The two main characters of The Prestige, Robert Angier and Alfred Borden, have a history that goes back to when they were just audience shills. An intense rivalry sparked between them after Angier suspected Borden of being responsible for the accidental death of his wife, Julia, during a live show. Though the two men stopped working together, they began competing for the title of “the greatest magician.” Throughout the movie, we see their obsession over beating each other’s magical performances lead to sacrificial acts. Angier and Borden made familial, personal, and financial sacrifices in order to attain respect and fame. According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, family, personal, and financial needs come before the need to achieve peers’ respect. Their obsessive and sacrificial behavior, and lack of ability to prioritize their needs, set them on the path to destruction. Angier and Borden both sacrifice their ties to their family for career success and fame. When Julia asks Angier why he changed his name, Angier says, “I promised my family I wouldn't embarrass them with my theatrical endeavors.” Angier sacrifices his family ties for a career that is obviously not looked upon with great respect in America. In Julia’s death, we can see that Angier is even willing to put his wife in danger to promote his career. Borden demonstrates the same willingness to sacrifice family by alienating his wife, Sarah, and lying to her about certain aspects of his personal life. Sarah tells Borden that she can’t live in their current situation. Borden says that they have everything they could ever want, what more could they possibly need? She says, “I want you to be honest with me. No tricks, no lies, no secrets.” Had Borden told her that it was Fallon, his twin brother, who was in love with Olivia, Sarah wouldn’t have committed suicide. Angier and Borden both demonstrate the willingness to sacrifice family ties in order to seek fame and glory. On...
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