Monster. Freak. Beast.

These words are often thrown around, but what do we really mean when we use them? What is a monster? Why are they so central to our narratives?

Like many of the issues we discuss on this podcast, the idea of monstrosity features built-in sexism. Male and female-coded monsters are often given different characteristics which tend to be linked to social norms around gender.

Moving from definitions of the word “ugly” to the role that society plays in the creation of monsters, we ask: has the fundamental idea of monstrosity changed since the days of Homer? We ask: what faces do modern monsters wear? And we ask: why do they hold such an important place in social and cultural consciousness? What frightens us in the 21st century?

Mentioned in this episode:

  • Jurassic Park
  • The Odyssey
  • The Iliad
  • 300
  • Mission Impossible
  • Taken
  • Die Hard
  • Circe by Madeline Miller
  • Doctor Who – Orphan 55
  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  • Godzilla
  • Alien
  • Black Sheep
  • Hannibal
  • The Bible
  • The Social Contract by Rousseau
  • Strange Magic (George Lucas)
  • Beauty and the Beast
  • Shrek
  • The Feminine Horror | Renegade Cut
  • Rosewater by Tade Thompson
  • Pacific Rim
  • Slither
  • Spirited Away
  • Paprika (Kon Satoshi, Tsutsui Yasutaka anime)