Fictional Character Analysis; Hannibal Lecter

Topics: Hannibal Lecter, Antisocial personality disorder, Clarice Starling Pages: 7 (2238 words) Published: May 8, 2012
Abnormal Psychology
Fictional Character Analysis
Hannibal Lecter from “Hannibal” series

Character Description:

Hannibal Lecter is the primary character in the “Hannibal” movie series and will be the subject of psychiatric evaluation for this paper. The series is comprised of 4 films (“Hannibal Rising”, “Silence of the Lambs”, “Red Dragon”, “and Hannibal”) which follow Lecter’s life from youth to adulthood. Lecter is a white male of average height and weight; he is a brilliant doctor and exceptionally well mannered and educated individual. Hannibal Lecter was born in Lithuania in the year of 1933 to a wealthy, aristocratic family. In the midst of World War II, Hannibal, his parents and younger sister, Mischa, relocated to a cabin in the woods to escape the war. Here, tragic events took place. First, Lecter and his sister witness their parents murdered during an explosion involving a group of Nazi military men. The Nazi men, in desperate need of food killed and cannibalized Lecter’s younger sister, which Hannibal witnesses first hand. This traumatic event can be marked as the driving force of Lecter’s sadistic ways. Lecter was than sent to an orphanage where he acted out frequently; he often ran away, lied, stole, and displayed significant extreme aggression towards others. Lecter also had a tendency to wake up screaming in the night after experiencing frightening nightmares. Hannibal was often caught speaking to his dead sister who he later claimed he was carrying out “deeds” for. Lecter was often taunted for his strange behavior.

At the age of 16, Hannibal left the orphanage and moved to France to live with his Aunt Lady Murasaki. Lecter spends his time in France learning about Japanese culture and war tactics. and shortly begins medical school. Lecter performs brilliantly in medical school and although he does not perform as well socially, proves himself to be an incredibly intelligent student.

Lecter’s first kill occurs in France when he murders a butcher who misbehaved his aunt at a bazaar. Lecter’s next intention is to hunt down and kill each of the Russian looters who killed his family; here, his cannibalistic nature is alluded to. Remorseless, Lecter kills all the men, becoming more and more aggressive and visibly sociopathic as he goes along. After the murders, Hannibal is arrested but shortly released when no concrete evidence against him is identified. Hannibal Lecter then moves to America where his criminalistic ways intensify.

Hannibal Lecter moves to Baltimore, Maryland, where he begins his own psychiatric practice and becomes well known as a respected psychiatrist. Lecter’s next murder takes place during his attendance at a Baltimore Philharmonic Orchestra concert where he murders flutist, Benjamin Raspail, who he believes is ruining the music of the orchestra. After killing Raspail, Hannibal serves his liver as dinner to the Orchestra directors. Lecter commits about 10 murders in the US before getting caught by cop, Will Graham, and is put in the Baltimore Sates Forensic Hospital where he remains for 8 years. Prior to escaping Baltimore Hospital, Lecter actually assists in the capture of 2 other serial killers. When he escapes, Hannibal retreats to Florence, Italy where he murders a man named Dr. Fell and takes his place as a local museum curator. Lecter spends a while in Italy before getting caught again by Rinaldo Pazzi (who he later kills) a detective hired by Lecter’s only surviving victim Mason Verger. Hannibal is soon brought back to the US and jailed when he meets FBI agent Clarice Starling. Lecter forms an almost romantic connection and fixation with Clarice. The last scene in the series ends with Lecter cutting off his own hand in order to escape, which he does successfully. Lecter then boards a plane. At the end of the series, Hannibal Lecter is responsible for over 20 murders.

Source Articles:

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Malone, Johanna C., Drew Westen, and Alytia A. Levendosky. "Personalities of Adults with Traumatic Childhood Separations." Journal Of Clinical Psychology 67.12 (2011): 1259-1282. Academic Search Premier. Web. 24 Feb. 2012.
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