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Aslan

Aslan
Narnia character

Throughout the series, it is stated that Aslan is "not a tame lion", since, despite his gentle and loving nature, he is powerful and can be dangerous. He has many followers, which include vast numbers of Talking Beasts, Centaurs, Fauns, Dryads, Dwarfs, Satyrs, Naiads, Hamadryads, Mermaids, Silvans, Unicorns, and Winged Horses. Lewis often capitalises the word lion, since he is essentially God.

Biography
In The Magician’s Nephew
Aslan in the 2005 film The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, voiced by Liam Neeson.

Aslan Race Nation Gender Major character in The Magician’s Nephew The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe Prince Caspian The Last Battle Portrayals in adaptations 1988-90 BBC miniseries: Ronald Pickup (voice) 2005-08 Disney film series: Liam Neeson (voice)[1] Talking Lion / deity Aslan’s Country Male

Aslan, the "Great Lion", is the central character in The Chronicles of Narnia, a series of seven fantasy novels for children written by C. S. Lewis. He is the eponymous lion of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and his role in Narnia is developed throughout the remaining books. He is also the only character to appear in all seven books of the series. He is a talking lion, King of the Beasts, son of the Emperor-Over-the-Sea; a wise, compassionate, magical authority (both temporal and spiritual); mysterious and beloved guide to the human children who visit; guardian and savior of Narnia. The author, C. S. Lewis, described Aslan as an alternate version of Christ—that is, as the form that Christ might have appeared in a fantastic world. Aslan is the Turkish word for "lion" [2] and was also used as a title by Seljuq and Ottoman rulers.

(This is the first story in the chronology of Narnia, and of its human visitors, but the sixth tale Lewis wrote, and for most readers it is not the first meeting with the character.) Aslan makes his first appearance at the creation of Narnia. When Digory, Polly, Jadis, Uncle Andrew, The Cabby, and Fledge inadvertently enter a new world using magic rings, they find it an empty void. Aslan appears, and through the power of his singing, calls the world of Narnia into existence. While all the characters immediately feel awe for Aslan, Jadis expresses this as fear and hatred, and unsuccessfully assaults Aslan with an iron bar before fleeing. Aslan is unperturbed, and continues calling plants and animals into existence. The power of his song is so great that even the iron bar, dropped on fertile earth, grows into a functioning lamp post, and toffees sprout into fruit trees. Aslan then selects certain species from among the beasts his song has called into existence, and gives them the power of speech and reason. He instructs them to look after the animals. He appoints The Cabby to be King Frank of Narnia, and brings his wife Nellie to Narnia from Earth to be Queen Helen. Aslan explains that Jadis will pose a great threat to the Narnians, and charges Digory and Polly with a quest to acquire a magic fruit to protect the land. He turns the horse Strawberry into a winged horse. When the quest is complete, he crowns The Cabby and Nellie, and advises Digory on how to care for his sick mother. At the end of the novel, he takes Digory, Polly and Uncle Andrew back to the Wood between the Worlds, without the use of magic rings, and warns them that their Earth is in danger of a similar fate to the dead world Charn which is the world that Jadis (the White Witch) is from.

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Aslan
The Horse and His Boy is about finding one’s home. For Bree and Hwin, the talking horses in this story, the home they seek is the land of Narnia, where they were born. For Shasta and Aravis, the two humans who journey with them, finding "home" is more a matter of the heart. Aslan’s repeated influence throughout "The Horse and his Boy" is at first hidden from the characters. Secretly, he delivered the infant Prince Cor of Archenland from his enemies, placing him into the hands of a Calormene fisherman (who gave him the name of Shasta). When Shasta meets Bree, it is Aslan, disguised as a "witless" lion, who forces them into joining up with Aravis and Hwin. Aslan comforts Shasta in the form of a cat when he feels abandoned at the Tombs of the Ancient Kings (although as a lion, he defends him from predatory jackals). It is Aslan who chases Bree and Hwin so that they will reach Archenland in time to warn the king of the impending attack by the Calormene army. He gives Shasta the resolve to help save Archenland and Narnia from the invaders. He slashes Aravis across her back with his claws. The attack is not terrible, however; Aslan explains that it is punishment for her disregard for her servant’s safety when she ran away from home. The cuts on her back equal the severity of the servant’s whipping. Eventually, Aslan shows himself directly to the travellers, addressing their fears, or their self-pity, or their condescension towards others, or their pomposity. Aslan reveals himself to Rabadash, the leader of the Calormen army, in an effort to free him of his arrogant and violent ways. When kind words and forgiveness fail to soften Rabadash, Aslan resorts to an act of severe kindness: he turns Rabadash into a donkey. He leaves Rabadash with a cure for his "condition", requiring that he humble himself before all of his Calormen people: Rabadash must go to the temple of the Calormen god, Tash (since Rabadash had insulted Aslan in Tash’s name). There he would be turned back into a man.

