Jess, one of The Oxford Blue's Columnists, is a first year studying English at Univ. She writes a column inspired by the medieval stories she read to procrastinate her modernism paper. When she is trying to avoid work completely you will find her halfway up a climbing wall.

More than a Fairytale: the (s)hero complex

In the second instalment of her column, More than a Fairytale, Jess Steadman examines the interplay between gender and heroism in medieval folklore. Artwork by Chen (Cornelia) Chen.

“Well, our storytellers have always been slightly uncomfortable with the possibility of a woman selfishly having any kind of physical power. I say ‘selfishly’ because in folklore and fairytales, the male hero is unapologetically narcissistic and egotistical… and for centuries, we loved him for it. Unfortunately, we still kind of do.”


More than a Fairytale: In defence of dragons

“When a dragon acts as a foil to the hero, their role is to reflect back all the qualities a hero must hide in order to be, well, a ‘hero’. A dragon is the sort of ‘person’ they would love to be but just can’t because of the endless pressure to look permanently pure and picture perfect.”

In the first instalment of her column, More than a Fairytale, Jess Steadman explores the history and cultural importance of dragons (and wyrms). Artwork by Chen (Cornelia) Chen.

Beyond The Frame Culture Film & TV Music Theatre

BEYOND THE FRAME: Not Throwing Away My Shot – Can digital adaptations still bring us drama?

Jess Steadman reviews the latest film adaptation of the musical Hamilton as part of the Blue’s ‘Beyond the Frame’ series, and explores what we gain – and what we lose – in the translation of stage productions to the screen.