Human Monstrosity in Terminator II: Judgement Day, Beowulf and The Passion of St Christopher
English 431 Student Journal: Issue Two, Imagining the Monstrous: a Journey from Abhorrence to Understanding, Advanced Studies in Old English, Trent University, April (2006)
Humanity’s perpetual fascination with alterity and monstrosity is notable in various media from antiquity to modern times. Many contemporary fictitious monsters have either direct or indirect origins in monsters of the past. Humanoid monsters are especially disturbing. Early monsters such as giants, vampires and cynocephali closely resemble humans and have high intelligence. One famous modern monster is the Terminator, introduced by James Cameron’s film series. In this trilogy the Terminator is an intelligent humanoid machine that even has flesh. The Terminator is sent from the future to assassinate important resistance.
Humanoid monsters are frightening because their actions and intelligence resembles ours. We see monstrosity in them, but we can also see it in ourselves. The Terminator is terrifying because it is a man- made monster designed to know everything about human anatomy to make it a better assassin. The Terminator also has the ability to develop human emotions and feelings. The closer a monster resembles humanity, the more ambiguous its monstrosity becomes.