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Clash of the Titans


Some notes on laws & heroes

This is a movie about how the beautiful gods of Olympus convinced the hero Perseus to save them from the ugly gods of the underworld. The beautiful gods are an image of the laws. Thus the aloof young man Perseus, whose pride is humiliated because he is fatherless, which is almost as bad as being a bastard, & sometimes worse, must be brought into the city. He does not live in the city & so will not sacrifice for it, up until he is persuaded that Zeus himself, the wisest & strongest & therefore most just of the gods, is his father.

The ugly gods wage war to emphasize that we are mortal. They war against the beautiful gods. Why? Well, the beautiful gods beautify the city: But to fight for the city is to die, & become nothing. The good of the city & the good of the man may be said to differ. Why fight against the city & its gods then? Because there is only one sure way to fend off the danger of men: tyranny. The ugly truth that man must defend himself from ugly nature & ugly men leads to tyranny. It seems like the ugliness is the image of the fear that moves men to tyranny.

The rule of the ugly gods would reveal the city as hell. Their defeat & the resplendent triumph of the beautiful gods promise men immortality. But insofar as the different gods fight over the city, they reveal their common ground. The causes for which they fight are different answers to the question we ask ourselves in this way: what life is worth living? In order for this question to become political, one’s own life must be tied to the city.

One’s good is enlarged, broadly speaking, by love. Love of family moves Perseus to fight for the city. He then rescues a beautiful princess. In making her his own, he has entered the city & at the same time ascended to the top of the city. Kingdom puts family & city together.

However that may be, some arrangement that connects family & city creates the equality between citizens, which may be hard to swallow, but which animates the body politic and gives it that incredible strength which the world is nowadays hard-pressed to ignore.

Erotic love, paradoxically, moves the ugly gods to war. The tyrant could abandon his city for a private life or for absolute solitude if he feared man more than the rest of nature. He loves his city too much to leave it & will compel the city to love him back. Tyranny may be put to an unusual form of jealousy.

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Go Here to Read the Review of Wrath of the Titans.