The Grand Inquisitor
From plot debriefs to key motifs, Thug Notes’ The Dark Knight / The Grand Inquisitor Summary & Analysis has you covered with themes, symbols, important quotes, and more.
The Grand Inquisitor (1879-1880) | Written by: Fyodor Dostoyevsky | Published by: Crossroad Book
The Dark Knight / The Grand Inquisitor SPECIAL EPISODE by Thug Notes
Wassup ballas? Got somethin’ special fo yo asses today. Not only am I bout to drop some mad knowledge on da illest chapter in Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov, but I’m a show you how you can check some similar philosophizin’ in The Dark Knight. So here’s my special on The Grand Inquisitor, thugz- It’s a ridiculous thing, but I want to tell it to you.
Now Da Grand Inquisitor is a poem dat Ivan lays on his bro Alyosha while they conversatin bout God and mankind. Lemme break it down.
Back during the Spanish Inquisition, homies gettin BLAZED left and right for not keepin it Catholic… but not in a good way. In short, sh** is fu**ed up. Then outta nowhere JESUS HIMSELF swangs in to town and starts healing the sick like a boss.
When the top dawg in charge- The Grand Inquisitor- sees this holy- sh** goin down, he say “AW HAELL NAW JESUS” and throws his ass behind bars. Then he say “Look, JC. Why’d you gotta go and give mankind the FREEDOM to choose between good and evil? What you think humans be noble enough to make that choice themselves? NAW BLOOD. With dat freedom, they ALWAYS gonna choose evil. Man needs someone to MAKE him do good. The worst thing you ever did was not FORCE them to bow down to you. And that’s what I do- I save them from themselves by jackin their freedom and makin em bow down to me.
This poem bringin up all sorts of questions for us to marinate on. Like how human beings gonna act when they ain’t got no laws holdin them down?
Sparky reads quote: “Freedom, free reason, and science will lead [the masses] in to such a maze, and confront them with such miracles and insoluble mysteries, that some of them, unruly and ferocious, will exterminate themselves; others, unruly but feeble will destroy eachother.” (Dostoevsky 258)
Not only is the Inquisitor spittin this to ol JC, but this is exactly tha kind of truth dat the Joker layin Batman in The Dark Knight.
And the Joker ain’t all talk. Erry one of his terrorist acts goes to prove the Inquisitor’s raw truth: at it’s core, man is a viscious fu**in animal; and when the sh** goes down- that beastly side comes out.
But luckily there’s hope for the homies of G-Town. In the face of all this chaotic mess, there’s one brutha who thuggin righteous enough to inspire people to do good- Harvey Dent, Gotham’s White Knight.
Just like the Inquisitor sayin: human beings ain’t legit enough to follow Christ just cuz. Naw. They need dat bread first. Matter of fact, they’ll even throw their savior to the curb to get what they fiendin for.
Sparky reads quote: “In the name of heavenly bread tens of thousands will follow [the Ideal, but] what will become of the millions and tens of millions of creatures who will not be strong enough to forgo earthly bread for the sake of heavenly? (Dostoevsky 253) (animations to support this)
Well the truth hits hard in The Dark Knight. Cuz dem crooked-ass cops in Gordon’s posse gonna give up their Ideal just so they can stack dat cheddar.
Now ain’t errybody think people dat bent in da head. At first, Batman reppin da big JC by thinkin that if given the opportunity, mankind gonna choose good.
But after seein what The Joker’s whack-ass philosophy did to Harey Dent, Ol Bats ain’t the same no mo. Batman realize that stoppin the Joker ain’t enough. He gonna have to step off his Christly grind and get all Inquisitor-style in order to save Gotham’s soul.
Like the Inquistor preachin, the only way to make life bearable for da masses is to “enslave them by a miracle” and “give them someone to bow down to.”
So BAM, Batman gotta make up some bullsh** in order to keep the masses dumb and happy. So he lies, jivin that Harvey Dent kept it real til the end and didn’t smoke no innocent hustlas. Even though Harvey Dent aint nothin but a fake- ass savior, it don’t matter. What do matter is that mankind got an ideal to bow down to to save them from themselves.
And the sacrifice for lying to make make all dem fools happy? Somebody’s gotta suffer.
Sparky reads quote: For only we…shall be unhappy. There will be thousands of millions of happy babes, and a hundred thousand sufferers who have taken upon themselves the curse of the knowledge of good and evil… we shall keep the secret, and for their happiness we shall allure them with the reward of heaven and eternity.
On the real, the truth can be so damn fugly that it’s gotta be kept on the DL for the good of the hood.
Yo I hope you enjoyed this episode. It may not have been the one you needed, but it’s the one you deserve. And hey- If you diggin my cinema criticism, lemme know. Take it easy y’all. Peace!