The Lawyer and Death
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For this screenplay, I have extracted what I consider to be the essence of the timeless Russian fairy tale "The Soldier and Death," and placed it in a modern context. This story of a man who tries to rise above his station in life and confront the very nature of reality has always been one of my favorite fairy tales. It is unfortunate that "The Soldier and Death" has not really entered the canon of traditional American fairy tales, and part of the reason I chose this particular story has its roots in my desire to help raise people's awareness of this rich and wonderful fable. By studying the fairy tale, cycling it through my consciousness, and reinterpreting it as an entirely new story, it is my hope to combine two often disparate aspects of the study of English: literary analysis and creative writing. My goal in doing this is to breath new life into a story that I feel still carries weight in contemporary culture; a tale that for all of its antiquity still has important things to say about the nature of our existence in the modern world. Whether or not I have accomplished this goal is a question that I must leave to the reader. While the majority of the story is my own invention, I have liberally appropriated essential plot elements and structural components from the fairy tale. Basically, this is not entirely my story, per se, as I have borrowed the heart and soul of its message from others. But then, those whom I have borrowed from didn't come up with it either, and neither did those that served as their sources. We are all just links in a long line of transmission with no discernible beginning and no foreseeable end. It is my privilege to take my place in this chain, and I can only hope that I have honored my predecessors by doing this story justice.