Rashomon Essay

596 WordsOct 28, 20083 Pages
The story of Rashomon develops the idea that lying is a sin that all man is guilty of. Throughout the story we see one story told several different ways by several different people. Everyone has their own motives for why they lie. The focus is strewn back and forth between the stories. All of the characters are so busy lying, the truth is never really discovered. The story is initially told by three different characters: the commoner, the woodcutter, and the priest. Each man has a different story from a different point of view. The woodcutter’s point of view comes from his firsthand witness account, the commoner’s from what he heard at the courthouse, and the priest’s from the summoning of the dead. The woodcutter devalues the claims of the other two men but soon after reveals his original story with a new twist. It isn’t clear why he lied in the first place, but it is clear that only one of the men’s accounts (the priest) can be plausible. The priest is the only one who seems to have pure intentions. The story is of one man’s murder and it is being retold from the accounts of the 3 suspects: Tajomaru the bandit, the man’s wife, and the man himself. The first version told by Tajomaru portrays him as a valiant and clever man who killed the man in battle for the woman’s heart. In contrast, the woman’s story is one of shame and how she fainted from it, with a dagger in her hand, possibly accidentally killing him. While the third , the husband’s story, portrays him as honorable for after his wife ran off with the bandit he honorably killed himself. The three stories are not only contradictory but they express the teller in a favorable light. It is clear that each suspect put their own twist on it to make themselves look good. Even the dead victim lied in an attempt to preserve his honor. While the stories are being told, the interactions
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