Esther’s Space- journey through my life

February 18, 2007

Watchmen-It Continues

Filed under: THEORY 330 — estherspace @ 5:44 pm

Okay, I did my research:


I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said:—Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shatter’d visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamp’d on these lifeless things,
The hand that mock’d them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
“My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!”
Nothing beside remains: round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

Osymandias” from Wikipedia…this poem, written by Percy Bysshe Shelley, deals with the arrogance of power.  It’s perfect for Veidt, the ‘smartest man in the world,’ especially the line, “My name is Ozymandias, king of kings…”  I do give Moore kudos for the amount of research (or maybe’s it’s just previously gathered and mentally catalogued factoids, I don’t know) that goes into his character development.

Furthermore… “Archimedes“- Dan(a.k.a. Nite Owl)’s flying saucer’s name.  Again, according to Wikipedia, Archimedes was one of the three most influential mathematicians of all time.  Archimedes had a thing for circles.  His death (purportedly) came about because a Roman soldier interrupted his contemplations of a mathematical drawing in the sand, so Archimedes said, “don’t disturb my circles,” and the soldier killed him.  On his tombstone they put his favorite mathematical diagram (because we all have one of those), a sphere inside of a cylinder of the same height and volume.  He was also accredited with running about the streets shouting ‘Eureka!’ after he used a bath to discover density.

Okay, enough research.  This time I was able to recognize a number of structural keys within the text.  One that was very interesting was the parallelism of the beginning and end of a number of chapters.  For example, Chapter 5 begins and ends with a building’s sign, which looks like ЯR  with Xbones beneath it.  Interestingly (but certainly not coincidentally) enough, Rorschach uses a similar “R” reflection, though his is lower case(.דr.) (Chapter 5, page 3).  Chapter 6 parallels the beginning and the end with Rorschach ink blots, Chapter 7 uses the reflective eyes/goggles theme, and Chapter 8 begins and ends with the statue of the golden masked avenger.

One of the most interesting parallels for me was the silhouettes of couples, beginning (and continuing, with the addition of others) with the “Hiroshima Lovers.”  The “Hiroshima Lovers,” as Rorschach titles them, can be found: (Ch.5-pg. 11) (Ch.5-18) (Ch.5-23) (Ch.6-27).  However, they are also joined by two other silhouettes, Chapter 6, page 3, the silhouette of Rorschach’s mother and a customer, as well as Chapter 7, page 27, where we see Dan and Laurie.  Now, for the connection– Rorschach states that the Hiroshima Lovers are “trying inadequately to console one another” (Chapter 6, page 27) because, obviously, there is going to be a huge explosion and the world as they know it will end.  When Rorschach comes upon the silhouettes of his mother and her client, it is a situation in which both are trying to find something in the other, and their exposure leads to a fight.  When we see the silhouettes of Dan and Laurie (Ch. 7, pg. 27), it is followed immediately by an explosion (obviously meant to signify Dan’s conquering of his impotence, but also part of a larger commentary).  So that’s it.  Judging by the blood, desperation of the people, and the quickened ticking of the doomsday clock, I’m going to guess that this world is going to be ending soon.  Good thing Dr. Manhattan’s got his home on Mars.



  1. Thanks for the research, Esther! This is great stuff. I can always come to you for enlightenment. (Oh, and you mean you DON’T have a favorite mathematical diagram?)

    Seriously, I’m especially interested in the image of the “Hiroshima Lovers.” I like the way they keep reappearing in every situation, the ghost of love annihilated and unrealized.

    I had more of a fatalist view than you regarding Dan’s dream though. (You know I love how ouur ideas build on each other.)I guess I saw that the nuclear blast meant nothing fruitful could come from Dan’s lust – even in dreams. Conversely, Dan does “get it on” rather successfully in real life – with flame throwing ejaculation and all. (Go Dan!) It’s like he required the actual “wearing” of the costume to make things… umm… heat up, so to speak.

    This, for me, tied into the whole idea of realizing identity beyond genetic make-up and environmental influence. The idea of fertility/productivity is all about two wholes producing another whole. If Dan was feeling kind of “half,” or impotent, he wasn’t being productive in society. Making a choice, taking a stand, and living his dream… this makes him whole, fruitful, and apparently “hot.”

    Do you get the feeling that we need a heroic theme song here?

    Go Dan! Go Dan! Go Dan!

    Comment by atticfox — February 18, 2007 @ 6:11 pm

  2. Esther

    Thanks for doing that research, those things you found really help make sense of some of the reading. Also, thanks for explaining the relevance of the silhouette figures. After I had finished reading, I was confused as to what they were supposed to mean.

    Comment by ryancallander — February 18, 2007 @ 8:01 pm

  3. Hey Esther,
    Really great research! Thanks for that, it definitely helped out a lot when I was reading.

    I agree with the parallels, I found that the most interesting. It was weird how at first Rorschach didn’t want to admit what he was truly seeing in the ink blots, then all of a sudden he just freaked the doctor out because he began to explain what he was really seeing.. which wasn’t a pretty picture. I also saw a lot of parallels between chapters 4 and 9 which I thought was cool!

    Comment by joei5 — February 18, 2007 @ 8:23 pm

  4. I was perusing the posts from last time to find one that I really wanted to comment on. Good prediction on the end of the world. I like the linking of the explosions- extremely comical and insightful. I’ll pat you on the back next time I see you. I wanted to ask you about the Ozymandias sonnet. I also did some research. Did you come across anything about the irony in the poem? Anything about his destruction? I read an analysis of the poem, but has a hard time drawing anything conclusive from it. His power today lives on through artists and poets. Even though he is gone his reign lives on. Something new is created from something old. Nostagia.

    Comment by bastianm — February 20, 2007 @ 11:44 pm

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