This short conclusion reiterates the main thesis of Cowboy Classics: that Westerns help us grapple with identity issues in a culturally relevant way while providing the comfort of chronological distancing, much as Homer and Virgil’s epics did for their societies. As a result, the Western has proven remarkably resilient, with the past decade seeing a number of big-budget films, both originals and remakes, as well as successful TV series. And just as the characterization of epic heroes shaped notions of idealized masculinity in antiquity, the Western hero remains a pervasive model for ideal manhood in America more generally, as is evident both in other film genres – from science fiction and fantasy to detective and gangster films to post-apocalyptic narratives – and in real world scenarios where men are engaged in heroic action on behalf of society (or want to be seen as such). Indeed, the model of masculinity Westerns provide is so deeply ingrained in the American cultural consciousness that it in turn colors our reception of ancient epic, which is itself now often filtered through a “Western” lens.
Edinburgh Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.
To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.