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Doubt Essay

  • Submitted by: anonymous
  • on November 20, 2013
  • Category: English
  • Length: 1,787 words

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Below is an essay on "Doubt" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Doubt
John Patrick Shanley’s film, Doubt, opens with a sermon that begs the question, “What do you do when you’re not sure?”   This question sets the tone for the rest of the movie, emphasizing the struggle between certainty and uncertainty.   Shanley wrote and directed the film, Doubt, which is an adaptation to his Pulitzer Prize winning play Doubt: A Parable.   The movie is set in 1964, in a Catholic Church in the Bronx, New York.   The main plot of the story is centered on the relationship between the principal of the attached school, Sister Aloysius, and the priest, Father Flynn.   Their conflict addresses multiple topics including social change, faith, and gender discrepancy; while leaving the audience no room for certainty.   John Patrick Shanley uses Sister Aloysius as the Byronic hero and Father Flynn as the accused to generate doubt toward the Church as a traditional institution.
Sister Aloysius is the principal of the St. Nicholas School.   Her name was chosen after St. Aloysius Gonzaga, who was a young Jesuit man in the late 16th century who died while ministering to the sick in his early twenties.   Aloysius originally means “mighty warrior”, so uniquely her name includes the combination of self-sacrifice from Gonzaga while also containing warrior-like qualities.   Both the characteristics emerge from Sister Aloysius by the end of the movie.   At the beginning of the play, she is shown in a more negative connotation.   She is the stern, cold-hearted principal who ensues discipline among the students and is not meant to be admired by the audience at first.   Shanley sets up Aloysius in this manner so that the character can embody the traits of the Byronic hero.   The Byronic hero is described by historian Lord Macaulay as “proud, moody, cynical, with defiance on his brow, and misery in his heart, a scorner of his kind, implacable in revenge, yet capable of deep and strong affection.”   The first qualities of the Byronic hero presented in Sister Aloysius are that of...

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