Honestly, I was confused at points in this reading. I was following him throughout the first two pages but the last page felt like a lot to take it and I didn’t get what he was saying. I was even tempted at times in the last paragraph to look up some of the words he was using in the dictionary because I felt really lost.

In the beginning when he was talking about the fringes I felt that he was saying that these details that are used in films can be the keys to identifying where the film takes place. They are used so often that we don’t even realize sometimes that in our minds we tend to just assume that films take place in certain times because of how the people in them look or act. The fringes are essentially a label of Rome or Roman people and they are our the indication of Romans in films whether we are aware of it or not.

Then, he goes on to talk about sweat and how the sweat in Julius Caesar is seen constantly on everyone’s faces except Caesar’s. He even goes on to say that the sweat is purposeful. He’s saying that to us it might be just sweat but it’s really an indicator of something deeper like moral feeling. The constant sweating adds something more to the film because it makes us wonder what exactly is going on inside them to cause them all to be sweating so much. It might be due to fear, conflict, or any number of things but we’re left wondering because we can’t get inside them and truly know. I think Barthes is trying to show how important visual aspects of films are even if we don’t realize it. His example of Julius Caesar showed how the fringes indicated time period and the sweat indicated the deeper emotions of the characters in a way that we can see them. It makes the film more real in a sense and is a way for the viewer to get more sucked into the film. I think this idea of Barthes can be seen in pretty much any other film out there, too.

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2 Responses to “The Romans in Film”

  1.   Russell Weinberg Says:

    good job analyzing the sweat example, Temperance Brennan would b proud =]

  2.   maya1 Says:

    thanks russ! yes she would be proud =]

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