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The Anti-Hero

Get to know them!

Trisha Chatterjee

on 22 September 2014

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Transcript of The Anti-Hero

The Anti-Hero
Who is an Anti Hero?

Are an antithesis of a 'Traditional Hero'. Also seen frequently as the protagonist.

Have some Moral/Tragic flaw.

Usually have no Behavioral traits that are "Heroic".

Possess a few identifiable "good" qualities.

Pivotal Role of the Anti-Hero?
The Anti-Hero FAQs
What's the difference between Anti-Hero and Villain?
Anti Hero: A Timeline
Who are the contemporary Anti-Heroes and where to find them?
Trisha Chatterjee (54) &
Kumudini Ravindra (33)

John Milton’s Paradise Lost:
Lucifer the Brightest Angel
is a Classic Anti-Hero
Better to reign in Hell than to serve in Heaven!
Characteristics of an Anti Hero:
Rebellious against society’s norms and values

Motivated by self interest or greed

Conscious choice of wrong path or wrong deed

Criminal tendencies- showing little or no remorse
William Shakespeare’s Othello:
Lago is an Anti-Hero who poisons Othello’s mind
"I am not what I am"
Strikes a balance between Good and Evil

Contributes to the Action of the film

Human Angle: Awareness of Human Frailties

No Absolutes of Good or Bad
C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia:
The White Witch is an Antithesis of Aslan
"Ours is a High and Lonely Destiny
The Dark Knight:
The Joker
is A Potent Anti-Hero
"See ...I'm not a Monster ....I'm just ahead of the curve"
Take a look at some "anti-hero" clips to get an idea:
What's the difference between Anti-Hero and a Hero?
Late 19th Century-Early 20th Century
Anti Heroes: Onscreen
The 50's, 60's and beyond
The Gothic Double (18th-19th Century)
Early Days
Anti-hero: The Individual
Fyodor Dostoevsky's
Notes from Underground
brought the anti-hero figure into full and independent flower.
Victorious Emergence
Found largely in writings of the French existentialists, as in Camus's
(1942) or Sartre's
La Nausée
From Being Cult to Becoming Popular
The British Anti-Hero makes appearance in
Angry young men
literature of the fifties. (Examples also found in Indian films)
Popular On-screen Anti-Heroes through the Ages
How it all began!
The anti-heroic type can be traced back at least as far as Homer's
Enter: The Social Misfit
Later eighteenth century saw a fine example of the anti-hero in
Rameau's Nephew.
Also identified in classical Greek drama, as well as in Roman satire and Renaissance literature.
The actual term antihero is first dated to
19th century: Romanticism, saw the anti-hero becoming still more prominent, often in the form of the
Gothic double.
Example of Gothic Double:
Robert Louis Stevenson's Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.
Building on Dostoevsky, there came about figures like Franz Kafka's
Twentieth century saw the heyday of the antihero.
Characterized as rootless, indecisive central characters drifting through their own lives.
A decade or so later, the antihero reached American literature.
The Anti-Hero of American Literature, dominant until mid-Sixties: the lonely alienated figure who's unable to communicate.
French counterpart: found in works of
Jack Kerouac and Norman Mailer
Gradual fade from Literature into Cinematic forms.
The Anti-Hero on the Big Screen

Anti-heroes emerged in popular Hollywood films in1940s.
It spread through genres from 1970s- Film Noir, Westerns, Outlaw Biker Films, Cop Dramas, Mob Films and Sci-Fi Films
Popular Examples
(Examples in Films:
Fight Club, Secret Window, Superman
, etc.)
Usually the Antagonist
Essentially a/ one of a protagonist
Evil intentions like Hunger for Power, etc
May develop /chooses wrong intention like vengeance, etc
Sympathetic/Selectively ruthless
Singularly/ Dark shaded. No room for development.
Flat character.
Grey shade. Development essential. Creates action. Round character.
Invites only hatred.
Invites mixed feelings.
Image of the Ideal Man
Often the underdog.
Good Intentions. Keeper of the Law. Conformist.
Selfish Intentions. Rebellion towards society. Realist.
The savior. Faces conflict bravely, head-on.
The "accidental" savior. Trys to get around conflict. Sneaky.
Is extraordinary, (beautiful),possesses gifts and talents.
Can be plain or over the top dramatic, no special talent.
Is always pro-active, makes decisions.
Can be passive, or pushed into something against his will.
For More on Anti-Heroes: Refer to
Post modern tendencies: heroic qualities are often subjective.
The antihero: now born out of a reaction to the injustices associated with a hero (our modern-day concept of a hero-the individual).
Type of modern anti hero: his/her behavior is often a reflection of larger social or political commentary
Examples: Cat woman, Severus Snape, Dexter, Walter White, etc
Thank you
Malshe, Anuradha. Panorama: A Perspective of Cinema Around the World. New Delhi: Serials Publications,2010. Print.

Palgrave, Francis Turner. The Golden Treasury. Calcutta: Oxford UP,1994. Print.

Vuković, S. "Some aspects of the privatization in Serbia", Sociological Review, Vol. 26, 2: 189-204, (1995). Web.

Shakespeare, William. Othello. New Delhi: Rupa and Co.,2003. Print.

Images: Courtesy Google and Facebook.

Fatal Attraction. Dir. Adrian Lyne. Perf. Michael Douglas, Glenn Close, and Anne Archer. Paramount Pictures, 1987. Film.

Skyfall. Dir. Sam Mendes. Perf. Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, Javier Bardem, Naomi Harris, and Ralph Fiennes. Metro Goldwyn Mayer, 2012. Film.

The Devil Wears Prada. Dir. David Frankel. Perf. Meryl Streep, Anne Hathway, Emily Blunt, and Stanley Tucci.20th Century Fox, 2006. Film.

Misc. video courtesy: YouTube

Phillip Marlowe (Humphrey Bogart)
•Han Solo (Harrison Ford)
•Michael Corleone (Al Pacino)
•Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro)
•The Man with No Name (Clint Eastwood)
Full transcript