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Criticism Dark Knight WikiEdit

The Dark Knight doesn't fall under the schema of the average superhero film as Batman has no tremendous powers, only intermediate human capabilities, superior fighting techniques, advanced technology, and an extravagant amount of money. However, these characteristics animate the vile setting of the City of Gotham creating an exceptional film, captivating viewers with intensive fight scenes, psychological innuendos, and an unbalanced struggle for power. When viewing the film through a New Critical lens, the trilogy functions as a world of its own in its surreal breakdown of pain and fear, the fundamental differences between a hero and a vigilante, and the ironic tendencies throughout the film.

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The Power of MotivationEdit

Through the lens of New Criticism Batman is looked upon as having an innate fear and motivation. His underlying fear brings out his enduring motivation. This motivation comes from inside, the depths of Batman. One could say that everything comes from inside of him. Batman challenges himself to make a meaningful existence and to be the best person he himself can possibly be. He grabs his fear and turns it into something extraordinary. For example, Batman uses all of he vengeance towards his past and in a flash gives himself a new identity. His vengeance served as his motivation, it came from within amd was intrinsic. Batman hopes that he can inspire people to do the right thing. One of the people that he inspired was Harvey Dent. "Batman" fears hardly anything, not death can even bring him down. However, in order to come be "Bruce Wayne" again he must seek his fear once more because his fear is what gives him motivation. Furthermore, Batman chooses a symbol that once haunted him immensely {the bat} and takes it to the next level. He drills that intense image into the souls of his enemies to the point where it becomes haunting. Batman makes sure no one forgets who he is. His fear transforms him into a new character. Bruce Wayne, once frightened at the thought of a bat became Batman. Bruce Wayne becomes his fear.

The Hero and Vigilante Edit

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There are several quotes throughout the film that create a tense atmosphere for a prodigious power struggle to cultivate and blossom into a tree much like the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil in the Garden of Eden. But the question remains, is Batman a hero or a vigilante? Batman himself does not wish to be the hero, hence the mask, so that he can remain anonymous and thus take the fall for Harvey Dent's sins. "Because he's the hero Gotham deserves, but not the one it needs right now.So we'll hunt him, because he can take it. Because he's not the hero. He's a silent guardian, watchful protector. The Dark Knight." Batman was not chosen by the people, in fact he was hunted by the police out of hatred, yet he protects the people despite their vengeance for him. As Batman's morals clearly state, he is against killing, however, when there is justice, corruption trots a short distance behind, playing a dangerous game of catch up. The beloved Batman takes on the role of Big Brother by tapping into every phone in Gotham creating the ultimate surveillance system. The famous line in 1984 is "BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU". He knows that what he is doing is fundamentally immoral but he sees it as an effective means of combatting evil and therefore proceeds anyway. After this occurrence, Batman realizes the corruption in his soul, allowing himself to explore the obscurity within his heart and dubbing himself the 'Dark Knight'. Batman unearths the chaotic power struggle suppressed deep in his inner psyche, and he is met with the chaos of the joker, a vigilante for the scum of Gotham. The Joker is Batman's foil, they are much more similar than Batman understands. Both the Joker and Batman are incorruptible, the Joker is not swayed by money or riches, he  procures satisfaction from causing insurmountable destruction and fear. The Batman and the Joker are complements to each other; Batman is sane with moments of unbridled insanity and the Joker is stable with snippets of stable sanity. Much like in Harry Potter, "Neither can live while the other survives". Without evil, Batman would be nonexistent, therefore The Joker is essential to Batman's survival as a vigilante, yet Harvey Dent foreshadows the Batman may soon become a villain in the trilogy “You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain"

Irony Edit

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The Dark Knight by Christopher Nolan when viewed from a new critical perspective, shines light upon the significance of irony. The title itself portrays irony, naming Batman as the so called "dark knight" and Harvey Dent as the "white knight". As the film begins, Bruce throws a party for Harvey, coming up with the political mantra, "I believe in Harvey Dent". This statement ironically returns to haunt Batman in the conclusion of the film when Harvey reveals his vengeance towards Batman and the city.  In Gotham, Harvey has a clean and pure reputation. After falsely confessing to owning the title of Batman, he is viewed as a hero. He is ironically compared to Christ when the citizens of the city believe he saved them previous to his death. In actuality, Bruce Wayne as Batman is truly most Christlike. Closely parallel to what Christ did, Batman lies to protect Harvey and takes the blame for everything. In a similar way, Harvey can be compared to all of humanity in a way that he desperately needs a savior. Batman portrays a secret savior in Gotham, while Christ is the savior to all humanity. As the movie concludes, the people of the city believe Batman is the criminal, the audience however knows that he embodies the true hero after taking the fall for Harvey. Contrary to Batman's "dark knight" name, he in reality represents the "white knight".  

Works Cited Edit

Newitz, Annalee. "10 Ways of Looking at The Dark Knight." Io9. 13 June 2011. Web. 5 Feb. 2015.

"The Ideological Dichotomy of The Joker and Bane." Sifting Through Patterns. 31 Aug. 2012. Web. 5 Feb. 2015.

"For A Few Movies More." For A Few Movies More Character Study The Dark Knight Batman Comments. 5 Nov. 2010. Web. 5 Feb. 2015.

"Genius Annotation:." Genius. Web. 5 Feb. 2015.

Mihaly, Warwick. "Analysis of the Dark Knight." Panfilocastaldi. 9 Sept. 2012. Web. 5 Feb. 2015.

"The Ethics of Batman: The Dark Knight." By Common Consent. 6 July 2009. Web. 5 Feb. 2015.

Delahoyde, Michael. "New Criticism." Introduction to Literature. Web. 5 Feb. 2015.

"Motivation." Merriam-Webster. Web. 5 Feb. 2015.

"Character Study: The Dark Knight- Harvey Dent/Two Face." For A Few Movies More. 20 Nov. 2010. Web. 5 Feb. 2015.

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Gach, Ethan. "The Symbolism Of Batman and Where We Put Our Faith." Ordinary Times On Culture and Politics. 24 July 2012. Web. 5 Feb. 2015.

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