Hamlet, O.J., Darth Vader: First Like, Then Fail | NDR.de – Culture

Status: 07/26/2022 2:26 PM

There are many fallen heroes – in music, art, filmmaking or sports. One example is Jan Ulrich, who won the Tour de France and then made headlines with allegations of doping.

by Danny Marquez

Today, it’s 25 years since Jan Ulrich won the Tour de France. An unprecedented success was followed by an unprecedented collapse in the public eye: allegations of doping, alcohol problems and an outbreak of violence. Perhaps not without reason one can say: a fallen hero. This is a genre that comes up again and again, sometimes real, sometimes imaginary.

An innocent boy turns evil

Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker.

“I’m your father, Luke!” Darth Vader – He wasn’t always the villain. His real name is Anakin Skywalker. A young boy from the planet Tatooine, discovered and trained by the noble Jedi Knights, becomes a man of honor. In the end, however, he allows himself to be seduced by the dark side of power, making his mentor Obi-Wan Kenobi despondent: “I was the chosen one.” Star Wars creator George Lucas once said that the first six films in the saga would be originally translated as “The Tragedy of Darth Vader.”

Shakespeare Hamlet is a fallen hero

Shakespeare’s Hamlet is also a good example of a fallen hero – he really wants to avenge his father’s murder. To do this, he wants to pretend that he has gone crazy. But the plan went unchanged. In his passion, the chancellor stabbed Polonius. Hamlet’s lover Ophelia is so upset that she seems to be taking her own life. “To be or not to be” – Hamlet continues to argue with himself. Several of his monologues suggest that at some point Hamlet will not only play crazy, but really lose his mind. In the end he himself died a prince who no longer had anything royal. As a fallen hero, he is also tragic.

There are also fallen heroines

By the way, fallen heroes do not necessarily have to be male. When entrepreneur Elizabeth Holmes launched her company, Theranos, in 2003, it caused quite a stir. It promises blood tests that you hardly have to draw blood. Investors are giving it billions for it. She graced the cover of nearly every major magazine and became a Silicon Valley girl. But their tests are a full quark. She was found guilty of fraud. Sentence will be announced in the fall: up to 20 years in prison.

A manhunt scene straight from the movie: Footballer OJ Simpson

Former soccer player OJ Simpson with his lawyer in court in 2008. © UPI Photos

Former soccer player OJ Simpson with his attorney in court in 2008.

“This is AC I have OJ in the car”: OJ on the run in the car These photos went viral around the world in 1994. OJ Simpson is one of the biggest stars of American football, comparable to Lothar Matthews in football. Simpson is accused of killing his wife and her lover. It’s an amazing crash. With endorsement deals, OJ Simpson is one of the first athletes to have a massive career off the field. His trial is a media scene. His attorney said at the time, if the glove found at the crime scene did not fit OJ, the jury should acquit him. The glove does not fit, that means acquittal. Years later, the footballer went to prison for theft.

The world of music witnessed the fall of many heroes

American singer R Kelly at the Leighton Criminal Court building in Chicago (2019) © dpa-Bildfunk Photo: Antonio Perez

American singer R Kelly at the Leighton Criminal Court in Chicago (2019)

The music world has also seen some heroes fall as part of the #metoo movement. Michael Jackson’s reputation was badly damaged, as was Placido Domingo. Singer R Kelly was sentenced to 30 years in prison. Among other things, due to sexual exploitation, including minors. By the mid-1990s, R. Kelly was one of the biggest names in show business. Through a successful solo career and as a songwriter for others, he even got to sing at Whitney Houston’s funeral.

Documentary and podcast about Jan Ulrich

Professional cyclist Jan Ulrich turns away from the various media holding a microphone under his nose.  © Photo Alliance / KEYSTONE |  Photo by Gian Ehrenzler: Gyan Ehrenzler

Jan Ulrich is a former professional cyclist.

Whether fictional or real, in movies, music or literature – there are fallen heroes in practically every field imaginable. Kind as old as humanity. Even Satan himself is a fallen hero. Whether you call him Satan or Lucifer – he is a fallen angel. Perhaps humanity should reconsider placing individuals on a pedestal. There’s more about fallen hero Jan Ullrich in ARD Audiothek’s “Jan Ullrich – Temporary Hero” podcast, or at Documentary series “Being Jan Ullrich” at ARD Media Library.

More information

Jan Ullrich © Sportschau Photo: Sportschau

It is the story of a century’s talent. It’s about guilt, missed opportunities, and drama that fit three phases. more


At the 1997 Tour de France, a Rostock native made it big: Jan Ulrich. Sebastian Mole dealt with him in his book. more

Cyclist Jan Ulrich at the 1997 Tour de France © imago images / Reporters

25 years ago, Jan Ulrich became the first German to win the Tour de France. But then he drowned in the quagmire of doping and drugs. How can this happen? more

Jan Ulrich leads the field in the yellow jersey at the 1997 Tour de France. © imago sport photo service

Jan Ulrich was the first German to win the Tour in 1997 and became a superstar in Germany. A look back at the summer of 1997. More

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Culture NDR | Classic a day | 07/27/2022 | 06:20 AM

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