14 Apr 2022


English Composition/ Citizen Kane

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Academic level: College

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Various people have different views on Citizen Kane film. Some love the film, and some have never watched the movie while others dislike the movie. The views are based on the level of understanding of the filmic elements used in the film (Schwartz, 2006). The Aristotelian analysis of the film provides a deep understanding of the film. The analysis evaluates the content and tragic form of the film to determine whether it meets the criteria for tragic drama. This evaluation attracts a large audience to appreciate the film. This may result in the development of interest to watch the movie for those have never watched it or watching the movie again for those who have previously watched the movie.

The Aristotelian analysis points out that Citizen Kane is among the first films that were proficient in using Aristotle's formula (Schwartz, 2006). The film uses Aristotelian tragedy's pattern in depicting the human kind's dialectical nature. According to Aristotle, tragedy involves an imitation of real life that is unified by a single action within a particular place and time. Through its form, Citizen Kane imitates the life of the protagonist in numerous actions and various locations. This makes Citizen Kane to go against the Aristotelian unity. Aristotle also points out that a plot composed just of a single person is not tragic. Therefore, in these respects, Kane is mostly non-Aristotelian because it talks about one person. As one watches the movie, it is necessary to put a keen focus on the setting and content of the movie and compare with the Aristotle's tragic drama (Naremore, 2004).

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Aristotle points out the structure of a tragic drama that should be considered to ascertain that a given film is a tragedy. For instance, he highlights that a tragedy should be comprised of three parts namely; object, media as well as the mode. The tragedy is further distributed to six elements such as the plot structure, the style, and many others. The film Citizen Kane should be checked to identify whether it has all these elements. Citizen Kane does not follow a plot that is characterized by a specified beginning, middle and end. The film's ending also lacks a clear resolution this can be observed where the film's characters to discover the Rosebud's meaning, yet the movie's objective was to discover the Rosebud's meaning (Naremore, 2004). 

In conclusion, Aristotle outlines various aspects that should be evaluated to determine whether a film or drama is a tragedy or not. There are various critiques on whether Citizen Kane is a tragic drama. Some portray the film as a tragedy while others ascertain that the film not a tragic drama by highlighting Aristot6le's aspects of a tragedy. This has led to the development of interest to watch the movie while keenly observing its structure and setting. Therefore, Aristotelian analysis of the movie has attracted a large audience to watch the movie. Those who have never watched the movie develop an interest in watching to ascertain the claim of Aristotelian analysis. Those who have already watched the movie also develops an interest in watching the movie again so that they can acquire a deep understanding of the meaning of a tragic drama. The clarification sought from watching the movie, may lead to people hating the loving the movie or disliking it. It is worth saying that Aristotelian analysis improved the appreciation of Citizen Kane film.


Naremore, J. (2004). Orson Welles's Citizen Kane . Oxford: Oxford University Press. 

SparkNotes Editors. (2004). SparkNote on Citizen Kane. Retrieved May 7, 2016, from http://www.sparknotes.com/film/citizenkane/

Schwartz, H. (2006). An Aristotelian analysis of the elements, principles and causes of the art of music . Cleveland, Ohio: H.S. Schwartz.

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