The Dark Knight Harvey Dent Analysis

The Dark Knight was the biggest film of 2008 and justifiably so with some great characters and a fantastic plot, especially for what is ultimately a super hero action movie. Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart) represents a tragic hero who falls from grace, serving as the main plot device of the movie. Herein, Harvey Dent’s character will be explored and his relation to Batman (Christian Bale) and the Joker (Heath Ledger) discussed. There are spoilers below, so if you have not seen the movie I advise against reading.

Dark Knight Harvey Dent Character Analysis: Overview

Harvey Dent is Gotham cities District Attorney and is established as Gotham’s knight in shining armor. As opposed to Batman, Harvey remains within the limits of the law to fight crime rather than becoming a vigilante. He is particularly opposed to corruption within the cities public services and clashes with Gordor Wood (Gary Oldman) over the topic. He is also in a relationship with a fellow attorney, Rachel Dawes (Maggie Gyllenhaal), who’s death eventually causes his ‘fall’ and to become the antagonist Two-Face.

Dark Knight Harvey Dent Character Analysis: Harvey’s Shadow, Two-Face

Harvey’s secondary personality, his second face, is a merger between batman and the joker. He has the malignancy and chaotic nature of the Joker mixed with the intent of punishing criminals and the stealth of Batman. The idea here is that the war between the two symbols, Batman and the Joker, created something half way between the two in Two-Face. As such, he regularly breaks Batman’s personal rule not to kill but at the same time is pursuing a roughly similar goal to Batman in that he wishes to punish criminals. Like Batman he is somewhat stealthy and sneaky rather than working as openly as possible like the Joker, but also has the chaotic and murderous elements of the Joker as well as the disregard for his own health.

An example of Two-Face being a mixture between Batman and the Joker is found in the scene where he sneaks up upon crime boss Sal Maroni (Eric Roberts) as he attempts to escape Gotham. He does this by first sneakily dragging one of his men off to the side and getting in the car with him. This is basically akin to the sort of behaviour associated with Batman. Then, when in the car, he shoots the driver and flips the car, displaying a disregard for all their lives that is very much akin to the Joker.

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