When most people hear the word “allegory,” they think of a text like The Pilgrim’s Progress, with characters named according to the virtues or vices they represent, or The Romance of the Rose, which is clearly about something other than what the surface of the text suggests. Even texts that are not deliberate allegories can be read allegorically however, and this is true of Supernatural. The show is not an intentional allegory, but each of the three main characters seems strongest in one of the theological virtues—faith, hope, and love—which allows for a moral reading of the story. If Sam’s (Jared Padalecki) chief virtue (with soul intact) is faith and Dean’s (Jensen Ackles) is love, the chief virtue of their surrogate father Bobby Singer (Jim Beaver) is hope. Examining these virtues in classical Christian thought can explain a great deal about these characters, their relationships to one another through the first eight seasons, and the problems they face in a world where God is willfully absent.
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- The Greatest of These: The Theological Virtues and the Problem of an Absent God in Supernatural
Elisabeth G. Wolfe
- Palgrave Macmillan US