William Hart describes clearly how difficult evil is to define and it is apparent if you were to look up the word evil in the dictionary. In the Oxford English Dictionary there are dozens of definitions for the word including; “To harm or injure; to ill treat; to affect with disease; to fall ill or be sick; something morally depraved, bad, wicked, and vicious”. Hart’s process in trying to define evil includes many criteria that make it difficult to understand. In the end Hart simply defines evil as “a human act that causes harm to innocents and attacks our basic moral order” (Hart 22). This unsatisfactory definition doesn’t leave much to work with. The reason that Hart’s definition is so inadequate is because, like Hart stated, for over f...
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... such as mob bosses like Maroni, maniacs like The Joker, and heroes like Harvey Dent and Batman. Nolan uses heroic exceptionality and the importance of social order to show us that evil can be portrayed in many forms and “good” can take forms that are false. Batman’s public image as the evil doer or the villain shows that we cannot define evil in a simple or correct way, that sometimes good is bad and bad is good.
1. Hart, William. Evil: A Primer: A History of a Bad Idea from Beelzebub to Bin Laden. New York: Thomas Dunne Books, 2004.
2. McGowan, Todd. "The exceptional darkeness of "The Dark Knight"." Jump Cut: A Review of Contemporary Media (2009).
3. Riegler, Thomas. "The "Mastermnd": Personifications of Evil in the Cinema." inter- disciplinary. 16 3 2010
4. The Dark Knight. Dir. Christopher Nolan. 2008.
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