In The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
(This is the second Narnia story chronologically, but the first one Lewis wrote, and for many readers their introduction to Aslan.) Narnia is in the hundredth year of the tyrannical rule of Jadis, the White Witch, who has condemned the land to endless winter. The Witch has turned hundreds of Aslan’s followers to stone. But the Narnians are beginning to anticipate the return of Aslan: in fearful secrecy they repeat that "Aslan is on the move" as a message of hope. The Narnians expect Aslan to bring an end to the White Witch’s tyrannical reign. Four human children from Earth (Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy) are aided by Mr. and Mrs. Beaver, who undertake to lead them to Aslan. But before they set off, Edmund leaves to betray them to the White Witch. He soon discovers that she is the true tyrant and bears him no good will. The other children find Aslan leading a large gathering of Narnians preparing for war. Aslan sends some Narnians to attack the Witch and her small entourage, and Edmund is rescued. Meanwhile Aslan makes Peter a knight. The White Witch comes in parley and demands her right to execute Edmund as a traitor, citing Deep Magic from the Dawn of Time. Aslan offers himself in Edmund’s place, and she accepts. On the Stone Table, as Susan and Lucy watch in secret, the White Witch mocks Aslan and slays him with her knife. The Witch leaves with her army to attack the Narnians. Lucy, Susan, and a number of mice remove the bonds from Aslan’s body; but as dawn breaks they find that his body is gone, and Aslan reappears alive, thanks to a Deeper Magic from before the Dawn of Time. The Witch, having entered Narnia only at the Dawn of Time, had not known of this. Aslan explains that "when a willing victim who had committed no treachery was killed in a traitor’s stead, the Table would crack and Death itself would start working backward." Aslan goes to the Witch’s palace and with his Breath brings the statues of her petrified enemies back to life. He leads them all to aid Peter, Edmund, and the Narnian army, who are fighting the Witch’s army. At the conclusion of the battle, Aslan leaps upon the witch and kills her. Aslan crowns the four children as Kings and Queens of Narnia, and then during the celebration he quietly slips away. The children say nothing about it, for Mr. Beaver had warned them, "...one day you’ll see him and another you won’t." Mr. Beaver’s comments serve as a foreshadowing of Aslan’s role in the books to follow.

In Prince Caspian
1,300 Narnian years after the events in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Aslan and the Pevensie children have become near-forgotten myths. Narnia is now ruled by Telmarines, humans who have settled in Narnia. The Telmarines fear native Narnians and their magic, and seek to exterminate them. Miraz, the king of the Telmarines, has usurped his brother’s throne and determines to do away with his nephew, Prince Caspian, the rightful heir. Caspian escapes into the forest, where Narnians offer him help and shelter. The Pevensies, recalled into Narnia when Caspian in desperation winds Susan’s magical horn, are shown the right way to Caspian by Aslan, and

In The Horse and his Boy
The Horse and His Boy is set during the reign of Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy in Narnia, the only extended story told of that period.

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find their faith tested as Aslan does not appear to them until they really try to see him. Aslan’s How, a mound on the site of the Stone Table, serves as the gathering point for loyal Narnians, where Prince Caspian forms his army to fight against his uncle for Narnia. Meanwhile, Aslan re-awakens the spirits of the forest and the river, leading a Bacchanalian revel through the oppressed towns and fomenting a popular revolution. When the Telmarines are defeated, Aslan creates a door allowing the children and the Telmarines to return to Earth. He tells Peter and Susan that they are now too old to return to Narnia, and have learned all they can from their experiences in Narnia.

