Unformatted text preview: Module 6 Lab Report Batman Begins: a Modern Mythic Guy Summary: Born as a single child to wealthy parents, Bruce Wayne was the heir to a large fortune and his father’s position in the family company. They lived in a mansion in Gotham, a city monopolized by crime and wealth. As a young child, Bruce Wayne fell down an old well, filled with bats. Although Bruce suffered minor injuries, he developed a fear of bats due to their association with that scarring experience. Shortly thereafter, Bruce was with his parents when they were mugged and shot to death by a street criminal, Joe Chill. Raised by his family butler, Alfred, Bruce grew up with the only comfort that Joe had been imprisoned. However, fourteen years later, Joe was freed as part of a deal with the police department for testifying against a local mob boss. Although Joe was killed afterwards by the mob, Bruce decided he wanted to fight against injustice, and started traveling the world. Eventually, as an adult around thirty years old, Bruce starts training with Ra’s Al Ghul and the league of shadows. Here he learns to conquer his fears and insecurities, while learning how to fight. After a dispute with the League of Shadow’s tactics, Bruce returns home. To complete his cycle of growth, Bruce starts fighting injustice in Gotham and adopts the bats that inhabited the expansive cave network beneath his family mansion, as his symbol. He becomes Batman. Bruce becomes more invested in his family company and develops a facade as rich playboy to avoid detection as Batman. Working with his company’s resident head scientist, Lucius Fox, they develop new technologies, such as the tumbler (a fast, armored vehicle) and his bat suit, to help Batman fight crime more effectively. Lastly, Batman introduces himself to Police Sgt. Gordon, as a mysterious informant and vigilante. Later, Batman uncovers the League of Shadows’ plot to destroy Gotham, through a hallucinogenic, poison gas, created by the Scarecrow, a villain. Through his efforts and resources, Batman manages to defeat Ra’s Al Ghul and save Gotham from total ruin. In the end, Bruce wins the respect of his former love interest, Rachel, but loses any possible romantic relationship in the process. In the continuing two movies, Batman continues to fight crime to save his city, Gotham. Argument: Although there are many modern stereotypes for mythic guy, I chose Batman out of personal preference, and because he fits the model quite well, while also providing a more defined perspective on the development of our modern cultural truths. I argue for the similarities between Batman and Perseus as mythic guys, while showing both the similarities and differences between the cultural truths conveyed by each one. Specifically, I point to the modern cultural truth of sacrifice as “heroic” as opposed the ancient cultural truths of kleos and nostos as “heroic.” Following the ninepoint analysis, Perseus and Batman meet all the points within reason. Batman was born to wealthy parents, while Perseus had a divine father. Both were obviated, as Batman lost his parents, while Perseus was sent away in a chest with his mother to the sea. Batman set out to learn to fight injustice to avenge his parents and Gotham, while Perseus set out to slay Medusa to fulfill his boastful promise. Batman was trained by Ra’s Al Ghul, raised by Alfred, assisted technologically by Lucius Fox, and assisted by Police Sgt. Gordan. Perseus had the aid of Athena and Hermes, the nymphs and the Graeae to provide the location of the Gorgons and the tools he needed. Although lacking magical items, Batman has technologically advanced items designed by Fox, like the tumbler, a fast, stealthy, and armored vehicle, and his bat suit, designed to protect him from bullets. Equivalently, Perseus had a shield, sandals, kibisis, and a scimitar from the nymphs and Hermes. Batman traveled to the Himalayas to train with Ra’s Al Ghul and the League of Shadows. Perseus traveled to find the Gorgons. Batman faced physical death at the hands of the Scarecrow and Ra’s Al Ghul, but also faced an emotional death, that of recurrent depression, from the loss of his parents. Perseus had to face Medusa and her sisters. Batman was rewarded with the personal satisfaction of saving Gotham and those he loved. Perseus is rewarded with the kingdoms of Seriphos and Argos with n ostos . In T he Dark Knight , Batman experiences expulsion after sacrificing his personal reputation to honor the death of his good friend Harvey Dent. Thus he took on the hatred of Gotham to save the reputation of his friend. Also Bruce selfinflicted expulsion after his injuries suffered at the end of The Dark Knight prevented him from being Batman. Perseus killed his father and had to swap cities with Megapenthes. (1,2) Although both characters follow the ninepoint system quite closely, Batman embodies a more modern view of “heroism.” As stated in his own words, “It’s not who I am underneath, it’s my actions that define me.” (3) Batman wants to be recognized only for doing good, instead of revealing his alter ego for the sake of nostos. Perseus wanted recognition, which he achieved through his many feats over Atlas, Polydectes, and Phineus. Perseus’ whole journey stemmed from his boast to Polydectes that he later fulfilled, as recorded, “...and with Medusa’s face, he changed the king’s face to a bloodless stone.” (4) However, the cultural truth of today is that a hidden sacrifice is more honorable than personal glory. Most modern superheroes have alter egos to protect their “normal lives” and that of their friends and family. However, Batman, having no family to protect, still chooses to sacrifice the fame and glory in order to do what will help his city. This is demonstrated when Batman accepts the blame for Harvey Dent’s death in order to preserve Dent’s legacy instead. Lastly, this reveals the differences in the beliefs of the bards and the writers of B atman Begins . The writers of B atman Begins wanted to promote the cultural truth of selfless sacrifice, as opposed to the view of the ancients, like Perseus, who wanted recognition in hopes of nostos or kleos. Additionally, Batman also suffered from depression before his crimefighting career and is relatable to the audience due to his humanity. However, our shared appreciation for mythic guy testifies to a shared ideology, seeped in an appreciation for exceptional individuals. Although both modern and ancient cultures enjoy the story of a mythic guy, our modern definition prizes personal sacrifice and individual humanity as vital to any mythic guy. This is opposed to the ancient mythic guys, who were crafted as divine in order to achieve nostos or kleos. Essentially, both past and present cultural truth values support our love for mythic guy; however, our expectations of mythic guy’s motivations have changed. Works Cited: (1) Material related to Perseus from the preceding paragraph is either based in the analysis present in the lectures and lecture notes, or (2) Material related to Perseus from the preceding paragraph is sourced from chapter twentyone of the textbook. (3) This is a quote from the following moment: (4) From Metamorphoses , book five, page 106 ...
View Full Document
- Spring '14
- Metamorphoses, Perseus, Mythic Guy, Al Ghul, Ra’s Al