The Great Dictator Speech Analysis

949 Words 4 Pages
Unity and Historical Remembrance in The Great Dictator

Throughout history, performance has been used as a method to unite people from different regions, social classes, races, and gender and sexual identities. Such an instance can be seen in Charles Chaplin’s film, The Great Dictator. Released in 1940, the film satirizes Adolf Hitler in attempts to counter the increasing popularity of nazism during this time. This film is historically important because it makes the audience acknowledge and learn from the past. As well, with the rise of Alt-Right movements, the film’s message of tolerance and unity is as relevant to an audience now as it was when released. For this reason, future generations will also benefit from its preservation. Furthermore,
…show more content…
The film fulfills multiple purposes outlined, such as entertainment, persuasion, the changing of identity, and the fostering of community. For example, in the final speech of The Great Dictator, Chaplin’s character orates “I should like to help everyone… Jew, Gentile, black man, white… In this world there is room for everyone… More than machinery we need humanity.” One reason why this speech is highly significant is because it uses pathos to create a sense of community by calling all people to unite over hope rather than fear and divisions of discrimination. This alone is an important message which transcends generational divides and satisfies a goal of performance. Secondly, at the time it was released, the film impacted identity by encouraging people to rebel from nazi ideology, however, this film is useful to present and future generations as it is a reminder that our greatest identity is our humanity. Further, there is an obvious and effective goal of persuasive argument against Adolf Hitler, as Hynkle’s character remains unsympathetic and unlikeable to an audience throughout the film. This is shown in an early scene where his intelligence is mocked through his inability to light a fuse or fire a gun, despite being a soldier in war. A final goal of the film is to entertain the audience, which is done through the use of satire and parody, in …show more content…
Through many similarities to the political situation of WWII, the film remembers history and warns of the consequences from disregarding it. With the use of comedy, the film’s message is expressed more fluidly and resonates better with an audience. In addition, the film contains many direct objectives, such as creating unity and shifting identity towards a more inclusive attitude. The film convincingly counters nazism while also providing entertainment to the audience. These objectives satisfy many of Schechner's goals for performance, and revel great depth within the film. For these reasons, The Great Dictator is deserving of preservation and will inspire and be of use to future generations. Its message of unity and remembrance serves as a reminder that history and humanity must be held in great

Related Documents