1st Edition

The Monarch and the (Non)-Human in Literature and Cinema Western and Global Perspectives

Edited By Nizar Zouidi Copyright 2024

    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.

    List of Contributors




    I-              Introduction: Gods, Monarchs and Monsters (Nizar Zouidi)

    II-            (Inter)Section I: Ancient Worlds and Modern Subjectivity

    1-    Enheduanna: a Triple Threat: Princess, Priestess and Poet (Kate Doyle)

    2-    In King Cambyses’ Vein: Representing Achaemenid Royal Figures in The Godly Queen Hester, The Story of King Darius and Cambyses (Nizar Zouidi)

    3-    Ancient Modernity in Agatha Christies’ Akhnaton (Edmund P. Cueva)

    III-         (Inter)Section II: Epic Cycles of the Divine, the Human and the Monstrous

    4-    Gilgamesh: The First Bildungsroman, Or Portrait of the King Becoming a Man (Michael Bryson)

    5-    Kingship and Vedic Literature: Inflections, Deflections and Reflections (Abhisek Ghosal)

    6-    Cinematic Pentheus the Human King and His Cousin the God Dionysus (Edmund P. Cueva)

    IV-          (Inter)Section III: Royal Archetypes and American Culture

    7-    After Homer: Monarchal Peacemaking and Eco-Survival in Anna Lee Waldo’s Epic Sacajawea (Nancy Ann Watanabe)

    8-    Royal Archetypes and Comic Book Characters: An Interview with Al Milgrom (Liam Webb)

    9-    Royalty and Heroism in Comic Books: Interviews with Gerry Conway, Don Glut, Bob McLeod, Walt Simonson and Louise Simonson (Liam Webb)

    V-            (Inter)Section IV: (Re)-Writing the Medieval Monarch

    10- The Changing Destiny of King Arthur in Medieval Romances and Verse Narratives (Albrecht Classen)

    11- Time-Haunted Mutability, Cognition, And Christopher Marlowe’s Edward II (Joe Keener)

    12- King Arthur, Baseball, and Gangsters: Cinematic Embracing and Subverting of Le Morte d’Arthur in The Natural (1984) and The Godfather (1972) (John M. Price)




    Nizar Zouidi is assistant professor of English language and literature at the University of Gafsa, Tunisia. He is the author of several articles and book chapters about characters in Renaissance drama and other literary periods and genres. Nizar has recently edited a collection on the Performativity of Villainy and Evil in Anglophone Literature and Media (2021) and contributed to the Routledge Companion to Humanism and Literature (2022). He has also given talks at different international conferences.