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The Last Temptation of Christ - Essay Example

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The Last Temptation of Christ Professor number The Last Temptation of Christ The last temptation of Christ is one of the most controversial movies that have come out in the last thirty years. It talks of the life of Christ and focuses on the human aspects of his life…
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The Last Temptation of Christ

Download file to see previous pages... The plot of the movie revolves around the life of Jesus Christ, who moves through his life, fearful of the cross that he is destined to bear. He is given solace and encouragement by his friend and disciple, Judas Iscariot who finally betrays him at his own request. Jesus is constantly fearful and at one point in the movie, he terms fear to be the driving force of the actions that he performs or refuses to perform. Jesus’s social role is talked of in the movie, but as pointed out by the film critic Roger Ebert, the movie is more about the “inner struggle” that Christ goes through rather than his position as an individual in the society (Ebert). While on the cross, Jesus is tempted to accept the offer of the devil in the guise of a guardian angel. He relents, but the viewer later gets to know that the entire passage was a hallucination, a temptation that Christ is able to overcome as he dies on the cross for the sake of mankind. The social mores of this age are portrayed accurately in the film. However, the director, Martin Scorsese deviates from the historical accuracies where it suits his artistic purpose. The Jesus that we see in the movie is in keeping with the tradition of the Anglo-Saxon Jesus. This can be seen as an attempt on the part of the director to cast Christ in the mould of a modernist hero who grapples with his own subjectivity. On a close analysis of the movie influences of characters from modernist fiction can be found. Even though one may be able to believe that the other characters are of Israeli origin, it is difficult to believe that of Willem Dafoe. The racial belonging of the other characters too is historically accurate and they infuse a sense of authenticity to the proceedings of the movie. The practice of stoning prostitutes that is depicted in the movie too is an accurate depiction of history. This practiced was consistent with the manner in which gender operated in ancient Rome (the Roman Empire). In these societies, there existed the hypocrisy of the practice of visiting prostitutes who were at the same time, vilified and cast in a bad light. Their occupation was frowned upon; however, as is seen from the number of clients that Mary Magdalene has in the scene where Jesus goes to visit her, their existence was known to everybody. Codes of sexuality in the movie are also accurately shown and Mary Magdalene is able to lead a normal family life only after she is married in a traditional manner to Jesus. One of the most controversial scenes of the movie is the one where Jesus and Mary Magdalene are making love. This, according to the social mores of the period in which this movie is set in, would be completely acceptable, since it is post-marital. This only heightens the level of the hypocrisy that is indulged in by the people of this society when they visit a prostitute. The social position of inferiority that was assigned to women is also obvious from such a depiction. This is again, a historically accurate description. The position of women in ancient Rome was not a very high or respectable one. This was especially true in the case of the classes of people who did not belong to the ruling classes. This is the class that Jesus belonged to and this is again obvious from the social customs that he believes in and practices throughout the movie. The historical accuracy that is maintained in these situations enables the viewer of this movie to identify with Christ as a human and not ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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