This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Roman Holiday Essay

1475 words - 6 pages

Careening through Rome on a Vespa, Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck are famous for their outstanding contributions to the classic film, Roman Holiday, but too often a third key player, the eternal city itself, whose role adds meaningful allegories and timeless appeal, is overlooked as merely a backdrop. The movie opens with a grand introduction to the life of young Princess Ann, who is traveling on a goodwill tour through Europe. Later, the film pans up from the crowded winding streets to a struggling low-end news writer, Joe Bradley gambling in a musty apartment. That night, the princess, overwhelmed by her tightly regimented and boring elitist life, escapes from the palace in Rome where she ...view middle of the document...

Setting their tale apart from innumerable others, the princess enters into the city with giant parades and receptions. On their holiday, the pair chaotically career through the city on a teetering Vespa, causing fights and wreaking havoc, highlighting their presence in the city. Later, on the dancing barges that night, a chaotic fight breaks out over the princess, pausing all other festivities. Reflective of his notion of the amazing scope of the news piece he plans to write about the princess, at multiple times throughout the day, the city appears to shut down for their affair.
However, although they both feel like their little love story is life changing, the dwarfing of their story in comparison to the sheer size of Rome makes it apparent that this day is merely a blissful blip in the eternal city’s history. Despite the feeling of intimacy created between the characters, the city’s sheer size also downplays their existence. When she left her protected palatial bubble, her journey through the city in various trucks and taxis exhibited the sheer size of the sprawling mass. Further demonstrating their overall insignificance, the people on the Spanish Steps continue to meander, unaware of their presence. Finally, as the credits roll, the film depicts him standing, dwarfed in a large and ornate reception hall as she returns to royalty, indicative of the resolution of the social classes, his return to normal life, and the finale of their brief saga. This dichotomy of a story larger than life yet simultaneously miniscule creates a metaphysical understanding of love throughout time, which has appealed to viewers for decades.
Beyond the sheer scope of the city boundaries, Rome also illuminates the interplay and continuity of old and new. While there were many options for backdrop of this remarkably simple plotline, setting the film in Rome afforded it a transcendence of time and a unique perspective of their story. The continuity and timeless splendor of Rome helps illustrate the overarching concept of love; couples throughout time have fallen in love, rebelled against social boundaries, and toured the ageless city, crafting a universally appealing story as timeless as the city itself. Roman Holiday effectively gives the age-old tale of royalty falling in love with a commoner a modern twist. This theme of utilizing the old in contemporary life is subtly reflected throughout the film. For example, children hang on the rocks in the centuries-old Trevi Fountain, and townspeople carouse on the barges near Hadrian’s Castel Sant’Agnelo. Like in ancient times, the Mouth of Truth, or Bocca della Verità, is visited for its mythical lie-detecting abilities, but modern-day graffiti reminds viewers the setting is modern. Further highlighting the old and the new, when Bradley makes a phone call on a modern telephone, the audience can see years of ancient statues behind him. The walls of Café G. Rocca’s, where Bradley and the princess get lunch, are speckled...

Find Another Essay On Roman Holiday

Christmas Essay

1052 words - 4 pages . On the twenty-fifth day of December, Mirhra the Babylonian sun god marked the climax of the weeklong festival, thus in order to win back the people that had fallen away from the church. The roman church decided to change Mirhra birthday (a pagan holiday) into a Christian holiday. Thus Christmas was born, which we still celebrate today. It was clear despite it counterfeit name Christmas reflected its pagan origin for the sake of commercialism's

Roman Cathollicism Essay

1172 words - 5 pages Tracing back to Jesus of Nazareth, Roman Catholicism is one of the largest religions in the world. During the period of the Romans occupation Jesus preached to Jerusalem. Over a long span of time after Jesus' life, death, and resurrection, the bishops spread out across the world to create a “universal” church. The spread of Christianity was phenomenon that traveled along Roman roads and was the topic of conversation in Roman population centers

The True Meaning of Halloween

897 words - 4 pages The True Meaning of Halloween Halloween is a holiday which has been around for a lot longer than many may think. Even the traditions which seem so modern and economically rooted are almost as old as the tradition of Halloween itself. There is a lot of confusion as to when the tradition of Halloween began. Many think that Halloween began with the Celts. The Celts celebrated Samhain which was a holiday that symbolized the end of the

Oh My God: History of Mythology and its Influences Today

1715 words - 7 pages Roman gods. Some of the world’s seven wonders are the statues of Jupiter, and Apollo. Some religions even get their festival names from mythological gods such as the Catholic holiday Mardi Gras, which name was influenced by the Roman god Mars. We use Cupid the God of Love as a symbol of St. Valentines Day. Some words used a lot in todays society like fortune comes from the Roman goddess Fortuna who was the Goddess of Fortunes. Many movies

