2013 Student Research Conference:
26th Annual Student Research Conference

When Gotham is Ashes: Apocalyptic Imagery in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Trilogy
Robert K. Goff
Dr. Dereck Daschke, Faculty Mentor

For this project, I looked at apocalyptic imagery in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Trilogy. In looking at each film individually and collectively certain apocalyptic tropes are apparent. These images include the balance between order and chaos, reading of the signs, prophets (both of warning and the charismatic variety), and a messianic savior figure. The strongest connections I came to include the Joker and Ra's Al Ghul as prophetic pre-millennial figures. Their attempts to overthrow the metonymic Gotham City set Gotham up as a contemporary to Jewish notion of Babylon. Finally, the link between Batman as a Christ-figure is highlighted by sacrifice, redemption, appearing to disciples, and a disciple taking up his mantle.

Keywords: Apocalypse, Messianic Figures, Batman, Metonym, Film and Religion

Topic(s):Philosophy & Religion

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 304-3
Location: MG 1000
Time: 1:30

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