A Short Analysis of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’

Three weeks in already! For those of you returning, welcome back. This week’s serving will be a bit on the lighter side due to school and the fact that I was not most impressed by my writing in my last blog post. Due to how complicated and diverse of a character Elizabeth is, I feel as if for the purpose of the second part I should actually replay the damn game instead of relying on my memory. Expect it sometime in the next month, as BioShock Infinite is quite a lengthy game (especially with its DLC added into the equation as well).

As for today, I will be cheating a little. Earlier this year in my English Honours class, our teacher got us to analyse a song or poem of our choosing. The kicker? Only one-half of a page, and of course my temptation and ambition got out of hand. I chose the worst choice possible: Bohemian Rhapsody. Personally my favourite song by Queen, it speaks on multiple levels in such an artistically genius and varied way for a theme that may exist, yet perhaps the entire 6-minute bombast may actually mean nothing.

I should also clarify that I am well aware that this analysis does not live up or hold a candle to how amazing this song truly is, but there is only so much that can be said in half a page. Without further delay, here is the music video for the song. Enjoy!

The song ‘Bohemian Rhapsody” (written by Freddie Mercury) is both literally and figuratively an operatic suite in its presentation; its seemingly broken components tell an epic to the complex theme of suicide. Mercury opens the song by questioning if he is “caught in a landslide, [where there is] no escape from reality” (lines 3-4). The use of a capella creates a warped, dreamlike image where not even a trance can divert the struggle the speaker is going through, with the metaphorical landslide in his opposition. The song later transitions into a piano solo, where the speaker regretfully exclaims his suicide in a climactic and sorrowful tone, saying “[he’s] got to go, [leaving everyone] behind to face the truth” (lines 23-24). Alliteration emphasises this inevitable departure, while euphemism covers the mental instability of the speaker that is to unfold. The constant bantering of “Bismillah [(in the name of God)]! No, we will not let you go (Let him go!)” (line 40) may seem to be whimsical and comedic, yet the repetition of this line and the allusion to God reveals a strong desire of the speaker to both continue and end his life, with his mental pressure creating an endless battle against even faith. In all, this song perfectly captures its title: the Bohemian is one with an affinity for themself, and as a rhapsody they even have affection to ending their own life itself, yet the show must go on.

Mercury, Freddie. “Bohemian Rhapsody”. AZ Lyrics. Web. 7 Jan. 2016.

I hope you enjoyed this small slice of analysis for the week. Expect next week to be of a similar quantity, yet of different content on the contrary.

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