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Blackadder Media Coursework

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Consider the ways in which 'Blackadder goes forth' not only teaches us about the history and conditions of WW1, but also makes us share the characters feelings, and so sympathise with the soldiers involved in that war. Examine the media devices and techniques used to deliver this message, with particular reference to camera angles, slow motion, colour and sound. The 'Blackadder goes forth' sitcom is a highly entertaining, critically acclaimed comedy series. It is popular because under all the humour and satire there are underlying messages that bring across important facts of the long and often unfunny First World War. Comedy is a very effective method to teach and inform. It could be said that this one episode of Blackadder tells us more about the history and conditions of the First World War than any other documentary. In this episode 'Goodbyee' the men are in the trenches when they hear that finally after years of uncertain waiting they are going over the top (or 'The Big Push') to battle with the enemy Germans. Blackadder sees that this will probably result in his death, so he formulates a plan to escape which does not work. ...read more.


The audience feel sympathy for Baldricks's character because he has been misled by the propaganda posters. Also when Baldrick says that when he signed up to the war it was the first time that he had felt popular, we realise that he just wanted to have companions and he felt the war would give him this. This episode suggests that the men were poorly trained and not properly prepared/trained for fighting. Baldrick says that he was trained for the war in his regiment by running with bayonets to stick into bales of hay. This shows that the weapons were poor the training was inadequate. This exercise was useless to prepare him for fighting because they would be shot at before they could even get close enough to use the bayonets. Bladrick says that he found the training easy, which is bad because he is not very intelligent. He says: 'These sacks of hay do not move and would be easy to outwit in a battle situation.' This is comic but at the same time sinister because the audience knows that the Germans were much more dangerous that the sacks of hay. ...read more.


After the bloodshed and the carnage, it seems that there is peace again, but there is an uncertainty, such as for how long the peace will hold. The audience also think about whether they have learnt the important message about war. As the credits appear, we hear only birdsong. This is also a symbol of peace and new life. It is also a reference to a famous war novel called 'Birdsong' (by Sebastian Faulks). I have shown that we learn a great deal about the First World War and the experience for those involved just by watching an episode of Blackadder. The jokes and laughs show pathos, with the serious reality of war just underlying the clever scripting and special effects, such as camera angles and music. Because we get to know the characters and like them because they make us laugh, we feel a personal attachment to them, and feel a need to follow their story to the very end, which we do. We sympathise with them and fondly remember them after they die, and are reminder that there were people like them in real life. The history of this time which was only a short ago, is brought alive to us. I thoroughly enjoyed watching and analysing 'Blackadder Goes forth'. ?? ?? ?? ?? Lea West Media Coursework ...read more.

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