Aslan
and Eustace suggests that they ask for Aslan’s help. They blunder through a temporary gate and find themselves in Aslan’s Country, atop an immense cliff. Jill, showing off, moves too close to the edge, and Eustace falls off trying to pull her back. Aslan appears and saves Eustace by blowing him into Narnia; then he explains to Jill that she and Eustace are charged with the quest of finding Prince Rilian, Caspian’s son, who disappeared years before. He tells her that their task has become more difficult because of what she did, but gives her four Signs to guide them on their quest. The fourth and final Sign is that at a key moment they will be asked to do something "in Aslan’s name". Aslan then blows Jill into Narnia, where she arrives a few moments after Eustace. They see a very old King Caspian setting sail to search for Aslan one last time. They have arrived too late to speak with Caspian, but the Lord Regent, Trumpkin the Dwarf, takes them to Cair Paravel. There they are aided by Master Glimfeather and a Parliament of his fellow talking owls (a pun on Chaucer’s Parlement of Foules, and a nod toward "parliament" as a collective noun for owls, as "exaltation" is for larks). The owls explain that Rilian disappeared while searching for the green serpent that killed his mother, and is now under the spell of an enchantress. As Jill and Eustace journey toward the far north of Narnia, they acquire a companion and guide, a gloomy but stalwart Marsh-wiggle, fittingly named Puddleglum. Aslan makes no further appearance until the end of the story, but his Signs prove central to the quest, and belief in Aslan plays a crucial part in defeating the Lady of the Green Kirtle, who tries to destroy the children’s belief in the reality of Narnia. In the end, Aslan sends Jill and Eustace back to our world, and helps them repay the school bullies — and make a better school in the process.

In Voyage of the Dawn Treader
Caspian, now King, sets out on a voyage in search of the Seven Lost Lords. The talking mouse Reepicheep accompanies him in hopes that their voyage will lead to Aslan’s Country in the uttermost East, for he was told by a dryad that his fate lies in Aslan’s country. On many of the islands where they stop, a brief glimpse of Aslan, or his image, is enough to guide Caspian and his crew away from danger and folly. When the recalcitrant Eustace is turned into a dragon, Aslan meets with him and pulls the dragon-skin away, leaving him as a human boy and a more pleasant person. In a magician’s house on another island, Lucy attempts to perform a spell that would make her dazzlingly beautiful, despite knowing that this would cause havoc as thousands of men would battle to win her favour. Just as she is about to say the words, however, she sees an image of Aslan snarling at her, frightening her from pronouncing the spell. Aslan also reprimands her for using another spell to see what her friends say about her: Lucy had seen one of her friends renouncing Lucy’s friendship, but Aslan tells Lucy that her friend did love her, but feared an older girl who was present. He also assures Lucy that she will once again read a storyspell that she had read in the magician’s house, which Lucy felt was the best story ever. Eventually, Edmund, Lucy, Eustace, and Reepicheep reach the world’s end, where Aslan appears as a lamb. He shows Reepicheep the way to his country and helps the children return home. He tells Edmund and Lucy that, like Peter and Susan, they have become too old to return to Narnia, and that they must instead come to know him in their world — a relatively direct reference to the Christian theme of the series.

In The Last Battle
The ape Shift disguises the reluctant donkey Puzzle as Aslan and fools the Narnians into thinking that Aslan has returned. Shift issues commands in "Aslan’s" name and takes advantage of the credulous Narnians. Shift and the unbelieving Calormene leader Rishda Tarkaan encourage the invading Calormenes and the dispirited Narnians to treat Aslan and the Calormene god Tash as a single, combined being — "Tashlan". Dissenters are thrown into Puzzle’s stable, supposedly to meet "Tashlan", where they are murdered by Calormene soldiers. King Tirian of Narnia calls on Aslan for help, and Jill and Eustace arrive in Narnia. They help Tirian and the remaining loyal Narnians battle the Calormenes and their allies, but are all forced through the stable door along with several dwarves who have lost faith in

In The Silver Chair
The story begins with Eustace Scrubb, who was introduced in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, and his classmate Jill. They are unhappy at their school, where bullying is left uncorrected. One day they are beset by bullies,

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Narnia. They find themselves not within the confines of a stable, but in a paradise: Aslan’s Country. Aslan is there, with King Peter and other characters from previous books, and they watch through the stable door as the world of Narnia is destroyed. But the dwarves are unable to see Aslan’s Country, certain that they are inside an ordinary stable. When Lucy asks Aslan to help them, he tells her that he will show her what he can and what he cannot do. He then growls at the dwarves, and makes food magically appear in their hands. This fails to convince them: they think that the growling is a machine and that the food is only what would normally be found in a stable. Aslan tells the children that the dwarves shut themselves out from him, and therefore cannot be reached, much like Uncle Andrew in The Magician’s Nephew. Aslan then commands Peter to shut the door on Narnia, and leads them into his country, a platonic ideal of Narnia. He greets Emeth, a devout yet kind Tash-worshipping Calormene, telling him that "I and [Tash] are of such different kinds that no service which is vile can be done to me, and none which is not vile can be done to him." As they get "further up and further in," the Narnians find Aslan’s country getting bigger and better, eventually encompassing Earth as well. At the very end, drawing close to the Christian theme, Aslan appears no longer as a lion, and the word He (referring to Aslan) becomes capitalized at this point.

