Tropes in "Black Panther"

About this sample

About this sample


Words: 642 |

Page: 1|

4 min read

Published: Mar 16, 2024

Words: 642|Page: 1|4 min read

Published: Mar 16, 2024

The film Black Panther, directed by Ryan Coogler, has been widely acclaimed for its groundbreaking representation of Black culture and its exploration of complex themes such as power, identity, and tradition. At the heart of the film’s success lies the use of tropes, which are recurring themes or motifs that are employed to convey deeper meaning and resonate with the audience. In this essay, I will explore the various tropes used in Black Panther and their significance in shaping the narrative and the characters.

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One of the most prominent tropes in Black Panther is the trope of the hero’s journey. This trope is a common narrative pattern in which a protagonist embarks on a transformative quest that leads to personal growth and self-discovery. In Black Panther, T’Challa, the titular character, undergoes a classic hero’s journey as he grapples with the responsibilities of being the king of Wakanda and the Black Panther. The film follows T’Challa as he faces numerous challenges and adversaries, ultimately emerging as a stronger and more enlightened leader. This trope not only serves to drive the plot forward but also underscores the themes of duty, honor, and sacrifice that are central to the film.

Furthermore, Black Panther incorporates the trope of the outsider as a catalyst for change. Throughout the film, the character of Erik Killmonger, portrayed by Michael B. Jordan, serves as a powerful outsider who disrupts the status quo in Wakanda. Killmonger’s outsider status is emphasized by his American upbringing and his radically different worldview, which challenges the traditional values of Wakanda. This trope not only adds complexity to the character of Killmonger but also raises thought-provoking questions about identity, belonging, and the consequences of isolationism.

Another significant trope in Black Panther is the trope of the duality of human nature. T’Challa and Killmonger are portrayed as two sides of the same coin, eming contrasting ideologies and approaches to leadership. T’Challa represents the virtues of tradition, diplomacy, and unity, while Killmonger advocates for radical change, revolution, and retribution. This duality serves as a powerful commentary on the complexities of human nature and the moral ambiguity of power. By juxtaposing these two characters, the film invites the audience to question their own beliefs and values, challenging them to consider the nuances of right and wrong.

In addition to these tropes, Black Panther also utilizes the trope of the hidden world. The fictional nation of Wakanda is depicted as a technologically advanced and culturally rich society that has remained hidden from the rest of the world for centuries. This trope of the hidden world not only adds an element of mystery and wonder to the film but also functions as a metaphor for the unexplored potential and hidden strengths within marginalized communities. The revelation of Wakanda’s true nature serves as a powerful moment of empowerment and liberation, challenging the audience to reconsider their preconceived notions about African nations and cultures.

Moreover, Black Panther incorporates the trope of the reluctant leader. T’Challa initially grapples with self-doubt and uncertainty as he assumes the throne of Wakanda, struggling to reconcile his personal desires with his responsibilities as a leader. This trope humanizes T’Challa, making him a relatable and empathetic protagonist who must confront his own weaknesses and insecurities. By portraying the protagonist as a reluctant leader, the film subverts traditional expectations of heroism and emphasizes the internal struggles that accompany the burden of leadership.

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Black Panther masterfully employs a variety of tropes to craft a rich and multifaceted narrative that resonates with audiences on a profound level. The use of tropes such as the hero’s journey, the outsider as a catalyst for change, the duality of human nature, the hidden world, and the reluctant leader contributes to the film’s thematic depth and emotional impact. By exploring these tropes, Black Panther not only entertains but also challenges and enlightens, cementing its status as a groundbreaking work of cinematic art.

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This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

Cite this Essay

Tropes in “Black Panther”. (2024, March 15). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 15, 2024, from
“Tropes in “Black Panther”.” GradesFixer, 15 Mar. 2024,
Tropes in “Black Panther”. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 15 Jul. 2024].
Tropes in “Black Panther” [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2024 Mar 15 [cited 2024 Jul 15]. Available from:
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