This collection studies the representations of the character of the monarch in literature and cinema. Being a person, an institution, a character archetype and a narrative role, the characters of the monarch and other royal or regal characters oscillate between humanity and the non-human. As such, they are hybrid forms of existence and subjectivity. The authors of this collection explore this hybridity across large spectra of genres, historical periods and cultural contexts. Some of the most prolific and widely read scholars analyze the archetype of the monarch on the page, the stage and the screen. They cover large swathes of intersecting creative and interpretive territories including ancient epic and religious poetry, Arthurian legends, British Renaissance and modern drama, British horror films and Hollywood crime and sports films. This collection also features interviews with six prominent comic book writers and artists, who discuss the influence of classical royal archetypes on their works.

chapter |11 pages


Gods, Monarchs and Monsters

part (Inter)Section I|46 pages

Ancient Worlds and Modern Subjectivity

chapter 1|9 pages

Enheduanna: A Triple Threat

Princess, Priestess and Poet

chapter 2|14 pages

In King Cambyses' Vein

Representing Achaemenid Royal Figures in The Godly Queen Hester, The Story of King Darius and Cambyses 1

part (Inter)Section II|54 pages

Epic Cycles of the Divine, the Human and the Monstrous

chapter 4|24 pages


The First Bildungsroman, or Portrait of the King Becoming a Man

chapter 5|13 pages

Kingship and Vedic Literature

Inflections, Deflections and Reflections

part (Inter)Section III|77 pages

Royal Archetypes and American Culture

chapter 7|23 pages

After Homer

Monarchal Peacemaking and Eco-Survival in Anna Lee Waldo's Epic Sacajawea

chapter 8|33 pages

Royal Archetypes and Comic Book Characters

An Interview With Al Milgrom

chapter 9|19 pages

Royalty and Heroism in Comic Books

Interviews With Gerry Conway, Don Glut, Bob McLeod, Walt Simonson and Louise Simonson

part (Inter)Section IV|49 pages

(Re)-Writing the Medieval Monarch

chapter 12|17 pages

King Arthur, Baseball, and Gangsters

Cinematic Embracing and Subverting of Le Morte d'Arthur in The Natural (1984) and The Godfather (1972)