An Analysis of Batman Based on Aristotle's Virtue

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The classic comic book character Batman, played by Christian Bale in the motion picture has an astonishingly complex character that is illustrated well with Aristotle’s perspective. Batman has two distinct characters, the one under the mask, Bruce Wayne and the one covered by the mask, Batman. Both have different sets of virtues that the other does not necessarily have. To explain these virtues, I will attempt to do an analysis of Batman based on Aristotle’s virtue. Then I will determine if he has a good life and whether others should mimic it. The virtues defined by Aristotle consist of two extremes or vices, the excess and the deficiency. The mean or the intermediate between the excess and the deficiency is the virtue. One virtue Aristotle explains is bravery, with its vices being rashness and cowardice. Each aspect of these is contrary to the others, meaning that the intermediate opposes the extreme. Similarly, one extreme opposes the mean and its other extreme. The implications of this are that the excess opposes the deficiency more than the mean. This causes the mean to sometimes resemble its neighboring extreme. Obtaining the mean involves the challenge of being excellent. The challenging part, however, is “doing it to the right person, in the right amount, at the right time, for the right end, and in the right way” (Nicomachean Ethics 1109a28-29:29). Fortunately, one can steer themselves to the mean if one is conscious of the extreme they are naturally inclined to go towards. Since everybody is uniquely different the means by which one steers themselves in the right direction is different for each individual. In addition, Aristotle names three requirements for an action to be a virtue. First one must be cons... ... middle of paper ... ...t up in his honor. Batman gets this statue because he is worthy of this honor for all that he has done for Gotham City. According to Aristotle, man should strive to mimic Batman because he is virtuous. However, not necessarily Bruce Wayne since he is vulgarian. Yet, I noticed that Batman cannot maintain good relationships with the opposite sex. He will never be able to keep any relationship because of his obsession to fight crime. If Wayne were to find a balance between the normal life and the Batman life, he could have good relationships. However, since the ultimate goal is to attain happiness in the ethics, and part of that involves having good true relationships. Then is Batman really a good model for humans to look up to? No, while one may be virtuous, it does not imply that he will have a good life. Therefore, I do not agree with Aristotle’s assessment.

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