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“We Seek Him Here, We Seek Him There”: Finding the Masked Hero in The Scarlet Pimpernel
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
2014 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The idea of the hero has a long history with relevance still today, with the continued production of heroic stories in differing media. The purpose of this essay is to study the conventions that make up a certain type of hero, the masked hero. The conventions studied are the idea that a masked hero always has a weakness, an antagonist and a dual personality. The argument is that these basic conventions always remain the same even though the execution might differ. Based on the novel The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy and its modern adaptation in the first episode of the 1999 TV-series with the same name, this is done as a comparative adaptation study.

Earlier research indicate that the idea of the hero evolves with the change of time and in times of unrest a new type of hero, or a re-imagination of an old one, is created. The idea of the Edwardian hero as a noble and intelligent leader figure is set against the raw 1990 hero, fighting violence with violence (Melman; Barker).

The present study indicates that the idea of the hero’s weakness has expanded from one idea to two. It also indicates that the convention of the enemy is still partly used it as a foil, but has evolved into a more complex character. Lastly, the convention of the split personality is indicated to still be in use, though it has changed from including both a physical and mental distinction between personas, to only a mental distinction. This suggests that the need for the heroic is constant; however, the idea of the heroic and its execution changes depending on the time it was created in, the media that is used, as well as creative choices made by the adaptors.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Emmuska Orczy, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Adaptation studies, double nature of a hero, adventure/romance fiction, the nemesis and the hero, TV-series, The foil
National Category
Specific Literatures
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-104912OAI: diva2:727578
Available from: 2014-09-29 Created: 2014-06-22 Last updated: 2014-09-29Bibliographically approved

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