Sound in Film
Posted by: Write My Essay on: July 16, 2018


Sound is an integral part in a film. It refers to everything that the audience hears including sound effects, words and music. Sound is used in films for various purposes, including: providing the information to the viewer about the location of the scene, heightening the mood, telling the audience about the characters and advancing the plot. Every person who watches a film realizes that the choice of voices, soundtrack and music present in a film affect the way that the viewer perceives a particular film. As a result, the sound is an important and integral element of the film, one that determines the way that the viewer experiences and understands a film as a visual experience. The following discussion explores in depth the roles and importance of sound in a film, especially in terms of simulating reality, creating a mood and creating or adding something off the scene that is not there.


It’s important to mention at this juncture that there are two categories of sound in film: Non-Diegetic and Diegetic sounds. Non-diegetic sound refers to all the audio elements in a film that are coming from outside the world that the viewer is seeing on screen, including the sound effects such as screeches in a shower scene and music from a store. Diegetic sound refers to the audio elements coming from sources inside the fictional world on the screen and may include footsteps, slamming doors and dialogue from the characters on screen.

Shaping Film through Sound Effects

Sound effects in a film can be used by the filmmaker to add mood or a certain atmosphere to the film by the creation of a soundscape that adds a layer of meaning to the images on the screen. According to Rothbart (2013), volume, tempo and pitch in a film may be altered so as to indicate how the filmmaker intends the audience to respond to a particular noise in a particular scene (Rothbart, 2013). For example, high pitched sounds such as squealing of tires and human screams help in the creating of a sense of anxiety.

On the other end, a low-pitched sound such as the swinging of a door or the sound made by waves may be used to create a sense of mystery or calm. Moreover, sometimes, the most interesting sound in a film is the absence of it. Silence is often used by the filmmaker in the same manner as freezing a frame. This has the effect of attracting and suspending the attention of the viewer there in order to signify a change in the direction of the plot or highlight some action. In some circumstances, silence may be used to foreshadow impending doom or build up intensity.

In recent years, aided by advancement in Information Technology, special sound effects have been added in order to heighten the viewer’s experience as Sergi (2004) observes (Sergi, 2004). These sounds include phaser blasts, explosions and animal sounds from sound effect libraries in the computer. They are added after a movie has already been shot. The use of these sounds has tended to draw the viewer’s attention towards the movie sound especially with the advancement in surround sound, thereby leading to the development of a directional element of sound. This has especially been important in creation of a sense of three-dimensional in a film.

How the Spoken Word Contributes to the Shaping Of a Film

On top of giving voice to the characters in film, the most interesting ways the spoken words have shaped movies is through the provision of subtext in scenes and voice-overs. Typically, voice-overs are used in documentary films and occasionally in fictional films. The voice-overs are used by the filmmaker to provide background to the story and also to move the story from one event to another. If used well, this device can add to the movie experience. However, if used poorly, they can be obstructive and limit viewers’ freedom (Sergi, 2004)). As a result, some filmmakers prefer not to use this element so as to give viewers freedom in determining the meaning of a film.
Turning to subtexts, when included in a film, they help in revealing the implicit meaning behind the language that the audience actually hears. This element is especially left to actors to shape a scene without actually saying what one means. For example, John Malkovich had an aloof and distant voice which helped in creating a sinister edge to his on-screen performances.

Shaping a Film through Music

Music is one of the most peculiar conventions in film. Taking a step back and thinking about it, nobody questions why music should be part of film because everyone has grown up with that idea that in a film, when two people are kissing, there should be some matching music in the background or in a war film, as a platoon is attacking a beach, a symphony music provides their inspiration for assault. In reality, nobody has a soundtrack to accompany their real-life actions, but in the films, the audience has come to expect this convention and indeed demand it (Beck & Grajeda, 2008).
In film, music has a wide application. The most common and often obvious is to guide the emotional response of the viewers. Music provides huge signposts and clues on what the filmmaker wants the audience to react to a certain scene. It’s no wonder that the audience was shocked in a 1971 film when Stanley Kubrick used the music “singing in the rain” as background music to a horrible rape scene in the film “A Clockwork Orange.” The audience was shocked because they did not expect that (Altman, 2004).

When used as a backdrop in the opening credits, music can be used as overture for a film. The theme music by John Williams, composed for “Star Wars” is a parodied and famous example that has set the benchmark towards this end. It’s brassy and has come to be associated with the opening scene of that film wherever it is heard. In other instances, the filmmaker uses music to foreshadow an upcoming event and this is particularly employed in horror films.


