It is known to us that characteristics of excellent acting will exert an impact on whether a certain actor or actress can leave a deep impression on the audience. There is no doubt that the actor or actress will undoubtedly perform characteristics of excellent acting in the film, through which they can successfully make their own bit to the final popularity of the film.

Characteristics of excellent acting can be embodied by what the actor or actress did and what the actor or actress said. Therefore the following would like to explore the actor called Philip Seymour Hoffman in Doubt, during which aspects like objectives, subtext, activities, circumstances, stakes, etc., will all be elaborated on.

Philip Seymour Hoffman in Doubt

What Philip Seymour Hoffman is passionate about achieving is to upend the strict customs and fear-based disciplines of the school so as to benefit those black students. In the movie, he had delivered a profound sermon on doubt as eerily takes inspiration from the room of the little boy the movie opens with, insinuating he was in that room.

In his sermon, his sentence that “Doubt can be a bond as powerful and sustaining as certainty. When you are lost, you are not alone” (John Patrick Shanley. 2008) will well indicate that he believed that many ones were in doubt. Obviously, his monologue was powerful and thought-provoking.

As a matter of fact, Philip Seymour Hoffman does think and feel a lot while he is often not explicitly saying. For instance, Philip Seymour Hoffman is eager to let Sister James have humanity toward the black student. However, what Philip Seymour Hoffman actually said to Sister James is “There are people who go after your humanity, Sister, that tell you that the light in your heart is a weakness. Don’t believe it. It’s an old tactic of cruel people to kill kindness in the name of virtue” (John Patrick Shanley. 2008).

In addition, the main physical activity of Philip Seymour Hoffman is to help a troubled young student and what he does to help the troubled young student is that he tries to tear apart the community by battling with Sister Aloysius.

Apart from that, Philip Seymour Hoffman is confronted with the conflict of Sister Aloysius and he has to encounter a series of challenges so as to smoothly achieve his objective of upending the strict customs and fear-based disciplines of the school.

Last but not the least, Philip Seymour Hoffman has used a personal memory of a sensation or emotion, often from their own history, to create a deep connection with the circumstances of the scene. Philip Seymour Hoffman tends to pay much attention to Donald because he can put himself into the shoes of Donald out of his past experience so that he can personally feel what may be felt by Donald, suggesting that this video doesn’t put all its cards on the table. Also, it’s risky that Philip Seymour Hoffman pays too much attention to Donald, resulting in his own conflict with Sister Aloysius.


To sum up, a reasonable conclusion can be drawn that Philip Seymour Hoffman is undoubtedly an actor that has performed characteristics of excellent acting as long as aspects like objectives, subtext, activities, circumstances, stakes, etc. are taken into account.

Works Cited

John Patrick Shanley. Doubt. Goodspeed Productions. 2008.