The Conspirator Analysis

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The Conspirator written by James Solomon and directed by Robert Redford is the story of Mary Surratt’s trial and the legal system in 1865. Mary Surratt and seven men accused of conspiring with John Wilks Booth to kill President Lincoln was tried by a military tribunal instead of a jury of their peers. Four of the accused were convicted and hung and four were convicted of lesser crimes and sentenced to prison. Mary Surratt was the first female legally hung by the United States government. The government believed that Mary Surratt’s son was Booth’s right hand man but he had fled to Canada so they tried his mother for the crime instead. The conspirator is not just the story of Surratt’s trial and execution but also a story of a failed legal…show more content…
The Conspirator was written with an intended audience of people interested in history and the philosophy of historical events. The music was simple cords played to add drama and move the movie from scene to scene. Solomon stuck to the facts; the audience had to come up with our own conclusion of guilt or innocence. Solomon did not add a lot of unnecessary drama he did however add social events and dialog between the main players to give perspective on society’s beliefs and customs in 1865. The story is told from the perspective of Frederick Aiken, Surratt’s lawyer but we do not lose sight that the story is about Mary Surratt, the legal system and culture of the…show more content…
Surratt and her late husband were known to be southern sympathizers, which worked against her. As we have learned in our textbook, both northern and southern women were involved in the war efforts for their respective sides. That is not to say that Surratt was, just that it is possible that she helped hatch a plot. Over all I felt that the film did a good job of portraying a sense of historical time and place. Women dressed and acted as we have learned the woman of that social class would behave. Attitudes towards women, beliefs of the time, and social customs of the mid 1860’s are accurately portrayed. The double standards that women faced in society are shown in Mary’s inability to defend herself in court, women’s place at the social club, and women requiring chaperons in public. Women who had no men to protect them were at risk of predators even if the predator took the form of the federal government. I felt that the movie was both entertaining and

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