This paper has explored the role and importance of sound in film. As outlined, sound is composed of three major ingredients: music, sound effects and the human sound. The three are used by the filmmaker to produce the required emphasis and ultimately to create the desired effects in a film. As observed, sound in film is used to tell the viewer about the characters in the story, to create and heighten a specific mood, advance the plot and give information about the location of a specific scene. Sound is an integral part of the film and viewers have come to expect and demand a good mix of the three ingredients as part of a good film experience.


Altman, R. (2004). Silent film sound. New York: Columbia University Press.
Beck, J., & Grajeda, T. (2008). Lowering the boom: Critical studies in film sound. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.
Rothbart, P. (2013). The synergy of film and music: Sight and sound in five Hollywood films. Lanham, Md: Scarecrow Press.
Sergi, G. (2004). The dolby era: Film sound in contemporary Hollywood. Manchester [u.a.: Manchester Univ. Press.

Essay writing sample: Gilgamesh – The Fate of All Men
Posted by: Write My Essay on: May 14, 2018

The tensions in “Gilgamesh” between wildness and the entry of civilization is perceivable in relation to the story’s plot development, whereby one can appreciate similar pressure and its effect in today’s culture. For civilization to occur in a cultural concept, there have to be facilitative influences in the environment to allow the entry process to be seamless and accepted within society. In the reflection of the significance of characters in the “Gilgamesh” environment, the plot changes from the role of women and other significant contributors to societal norms and situation change over. Transformation, as visualized in this process, is thus discussed along with the dimensions of intensity, extent, and participation of social groupings.

In “Gilgamesh,” the position of each of the characters is oriented towards the interaction of new societal settings through civilization versus the retention of the existing state. Various situations illustrate the position of the central character culminating to his death as a sum of the initial statement towards the fate of all men. The tension in this setting, in the capacity expressed by the Sumerians, not only relates to the cultural situation of the characters, but it also captures the two heroes in the setting, and in this way, integrates social surroundings into the tale to enhance it.

The modern day depictions of such experiences in literature and societal interactions display similar handling of tension not only within the concept of society but also as a human trait of communication. Similarly, Sumerians illustrate ancient dealings concerning the interest of culture and persons in positions of leadership. The integration of heroes and death in the overall theme of the fate of men captures the real intent of the entire tale, to reflect the culture of this community. The story expresses the position of characters such as Gilgamesh and Enkidu in the context of the tension between conflict and development of tension. Inasmuch as these concepts appreciate the level of interest of cultural contexts in the ancient setting, it is possible to identify differences in expression of the emergence of characters as significant contributors to the transformation of civilization as in the case of the Sumerians.

Illustration of the story using the transformation of a community through civilization facilitates the development of a plot in a similar context as observable in contemporary culture and literal expressions of these cultures. The factual state of these expressions captures the status of the participants in the tension between the interests of the Sumerians, which allowed the growth of civilization as compared to the collapse of wildness. Heroism also advances a similar position of the context of civilization, since the heroes who emerge (Gilgamesh and Enkidu) are the facilitators of this development (Vulpe 279). Also, the is the idea of a comparison of the civilized versus the uncivilized in the context of the death of the central character. The fusion of the concept of death as a contributor to advancing sociocultural perceptions and tension and as an advancement of civilization within this community also adds to the process in the story (Vulpe 277). Each of the two approaches for civilization interact on a powerful sense and in this way allows the reader to appreciate the parallels position of characters including heroes, women, and religious belief in the observation of the concerns of the community of the ancient Sumerians.

In the overall sense, the position of partnerships between Gilgamesh and Enkidu involve both a complimentary and oppositely position enhancing the tension. In the developing of the plot, one may recognize the significance of social concepts in facilitating the entry of civilizations to the ancient Sumerian community. Therefore, to appreciate a similar position of social tension in modern literature, it is important to identify the protagonists and assess their significance towards cultural transformation. This also applies in similar context towards the position of cultural advancement in modern day civilization. One may assume that their community supports similar approaches in civilization and development of existing civilizations. In this way, the position of cultural context in affecting transformation as observed in the Sumerian setting may work in similar ways. Tension not only facilitates the development of cultural change, but it may also form the basis of civilization of entire communities as within this story.    

