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28 April 2012 @ 07:51 pm
Joss Whedon’s true tragic hero  
I found this article about Wes and well... it's beautiful! Here are some extracts:
[no lj-cut, sorry]

Wesley Wyndam-Pryce : Joss Whedon’s true tragic hero

jeudi 17 mars 2011, par Webmaster

Former watcher, rouge demon hunter, loyal ally to the good fight, and morally mellifluous hero, he is the most intensely actualized character in all of the Whedonverse, and one of the few characters whose journey is most fully explored within the confines of the series.

When Wesley Wyndam-Pryce is first introduced to the Whedonverse, he is little more than a comic foil for Rupert Giles.

In Season Two of Angel, Wesley becomes a trusted colleague and the voice of reason for Angel.

Season Three of Angel shows Wesley’s further development and it is in this season that Wesley begins to embrace the shades of gray.
Whedon’s theme of betrayal is never more confrontational, more interpretive, than in the case of Wesley stealing Connor from Angel in an attempt to save him from death. Again, there is a good intention, but a bad outcome. He has his throat cut and is left to die alone, as Angel Investigations frantically searches for his whereabouts. When they finally find him, Angel tries to kill him for taking his son. Wesley is alone, alienated by the very people he hoped to protect, only to find all of his actions were in vain because the prophecy was a fake.
This whole series of events is Shakespearean in scope, a term that could be used frequently in reference to Wesley Wyndam-Pryce.
Separated from his friends, he changes. No longer opting to suppress the darkness inside, he instead uses his pain and anger to transform himself.

In Season Four, Wesley fully embraces his inner-badass. He is no longer even vaguely reminiscent of the Wesley first seen in Sunnydale. He has traded his glasses for contacts, a clean shave for a perennial five o’clock shadow, and his genuine if unrequited love for Fred for a sexual “relationship” with Lilah.
The awesome transformation that we see in Season Four shows how Wesley is now capable of seeking exactly what he wants, no matter the cost, which means he is ready to fight for Fred.

Fred, like Wesley’s father, is one of the key relationships that define his character. It is in “Lineage” that Whedon finally places Wesley’s love for Fred and need for approbation from his father at odds. When Wesley shoots a cyborg that he believes to be his father in order to save Fred, it is clear that his love for her outweighs anything, and that he has finally faced his father. At the end of the episode, however, he attempts to call his father and is again disapprovingly brushed off.

Wesley’s final tragedy occurs with the death of Fred. As soon as he finally expresses his love for her, she is gone, taken over by an ancient primordial force, the hell goddess Illyria. Wesley’s life is now aimless. He cracks, stabbing Gunn for his inadvertent involvement, before he kills Fred’s assistant Knox for choosing Fred as the vessel for Illyria. He clings to Illyria, because she looks like Fred.

Whedon never allowed Wesley a happy ending, because the character is made continually to struggle. However, by guiding Illyria, he finds a new purpose. He wishes to teach her how to interact with the world, but only on the condition that she never take on the persona of Fred.

Whedon again, upon finding that Angel was being cancelled at the end of Season Five, asked Denisof if he wanted Wesley to live or die. Denisof chose death, giving the audience a sad ending to the character, but an ending nonetheless. Denisof’s choice was wise. By allowing the audience to see Wesley’s complete transformation from beginning to end, the audience is allowed to see the true tragic scope of the man’s life. Wesley is fatally stabbed while taking on Vail, and in his dying moments Illyria arrives. Asking him if he would like for her “to lie” to him by transforming herself into the Fred that he loved, he replies, “Yes, thank you, yes.” His last moments are spent looking into the face of the woman he loves. Whedon gives us the perfect tragic hero through Wesley’s death.

Wesley Wyndam-Pryce is one of the best developed characters in the Whedonverse. Where it was often difficult, yet feasible, to cope with Angel’s redemption due to his being a supernatural creature, an anomaly, Wesley was far more interesting because he was in fact completely human. If Wesley had lived, he would have continued fighting the good fight, despite the tragedies that plagued him ; not because he is superhuman, but because he is man, and good men will always fight for what he believes in. Wesley is a man with issues, who ultimately dies. However cynical that may be, he is a perfect example of the human condition. He loves, hates, screws, kills, suppresses, fights, cries, and dies. He never receives the approval of his father, doesn’t end up in a white picket fence with his soul mate, and ultimately dies before his time. Wesley Wyndam-Pryce is Whedon’s truest tragic hero, always wanting, seldom rewarded, and eventually dead.

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