Similarities Between Malcolm X And Julius Caesar

1964 Words8 Pages
Conflicting perspectives within texts challenge the audience’s perception of history by offering interesting and alternative viewpoints of personalities, events and situations. Through their careful choice of representation, composers explore the way such perspectives generate diverse and provocative insights into past events and people which alter the way we the audience understand these. William Shakespeare’s drama Julius Caesar and Spike Lee’s film Malcolm X both strongly represent the conflicting perspectives surrounding historically significant leaders and their infamous assassinations. In Julius Caesar, Shakespeare utilises the dramatic form to represent the differing opinions of Caesar, generating diverse insights into the public…show more content…
The film tells of Malcolm X’s transformation from an adulterer, drug addict and criminal to an Islamic preacher, civil rights activist and leader for the Afro-American community. Lee, as a renowned political and social commentator, extends beyond the historical image of Malcolm X to represent the controversy of his actions and words through the conflicting perspectives in the film. The opening credits introduce a multitude of issues surrounding Malcolm X. Lines from one of his speeches, “I charge the white man with being the greatest murderer on Earth. I charge the white man with being the greatest kidnapper on Earth”, overlap an image of the American flag which is interrupted by a video of police brutally attacking a Negro, then American flag begins to burn into the shape of an X. Two contradictory perspectives are introduced. On one hand, the burning of the flag is symbolic of his disrespect and disregard for the constitutional values and nationalism of America, portraying the view that Malcolm X challenged the accepted values and promoted an aggressive attack on America. On the other hand, his harsh words are justified by the confronting video, representing him as a positive voice for the Black Civil Rights movement and aiming to achieve peace, justice and equality. Lee has already drawn the audience into the conflict and tension. After his time in jail, Malcolm X becomes affiliated with the Nation of Islam movement for African Americans, led by so called prophet Elijah Muhammad. He rises to become a spiritual leader, preacher and activist. In the scene where he preaches on the street, low angle camera shots are used to give hum authority and power as he speaks with conviction. The camera then pans around the circle of bystanders, who nod in agreement, and the

More about Similarities Between Malcolm X And Julius Caesar

Open Document