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The JokerA Serious Study of the Clown Prince of Crime$
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Robert Moses Peaslee and Robert G. Weiner

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781628462388

Published to University Press of Mississippi: May 2016

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781628462388.001.0001

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The Joker, Clown Prince of Nobility

The Joker, Clown Prince of Nobility

The “Master” Criminal, Nietzsche, and the Rise of the Superman

Chapter:
(p.179) The Joker, Clown Prince of Nobility
Source:
The Joker
Author(s):

Ryan Litsey

Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781628462388.003.0012

Meanwhile, Ryan Litsey suggests a reading of the Joker as a “Nietzschean Superman.” Applying Nietzsche to his reading of the video game Batman: Arkham City, Litsey argues that the “will to power” – a key feature of Nietzsche’s notion of the Superman – “is evident in all things the Joker does.” Suggesting by extension that Batman represents Nietzsche’s “man of ressentiment” – the slave morality to the Joker’s master morality – Litsey offers a careful exploration of the Batman/Joker duality, the applicability of which extends well beyond a single ludic narrative. “Understanding the Joker in this way,” Litsey suggests, “can give us new insight into the appeal and power the Joker has traditionally held for audiences – the attraction of the Superman, latent in all of us, is made manifest in him.”

Keywords:   Nietzsche, Batman: Arkham City, Superman, Man of ressentiment, Batman/Joker duality

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