Matrix Essay, Research Paper
The Matrix: Religious Symbolism
The Matrix is a story of the original Judeo-Christian worldview of entrapment in a world gone wrong, with no hope of survival or salvation. The movie is a new testament for a new millennium, a religious tale of the second coming of mankind’s messiah in an age that needs salvation as desperately as ever.
Neo is contacted first by Trinity. It is she who leads Neo to Morpheus. Trinity is an obvious allusion to the biblical concept of a triune God, consisting of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Because the metaphor to God is so obvious, it is quite humorous when Neo says to Trinity, “I always thought you were a guy.”
During Neo’s second conversation with Morpheus, just after he wakes up from being interrogated, Morpheus exposes his role as John the Baptist by saying, “You may have been looking for me for a few years, but I’ve been looking for you for my whole life.” However, Morpheus also plays the role of God the Father to Neo and the rest of the rebels. He spends a significant part of the film teaching Neo the nature of “reality” as opposed to the world of the Matrix. Once Morpheus is captured by the agents, as his body lays there helpless, Trinity says “No, he’s much more important than that. He’s like a father to us.”
To join Morpheus and Trinity in realizing the true reality, Neo must be born again. Reeves’s character is literally born again into the new world, where he breaks out of a womb, like a newborn infant. The implication of Neo’s rebirth is that all of us could be freed, following the example set by the savior.
As Morpheus tells it, the One has been prophesied. He says, “…a man who came before, a man who started the movement…” This can be directly compared to two Bible quotes:
Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.”
The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
Cypher was the Judas character. Like Judas before him at the last supper, Cypher accepts his fate as traitor over a meal. Like Judas, who shares a drink with Christ at the last supper, Cypher and Neo share a cup while Cypher expresses his doubts about the whole journey, or crusade, with the line, “Why oh why didn’t I take the blue pill?” Cypher also wears a reptile skin coat, which hint to the biblical figure of Satan as a serpent.
An interesting correlation of Neo s resurrection to Christ. In the scene of Neo s death in the Matrix by Agent Smith s bullets, I took this exhibition as parallel to Peter 3:18-20, about Christ dying on our behalf, being put to death physically but made alive in the Spirit. Neo comes back to life through the power of someone else’s belief, that being Trinity. Christ will resurrect because people believe that.
As watching the movie again (for the ninth time), an attractive question arose in my head. When Neo breaks through and destroys the Matrix, could this represent the 1,000 year reign of Christ after the Tribulation period? There is a direct relation between the Day of Judgement and the world as ignorance. It is stated in the Quran that the Day of Judgement will be closer than expected when the world falls victim to Satan s temptations. Today, the world is full of temptation along with temptation is ignorance. Illustratively, if you are tempted to do something that is obviously wrong, you will ignore the opposing right perspective. Neo begins the tribulation by waking up all these humans from their deep sleep and forcing them to look at reality. People today are metaphorically in a deep sleep, from a religious stand point. Neo is representing a prophet that comes and guides the people the way, wakes the humans from their deep sleep and showing them the reality, the right path, literally and figuratively. There will be hard times, gnashing of teeth, famine – all the things revealed in the Quran and the Bible concerning the tribulation.
The Matrix plays legions of subtle messages, as petty as they may seem, they are still intriguing. For example, it is immensely significant that Cypher’s deal-making meal with the agents centers around steak. Jesus was on the cross held only by stakes. Another scene is when Neo is in his room being talked to through his computer. A man knocks on the door and have a discussion. First, Neo sells the disk to him for $2,000 Jesus was born 2,000 years ago. Although this seems like a coincidence not worth mentioning, in that same scene, supporting words are exchanged. When Neo hands the man the disk, he replies, Hallelujah. You’re my savior, man. My own personal Jesus Christ. The movie is crammed with faint, trivial messages.
The religious and symbolic representation of the cast of the Matrix was depicted in a elusive and complex fashion, yet maintaining its soul purpose of entertaining.