Art and Lesiure in Ancient Pompeii

907 words - 4 pages Pompeii is a partially buried Roman city near the modern day Naples in the Italy. It is situated in the region of Campania, in the territory of the contemporary town of Pompei. Along with nearby Herculaneum, its sister city, Pompeii was completely buried under a 20 metre layer of ash and pumice during the long catastrophic eruption of the infamous Volcano Mount Vesuvius spanning two days in August 79AD. In 1748 the Ancient city of Pompeii was

From Conquest to Culture: The Aztecs and Catholicism

1221 words - 5 pages Christianity to its conquered peoples. After the Spanish began to spread Roman Catholicism to the Aztecs, the cultures began to combine to eventually create Latin American Catholicism. Latin American Catholicism is significantly different from Roman Catholicism because of the synergistic relationship exhibited between the polytheistic religion of the Aztecs and the monotheistic Roman Catholicism of the Spanish. The Aztec religion was a polytheistic and

Significance of Chistmas

6693 words - 27 pages ChristmasI. IntroductionChristmas, annual Christian holiday commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ. Most members of the Roman Catholic Church and followers of Protestantism celebrate Christmas on December 25, and many celebrate on the evening of December 24 as well. Members of most Orthodox Churches around the world also celebrate the holiday on December 25. Some Orthodox Christians in Russia, Ukraine, the Holy Land (the historic region of

The Fifa World Cup

2402 words - 10 pages safe from persecution. Constantine's dedication also ensured that all of his subjects, Christian or non, would be exposed to this relatively new religion. he even went as far as to make Sunday a Roman holiday so that more people would be able to attend church. He also made churches tax exempt. Constantine was a firm believer that church and state should operate as closely together as possible. He was originally tolerant of paganism, given his

Reasons Why To Visit Rome

685 words - 3 pages Are you looking for a great holiday? If so, Rome is an excellent place to visit. Rome—or Roma in Italian—is the capital of Italy. It is also the largest city in the country. Rome is without doubt one the most beautiful cities in the world; every year millions of tourists come from around the world to admire the treasures and masterpieces of Roman history, art and architecture. Rome has an immensely rich historical heritage, making it one of

What If Jesus of Nazareth Had Not Died of Crucifixion?

964 words - 4 pages Roman leaders. Jesus was sentenced to die by crucifixion by the courts. In the days leading to his death, he was flogged and subject to public humiliation in the streets of Jerusalem, even carrying his own 40 pound cross to the gallows. There, he was crucified alongside two other men, a pair of common thieves. This happened on Good Friday, yet another modern-day Christian holiday. An interesting fact here is that while Pontius Pilate ordered the

A Brief History of the ANcient Roman Empire

1471 words - 6 pages worshiped on special occasions. Each god had his or her own holiday. On these holidays, people had the opportunity to visit the temple to whichever god was being celebrated that day. Priests were usually known to sacrifice animals and offer them to the gods at the temples. This was known to be one thing the Ancient Romans had a superstition about. Superstitions in ancient Rome were quite extreme in Ancient Rome. To the roman, superstitions were a

Similar Essays

The Rise Of Christianity Essay

1261 words - 5 pages adjustments were primarily changed to assist the growth of Christianity among Pagan followers. The Christian holiday, Easter, was originally a Pagan festival honoring the gods. All Saint's Day, a holiday in which Catholics honor the saints, paradigms to the Pagan holiday where Pagans honor the patron saints. Christmas was taken from the cult of Mithra, a major competitor of Christianity during the Roman Empire. The Isis cult from Egypt was another

Why Did Christianity Rise? Essay

1272 words - 5 pages , symbols, and rituals. These adjustments were primarily changed to assist the growth of Christianity among Pagan followers. The Christian holiday, Easter, was originally a Pagan festival honoring the gods. All Saint's Day, a holiday in which Catholics honor the saints, paradigms to the Pagan holiday where Pagans honor the patron saints. Christmas was taken from the cult of Mithra, a major competitor of Christianity during the Roman Empire. The Isis cult

A Comparison Of Christmas In America And Spain

931 words - 4 pages Conception is a celebration that is practiced by the Roman Catholic Church worldwide, but is celebrated all across Spain. This holiday celebrates the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary. The phrase Immaculate Conception refers to the idea that from the moment Virgin Mary was conceived she was free of original sin. Therefore, she did not require the purification process of baptism. This holiday is usually celebrated by Holy Mass, parades

The Curse Of Valentines Day Essay

834 words - 4 pages however was not always this romantic celebration of love. In an attempt to control an early Roman fertility holiday known as Lupercalia, the Christian Church chose the middle of February as St. Valentine’s day, but the day was not associated with romance until the thirteenth century. (“Bet You Didn’t Know: Valentine’s Day”) Although there were three Saint Valentines, all of whom died gruesomely on February 14th, the most commonly held belief is