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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

(p.179) The Joker, Clown Prince of Nobility
The Joker

Ryan Litsey

University Press of Mississippi

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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