Thursday, 18 January 2007

V for Vendetta and the Number 5

There are numerous references throughout V for Vendetta to the number 5 and letter V, which is itself "5" in Roman numerals:

  1. The character V is seen reading and quoting from Thomas Pynchon's novel, V., and listening to Beethoven's fifth symphony (the first four notes of which can be represented as the letter V in Morse code and were used as a call sign by the BBC during World War II). Beethoven himself also referred to those opening notes as 'Fate knocking on the door'. 'Fate' of course is the name of the supercomputer belonging to the Leader, Adam Susan in the novel.
  2. V introduces himself to Evey with a five-syllable phrase: "You may call me V." A large part of V's speech is in iambic pentameter, which is comprised of five iambs.
  3. The phrase "Remember, remember, the fifth of November" is referenced. This is the first line of a nursery rhyme detailing the exploits of Guy Fawkes.
  4. Evey's name—"Evey" —is actually composed of "E" (the fifth letter of the alphabet), "V" (5 in Roman numerals, and the fifth letter from the end of the alphabet), and "Y" (25th letter of the alphabet, or 5 squared).
  5. V is eventually identified as the prisoner from Room 5 at Larkhill Internment Camp. The five doors are labeled with Roman numerals, so Room 5 is emblazoned with a "V".
  6. In numerous apartment scenes, V is filmed stationary with his arms slightly apart from his body, forming an inverted V
  7. "5" converted to binary numerals is "101", so "Room 5" is "Room 101". This is an allusion to the infamous torture chamber in George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four.
  8. V's hideout is accessed from the closed Victoria Park tube station, the damaged sign of which resembles a sideways V when Finch locates it.
  9. V's personal motto consists of the Latin phrase Vi Veri Universum Vivus Vici (By the power of truth, I, while living, have conquered the universe), which in turn consists of five words that begin with the letter V ("U" is written as "V" in Latin). In the comic, and consequently in the movie, it was wrongly spelled "Vi Veri Veniversum Vivus Vici"
  10. "V for Vendetta" has 5 syllables.
  11. November is the only month in the Gregorian calendar with the letter V in it.
  12. The woman who dies in the cell next to that of V at Larkhill is named Valerie Page. The word "Valerie" begins with the letter V.
  13. As Evey appears to give her speech to the public after she has assumed the identity of V, the visual angle of the frame causes a V to be formed between the edges of the building she is standing on and the building behind her.

1 comment:

Cassandra said...

Another quick thing about V For Vendetta and the number Five:

When V reveals that it has been he who has been torturing her at a facility similar to Larkhill (or possibly a reconstruction of Larkhill in his home, it is never made clear in the movie and I noobishly have only just started reading the comics), he leads her onto the roof. She lifts her hands above her head as she cries in the rain and her arms make a perfect V.