Parental Substitute Versus New Best friend: A Look into the Relationships of Alfred, Batman and Robin
In the first act, when Batman and Alfred are introduced, it is clear they have a parental relationship. Whenever they are both together, Batman seems to regress to a childlike state of mind, in which he relies on Alfred to tell him what to do and how to feel. Alfred takes care of Batman despite him being a self-sufficient adult, highlighting their serious interactions and relationship. However, in Act two, Batman begins to dismiss Alfred’s advice and stops listening to him, but still relies on the butler to help him get through the attack on Gotham.
Robin and Batman have a more platonic and less sincere relationship. In the first act when they meet, Robin and Batman excitedly bond over how much they have in common. Batman even points out how similar the two are, saying he feels like they are the same. Batman displays how close he is to Robin by choosing to save him over the whole city of Gotham in the second act, pushing the relationship into a more serious light. The pair grow much closer and are best friends and even lifelong chums.
In the first act, the relationship Batman has with Robin and Alfred are both different. The main difference in the relationships is mostly within the level of seriousness. In the first act, when Alfred and Batman are talking, the lights give off a blue hue and the background music is more somber, illustrating Batman's role as sad child and Alfred’s role as caring guardian. On the other hand, from the moment batman meets robin, the tone shifts to upbeat and light-hearted suggesting their friendship is more fun and less serious. In the second act, especially towards the end, Batman and Robin's relationship becomes more heart-felt and their interactions are that of a hero and a trusty sidekick, rather than a childish friendship. Batman also becomes more grateful of Alfred and even stops taking him for granted.