Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Andrew Markinson, a key character in A Few Good Men, is an important figure within the military context of the play. He is a man plagued by his own internal demons, which ultimately lead him to play a pivotal role in the unfolding of the story’s events.
Throughout the narrative, Markinson struggles with his loyalty to the Marine Corps and his own moral compass, a tension that ultimately proves difficult to reconcile and has far-reaching consequences for the play’s other characters.
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Background and History
“A Few Good Men” is a popular play and film that features Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Andrew Markinson as a major character. The title of the play and film is based on a long-running recruiting campaign for the U.S. Marine Corps, which was “We’re looking for a few good men.”
The campaign was phased out through the 1980s with the famous slogan “The Few. The Proud.
The play “A Few Good Men” was written by Aaron Sorkin and debuted on Broadway in 1989. The play revolves around a murder trial of a Marine Corps member and explores themes of honor, loyalty, and integrity.
The film adaptation of the play was directed by Rob Reiner and released in 1992. The film features famous actors such as Tom Cruise, Demi Moore, and Jack Nicholson.
The movie follows the plot of the play closely with some minor differences, but it still resonates with the audience and is considered a classic legal drama film.
The famous line “You can’t handle the truth!” was said by Jack Nicholson’s character in the film. This line is considered one of the most memorable movie quotes of all time.
Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Andrew Markinson is a complex character with many layers. At first, he appears to be a by-the-book military man, strictly adhering to the chain of command and the Marine Corps’ values.
However, as the story progresses, we see glimpses of a more emotional side and a man who is struggling with the morality of his actions.
Markinson is portrayed as loyal to his superiors, especially to Colonel Nathan R. Jessep, whom he considers a mentor figure. His loyalty, however, is tested when he starts to question the orders given to him and the actions of Jessep and his men.
Markinson is conflicted between his duty to follow orders and his conscience, especially when he realizes the implications of the orders given to him.
Markinson is not afraid to speak up when he sees something wrong, even if it means going against his superiors. He is not a coward and faces the consequences of his actions, even if it means putting his career and reputation at risk.
Markinson is a man of integrity and honor, and he ultimately chooses to do the right thing, even if it means betraying his comrades and facing the consequences.
Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Andrew Markinson is a major character in the play and movie adaptation of A Few Good Men. His relationships with the other characters are crucial to the plot.
He is initially portrayed as willing to do whatever it takes to protect his fellow Marines, which puts him at odds with the protagonist, Lieutenant Daniel Kaffee. Markinson’s interactions with Kaffee reveal his conflicted feelings about his role in covering up the death of Private Santiago, which ultimately leads to his suicide.
In addition to Kaffee, Markinson also interacts with Colonel Nathan Jessup, who he initially believes is a friend and ally. However, Jessup’s true colors are revealed when he orders Markinson’s death in order to prevent him from testifying in court.
Markinson’s relationship with Santiago is also explored through flashbacks, which reveal that he had grown close to the young Marine and was deeply troubled by his death.
Role in the Plot
Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Andrew Markinson, played by actor J.T. Walsh, is a significant character in the story of A Few Good Men. Markinson is a member of the United States Marine Corps and serves as the Executive Officer at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base.
He becomes involved in a court-martial case against two Marines, Lance Corporal Harold W. Dawson and Private First Class Louden Downey, who are accused of murdering a fellow Marine. Markinson appears to be hesitant in supporting the prosecution and expresses his desire to transfer out of Guantanamo Bay.
His reluctance and subsequent disappearance add complexities to the case and shape the outcome of the story.
Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Andrew Markinson is a major character in the play A Few Good Men and the movie adaptation of the play. J.T. Walsh’s portrayal of Markinson in the movie had a significant impact on the audience’s perception of the character.
Walsh’s performance as Markinson was nuanced and complex, and the actor imbued the character with a sense of sadness and regret. Markinson, who is torn between his duty and his conscience, is a sympathetic character in Walsh’s hands.
His quiet moments of reflection and introspection reveal a man struggling with the weight of his decisions.
Walsh’s portrayal of Markinson showcases his range as an actor, and highlights his ability to bring depth and complexity to his characters. Although Markinson is not the film’s main protagonist, Walsh’s performance made him one of its most memorable characters.
The use of film techniques in the movie adaptation of A Few Good Men helped enhance Markinson’s character and performance.
