The ancient art of abuse
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Yves came. It turns out that when the opponent has fallen, the rhetorical kick has a long history. But since dunes have recently become a topic here, please recall that in the battle at the end of the novel, Feyd-Rautha insisted on the classics and speculated to mock the gladiatorial tradition of his supposed prey, while Paul Muad’Dib chose Fremen’s silence and observation.
Author: Andrew M. McClellan, Lecturer in Classics and Humanities, San Diego State University.Originally published on dialogue
In the latest issue of James Bond, “No time to die,” 007’s confidant Primo has the upper hand. But Bond has a watch that can trigger electromagnetic pulses related to the local circuit. Conveniently, Primo has a biomechanical eye, so when Bond activates his It will explode when you watch it.
Bond’s gadget Q turned on the radio, and Bond offered rhetoric: “I showed him your watch. This surprised him.”
Audiences might think that action movies invented these one-line films. But as I showed in my work Studying ancient Greek and Roman epics, the origin of this rhetorical violence can be traced back thousands of years.
Single-line movies are in many ways the calling card of action movies. This theme became popular in the 1960s and reached its peak in the mid-1980s and early 1990s. Today, you will occasionally see a tribute to this tradition in movies such as “No Time to Die”.
Earlier James Bonds also provided after-killing ginger. exist”Thunderbolt,” Sean Connery’s Bond stabbed the enemy with a harpoon gun, and then joked: “I think he is right. ” Rear”Life and death“The villain, Dr. Kananga, swelled and exploded due to ingestion of gas particles. Roger Moore’s Bond gloated. “He always has an exaggerated view of himself. “
By the 1990s, these single-line aircraft had become a necessity. exist”General soldier,” Luc Deveraux, played by Jean-Claude Van Damme, feeds Andrew Scott and uses a wood chipper to cut his corpse The fragments were thrown into the air, killing him. Dvor’s companion asked where Scott was, and Dvor succinctly replied: “Nearby. “After killing Screwface”Death mark,” John Hatcher, played by Steven Seagal, found another screw—or rather, the twins had been running the criminal organization he was fighting. Hatcher then executed a second screwdriver in one of the most violent and longest death scenes in film history.
Hatcher held his breath, then murmured, “I hope they are not triplets.”
“Commando“It ends with John Matrix, played by Schwarzenegger. He used a huge metal tube through Bennett, then somehow inserted it into a boiler, piercing the evil Bennett. Steamy The explosion returned through Bennett and exited the end of the pipe. Matrix investigates the carnage, jokingly: “Relax, Bennett. ” exist”Predator,” The character played by Schwarzenegger nailed the enemy to the wall with a knife, inviting him to “stay.”Running man,” He saw his opponent’s chainsaw vertically with the chainsaw, crotch up.
When asked what happened to Buzzsaw, he reported: “He had to break up.”
These witticisms are literally worse, slander the victims immediately after they die, and add a title after death, just like an abnormal eulogy. Movie heroes will make the best ridicule, because their rhetoric skills are related to their physical fitness.
This may seem inconsistent. But the connection between martial arts and rhetoric skills can be traced back to the beginning of Western literature.
The “Boasting” of Ancient Epic
In many ways, ancient epics are the predecessors of today’s action movies. They are the violent and thrilling blockbusters of that era.
“Heroes” in Homer’s NovelsIliad“Written sometime between 750 and 700 BC, they were not only dexterous warriors, but also skilled talkers. For example, Achilles was hailed as the best among the Greeks in Troy. Warrior and best speaker.
The parameters of the ancient epic duel reflect the battle of the action movie. When the two fighters confronted each other, they mocked each other. When a fighter wins, the victory is usually interrupted by witty slander”boast“This signifies the strength of the champion and the proven lack of losers.
In Virgil’s “Aeneas“Turnus used a thick shield to avoid the damage of the spear thrown by Pallas, a young warrior. After throwing his spear to pierce Pallas, Tunus brags about the performance of his weapon in comparison. There are sexual hints in the sarcasm: “Let’s see if my weapon can penetrate better. “
Tenus later sneered at Umedes who was killed by his throat cut: “Hey, Troy, the western land you want to conquer is measured by your corpse.” Because Eumedes tried to colonize parts of modern Italy , He would investigate the land to establish settlements; Turnus ironically suggested using his body as a measuring stick.
In “Iliad”, Polydamus stabs Prosono in the shoulder with a spear. He fell and died, so Polydamas joked, “When he descends to the underworld, the spear will be a useful support.”
In another part of “Iliad”, Patroclus killed the Trojan chariot driver Cebriones with a stone in the face. The force of the blow shot Cebrionis’ eyes out of their sockets; they fell to the ground, and Cebriones followed them, heading down into the battlefield. The strange situation led to Patroclus’ enthusiastic slogan: “What a spring this man has! Good diving! Think about the oysters he can come up with if he is at sea…”
In this boastful metaphor, Cebriones’ eyes, which he “chase” into the sand, became precious pearls in the oysters he imagined to be hunted.
Break the fourth wall
What value does wisdom have in the genre defined by brute force?
Never mind that dead bodies are hardly suitable targets for clever punches. These jokes are for the audience, and this type of joke is close to breaking the fourth wall. The audience likes these humorous humor, not only because they are funny, but also because they are consciously absurd.They help Distance the audience Judging from the level of terrible violence that often occurs.
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Epic has always had a lofty status in literary criticism, while action films are regarded as naive and barbaric. These names collapsed on the level of rhetorical violence. In fact, epics like “Iliad” are more oriented towards “action movies” than most literati are willing to admit, and vice versa.
The extraordinary heroes from John Matrix to James Bond are ultimately the screen descendants of ancient warrior poets.