The Virgin Mary’s cameo roles in Buffy

Marian Symbols in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer television series on the WB
-Michael P. Duricy, MA, STL

In 2000, I completed a dissertation on The Virgin Mary in Film. One of the areas studied was the brief but explicit use of Marian symbols in a great many films, most of which had very limited religious content. From the frequency of examples over time and across national boundaries, I concluded that certain implications have become conventional for using these episodic Marian signifiers: indicator of death or possible death; comparative standard for measuring the virtue or vice of a character; opponent of the demons; analogue of the female romantic lead; dea ex machina; and Catholic or ethnic artifact. There is one final convention involving the Marian symbol. Brief, but explicit, Marian content is sometimes used to identify a symbolic Marian character.

I, personally, did not start watching BtVS until itís fifth season on the WB, savoring the pleroma of the Buffyverse only through reruns. Hence, I had absorbed the above hermeneutic from my general research before engaging myself with Buffy Studies. Though casual observers may not have noticed [due to the brevity of their appearance], Marian symbols were overtly shown rather frequently in BtVS. In my opinion, the purpose for using this episodic content corresponds to the above conventions, already long established by a history of use in the media of social communication.

About caspar

Caspar is just one monkey among billions. Battering his keyboard without expectations even of peanuts, let alone of aping the Immortal Bard. By day he is an infantologist at Birkbeck Babylab, by night he runs
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