Essay Example on Self-Sacrifice in Love in Casablanca

Published: 2023-01-03
Essay Example on Self-Sacrifice in Love in Casablanca
Type of paper:  Argumentative essay
Categories:  Movie Relationship
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 973 words
9 min read


Love has been said to the blind by many who trust in true and want to justify it. The "Casablanca" sets out a prominent theme of self-sacrifice in love throughout the movie that lay down this romantic melodrama separately from the majority in its genre. The topic is best articulated in the relations of three major characters that are the heroic political leader by the name Victor Laszlo, the enigmatic femme fatale is known as Ilsa Lund, and a morally vague night club owner called Richard Blaine who is commonly known as Rick. An unusual affection triangle develops where two men have a mutual love for an intermediary woman. All of the characters are entirely ready to make self-sacrifice for the sake of love they have for each other even if it results in loss and unhappiness of all who are involved. Although, the sacrifice is essential because it helps save one instead of all them sinking into a problem and at the same time portrays the value one have for each as well as how much love they have for each other. However, self-sacrifice might not mean that they value, love or have intentions to save each since it can be an opportunity one is using for his benefit. For instance, Ilsa might have used it as a way to dispose of Rick and benefit herself by going back to her husband. Therefore, self-sacrifice in love is essential since it shows true love, valuing of each other and saving one instead of losing all, but at the same time, the parties involved should reconsider whether it is for their common good or a chance for one of the party to take advantage of the other.

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Supporting Arguments

True Love

Throughout "Casablanca" true love persists in different forms, starting from Ilsa to Rick, Rick to Ilsa, Ilsa to her husband, and finally the husband to Ilsa. The love that takes place in this whole movie is portrayed in the form of self-sacrifice for each other even if it's a painful and unhappy decision, and it is essential for all of the parties involved. At the beginning of the movie, Ilsa abandons Rick not because she hates him but because she truly loves him with all her heart. Since, she was aware that if Rick realized that she wanted to remain back in Paris with Laszlo, he will also not go and will be captured by the Germans. Thus, Ilsa abandons Rick since she truly loves him which is contrary to what he felt while he stood at the train station waiting for her in the rain. A similar thing is evident when Laszlo asks Rick to escape with Ilsa to make sure she was safe despite knowing how painful it feels (Curtiz). Since Rick new, she will regret leaving behind Laszlo, because of love she had to send her away.


Valuing someone is not only measured by giving out material things to somebody, but the readiness to sacrifice yourself regardless of the situation also counts on how much the person means to you. The act of self-sacrifice by Ilsa abandoning Rick for his safety from being captured by the Germans despite leaving him shows that she values him and not ready to lose him to the Germans. Also, Laszlo decision to let Ilsa go with her former boyfriend was a harrowing experience, but he had to do it because he valued the safety of her than his own (Curtiz). However, Rick rejects the offer because Ilsa value to him would regret her abandoning Laszlo sends her away.


The self-sacrifice by the characters in "Casablanca" counted a lot because it kept of them moving and surviving without being held by the love they had for each other. Ilsa abandons Rick for the sake of saving one of them instead of all being captured. Also, Laszlo knew that instead of both him and her wife being capture it is rather he sacrifices himself and let go her wife since he knew he had a high profile to escape (Curtiz). Thus, the self-sacrifice was essential because it ensured that one survived instead of all them being captured.

Counter Argument

Taking Advantage

The self-sacrifice that persists in the movie does not necessarily mean that it is true love, valuing or saving each other instead it might be one of the lovers is taking advantage of the prevailing circumstances at disadvantage of the other. For instance, the act of Ilsa abandoning Rick may not be positively considered as love, valuing or saving him, but an opportunity to go back and reunite with his former husband whom she thought was dead (Vacca). It is because if truly she loved, valued or wanted to save him he could not have gone back to his husband and instead they could have left Paris together as lovers.


The "Casablanca" movie is an exciting and educative on matters relating to self-sacrifice by people who genuinely love each other. Since it is vivid that it is among the many signs that portray true love; for example, Laszlo decision to forego his safety for the safety of his wife as well as Ilsa abandoning Rick to make sure he is not captured. All this showcase the love they have for each other at the same how much they value each other. Also, the self-sacrifice keeps them alive since it ensures the safety of one instead of endangering all of them. However, the readiness of self-sacrifice if reviewed and analyzed in a different angle it necessarily not mean love, valuing and saving each other, but it can be taking advantage of the circumstance to benefit them. For instance; Ilsa abandoning Rick to reunite with his former husband whom she thought he had died.

Works Cited

Curtiz, Michael. "Casablanca". Videorecording. Warner Home Video 2000. (1942).

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