.

 

 

Medusa may be one of the most misunderstood characters in all of Classical Mythology. Typically, she is seen as nothing more than someone who is hideous to look upon, and perhaps as someone who has a grudge against men. But when her story is truly looked at, and the reasons for her monstrous appearance are seen, her plight becomes much more sympathetic.

 

The snakes that she has for hair, and her ability to turn anyone who looks her in the eye to stone is probably the things that are most associated with her. And fans of the film Clash of the Titans (the original, and perhaps the remake as well) will probably know this feature of hers all too well. But how did she come to this state?

 

medusa-clash-of-the-titans_zps69d4497a.jpg

 

Originally, she was very beautiful, and she had many suitors. One day Poseidon, the god of the seas, came upon her, worshiping in one of Athena's temples (where she was a priestess). Seeing how beautiful she was, and wanting her, he decided that he was going to rape her inside Athena's temple.

 

Once Athena found out what had happened, she was furious - not for the rape of an innocent mortal woman, but for the the desecration of her temple . . . And since Athena could do nothing to her uncle, such a powerful and influential god in his own right, she decided that she would take her anger out on Medusa instead. That is when Medusa became the monster that we think her to be, the woman with the snakes for hair, and the stony gaze. So, not only was she the victim from Poseidon's unwanted advances, she was again the victim when she was punished by Athena for Poseidon's actions (by having to spend the rest of her life alone).

 

 

Edited by Flex Mentallo

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THE ARCHETYPES

 

 

C.K.G Jung, the great psychoanalyst, posited the existence of the "collective unconscious". And the archetypes which populate it, all of which are manifest in the imagery of popular culture.

 

 

It's a long time since I studied Jung. But what we all know and think we are familiar with are the archetypes he identified. I will list those in a second. He said that people largely misunderstood what he meant by archetypes. He used the analogy of a crystal dissolved in a solvent. The structure is hidden in the liquid as a potentiality, out of which crystalline structure may form. The archetype is the potentiality, not the form it takes. There are only a small number of archetypes, but the forms they manifest are quite literally infinite.

 

And our super heroines, heroes, yes and villains, are iterations of these archetypes.

 

As are Archie and Lois Lane.

 

And even Daffy Duck.

 

Archetypes form the foundation on which each individual builds his own experience of life, colouring them with his unique culture, personality and life events.

 

 

 

 

They are recurring patterns of human behavior, symbolized by standard types of characters in movies and stories.

 

Here are some examples.

 

 

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HEROES

 

Central figures in stories. Everyone is the hero of his or her own myth.

 

goon_zps562c98ef.jpg

 

 

 

Edited by Flex Mentallo

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SHADOWS

 

Villains and enemies, perhaps the enemy within. The dark side of the Force, the repressed possibilities of the hero, his or her potential for evil. Can be other kinds of repression, such as repressed grief, anger, frustration or creativity that is dangerous if it doesn’t have an outlet.

 

dark_phoenix_by_joseelizondo-d4mh6yy.jpg

 

 

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MENTORS

 

The hero’s guide or guiding principles. Yoda, Merlin, a great coach or teacher.

 

 

Galadriel-Gandalf-the-hobbit-an-unexpected-journey-32362893-1888-814_zpsa0dc3779.jpg

 

 

 

Edited by Flex Mentallo

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HERALD

 

One who brings the Call to Adventure. Could be a person or an event.

 

 

Silver_Surfer_2.jpg

 

 

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THRESHOLD GUARDIANS

 

The forces that stand in the way at important turning points, including jealous enemies, professional gatekeepers, or your own fears and doubts.

 

heimdall09a+copy.jpg

 

 

 

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SHAPESHIFTERS

 

In stories, creatures like vampires or werewolves who change shape. In life, the shapeshifter represents change. The way other people (or our perceptions of them) keep changing. The opposite sex, the way people can be two-faced.

 

Vampire.jpg

 

 

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TRICKSTERS

 

Clowns and mischief-makers, Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck, Richard Pryor and Eddie Murphy. Our own mischievous subconscious, urging us to change.

 

JokerHarley1024768.jpg

 

 

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ALLIES

 

Characters who help the hero through the change. Sidekicks, buddies, girlfriends who advise the hero through the transitions of life.

 

newethel-thumb.jpg

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Of the manifestation of archetypes in comics the most obvious example I can think of is the pantheon of supporting characters in Batman.

 

 

HEROES

 

Central figures in stories. Everyone is the hero of his or her own myth.

 

Batman begins in darkness, born of great suffering.

He is a paladin of darkness, with all the ambiguity darkness conveys. He is the darkness within us, struggling towards redemption.His journey is a painful one, as is ours.

 

kane+01.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Flex Mentallo

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SHADOWS

 

Villains and enemies, perhaps the enemy within. The dark side of the Force, the repressed possibilities of the hero, his or her potential for evil. Can be other kinds of repression, such as repressed grief, anger, frustration or creativity that is dangerous if it doesn’t have an outlet.

 

 

If not for the word balloons, would we not imagine that Batman is the villain of the piece? Arguably, his greatest enemy is himself, while those who serve as villains are actually tricksters or shapeshifters. Indeed he is himself a shapeshifter.

 

Bruce Wayne becomes most truly himself as The Batman. His banal civilian persona is a cover.

 

 

kane+02.jpg

 

kane+03.jpg

 

 

Edited by Flex Mentallo

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MENTORS

 

The hero’s guide or guiding principles. Yoda, Merlin, a great coach or teacher.

 

 

alfred-skinny-tec83.jpg

 

 

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HERALD

One who brings the Call to Adventure. Could be a person or an event.

 

In Batman's case as everyone knows the Herald is an event - the death of his parents.

 

_9160560_orig.jpg

 

 

 

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THRESHOLD GUARDIANS

The forces that stand in the way at important turning points, including jealous enemies, professional gatekeepers, or your own fears and doubts.

 

Commissioner Gordon represents Law and Order, which in his methods Batman is often at odds. So The Law is the force that stands in the way - and it is sometimes unclear whether Batman seeks Justice, or Vengeance!

 

 

 

BatmanDebutOpen.jpg

 

 

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SHAPESHIFTERS

In stories, creatures like vampires or werewolves who change shape. In life, the shapeshifter represents change. The way other people (or our perceptions of them) keep changing. The opposite sex, the way people can be two-faced.

 

catwoman-batman01.jpg

 

 

 

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