The Plumb Pudding In Danger Analysis

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The Plumb-pudding in Danger by James Gillray depicts British Prime Minister William Pitt, sitting on the left, and French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, who is seated on the right, both tearing haphazardly into a plum pudding shaped like the globe. This cartoon is one of Gillray’s most famous satirical pieces covering the Anglo-French rivalry during the Napoleonic wars of the 19th century. Published by Hannah Humphrey on February 28, 1805, The Plumb-pudding in Danger first appeared in London. John Gillray established himself as one of the most well-known caricaturists during the Georgian era. He had a bit of an unsure beginning, actually being first apprenticed with a London-based engraver. Soon after, Gillray attempted to launch a study in…show more content…
Bonaparte, on the other hand, appeases his desire for territorial control by serving himself a slice of what looks to be France, Switzerland, Holland, Spain, Italy and other parts of the Mediterranean. The plum pudding-shaped Earth conveys to the reader that these powerful leaders see the world as something they can simply claim for themselves for their own country’s benefit. Famed to be one of the Georgian period’s finest caricaturists and satirists, James Gillray does not pass up the opportunity to bring the characters in this political piece alive with his fine-tuned talent. The first physical exaggeration I notice is Napoleon’s overly-dwarfish figure and beaked nose, feeding off of the infamous stereotype that the emperor was extremely short and hot-headed. This stereotype became so widely known that the technically uncorroborated inferiority complex termed “short man syndrome” came to be nicknamed “Napoleon complex.” Gillray used this idea to the extreme, illustrating Bonaparte as so short he must stand up from his chair simply to reach the table. His hat is feathered in the colors of the French flag by no accident; Gillray wants to ensure his audience will recognize the character. Meanwhile, William Pitt has been parodied to be so skinny, he nearly seems emaciated. This image actually contrasts with the way Brits were most often depicted as a hefty “John Bull” type of
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