The movie adaptation of A Few Good Men relied heavily on certain cinematic techniques to convey the story effectively. One of the main characters in the movie is Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Andrew Markinson, who went to great lengths to cover up a murder that had happened on his watch.
To help build his character, the filmmakers used specific techniques that helped the audience understand Markinson’s motivation.
For instance, the use of close-up shots helped capture Markinson’s troubled emotions and inner turmoil. There are multiple scenes in the movie where the camera zooms in on Markinson’s face, allowing the audience to see the guilt and conflict he is experiencing.
In one scene, Markinson confides in Kaffee, characterizing his motives for the cover-up as an attempt to protect his superior officers.
The use of lighting and color also helped to build Markinson’s character and set the mood for the movie. Many of the scenes that feature Markinson are shot in dimly lit, shadowy settings.
This lighting can often symbolize the character’s conflicted mindset. Additionally, the color palette used in these scenes is often muted or lacking vibrancy, creating an atmosphere of gloom and unease.
Finally, the pacing and editing of the movie help to convey Markinson’s story in an effective way. The filmmakers use flashbacks and juxtaposition to help create a clearer picture of what happened and how all the characters are connected.
The pacing of the movie is slow and methodical, emphasizing the gravity of the situation and the emotional weight of the characters’ decisions.
In conclusion, the cinematic techniques used in the movie adaptation of A Few Good Men helped to create a complex and multi-dimensional character in Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Andrew Markinson. The use of close-ups, lighting, color, and editing helped convey Markinson’s motivation and inner conflict while also setting the overall mood of the movie.
Symbolism and Themes
In the play and movie adaptation of “A Few Good Men,” Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Andrew Markinson serves as a crucial character in conveying thematic and symbolic meanings.
Markinson’s character embodies the theme of engagement, as he is initially reluctant to testify against his superiors but ultimately chooses to do the right thing. His internal struggles and eventual decision to put the truth above his loyalty speak to the idea of personal integrity and the difficult choices that come with it.
Moreover, Markinson represents the consequences of blind obedience to authority. His suicide, brought on by the guilt of his involvement in a cover-up, highlights the dangers of following orders without questioning their morality and legality.
In terms of symbolism, Markinson’s character is linked to the Marine Corps recruitment campaign that produced the play’s title. The phrase “a few good men” is a nod to the ideals of bravery, loyalty, and honor that the military embodies.
However, Markinson’s tragic fate serves as a commentary on the realities of military life and the corruption that can exist within it.
Overall, Markinson’s role in the story adds depth and complexity to the play’s themes of morality, justice, and the power dynamics between individuals and institutions.
The Reality Behind the Fiction
The portrayal of military officials and culture in A Few Good Men is both accurate and exaggerated. While the character of Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Andrew Markinson is entirely fictional, the film’s depiction of military hierarchy and the intense pressure placed on soldiers to follow orders is rooted in reality.
The title itself, “A Few Good Men,” is taken from a real-life U.S. Marine Corps recruiting campaign that ran for many years. This campaign emphasized the need for strong, dedicated soldiers to join the military and do their duty, despite the many sacrifices that might be required of them.
The film’s portrayal of Markinson, in particular, illustrates the difficult position that many people in leadership roles face in the military. Markinson is portrayed as a man with a strong sense of honor and duty, but he is also struggling with personal demons that make it difficult for him to carry out his responsibilities.
This struggle ultimately leads him to take his own life.
While the film’s portrayal of military officials may be somewhat exaggerated for dramatic effect, it does highlight the many challenges faced by those in leadership roles, both in the military and in other fields. The film also explores themes of loyalty, integrity, and the importance of standing up for what is right, even in the face of overwhelming pressure to do the opposite.
To get a better sense of the realities faced by those in the military, it is important to look beyond the portrayal of fictional characters like Markinson and take a closer look at the experiences of real soldiers. With that in mind, there are many excellent books and documentaries available that offer insights into various aspects of military life, from training and combat to family life and the challenges of returning to civilian society.
Legacy and Impact
The portrayal of Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Andrew Markinson’s character has left a lasting impression on audiences of A Few Good Men, both in the play and movie adaptation. Markinson’s engagement in the plot and the story’s central conflicts showcased his leadership skills, and also highlighted his struggle with a moral dilemma.
His interaction with other characters, including his withdrawal from the military, added layers to his personality and made him a memorable character.
- A Few Good Men (1992)
- A Few Good Men (Film by Reiner) – Britannica
- Review/Film; The Last Truth-Teller: ‘A Few Good Men'</a