The Shawshank Redemption – Three Act Structure

The three-act structure can be applied to the film The Shawshank Redemption. Act I is the basic setup of the film where the main characters and the main story of the film is introduced. Act II is the part where the confrontation reaches its height. Act III consists of the resolution of the film.

In Act I of The Shawshank Redemption, the film starts off with the protagonist of the story named Andy Dufresne. The story starts with the trial of Andy who is accused of killing his wife and her lover. The film is set in motion when there is the flashback of Andy drinking in his car, who looks like he is about to kill his wife. He ended up with two lifetime prison sentences. I think that Andy planned his escape from the beginning when he asked Red for a rock hammer because he knew he would never be a free man again. There is also the presentation of how life is like in Shawshank prison, which Andy finds out that it is a very strict prison. The instigating event of the movie is if Andy hadn’t been found guilty in the trial, then none of the other events would have occurred.

In Act II the protagonist faces many obstacles. Some of the obstacles that Andy faced were fear of getting raped by The Sisters, he gets rejected for parole, and the antagonist, Warden Norton refused to let Andy be set free. The part where Andy’s had proof that he was innocent seemed like he was about to achieve his goal but that everything goes wrong when the warden shoots the guy who had proof that Andy was innocent. By the end of Act II, Andy is at his lowest point and the next event leads to the climax of the story.

In Act III, Andy makes his escape from Shawshank prison, which is the climax of the story. He was able to get his freedom and his friend Red was also able to get his freedom too. The story ends with the reunion of Andy and Red in Zihuatanejo, Mexico.

The Shawshank Redemption is one of my favorite movies because its main message is about hope. The things that Andy went through were very tough, yet he still had the will to break out of Shawshank. He was convicted for something that he didn’t do. He is surrounded by murders, rapists and thieves. He constantly had gotten beaten up by the guards. He did his best to bring hope into his inmates by treating them beers and he played Mozart so that everyone can hear the beautiful music so they can feel a moment of freedom. Andy could have had a comfortable life in prison but he didn’t settle for it. He knew what it truly meant to be free and he fought for it till the end.


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