Woody Allen's film, Offences and Misdemeanors, explores the several techniques ethics play in the interior workings of the individuals mind. Throughout the film, the audience witnesses the tasks that ethics play in the lives of five different men: Judah Rosenthal, an effective ophthalmologist; Clifford Stern, a struggling documentary filmographer; Lester, a famous developer; Ben, a rabbi whose sense of perception is beginning to fail; and Louis Levy, a philosophical theorist. By the end of the film, each personality demonstrates, through his words and activities, how his own system of ethics influences the options he makes in life.
The film's first central character to be released is Judah Rosenthal, a successful ophthalmologist who seems to be living a perfect life; he's rich, successful, and lives with a caring better half. However, despite how he has everything that could relatively lead to a happy life, he remains stressed by his immoral affair with Dolores Paley, a lonesome woman whom he attained years ago. Despite how he were able to keep his affair a key, Judah realizes that his success is devote danger as Dolores begins to pressure him to make their marriage open public. She threatens that unless Judah fulfills her wishes, she'd jeopardize him exposing his shady financial trades and their scandalous affair to the general public, including to his wife and friends. Judah must now decide that is finally an ethical issue: he could either do the "right" thing by confessing his misdeed and expect the best, which could mean probably ruining everything he's performed for, or he could save himself the difficulty by hiring his brother Jack to find you to definitely murder Dolores also to bring to an end all of his troubles. Though he initially hesitates to do so, Judah ultimately decides the latter, thinking that life is "harsh and unfilled of values" and that the murdering of Dolores is the only path he is able to save himself. As the film progresses, it is revealed that Judah believes that we reside in a cool world, where there is absolutely no God on whom we can research to. He states that, "God is an extravagance that [he] can't manage, " and unveils that he would ultimately choose never to confess and beg his partner for forgiveness. In his sight, such mercy does not exist; he thinks that, in the "real world, " one should do whatever needs doing to achieve pleasure and success because there is no higher power to maintain justice. In addition, one must fend for himself and separately determine what is right, what's wrong, and what is best for him. This honest system, which prioritizes self-preservation, is exactly what ultimately causes Judah to murder Dolores. On the other hand, Ben, the rabbi, at one point expresses that Judah maintains a "spark of [moral] idea" profound inside. This notion, that leads him to learn in his center the morality of his actions, is what causes him to be anxious and anxious; it is what reminds him that "Dolores is not only an insect" that they can "step on. " Judah conclusively chooses to murder Dolores, but attempts to justify his activities because acted utilizing a utilitarian rationale, safeguarding his success and doing what is best for the most people. In the end, Judah's decisions and his moral rationale, which stresses self-preservation, have their root base in his view of the life as being cold and harsh.
A character which has a small, but important, role in the film is Ben the rabbi. He will serve somewhat as a foil to Judah: as a man of faith, he feels that the earth is a lawful and caring place. He thinks that the world has "a moral composition, with real so this means,  and an increased vitality. " Without this framework, the world could have "no basis to reside in. " Hence, it becomes visible that Ben lives his life according to his system of ethics, which revolves around his beliefs in the omniscient God. The options he makes present no problem for him because he sets all of his beliefs and trust in a universe that is caring and lawful. When he counsels Judah, he simply tells him that he must simply accept life as it is provided because God will eventually justify everything in the foreseeable future. The actual fact that Ben is bodily blind has some symbolic relevance: he disregards the wickedness and darkness of the world and blindly trusts his beliefs.
Despite the actual fact that his blind trust may be mistaken, Ben "accepts God over fact" and is convinced that it'll lead to "a better life than all those that hesitation. "
The film's second central figure is Clifford Stern, a struggling documentary filmmaker. Clifford is also a virtuous man, but in another type of manner. Instead of putting all of his trust into one entity or idea, like Ben, Clifford lives by his own conditions. He chooses for himself what is right or wrong by examining the consequences an action has on the entire world. He spends his time considering the consequences that his words and activities will lead to as opposed to the contentment or success to come. That is demonstrated through the manner in which Clifford creates his documentaries: he targets material that he sees as significant, such as air pollution, cancer, and idea, rather than wanting to earn an instant buck simply by doing what other demand of him. Though Clifford's caring passion for Halley Reed despite his marriage may be seen as being immoral, it is ethically suitable in his point of view because not only he knows that he and his better half are bound to be divorced, but also because he is trying to find real love with Halley, a pursuit that he considers to be always a fundamental facet of life. It becomes evident that Clifford is an idealist; he is always looking for so this means in both his documentaries and his life, and this ultimately serves as the basis of what he sees as right and incorrect. Clifford remains steadfast in his moral beliefs despite how they may stop him from obtaining what he needs most. For instance, he makes Lester show up absurd and shallow in his biographical documentary of him despite how it could have brought Clifford popularity and success. Despite how the film closes with Clifford feeling dejected, he's still portrayed as a man of virtue who remains steadfast in his system of ethics.
The film's foil to Clifford is a character named Lester, a famous Hollywood manufacturer.
His system of ethics mainly relies on whatever makes him the most successful and happy. To Lester, whatever bring the most satisfaction is "right" while whatever brings failing is "wrong. " As a result, Lester does whatever he pleases and appears to completely ignores the moral aspect of things. That is particularly the reason why Lester is portrayed to be crude, arrogant, and womanizing. Additionally, Lester is the complete contrary of Clifford as it pertains to the significance of the material he produces-he only cares about the ratings because they'll grant him wealth, popularity, and "a closet packed with Emmys. " Lester's shallow demeanor can be further seen in his seemingly only moral question in the film when he asks, "Am I a phony?" Immediately, however, he resolves the troubling though by thinking that others are merely jealous of him, and he proceeds to quickly just forget about it. The fact that Lester can quickly overlook the "troubling matter" aids the view that he's faced with relatively no inner discord scheduled to how he basically accepts what grants him happiness rather than actually considering the moral areas of his activities.
Another character in the film which has a unique ethical system that he abides by is Louis Levy, a philosopher that Clifford features in his documentaries. Levy uses love to assess whether something is right or incorrect. He states that only "love provides meaning to the indifferent universe. " He feels that life is merely a seek out the thing that allows us to survive the "indifferent world" and that the actions people take to attain it creates them who they are. But if love is not found and people believe that it "isn't worth it anymore, " people commence to feel an inner stress and pressure. This have difficulties was what led Levy to commit suicide or "go out the home window. "
Hence, by watching the actions and the words of the film's different character types, the different types of honest system and ways people evaluate right and wrong are uncovered. From an examination of each character's distinctive set of virtues and ideas of morality, the audience can comprehend the nature and the reasoning behind their decisions and activities.