The Blue Angel Student’s name

Institutional Affiliation:
The Blue Angel is a title given to a film. This is a film directed by
Josef von Sternberg and starring Marlene Dietrich, Emil Jannings and
Kurt Gerron. This film is written by Karl Vollmoller, Robert Liebmann
and Carl Zuckmayer. The film is based on a novel by Heinrich Mann. This
film generally provides information on how a professor who was
respectable went down to being a cabaret clown. The novel, therefore,
explains how the life of this individual changed. It not only changed,
but did not change for the better rather it changed in a negative
This paper, seeks to provide information on the fall of Professor Rath
in Sternberg’s film. The downfall of this professor is one thing which
makes the plot of the story. Identify and analyze at least three motifs
which symbolize Professor Rath’s downfall in von Sternberg’s film
The Blue Angel. This is the main question which this paper seeks to
answer. There are various instances showing the downfall of the
mentioned professor, which will be discussed.
The first instant which shows Professor Rath’s fall is when he falls
under the spell of a girl. The girl in this case is named Lola Lola. The
professor is in the course of reprimanding any students he finds in a
local club when he falls under this spell. In this case, it is quite
clear that the professor is not in a position to stand by his words. He
is a respected person, expected to do honorable things, but at this
point he does the opposite(Ryan, 2013). Lola Lola is a local dancer, a
position which the professor is expected to view as low for him. It is
astonishing to many individuals because this is what they least expect
from him. To the Professor, the lady looks more carnal and fleshier.
This is one phrase meant to say that the Professor has lust. The
appearance of the lady is what makes him fall under the spell where he
even goes ahead and marries her. Looking at the way she appeared and
admiring her was understandable because any man would like a woman who
has dressed up in a smart and attractive manner. To go ahead and marry
her is another thing altogether. As an honorable high school professor,
individuals expect him to make the best choice and not a dancer in a
local club. Generally, what the professor engages in is what is least
expected of him in accordance with his professional position.
The other incident which portrays his downfall is when he decides to
drop his position and use his wife to obtain money, which enables him to
come up with a gambling establishment which is meant to settle his score
with the society. A professor is an individual who is expected to use
his respectable post and do more for the purpose of retaining this
position and even helping other individuals in the society. This is
actually the opposite as is seen in Professor Rath in the film. He
resigns from his position, something which amazes many people (Ryan,
2013). Acquiring such a position requires efforts and many individuals
who get a chance to become one make certain that they do their best to
retain their titles. In this case, it is clearly seen that he cares
less. To have such a reputable position should make him different from
the other members of the society. He is supposed to be different in the
way he does things as well as how he relates to other individuals in the
society. In the film, however, everything is different because the
Professor is not acting any better than the regular citizens who do not
posses such positions. In fact, many people are wondering what is it
that is leading him to making some decisions such as resigning from an
honorable post and get into gambling.
The last instance showing the downfall of Professor Rath in The Blue
Angel, is corruption (Ryan, 2013). Running a gambling house makes him to
change is behavior. As a professor, he is expected to act as an example
to other people in the society. By this it means that he has to be
loyal, relate well with others and help in fighting corruption. This is
not the case when it comes to looking at Professor Rath. He is at the
forefront of engaging in corruption instead of fighting it. He is
involved in gambling, an activity which is actually considered illegal
and uncalled for. This actually makes many people not to understand the
type of man he is. The sad thing is that after engaging in all these
activities especially gambling, he ends up being mad and eventually
dies. This gives a clear impression that the Professor ended up digging
his own grave. This is because he had a respectable position but does
not use it as expected, instead he goes against rules and regulations
set for people in such positions and becomes worse than a citizen who
does not have such a reputable position. He misuses this golden chance
where he ends up not benefiting rather he loses everything including his
own life.
Generally, there are various things leading to the downfall of Professor
Rath in the film. As a professor, he is expected to be intelligent.
Looking at his actions, they do not match those of a learned and
honorable person. His actions and thoughts on the film are seen to be
slowed down as well as laborious. Actually the character he displays in
one which is least expected from individuals holding professors’
title. This is the main reason for his downfall.
Ryan, D. S. (2013). The Blue Angel- The Life and Films of Marlene
Dietrich. United Kingdom. Kozmik Press.