I found something new to distract me from things I’m supposed to be doing for the people who pay me to do them…I now have a daily email subscription to a word of the day site that publishes for Latin. I mean really, who *doesn’t* need that?!?
Always on the lookout for Armitage Classical connections, I couldn’t help but jump on the word for today:
I love to use word association exercises in classes…it seems I also do it in my spare time. In Latin. Mollis popped up in my email and an image popped immediately into my head:
From S1, Ep4 of Strikeback, here John Porter (Richard Armitage) learns via video conference with his daughter of the unexpected death of her mother. It’s not a terribly long scene…only a few seconds, but the tenderness is palpable – pictured here in the expression on his face as he tries to visually commiserate with his daughter from a thousand miles away. For me, we miss the very best bit of this scene in the screen caps…that is, when he reaches out one finger and strokes it down the screen to comfort her.
In a very short collection of frames, Richard Armitage’s John Porter is heart wrenchingly showing us his latus molle (“soft side”). I think it’s particularly effective because it stands in stark contrast to the preceding hour of John Porter – bad ass SAS commando on a mission.
Tenderness seems like an odd trait for such a person, in fact, Latin literature is full of pejorative uses of mollis in contexts that seek to characterize men as soft or effeminate. In the case of John Porter though, the glimpses of mollis seem to be one of the biggest draws to a character who could have been really one dimensional. Throughout the Strikeback series, in little vignettes, Richard Armitage consistently brings a degree of mollis to John Porter that makes him a far more complex and interesting character.
Small wonder he’s still solidly in my top 5!