Essay on Charlie Chaplin

Topics: Charlie Chaplin, The Great Dictator, Modern Times Pages: 8 (2424 words) Published: March 31, 2010


When I decided to do my research on Charlie Chaplin, I thought that it would have been quite straightforward; my plan was to introduce his life and his career, finishing off with his accomplishments. However, as my research progressed, I came to realise that Charlie Chaplin is a man who cannot be put into a few words. My research opens up (brought me into) a whole new dimension of his intriguing life thus drawing me into his world. Hence, I became more and more interested in discovering the man behind the name. Therefore, I shall try my best to glorify this human being and talented actor who was adored throughout the ages. My presentation starts with a short / brief biography of Charlie Chaplin. Then, I will continue by describing his acting career which will later build up to the main characters that he interpreted. Finally, I will present to you the wonders of his great film: “The Great Dictator”.


Charles Spencer Chaplin was born on the 16th of April 1889 in East Street, Walworth, England.

His parents, both known music hall entertainers in England, divorced when he was young (around 1891). He stayed little in contact with his father. His father did not give much child support payments to his family. It was therefore up to his mother to financially support his older half-brother Sydney, Charlie Chapin and herself. Thus, he stayed quite attached to his mother. Without a father figure, he saw in his mother her determination and strength to carry on and not giving up on them by bringing them. On the other hand, his older half-brother Sydney proved to be a brother of a kind. He would be to thank later in life because he partly contributed to the early successes of Charlie Chaplin. There was a point when his mother’s willpower crumbled, she was sent into an asylum. Sydney and Charlie were both sent to Lambeth Union Workhouse (a place where abandoned children and orphans were sent) in 1896. Charlie Chaplin was then just aged seven. His mother came out of the asylum only to be admitted again a few years later. During this time, he went to live with his father and his step-mother but he preferred to live by himself, hiding during the day to avoid going to school and performing in musicals at night. At the age of ten, barely knowing how to read or write, he joined a group of clog dancers; this is one of the first signs showing that he was destined to continue in the artistic field. Indeed, within a few years Charlie would become one of the most popular child actors in England.

As a performer on stage, at each time it would take a few months for Chaplin to conquer hundreds of spectators. However, it was when he went back to Vaudeville acting (energetic multi-act theatre) that he discovered his talent for comic pantomime. For a few years, he would continue performing in Vaudeville. Then at the age of twenty, Charlie Chaplin went to the United States and performed with Frederich Karno, whom Sydney was working with and introduced Chaplin to Karno. He would soon be warmly welcomed by the American audience. There he started his career as the most famous comedian that ever lived.


At the age of ten he started performing in musicals. At the age of 24, he became worldwide famous.

In 1917, he began to become, thanks to his new found way of expression, the most famous comedian that the world has ever known. His films became more and more witty, vifs et apparemment désinvolte et de plus en plus travaillés. Charlie Chaplin wanted to explore and extend his talent of comic. He always wanted to do more, not only to please the public but also to convey the good heartedness of mankind – which was manifested in films like “City of Lights”, where love is the main subject of the film. He felt the need to talk about the dehumanisation of work in the film “Modern Times” and even more of the huge...
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