Catherine The Great: Ivan The Great, Ivan The Terrible

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Stalin’s admiration of the first tsar of the Russian Empire, Ivan the Terrible In the eighteenth century, Catherine the Great stated in one of private letters that Russian people and other nationalities in the Russian Empire needed one strong leader (Alexander 135). The history proved her right: before, during and after Catherine’s the Great reign, the Russian Empire had always had one iron-handed ruler. For example, Ivan the Terrible, Peter the Great and Catherine the Great herself were all despots. Their absolute power meant that they not only revived the Empire but to achieve it and also keep their position, they were cruel with their enemies and often with their own people. Therefore, they were respected and feared at the same time. After…show more content…
Although, the fact that a true communist could admire a tsar might sound ironic, Stalin even identified himself with Ivan the Terrible and saw possibility in using the tsar’s image as propaganda to legitimize his dictatorship (Kenez 1). Therefore, in the early 1940s, he charged Sergei Eisenstein to write, produce and direct the movie, Ivan the Terrible, Part I and Part II as well. The date already shows the significance of creating the movies: during World War II, Stalin was able to pay lot of money of the Union’s budget. The first part introduced the tsar as a great leader who conquered, united the Russian Empire, and who had to be very suspicious, since there are many enemies not only outside but also inside of the Kremlin. According to an anonymous friend of Stalin, the dictator liked watching the first part and he did watch it very often. It was already mentioned above in the essay, part I truly legitimized all the horrible acts of the great tsar therefore it legitimized Stalin’s way of ruling; it is a relevant piece of propaganda. Furthermore, it meant that everyone in the cinema could understand and accept why the Father of all Soviets had to be forceful and fearsome. As a result of the big success, the first part received many Stalin-prizes. However, the second part of Ivan the Terrible was banned until the death of Eisenstein and Stalin. The tsar in that movie was not anymore the tsar; he became a simple human who felt guilty for all the terrible terror. Besides his feelings, he was shown as a paranoid maniac. The dictator realized the real message of Part II: it was against his reign. Therefore he not only banned the movie from the theatres but forbid Eisenstein to direct the last part of the epic trilogy (Kun

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