City Lights

The Little Tramp: A Study of Chaplin's Iconic Character College

American silent comedy was at the height of its popularity in the early 1900s, namely during the 1920s. Being as creative and talented as he was, Charlie Chaplin is often regarded as the pioneer and central figure of this type of film during his time. Chaplin wrote, produced, directed, and acted as the lead role in the majority of his films, and provided inspiration for many other actors and silent comedies that followed. In many of Chaplin’s notable silent comedies from the height of his career, scenes that depict the road in various ways serve as more than just the main location of the films, as they play a much more crucial role in the development of the comedy as a whole and the characters within it. The “Little Tramp” persona that Chaplin created and made iconic is an embodiment of not only the hardships and difficulties associated with the road, but the comedy and adventure that comes along with it. In Chaplin’s The Tramp, The Kid, City Lights, and The Gold Rush, road images, the characters’ close interactions with the road, and the depiction of a vagrant tramp without any set home provide the comedic drama that has been unique and central to this renowned genre of film.

According to his autobiography, Charlie Chaplin was...

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