Anatomy Of A Psychopath Essay Research Paper

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Anatomy Of A Psychopath Essay, Research Paper “In every man?s heart there is a secret nerve that answers to the vibrations of beauty.” –Christopher Morley Almost every person has a preconception of the darkest form of humanity: evil. One German film exemplifies this classic struggle of right and wrong, while addressing deeper emotional messages. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari was made in 1919 and directed by Robert Weine. The film features a character named Francis, the protagonist, who seeks revenge against Dr. Caligari and his somnambulist, Cesar?, whom he believes murdered his friend. In one specific scene, Cesar? attempts to kill a beautiful woman named Jane, Francis?s fianc?e coincidentally, at Caligari?s request. Judging by Cesar?s previously witnessed brutal and

robotic nature, it is assumed that as he creeps up to her gentle sleeping body that her time has expired. Magically, he cannot commit the deed. Overcome with affection, he instead lovingly reaches to cradle her head. She awakens, screams, and struggles. Cesar? snaps out of his funk and overtakes her, eventually escaping with her on his back. This intense scene conveys the message that even the darkest forms of evil are not completely devoid of humanity, giving the audience the faintest glimmer of hope that good can always shine through malevolence. Cesar? has no mind of his own; rather he is the puppet of the sinister Dr. Caligari. This is strikingly obvious just before the attack on Jane. As Cesar? slinks down the corridor to the bedchamber his movements are awkward and

unnatural, similar to puppet?s movements. At one point he even pauses, as if to mentally rethink the plan for murder Caligari has laid down. This attention to said murder agenda points that normal people can be highly susceptible to perform evil deeds. In essence, Cesar? is not an evil person, but one who has been mentally dominated by the evil Caligari. One could play a contemporary television therapist and venture to state that Cesar? “is the victim in all of this.” In fact, “Cesar? the sleepwalking killer” never existed before Caligari came into place. One can therefore also determine that evil spawns more evil. Kindness and humanity always find a way to shine through the depths of rage and hate. Poised in a striking position, primed to kill, something inside Cesar?

snaps. He is rendered momentarily immobile, unable to perform the deed he has been commanded. Love (or at least pity) has finally surfaced! As they say, music soothes the savage beast. It appears as if beauty soothes the savage killer as well. Perhaps the human in Cesar? has finally awoken after years of slumber, for he is incapable of killing the helpless Jane. This breakdown of evil is evident in other sources, most notably Fritz Lang?s M. Peter Lorre?s character, a murderer, has yet another victim well in his clutches. However, a change of heart beckons his decision to let the girl free. As in Caligari, these movies help to quell one of humanity?s greatest fears, at least temporarily: the fact that evil is absolute and unquestionably brutal by nature. If only the corporate

world would practice the sparse compassion of these villains, perhaps the public opinion of big business would not be so bleak. Unfortunately, the reprise of feeling does not last long. Overcome by tenderness, yet thriving to expedite more death, Cesar? cannot keep from his dark deeds. After cradling her head softly, one of the few displays of outward affection in the entire film, the moment abruptly shatters as Jane awakes. It is debatable whether or not he would have left her unharmed had she not awakened, but the fact that she wakes destroys any hope of escape. At this sign of struggle, the moment of tenderness is but a memory, and Cesar? is once again the slave of Dr. Caligari. At this point the film footage itself ends, and it is time to attempt to piece together what is not