You are listening to a programmes from BBC Radio 4.
I must have been about six. I was in my friend Anna’s bedroom and we were drooling over the Monkees, those very Monkees joshing with Sarah so exuberantly yesterday morning. We were mad about Davy Jones, small and childlike himself. I didn’t experience such hero-worship again until I was eight, when Brian Kay, later King’s Singer and Radio Two presenter, then a mere Cambridge undergraduate, sang You may not be an angel to me, on one knee, in a packed concert on an ocean liner, as I sat on my mother’s lap going red with embarrassment before dreaming of him for weeks.
What makes a hero? On Book Day earlier this year, when children dressed as literary heroes, one hapless pupil was told that Christian Grey from the infamous Fifty Shades was so inappropriate he couldn’t take part. And yet countless James Bonds were accepted without demur, despite his being an assassin as well as philanderer. My husband’s congregation used to compare him affectionately with that other surly misogynist Fitzwilliam Darcy, as well as with double-oh seven: I was never quite sure how much of an insult either was. Now Daniel Craig tells us that widowed, jaded and cynical intelligence-agent must become less chauvinist and sexist.
What is a hero like? Aristotle’s classic protagonist had to be far enough above us for us to feel pity, whilst being alike enough for us to feel fear. And the seeds of his own destiny must be written into his character. So, someone who puts aside incomparable greatness to become one of us, perhaps? And drives the events of His life himself, right up to – possibly even including – His own death?
Often a hero tussles the dilemma between desire and duty. From Batman to the Buddha, he may turn his back on the quiet comfort of riches to combat the evils of humanity. Perhaps the hero resists several sharp temptations to exert His superhuman power and status and wealth, instead embracing all-too-human sorrow and poverty and weakness.
The ideal hero can be resolutely brave, willing to endure terrible suffering and torture; fired up by social inequity, angry about the evils of the world, about poverty or illness or injustice. But also exceptionally caring and sensitive, protecting the weak and vulnerable as a parent comforts a child; not afraid to weep in public, at the death of a close friend. The best hero, to appeal to all, must embody both extremes of archetypal male and female: both fiercely macho and astonishingly tender.
Most intriguingly, the hero may be the last person you'd expect. Clark Kent or Bruce Wayne. Sir Percy Blakeney, the secret Scarlet Pimpernel. Or the foppish Lord Peter Wimsey. Unremarkable; physically unprepossessing; vapid even. You’d barely look twice.
The most unlikely saviour. What good ever came out of Nazareth? Isn’t he the son of Joseph? The local carpenter’s boy!
《 BBC Radio 4：英雄是什么样子的？》出自：天天学英语