In the 2013 Marvel movie, The Avengers, there are many examples of religious motifs. There are seven major religious motifs that I will be addressing; Messianic hero, immortality, free will and determinism, prophecy, evil, mysticism, and apocalypse. All of these religious motifs can be found throughout the movie. With many examples to support each of these motifs, I’ve chosen a few that I think best represent each religious motifs. But first, here is a quick recap of what happens in case you have never seen the movie…
The Avengers is about a group of superheroes and humans that come together to save the world from an evil being. Loki, the evil being, also Thor’s brother, comes from Asgard, and tries to take over earth so that he can use the people for his own ulterior motive. He uses the power of the tesseract (a cube with a magnitude of power and energy) to take over the minds of people and make them do his what he wants. Through lots of arguing and differences of character, the Avengers must work together in order to defeat Loki and his army. After many battles, and lives lost, the Avengers come out on topo, início with the victory while Loki is taken back to his planet of Asgard to be punished.
The messianic hero follows Joseph Campbell’s hero archetype. This usually is a religious founder or the heroes of the story. In the Avengers, the messianic heroes are the Avengers themselves; Hulk, Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Hawkeye and Black widow. What makes them heroes are they all go through the different stages of the monomyth. One example is the Hulk going through refusal of the call. At first, he didn’t want to help them with Loki because he was afraid that he might lash out, but ultimately he helps and becomes one of the Avengers and helps to save the world. When Hulk meets black widow, he is scared to like her, but he starts to. This would be the Hero’s meeting with the goddess. When Hulk is enraged the only one who can talk him out of it and calm him down is Black Widow. She is the Hulk’s kryptonite.
Next, immortality is when someone/something lives forever. Thor and his brother Loki are the immortal characters in this movie. Another aspect of immortality would be the Tesseract (the cube that holds unlimited energy.) Throughout the movie, the tesseract is the main reason why the Avengers assembled. The tesseract comes from Thor’s planet, Asgard and holds unlimited energy and power. During this time, the tesseract NEVER gets destroyed. It’s probably been around for millions of years and shows that it is in fact immortal. It has traveled through time and o espaço and no matter how much people/beings use it, its energy it is still intact and able to be used. Captain America could also be argued as in immortal. He is from the past, and was frozen. When they found him and defrosted him he was not harmed and in perfect condition. In a way he is immortal because he went through so much and came out intact.
Free will is when the character has the freedom to make their own choices and do anything that they want. In the movie there are many examples of free will. The hulk choosing to be an Avenger and help save the world, The Avengers deciding to not kill Loki, Loki destroying Tony Starks house , and Agent Coulson standing up to Loki even though he knew he was going to die, are all examples of free will. Determinism is the thought that life is predetermined and there is nothing that you can do about it. Loki was somewhat predetermined to be evil. He is not Odin, the King of Asgard’s natural born son. He is from people, who in Asgard, are considered as evil and monsters. When he finds this out, he thinks the only way to win Odin’s respect and to become king of Asgard is to enslave the people of earth and take it over. This is what he steals the tesseract for (another free will example!) The way the story is written, he has no choice but to be evil. He needs to be the bad guy.
Prophecy is a prediction of the future or a message communicated through a prophet. Loki telling the people what he is going to do to the world is an example of prophecy. Another example of prophecy would be when Hulk tells Black Widow that he doesn’t want to be in the Avengers because someone will get hurt. When Tony Stark is talking to Loki, he says “There is no version of this where you come out on top. Maybe your army comes and maybe it’s too much for us, but it’s all on you because if we can’t protect the earth, you can be damned well sure we will avenge it!” This is a good example of Tony prophesizing what will happen if Loki does send his army on to earth.
The Evil one, is someone who causes harm or injury. Ultimately, good always overcomes evil. In this case the evil is obviously Loki! In order to know where Loki came from, you would have had to watch the Thor movie. I kind of explained who he was before in my anterior paragraph. Loki is Odin’s adopted son and his people are actually the enemies of Odin. He is not an equal to Thor (Odin’s natural born son.) Loki’s plan is to take over the earth so he can enslave them and become the king of Asgard. He is evil because he tries to take over the earth, and Thor has a weak spot for earth because that’s where his girlfriend is(again, you’d have to had seen the Thor movie.) Since Loki is such a jealous person, he would do anything to get back at Thor.
Mysticism is when someone surrenders themselves to a greater being or a union with god. The tesseract has a power that takes over an object or person. The people who get taken over por it, follow everything they are forced to do. They obey the tesseract and the person who is controlling it. When they open up themselves to it, they have unimaginable powers are able to do all kinds of things. While under the power of the tesseract it’s almost like they are being hypnotized since they have no idea what they have done when they come out from under the tesseracts power. Another example of mysticism is when Loki talks to his deities. They provide him with wisdom and guidance along the way. They also prophesize what will happen if Loki fails at taking over the earth.
Last but not least is apocalypse. An apocalypse is the destruction or excessive damage to a place. If you haven’t seen the Avengers yet, then I suggest you should. There is an epic battle scene at the end of the movie where The Avengers form together and beat Loki and his army. Sadly, the battle takes place in New York City and destroys a big part of the city. The city is almost in ruins and the people are left to rebuild and start over. One mais example of apocalypse is when Loki goes to Stark’s house and Loki and the Avengers get into a fight. The damage they do to the house, pretty much destroys it and there is not much left.