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Rashomon: Analysis and Interpretation

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by

Sean Granata

on 1 May 2014

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Transcript of Rashomon: Analysis and Interpretation

Introduction:
The Wife
The Priest
Question 1
Question 2
Question 3
Conclusion
THE FILM ILLUSTRATES HOW 4 DIFFERENT PEOPLE CAN DEPICT THE SAME EVENT IN COMPLETELY DIFFERENT WAYS

EACH WITNESS HAS THEIR OWN AGENDA & REPUTATION TO PROTECT

EACH ACCOUNT INCLUDES A RAPE AND A MURDER - BUT EACH ACCOUNT SHOWS DIFFERING METHODS & MOTIVES

THE ESSENCE OF THE STORY

MANKIND WILL LIE TO PROTECT THEIR SELF INTEREST BY DECEIVING & LYING

EVEN IN THE FACE OF PURE GREED & SELFISNESS THEIR IS HOPE FOR MANKIND

THE ADOPTION OF A HELPLESS BABY BY THE ASHAMED WOODCUTTER DEMONSTRATE'S THIS
THE FILM DEPICTS THE RAPE OF A WOMAN & MURDER OF HER HUSBAND IN THE ACCOUNTS OF 4 WITNESSES
WITNESS #1

BANDIT TAJMARU
WITNESS #2

SAMURAI'S WIFE
WITNESS #3

DEAD SAMURAI
THROUGH A MEDIUM
WITNESS #4

WOODCUTTER
The Wife
The wife was portrayed by the bandit as a "Goddess." It was her beauty that caused him to perform the actions he did. Throughout the series of events she was portrayed in several ways. At first the bandit's story described her as fierce and abrupt, but corruptible. Then she was considered impulsive and weak, but unreliable due to unfaithfulness to her husband and inability to finish her story. Finally the husband's story portrayed her as treasonous and corrupting.

All three stories described the wife in a stereotypical feminine manner. She was always crying and weak, but strong in cognition. The cause of the situation was her beauty and she escalated events to what they became. Her husband did not need to die in any story, but her addition to the conflict inspired the tragic events.

Her story, as well as the others, was fabricated to maintain reputation. In earlier days, especially in the era of this story, reputation meant everything. So in order to prevent her reputation being stained sleeping around she told a lie to correct the situation.
The Priest
The priest was a man who had strong faith in man. His hope for mankind began to decay after hearing the series of events that led to the husband's death. He was hoping to find reason in the story but could not. His faith in humanity was only strengthened by the woodcutter's acceptance of the abandoned child. Although he probably accepted the responsibility due to guilt, his nobility restored the priest from his shock of the evil events that occurred.

The priest's actions remained in his faith, and his ability to cope with situations of such large magnitude directly vary. This was not a major character in the movie, but he represented the order or morality and forgiveness to a degree.
While the truth and memory is being presented to us, we are astonished to witness what trust is unwinding right before us.

The wife lacked comfort and safety so she was in NEED for protection. She was provoked into a bitter outrage when her husband refused to protect her from Tajmaru. She wanted to be loved, either by her husband or the bandit, but they must fight for her love.
Emotions: Confusion, Rage, Grief & Fear
Assumptions: All living things are exposed to some type of weakness. For human beings, men and women express them in different ways. "Men lie, women cry"
The truth is revealed through Rashomon in which the story is told from different view points. The point point from the wife is what supports her from obtaining a bad title.

Greed and selfishness
The wife is plain greedy and selfish to herself and her husband. Even though she already have a man that will take care of her she want something more than that. She wants to have someone (the bandit named Tajômaru), by the observations, that supposed to be dangerous. This is very selfish of her. She does not think of anyone else but herself especially when both men start to turn on her. She lies to try to get herself out of the situation and made both men fight again.
In every story it shows that the wife wants to kill her husband one way or another just to try to get out of her situation.

Unconscious mind and rationality
The wife is believe to have done many things unconsciously. She have gave into sexual relations with the bandit as told in one story. In almost all of the stories she have been lying.

Obedience and conformity
The wife is all of the stories is the conformity and follows almost everything everyone says. If she is under the control of her husband she is also the conformity. As shown in the movie she has to be obedient to the bandit.
Gestalt
From this film it is evident that there is more than one perception to any situation as well as more than one truth. There were three accounts of the same story each conflicting in some way with the other. Some of the differentiating ideas were exemplified in:
- Mannerisms of the wife
- Response of the woman to the bandit’s advances
- Mannerisms/Responsiveness of the husband
- Level of aggression of the bandit
- Actions leading to the husband’s death
- Point at which the bandit left the scene

In the same respect there usually are some parts of a story that all recounting witnesses will agree upon. For this story some of these are:
- Location of incident
- Individuals present
- Wife and bandit having relations
- Murder of husband
- Description of wife’s dagger
In relation to what we have learned about Gestalt it clear here that what we cannot merely accept anything as a part of a whole or even as a general whole. What must be done is a continual analysis of what each of our senses are stumilated by.
(Remember the elephant)

We fully cannot accept any one person's account because it is a part of a whole truth.

We must analyze what is said by the witness, seen by their demeanor, etc.

Taking all things into account (all parts of the whole) then and only then can we come to our individual percieved truth.
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