Aslan
According to the author, Aslan is not an allegorical portrayal of Christ, but rather a different, hypothetical, incarnation of Christ himself: If Aslan represented the immaterial Deity, he would be an allegorical figure. In reality however, he is an invention giving an imaginary answer to the question, ’What might Christ become like if there really were a world like Narnia and He chose to be incarnate and die and rise again in that world as He actually has done in ours?’ This is not allegory at all. This interpretation is related to J. R. R. Tolkien’s concept of "secondary creation" expounded in his 1947 essay "On Fairy-Stories," reflecting discussions Lewis and Tolkien had in the Inklings group.

Portrayals
• In the animated adaptation of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe distributed by the Children’s Television Workshop (now Sesame Workshop), Aslan is voiced by Stephen Thorne. • Thorne also makes appearances as the Great Lion in the adaptations made in the mid-1990s by BBC Radio. • In all three of the BBC television serial adaptations of the late 1980s and early 1990s (The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Prince Caspian and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Silver Chair), Aslan is voiced by Ronald Pickup and the costume is operated by William Todd Jones, who also appeared as Glenstorm the centaur. • In the Focus on the Family radio adaptations, he is portrayed by David Suchet. • In the 2005 film, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, the CGI Aslan is voiced by Liam Neeson. Neeson returned to voice the character in the sequel, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian in 2008, and is scheduled to return for the third film in the series.[1] • In Epic Movie, Fred Willard appears as a parody of Aslan. He is a human/lion hybrid known as Aslo. He’s constantly drinking and sleeps with anyone who’s willing. He helps the heroes get Edward out of the White Bitch’s dungeon, kills Silas, and ends up killed by the White Bitch. • Aslan appears in the Robot Chicken episode "Robot Chicken’s Half-Assed Christmas Special" voiced by Seth MacFarlane. Appearing in a segment parodying Narnia, he is referred to as "the Jesus-allegory Lion," and is seen talking to a centaur when his head gets cut off by a nerd on a unicorn. • In the "Imaginationland" trilogy of "South Park" episodes, Aslan is the leader of the Council of Nine, along with other beloved, good imaginary characters like Luke Skywalker, Gandalf, Wonder Woman, and

Influences
The theory that the figure of Aslan may have been inspired by a mysterious lion which appears and disappears suddenly at key moments in the novel The Place of the Lion, written by Lewis’ close friend Charles Williams, was specifically denied by Lewis in a paper published later in his life.

Christian interpretation
Although Aslan can be read as an original character, there are parallels with the character and story of Christ. In particular, Aslan’s sacrifice and subsequent resurrection parallel Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection. Aslan also has God-like powers; he created Narnia with a song (The Magician’s Nephew). The Emperor-Over-the-Sea then refers to God the Father, and Aslan’s country (The Voyage of the Dawn Treader) to heaven. In The Last Battle a new Narnia is made and also a new Earth, as in the Book of Revelation. Furthermore, there are biblical references of Christ being called a lion, as in Revelation 5:5 "And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof." (KJV)

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Jesus Christ, who tell Butters that he is The Key who will save Imaginationland from the invasion of evil imaginary characters. • On the CD Dichotomy by Christian progressive death metal band Becoming the Archetype, Aslan’s roar from the Disney adaptation of the books can be heard in the last track, "End of the Age/The Lion." [2] Langenscheidt Pocket Turkish Dictionary[1]

Aslan

External links
• SparkNotes reference to the meaning of Aslan’s death • "Aslan is still on the move" Christianity Today editorial, 6 August 2001. • Following Aslan children’s explanation of Aslan’s parallels with Jesus

References
[1] ^ "Caspian to be second Narnia movie". BBC. 2006-01-18. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/4625478.stm. Retrieved on 2006-12-01.

Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aslan" Categories: The Chronicles of Narnia characters, Fictional deities, Fictional kings, Fictional lions, Jesus in popular culture This page was last modified on 14 May 2009, at 20:39 (UTC). All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License. (See Copyrights for details.) Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., a U.S. registered 501(c)(3) tax-deductible nonprofit charity. Privacy policy About Wikipedia Disclaimers

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