The Open UniversitySkip to content

Crossing classical thresholds: Gods, monsters and Hell dimensions in the Whedon universe

James, Paula (2009). Crossing classical thresholds: Gods, monsters and Hell dimensions in the Whedon universe. In: Lowe, Dunstan and Shahabudin, Kim eds. Classics for All: Reworking Antiquity in Mass Culture. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, pp. 237–260.

Full text available as:
Full text not publicly available
Due to copyright restrictions, this file is not available for public download
Click here to request a copy from the OU Author.
PDF (Accepted Manuscript) - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (182Kb)
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar


This essay shows that Classics provides an enriching context for the hugely popular youth-oriented fantasies on US television. Taking two Joss Whedon created series Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, I examine what additional nuances might be revealed about the nature of the hero and how heroism is theorised from Greek and Roman mythical models to the present day. The figures of Aeneas in the Latin epic of Virgil and Prometheus in Aeschylus and Hesiod are connected to the supernatural aspects of Buffy and Angel who in a completely different cultural context face death and chthonic demons as real and metaphorical foes.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Copyright Holders: 2009 Cambridge Scholars Publishing
ISBN: 1-4438-0120-8, 978-1-4438-0120-1
Keywords: Dido; Aeneas; Juno; Turnus; Amata; Illyria; Prometheus; reception; myth; heroes; hellmouths; popular culture; vampires; Christianity
Academic Unit/Department: Arts > Classical Studies
Item ID: 18719
Depositing User: Paula James
Date Deposited: 28 Oct 2009 15:10
Last Modified: 09 Jul 2013 11:20
Share this page:

Actions (login may be required)

View Item
Report issue / request change

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   + 44 (0)870 333 4340