Essay on Charlie Chaplin

Submitted By crflippo
Words: 1047
Pages: 5

Chaplin: “The Great Dictator”
Since the day I received this assignment a very important speech in American history came to mind. This speech is a little more abstract than most people’s first idea to write about a speech made by a famous coach or politician, my speech came from one of the most inspirational movie monologues of all time, Charlie Chaplin’s final speech in “The Great Dictator.” Most movie buffs like me are, if nothing else, at least familiar with Charlie Chaplin’s work. Chaplin helped make Hollywood, starting his career as a silent film star, producer, and promoter of the motion picture industry. The film “The Great Dictator” came out in October 1940 (Mid WWII) and from the title you could imagine what the film was about. Chaplin played two rolls in the film; a poor German barber turned soldier as well as the great dictator himself, Adolf Hitler. The speech given in the closing moments of the film are possibly some of the most heart moving words to ever make it on the big screen. When evaluating this speech it is important to understand the point in time it was given, many Americans didn’t take lightly to their most famous movie star (who had already been accused of being a traitor) prancing around the big screen dressed in a Hitler costume. But Chaplin stood fast on his beliefs and with his daring move to play a part as one of the most hated men of his time, Chaplin truly achieved greatness. This speech is probably one of the hardest speeches that I could have chosen to analyze. It is not a straight forward “this is how it is” speech, here Chaplin uses his master speaking skills to twist words and phrases into his own meaning and depiction. It is truly a masterpiece. The general overview of the speech begins with Chaplin playing the part of the dictator and beginning his speech with “I’m sorry but I do not want to be an Emperor.” (Chaplin) This automatically draws viewers in because as we all know; Adolf Hitler was one of the most power hungry, ruthless, self-indulgent rulers of all time. Chaplin then backs up his opening statement by saying that he believes in equality and that the world is a big enough place for all races, religions, genders, and governments but the important thing to remember is that life is meant to be free and beautiful. Chaplin then soon changes his tone and reminds his audience of the vigorous reality that we live in. He transitions from this free utopian society to the reality that we have shied away from the beaten path that has been laid out for us and through greed and hate we have been stripped into misery and bloodshed. (Chaplin) This quick transition engages his audience even more, as I watched this speech I was mesmerized by the fact that I truly had no idea as to what he was going to say next. Chaplin continues his monologue by talking about the negativity of machinery; he does this in such a creative manner it takes a second to understand the inner meaning in what he is trying to say. He uses the “aeroplane” and radio as examples of machinery that has brought the whole world closer and how these inventions were created to better unify man kind. The irony in this was at the time both the airplane and the radio were being used across seas as new war technologies. (Chaplin) After introducing his concept of machinery and how men use it for negativity when it was given to them in hopes of unifying and bettering mankind, Chaplin throws another twist at listeners. He now begins to cry out to the people and almost attempting to persuade them that this dark hour will pass, greed of men will perish but liberty will live forever. (Chaplin) Chaplin ends his memorable speech by talking directly to the people about their capabilities and their strength as free human beings while all the