To what extent does the 'Blackadder Goes Forth' series give an accurate impression of life on the western front?
In this essay I will be writing about life on the western front and the trenches in The First World War and how accurately the 'Blackadder Goes Forth' series portrays it.
The First World War started on 4th August 1914 because the Archduke of Austro-Hungary, Franz Ferdinand got shot by a Bosnian named Gavrillo Princip. Austro-Hungary declared war on Bosnia and all the allies got involved and it turned into a huge World War which lasted longer than expected. The war then finished in 1918.
Blackadder goes Forth was written by Richard Curtis and Ben Elton in 1989. Both of them have historical backgrounds. Blackadder is a BBC comedy series set in the trenches of the Western Front in The First World War. It starred Rowan Atkinson, Hugh Laurie, Tony Robinson and Stephen Fry. It was filmed in a studio in front of an audience. It was intended for an adult-thinking audience. It was made to entertain and also give the audience some historical knowledge about the trenches. I will be evaluating the last episode ?Goodbyeee? to see how it compares to real life on the western front.
On the western front the soldiers had to build trenches to provide defence for the army and hold their position to show their opponents they weren?t going anywhere. The trenches were built in a crocked line next to each other because if the line was straight and a shell landed on it the explosion would kill and injure much more people then if it was straight. They had barbed wire and Sandbags at the top of trench to protect them from enemies coming in and attacking them. The trench had many layers and at the bottom there were dug outs were the soldiers stayed to keep safe. The conditions of the trenches were terrible and a nightmare to be in. They were wet, cold, muddy and full of disease, rats and lice.
?The night has its nightmare of horror. Large screeching rats possess the living and scamper over all devouring and terrifying where they will. And the overpowering stench of death remains, along with the rats and lice.?
The trenches in Blackadder were portrayed as wet muddy and uncomfortable and you can see the things that would have been there like ladders, sandbags, duckboards and mud. But there were many things which were inaccurate. The dug out was bigger than it would have been back then, there was electrical light and a sink was mentioned, the trenches wouldn?t have had sinks.
?Baldrick: Neville gone sir?
Edmund: Actually, not quite gone ?- he?s in the corner, bunging up the sink.?
I think they added this to show how dirty the dug outs were be showing they had rats. This also shows a presence of death. Most of the inaccuracy is because of filming of the show. If the trench had been any smaller the actors wouldn?t have been able to fit in there. It also had to be bigger than what it should have been because it was being filmed in front of a studio...