Monday, November 20, 2006

Thoughts while listening to "No Good Deed Goes Unpunished" and thinking of Anakin Skywalker

When we read Beowulf in high school, one girl in class tried to argue that Grendel was a sympathetic character. Here is a contemporary paraphrase of my 17 year old thoughts:

"You P.C. thug. Grendel is evil because by all conventions he is evil. This poem was written long ago and you can't apply your modern day sense of morality and injustice to what is quite obviously the villain."

A few funny things happened on the way to adulthood, of course. Funny things like college and grad school.

And Anakin Skywalker of Star Wars Episodes II and III, and Elphaba of Wicked, the novel and musical, and Judas Iscariot of Jesus Christ Superstar.


  1. I love all those characters! And I thought about naming my baby all those names because those characters are so wonderful.

  2. is beowulf an allegory? an early colonial text. i haven't read it in ten years but it seems that must be the case. i'll be teaching it in two months anyhow.

  3. I think it's from a pre-colonial legend that got all sorts of Christianity tacked onto it.

  4. Do you really feel sympathy for Anakin? I'll agree that WICKED and JC SUPERSTAR lend themselves to the "let's tell the other side, the story you don't know" device well and garner well-earned understanding (and maybe some symnpathy) for those characters.

    But I don't know that I felt bad for Anakin. Maybe it was Lucas's weak screenplays. I know I was SUPPOSED to feel bad that he turned to the Dark Side because he thought his true love was in danger and blah, blah, blah. But, for me anyway, the films always emphasized what an unruly brat he was.

    I think Elphaba and Judas, as presented in their venues, did what they felt they had to. Anakin comes off as someone who can't control his temper. I don't have a lot of sympathy for that.

  5. No, I never felt "sympathy" for Anakin. I mention him with Elphaba and Judas because he is a traditional villain, and the prequels purport to tell the story of how he became a villain. That's where my interest is, and my comparison with the others: he's a villain, but there's a story of how he became a villain.

  6. And, let's face it, Anakin will never have what the others have: his own hit musical.