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Agony and the Bounty

The Agony and the Ecstasy and The Mutiny on the Bounty This essay will analyse and compare two films, The Agony and the Ecstasy and The Mutiny on the Bounty, on the ways in which the historical interpretation and accuracy of both films relate to the views of recent historians and historical evidence. In order to do this several factors of the films must be examined in order to determine the way the filmmaker interpreted or distorted historical evidence and the reason for doing so. Target audiences, evidence available, historical opinions and artistic licence will all need to be taken into account. The Agony and the Ecstasy concerns the Italian Renaissance artist of Michelangelo Buonarroti. The film focuses on a short period of his life, 1508-12, concentrating on the painting of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican. The reason for such a short scope of the artists life, rather than a full account of his eighty-nine years, could be the writers desire to focus on probably the artist’s most famous work in order to better relate Michelangelo’s character to the audience. The film gives some insight into the character of Michelangelo. The scene in which Michelangelo protest to the pope that he is a sculptor not a painter is particularly insightful of the artist’s view on art at that time. His suspicion of his rivals shown in the film is also based on fact. There is evidence in some of Michelangelo’s letters, where he talks of other artist’s jealousies, which show his paranoia of scheming rivals. However the film centres on the relationship between Michelangelo and Pope Julius II. This was a deliberate idea introduced by the scriptwriter Philip Dunne in order to make the tedious subject of decorating a ceiling more interesting for the audience. The film makes out that this relationship was a turbulent one, a clash of two egos. There is historical evidence for this turbulent relationship. The two men did fall ou...

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Agony and the Bounty. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 07:35, September 02, 2014, from