On the other hand, the discussion of the role of women in the epic and their interactions with the plot in “Gilgamesh” covers the necessity of cultural significance of this role and its importance in the development of factual events in our culture. The participation of various women in different capacities offers the analyst the platform for the analytical consideration of Ishtar, Ninsun, and Enkidu’s position in the entire interaction (Mason 19-21). Activities not only present a contradictory position for the reader, but they also enhance the position of each character in ways that engage the story with more possibilities for plot and the moderation of the concepts of culture and civilization. 

The view expressed by Ishtar in possession of power in some situations and its incapability in others is a symbolic position of women within settings where their ability is insufficient in transforming their environments. Ishtar cannot call down the Bull of Heaven herself, and has to call upon a higher male power to perform in her capacity since she falls short (Mason 44). It is possible to consider the role of the woman in this setting of literal derivation as a limited being, which can be reflected in cultural typecasts in society. The woman in power is still deemed to be limited in acting in specific situations and must depend on male influence to capture full capacity of leadership as in Ishtar’s case as a goddess.  Also, it is possible to consider a parallel comparison of a woman in a leadership position who compares in capacity to her mistakes with Ishtar’s interactions with lovers. She, therefore, fits the profiled typecast of being a civilizer and a sexually perverse character. The comparability of her character with the idealized setting where women in power find themselves in draws from societal perceptions towards women.

In similar capacity, it is possible to consider Ninsun (Gilgamesh’s mother) as a contributor to civilization as compared to other members of the cultural position of the Sumerians is momentous. Inasmuch as she decides to go below her goddess state and marry, her input towards the transformation of societal perspectives in this scenario is in the oppression of norms (Mason 24). Regardless of the social perception she creates (as a fool), she still facilitates the entire process and contributes a noteworthy role to the progression of the story. Her role, towards the formulation of cultural dynamics in this setting, are therefore an inspiration by a lack of societal transformation to which she introduced civility and modernism in social philosophy state.

The idea of the comparison of civilization versus the uncivilized captures the participation of temple priestesses on varying capacity. Their contribution is not in a generalized setting since they take a dynamic position in the entire setting, on both the sides of civilization and uncivilized community. The interest of each of these persons in contributing towards the enlightenment process falls either in the ‘prostitutes’ of ‘civilizers’ within the script, which illustrates the position of women in the society in the development of shared ideals and cultural ideologies (Mason 22-24). Since the society classifies the women in positions as sacred (priestesses in this case) within strictly defined titles, there are fewer roles for one to fit. In this epic, the apparels observable towards other literature is the advocating for alignment of ideals. This means that a female character is either a proponent or as antagonists and cannot fill other capacities simply because their position is defined from the beginning.

Such roles are comparable to the position offered to men such as Enkidu, who is a dynamic male character adopting several positions in the development of the story. In comparison, male characters in this and other literatures are not only a positive influence on the female, but they also enforce the positive model within the story. Enkidu functions as a curse and blessing towards the priestesses and the woman involved in his civilization process. The Society also subscribes to the conception of limiting female actors and judging them when they do not act as expected of them (Mason 27). Ninsun undergoes such judgment, which makes it difficult for one to sway from their intended purpose without gaining the label of a failure. A comparison of Ninsun’s position and Gilgamesh’s failures allows one to identify the reduced position of women towards acting in society whereas their male equivalents enjoy better socio-cultural attitudes. 

In conclusion, it is possible to postulate the relation of the entire epic to societal norms and question the truth of the whole script and the script that society subscribes to. Based on discussions on the necessity of appreciating the position of women on a more tolerant approach, it appeals to both culture and literature. Since these concepts cannot relate directly to the interests of the societal orientation of all communities, one must appreciate their significance in their cultural setting. This means that the concepts expressed by this entire script are only functional within one’s environment depending on the cultural and social ideals in one’s community. On the other hand, it is possible to summarize the process of tensions between wildness and civilization in the epic on the basis of current cultural contexts. Comparison to other literature and cultures have revealed the necessity of change within civilization and the participation of social and cultural ideologies. The heroes in the story, as a realistic depiction of an ancient society, relate largely to modern tales of tension and conflict in society.

Works Cited

Mason, Herbert. Gilgamesh: A Verse Narrative. Houghton Mifflin, 2003.

Vulpe, Nicola. “Irony and the Unity of the Gilgamesh Epic.” Journal of Near Eastern Studies, vol. 53, no 4, 1994, pp. 275-283.

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