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C. A. Rotwang is a fictional character in Fritz Lang's 1927 science fiction film Metropolis. Rotwang was played by Rudolf Klein-Rogge.


Character overview

He is a brilliant inventor, whose greatest achievement is the creation of a robot made in the form of a woman. He intended the robot to be a replacement for his wife, Hel, who left him for the now mayor of the city, Joh Frederson, and who died while giving birth to Frederson's son, Freder. Rotwang then uses the robot to get revenge against Frederson and Freder, while pretending that he is using the robot for the Joh Frederson's benefit.


The name "Rotwang" is derived from a series of German words. "Rot" is German for red, "Wang" for cheek, "rotwangig" for rosy-cheeked. "Rotwang" therefore means "red-cheek" or "rosy-cheek".

Cultural influence

Rotwang was very influential in the iconography of the mad scientist archetype. His laboratory, with its profusion of Tesla coils and towering switch panels, became a stock feature of many later films, including many in the Frankenstein series. Like Victor Frankenstein, he attempts to "play God" by creating life, only to be defeated and destroyed in the end by his own creation (and, indirectly, his own hubris).

Other appearances

Rotwang (along with Maria, his robot) appears as a member of The Twilight Heroes, a German analogue to The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, in the graphic novel The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Rotwang" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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