Biblical References in The Matrix

Biblical References in The Matrix

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While many may appreciate The Matrix for it’s over-the- top fight scenes, there is much to be gained from the film’s biblical references that gives us a deeper and richer understanding of the film.

The Matrix series is much more than an action-packed sci-fi thriller. After one view of this film for the second and third time, we start to notice a great deal of symbolism. This symbolism starts to paint a completely different picture than the images of humans battling machines. It is a religious story, with symbols deeply set in the Christian faith. The Matrix contains religious symbolism through its four main characters, Morpheus, Neo, Trinity and Cypher. In that each character personifies the “Father,” the “Son,” “Satan,” and the “Holy Spirit” of the Christian beliefs only shown through the amazing performances of the actors. A critic by the name of Shawn Levy said "The Matrix slams you back in your chair, pops open your eyes and leaves your jaw hanging slack in amazement."(metacritic.com)

The protagonist Thomas Anderson in the series is one of billions of humans connected to the Matrix, he is a quiet programmer for the "respectable software company" Metacortex. Thomas Anderson is the character in the movie whose later alias becomes “Neo”. Which an anagram for “the one” a name that is most profound parallel to the Bible. Coincidence I think not. Neo is the Christ-figure in The Matrix who is sent to liberate men from their fallen and enslaved state Zion that is the last human city on earth, paralleling the Zion of the Bible. Morpheus and other believers herald him as the “One.” Neo or Christ sets humans free from the matrix or sin as agent Smith who in terms is Satan. Neo has a resurrection scene at the end of the first installment of The Matrix. In this scene Smith kills him, and his coming back to life serves as a testament to his power, and sets the stage for Neo’s final sacrifice at the end of the third movie. It is the scene at the end of the trilogy when Neo makes his Christ-like death. After this sacrifice, Neo is lifted into the sky, the same way one might describe Christ’s resurrection. Neo's performance was so good that famous hollywood director Quienten

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Tarentino said "You know a lot of people give Keanu Reeves shit, I know I was one of them until I saw The Matrix then I just wanted to apologize for everything that I had ever said about him, he was just working away at his goal not listening to any of the assholes like me, and he fucking did it man." (whoaisnotme.net)

Cypher is a member introduced to us in the beginning of the first movie. Cypher is another important character. Cypher betrays his crew and gives up Morpheus to the Agents. Of course, Cypher is parallel to Judas of the Bible. Cinematically, Cypher is seen with red light reflecting off his sunglasses, creating the image of being a tainted character. In the actual betrayal scene, Cypher refers to himself as “the messenger,”a name commonly used for Satan in scripture. Judas was one of Jesus's displiples just like Cypher was one of Morpheus's followers. In the movie, Cypher agrees to betray his his leader, Morpheus, over a steak dinner, Cypher is one of the rebel band of humans aboard the Nebuchadnezzar. He cannot come to terms with the ugly reality of life on the run, and finds himself making a deal with the devil for an easy life. While Judas betrayed Jesus in exchange for 30 pieces of silk.

The character of Morpheus In Greek mythology, Morpheus is the God of dreams. In the movie, he is the leader of the rebel forces who fight to awaken humans from a dreamlike reality called The Matrix.. Morpheus’ parallel in the Bible would undoubtedly be John the Baptist. In the Bible, John heralds the arrival of Jesus to the world. The scene in which Neo is “unplugged” consists of a tube that Neo falls through into water. The water represents the baptism of Christ, as facilitated by John the Baptist in the Bible. Morpheus is told by another character known as the Oracle (a prophesying woman in The Matrix who represents Biblical prophets) that he will be the person who will free, the “One” or Neo.

Another freedom fighter who was there to “unplug” Neo is Trinity. Of course, the name Trinity has connotations to the Christian faith. It is a word that symbolizes the embodiment of a three-in-one Godhead. Trinity may represent the Mother Mary, or Mary Magdalene, because of her love for Neo. She could represent the Holy Spirit, because she brings many people to Neo. It is unclear what the Wachowski brothers aim was in the character Trinity, but she does carry with her many biblical themes.
As far as I am aware the Wachowski Brothers had no religious ideas on their mind, when they produced the matrix series but we do know for sure, religious symbolism has been reinforced everyday of their lives.

The matrix does talk mostly about biblical references but these references have eloquently enhanced the plot of this groundbreaking science fiction film. This film basically retells the story of Jesus Christ’s rise in The Holy Bible, including his supporters and the one who leads to his downfall, using modern science fiction appeal and special effects.Unlike other science-fiction movies, The Matrix was able to grasp my attention-and have a firm grip on it too. The Matrix is one of the greatest movies effects-wise of its time; for the Wachowski Brothers to seize the bullet time technology-and for them to pull it off well- is just one of the many aspects that makes The Matrix visually stunning. The fast-paced plot is matched with its fast-paced action-there is never a dull moment for the eyes throughout The Matrix. With numerous martial arts kinetics, Hidden within the almost “decoyed” action sequences comes a deeper meaning for The Matrix. This film is chock-full of religious references.


Works Cited

Jones, Tom. "On His Acting." WINM. WINM, 1 Jan. 2009. Web. 28 May 2012. .

Gregg, Allison. "Christianity in the Matrix | CinemaLit." Christianity in the Matrix | CinemaLit. Teach Mix, 1 Jan. 2006. Web. 28 May 2012. .

Levy, Shawn. "Portland Oregonian Profile." - Metacritic. Meta Critic, 24 July 2006. Web. 28 May 2012. .
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