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Bohemian Rhapsody and Black Swan Essay

  • Submitted by: JessGriss07
  • on February 27, 2014
  • Category: English
  • Length: 696 words

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Below is an essay on "Bohemian Rhapsody and Black Swan" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Identity is an intricate concept variant on an individual’s perspective of themselves and their place in society. Identity reflects the expectations of external forces inflicted upon individuals. This pressure ultimately affects their mentality to a point that they assume an almost dualistic personality, unable to differentiate what is expected of them and their true identity. Both Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody (1975) and stills of Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan (2010) effectively present a unique portrayal of this aspect of identity, through a variety of language, musical and visual devices.

As composers from different contexts, Freddie Mercury (of Queen) and Aronofsky hit common ground, as they both efficiently explore the notion that external forces can adversely impact our sense of identity. The stills from Black Swan grasp the intertextuality of the ballet to identify the exterior pressure that consumes Nina’s innermost psyche. The pressure she experiences to adopt the role of both the White and Black Swans is echoed through her costuming in the delicate white tutu and positioning in front of a broken mirror in a dark room, which symbolically reflects the initial forming of her dual personality. The mirror acts also as a vector, reorientating the image to reveal the person she holds to be the true Nina Sayers. Similarly, Bohemian Rhapsody conveys the internal struggle Mercury encourntered upon discovering he had AIDS. Multi-track recordings of Mercury’s arpeggiated minor vocals open the song with a series of rhetorical questions, “Is this the real life? Or is this just fantasy?”, determining the many “faces” of his identity, while highlighting his confusion and questions of life’s purposes. This is followed by poetic-like figurative language, in particular, metaphor, “Caught in a landslide. No escape from reality.” Mercury provides his audience with evidence that he is caught in a limbo between expectations and reality of the situation, just as Nina is portrayed...

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"Bohemian Rhapsody and Black Swan". Anti Essays. 16 Dec. 2018


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