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Black Adder Goes Forth

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“Black Adder Goes Forth”‘s season finale “goodbyeee” is the finishing episode of the comedic perspective of World War One. Black Adder is a television series that was started in 1983 by Richard Curtis and Rowan Atkinson. It explains British History in a comedic form, ranging in periods from 1485 – 1917. The last episode of Black Adder Goes Forth greatly affects the viewer. It peruses the idea that history as it was written and has been taught is incorrect.

In having this approach, it is like the audience is understanding history and uncovering the truth of our ancestors for the first time. Not only does this capture the viewers attention, but it entertains them as well as touching them on an emotional level – they are finally seeing the “real ordeal”. Viewers, however, also know that these “real ordeals” are not to be taken seriously and are only there for the comedy value. An example of this is when one soldier states that the reason the First World War started was because someone shot an ostrich out of hunger.

The majority of viewers know this statement is not true, but the episode and character plays the comic seriousness to perfection. However, unlike the general ideas all the Black Adder series portray, as just explained, “goodbyeee” also shows the reality and tragedy of world war one. Black Adder does whatever he can to get out of the trenches. For example, he pretends to go mad by putting underwear on his head and putting sticks up his nose, and tells the other soldiers to go up and not himself; but in the end he resigns to his fate.

One soldier is very excited about the idea of defending his country, in fact he is so honoured by this chance, that he does not accept a way out of the trenches when he is offered; even though Black Adder realizes their fate when they go above the trenches and tries to explain he will die. (“I never imagined anything as awful as this war” – Black Adder) Also when another soldier states that he wants the dying to stop, and everyone to go home, because he cannot see any reason for a war, even now the jolly soldier tries to push these thoughts out of his head and reassure him it is good what they are doing.

He is meant to be the typical advertised enlisted man – the soldier that the viewers could relate to (the man on the posters). This hearty soldier seems to have been blinded by the element of death, he thinks its all an adventure. However, in the end, death is inevitable, and after being the hero, he finally realizes all that waits for him when he goes over the top of the trenches is mortality, like his friends who died in the war. He says to Black Adder “Brave, splendid and noble (pause) I’m scared sir, I don’t want to die”.

For the audience, this is the final realization, now even the bravest is afraid. The sense of humour is gone and the sense of reality is dawning on the audience and the trenches prisoners. In the end each character becomes conscious of their doom. My conclusion to the last episode of Black Adder, “goodbyeee” and how it affects the viewer, is that war is futile. Whether you realize this, or are adamant to play a role, whether it is hero or coward, the last episode shows that everyone is in the same position. In the end they all die, no matter who they were.

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