Maybe it’s time we all quit trying to outsmart the truth and let it have it’s day. — Alfred
Each villain is an incarnation of fear. Batman must become more than a symbol of fear to overcome them.
In Act I (Batman Begins), we meet a Gotham overcome by corruption. The city rots, and crime runs rampant. The few good Gothamites are to afraid of organized crime to make a stand. This fear takes Bruce Wayne’s parents, so Bruce resolves to take back his city.
Bruce becomes a symbol of fear. His goal is to out-terrorize fear.
Bruce’s plan seems to be working – he saves the city from Ras al Guhl and the League of Shadows, and inspires men like Jim Gordon to stand tall against crime.
But as Act II (The Dark Knight) begins, we learn that the fight is just beginning. A new villain – the Joker – arises against Bruce. The Joker wants to prove that Gotham is irredeemable, that people are basically selfish and fearful.
The Joker torments Harvey Dent, Gotham’s new DA who represents everything Bruce had hoped to inspire using the Batman persona. Harvey succumbs to the Joker’s plans, going on a murderous rampage of vengeance before falling to his death. To protect his reputation and the city’s improvement, Gordon and the Batman lie, blaming Batman for Harvey’s crimes.
Act II ends with Batman failing to inspire Gotham to hope instead of fear. His tenuous victory rests on a lie. The scene is set for the final act, The Dark Knight Rises.
Act III resolves the conflict. The main character – through their Hero’s Journey – acquires the skills necessary to achieve victory and a renewed sense of person and purpose. Continue Reading…