The Spartans thought the bow was the weapon of cowards but to me it’s the weapon of a hunter, a person who uses stealth and oneness with their environment to track & combat more powerful creatures and more heavily armed foes that might be using swords. Perhaps the bow symbolises someone at one with nature so in their own way special.
There is a children’s movie just come out, Brave, with the heroine sporting a bow and arrow. Katnis, from the Hunger Games, was lethal with one. Legolas was extremely handsome even in the midst of a desperate fight for Helm’s Deep and never missed when he let fly.
It seems that a bow and arrow are integral ingredients in fantasy, even when the setting is modern enough for guns and technology. Bows were, of course, around before fantasy. Who can forget Robin Hood in the archery contest splitting his opponent’s arrow, which had pieced the center of the bull’s-eye? Classic.
And then there are the Samurai with their beautiful longbow, theYumi. They didn’t just shoot it with their distinctive technique, but held a philosophical discipline, kyūjutsu, akin to Tai Chi and other spiritual martial arts.
Even after the bow became outdated as an effective weapon it remained…
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Nice re-blogging about the mystique of a bow. Finally got a chance to read your interview in “In the Demons’ Head.” Glad to know a little bit more about you. You and Monique Liddle continue to inspire me with your writing, even while dealing with MS. Thanks for the inspiration.