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I believe there's a hero in all of us, that keeps us honest, gives us strength, makes us noble, and finally allows us to die with pride, even though sometimes we have to be steady, and give up the thing we want the most. Even our dreams.
~ Aunt May's advice to Peter

May Parker, commonly known as Aunt May, is a supporting character from the Marvel Comics' Spider-Man series. She was portrayed by Rosemary Harris in all three of Sam Raimi's film trilogy.

She was depicted as a housewife who's widowed by the events of the first film and was the one who encouraged Peter the most throughout the films with her words of wisdom as Uncle Ben had done before his death in the second movie even managing to make him try to return to his Spider-Man life after giving up the personal.

Appearances

Spider-Man

Born in the 1920s or 1930s, in her late 70s or early 80s, Aunt May and Uncle Ben take care of their nephew, Peter Parker for unknown reasons in the absence of his parents.

After Ben was shot and killed by a carjacker, Peter and May shared their grief for Uncle Ben. When Peter moves into an apartment with his friend Harry Osborn, Aunt May visited them for Thanksgiving dinner. She was not shy about reprimanding Harry's father, Norman for his rude and boorish behavior that day.

Shortly thereafter, when Norman learns of Spider-Man's true identity, he attacked May at her home while she was saying her prayers. May is terrified by The Green Goblin's daemonic appearance and is hospitalized after The Green Goblin injured her in the attack.

After the Goblin's defeat, May attended Norman's funeral alongside Peter, Mary Jane and Harry. Soon after that, she and Peter visited Ben's grave located elsewhere in the very same cemetery.

Spider-Man 2

Two years later, Aunt May continued to keep her eye on Peter while having her own financial difficulties since the death of her husband.

Eventually, the bank forced her to sell her house and live in a smaller apartment. Her opinion of Spider-Man was not high at the time, claiming "the less we see of him, the better."

However, May's visit to the bank with Peter, was interrupted by a robbery named Doctor Octopus. Later, Octavius took her hostage and climbed up the side of a skyscraper with her.

She was rescued by Spider-Man and in return, she helped Spider-Man during the battle by batting Doctor Octopus' head with her umbrella. From that point onwards, she believed that Spider-Man was good. It's implied, but never stated that she may have deduced his secret identity as her nephew.

Later, Peter's powers began to wane because of a subconscious desire to live a normal life and he decided to give up his costumed personal. When Peter visits her, Aunt May speaks fondly of Spider-Man which encourages him to resume his heroic activities.

She later expresses that she feels she caused Uncle Ben's death, prompting Peter to admit that he felt he caused the death by not stopping the killer.

May is understandably stunned and sad, but later thanks Peter by telling him that admitting the truth to her was a brave thing to do.

Spider-Man 3

Six months later, Peter informed Aunt May that he intended to ask Mary Jane to marry him which the two embraced.

Then, May told him that he needed to come up with a good way to instigate his proposal and that he needs to put his wife before himself, no matter what.

May elaborated to Peter how Uncle Ben proposed to her and that they would've been married for fifty years if Ben was here. So, she takes off her own engagement ring and told Peter to use it to propose to Mary Jane.

Later on, May went alongside Peter to the police station when Captain Stacy informed them that Flint Marko, Ben's "actual" killer, was still on the run.

Later, when Peter informed May about The Sandman's apparent demise at the hands of Spider-Man (under the influence of an alien symbiote), she delivered another speech which was more of a warning to Peter of the danger to oneself in seeking revenge.

Peter was at first shocked at his aunt's reaction for he expected Aunt May to be glad as The Sandman was the one who killed Uncle Ben which Peter soon realized that this is not the case and Aunt May says that Uncle Ben would never have wanted such revenge.

Much later, May talked to Peter in his apartment where he stated that he'd done terrible things (after separating from the symbiote suit that had caused him to hurt both Mary Jane and Harry).

He tried to return her ring to her, but Aunt May says that she knows that he will find a way to put it right and gives it back. May later appears attending Harry Osborn's funeral.

Trivia

  • Aunt May begins to blame herself for Uncle Ben's death in the film, but in the novelization, Peter wonders is it because Ben is haunting her as well, especially now he's given up Spider-Man. When he confesses his part in Uncle Ben's death, May tells him to leave instead of just getting up and going to her room in silence as she does in the film.
  • Rosemary Harris later appeared with Marisa Tomei, one of her successors as Aunt May Parker, in Before the Devil Knows You're Dead (2007).
  • Rosemary Harris enjoyed doing her own stunts. Contrarily, Alfred Molina didn't because he claims he's not very good at them, and he doesn't like taking work away from real stuntmen.
  • Marion Ross was considered for the role of Aunt May.

See also

Navigation

          Spider-Man Movie Heroes

Sam Raimi series
Spider-Man: Peter Parker/Spider-Man | Mary Jane Watson | Harry Osborn/New Goblin | Aunt May | J. Jonah Jameson | General Slocum | Uncle Ben | Flash Thompson
Spider-Man 2: John Jameson
Spider-Man 3: Gwen Stacy

Marc Webb series
The Amazing Spider-Man: Peter Parker/Spider-Man | Gwen Stacy | George Stacy | Aunt May | Curt Connors/Lizard
The Amazing Spider-Man 2: Felicia Hardy

Marvel Cinematic Universe series
Spider-Man: Homecoming: Peter Parker/Spider-Man | May Parker

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