The Emperor’s Club is a film that addresses many moral and social aspects that are central to contemporary society’s moral controversy. Can morals be properly instilled in a young person outside of religion? Can our future decisions be predicted based on our current character? Can our current character even be changed or molded? Can morals be learned through studying the classics? The Emperors Club’s main characters are Mr. Hundert a teacher of classics at a prestigious preparatory school, and an unruly or misunderstood student, Sedgwick Bell. Their characters seem to perpetually butt heads, or at least be contrasting moral characters.
How do I understand the ethical choices of the central characters? The main ethical dilemma in
…show more content…
Allowing Sedgwick into the contest and failing to punish the cheating, Mr. Hundert lost the moral high ground so to speak. Failed to live up to the very values and morals he taught. After the cheating incident, Mr. Hundert realizes that he can no longer “save” him, and basically just gives in to him. Sedgwick falls back to his old habits of goofing off and creating mischief in the classroom. Later when Sedgwick graduates, Mr. Hundert confesses that he felt a sense of failure, being unable to change Sedgwick’s ways, and I believe, misplacing his trust and in Sedgwick.
The second climax occurs in much the same way. Twenty years later, the kids are all grown up and are society’s elite. Basically there is to be a rematch to the Julius Caesar contest, and Mr. Hundert is called up from retirement to moderate the contest. Mr. Hundert returns hoping that time has proven him wrong. That Mr. Bell has turned into a fine example of a gentleman and father. And by all appearances this is true. The contest begins, but yet again, Sedgwick cheats. Prompting another sharp rebuke, the decisions that you take define your character and influence your children. In a final insult Sedgwick Bell takes Mr. Hundert’s rhetoric, and moral values and squanders it for his own political ambitions.
What do I think is the films ultimate message? I think the film gives us that answer at the very beginning when Mr. Hundert’s dialogue states: