Charlie Chaplin: A Brief Biography Essay

1865 words - 8 pages

“My prodigious sin was, and still is, being a non-conformist” (Chaplin). Charlie Chaplin was known as one that pushed limits in a variety of ways. This is how he thrived. His tip toeing along the boundaries drew people in while his genius kept them asking for more. Charlie was a jack of all trades and of them undoubtedly mastered three. Thus, through his talents, he impacted the worlds through many key elements. Throughout his life time, Charlie Chaplin greatly influenced British history, art and culture through his work as a comedian, as an actor and director.
Comedy came easy to Charlie Chaplin. “All I need to make a comedy is a park, a policeman, and a pretty girl.” But more that acting and directing, his comedy is what paved the road for him to being one of the most well known men in history. The era in which he made a lasting name for himself, 1920-1960, endured some of the toughest times in history from the Holocaust, World War I, the Great Depression, to World War II. But oddly enough it was through those times that that the world tuned into him most. “Chaplin had demonstrated that he believed comedy was the most effective when it was offset by a touch of pathos or sentiment” (Inge 62). He turned the turmoil they were living through into his inspiration. He used humanism to connect with his audience along with satire to make light of current events, however there was much truth to his comedy. .In conclusion, it was Charlie Chaplin’s ability to capture the audience in life’s most trying times that carved his name in history.
In addition, Charlie Chaplin’s comedy was more than a lifestyle, it was an art. The source of most of Charlie’s comedy was trickery. “Charlie and the tricksters confront society’s anxieties about these fundamental issues, not merely allaying the fears through the emotional release but, as we shall see later, easing the transition to a new way of understanding” (Lieberman 20). Therefore, the purpose of his trickery was ease his audience through times of tribulation and pain with laughter. Through comic relief, trickery was represented as symbol of survival of the hardships that came along with the drastic change of the everyday world (Lieberman 26). In addition to trickery, Chaplin was famed for his roaring main character, the Tramp. The Tramp’s appearance consisted of a too-small coat, too-large pants, floppy shoes, and a battered derby along with the trademark post stamp mustache and cane as an all-purpose prop (Erikson). The tramp was a universal appeal that drew the world in on Charlie Chaplin’s comical antics. “Audiences loved his cheekiness, his deflation of pomposity, his casual savagery, his unexpected gallantry and his resilience in the face of adversity” (Erickson). In conclusion, Charlie Chaplin made a heavy contribution in art with his comic genius in the form of trickery and the Tramp.
Finally, Charlie Chaplin’s comedy made the biggest impact on culture. “In the creation of comedy, it is paradoxical...

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