Watchmen Three-Act Plot Analysis
By Alan Moore
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Three-Act Plot Analysis
Act I (Chapters I - III)
Rorschach lives on canned beans and vengeance, so he’s hungry to solve the Comedian’s murder. No can do, as long as he works solo. Even after Dr. Manhattan ditches Earth for Mars, Rorschach can’t convince Nite Owl to come out of retirement.
Act II (Chapters IV —IX)
An assassin tries and fails to kill Veidt, who’s got the reflexes of an over-caffeinated squirrel. Rorshach is framed for a murder he didn’t commit, and gets sent upriver to Sing-Sing (prison). This leads to Nite Owl and Silk Spectre breaking him out. After the dust settles, Silk Spectre brings Dr. Manhattan back down to Earth.
Act III (Chapters X —XII)
Nite Owl and Rorschach discover Veidt is Dr. Evil. New York City is blown to bits. Before leaving the galaxy, Dr. Manhattan kills Rorschach to preserve world peace. Nite Owl and Silk Spectre get married. Thanks to an ambiguous ending, the future is totally unknown.
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- Rorschach (Walter J. Kovacs)
- Adrian Veidt (Ozymandias)
- Dr. Manhattan (Dr. Jon Osterman)
- Dan Dreiberg (Nite Owl 2.0)
- Laurie Juspeczyk (Laurie Jupiter, Silk Spectre 2.0)
- The Comedian (Edward Blake)
- Sally Jupiter (Silk Spectre 1.0)
- Hollis Mason (Nite Owl 1.0)
- Captain Metropolis (Nelson Gardner)
- Dollar Bill
- Mothman (Byron Lewis)
- The Silhouette (Ursula Zandt)
- Hooded Justice (Rolf Müller?)
- Bernard and Bernie
- Dr. Malcolm and Gloria Long
- Newspaper People (Doug Roth, Hector Godfrey, and Seymour)
- Janey Slater
- Max Shea and Hira Manish
- Moloch (Edgar William Jacobi, Edgar William Vaughn, William Edgar Bright)
- President Richard M. Nixon
- Steven Fine and Joe Bourquin
- What's Up With the Title?
- What's Up With the Ending?
- What's Up With the Epigraph?
- Clocks and Watches
- Happy Faces (Smileys)
- Mirrors and Shadows
- Locks and Knots
- Narrator Point of View
- Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis
- Plot Analysis
- Three-Act Plot Analysis