Symbolism In The Ten Commandments

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In The Ten Commandments, the Middle East, represented as Egypt, is depicted as literally ancient, because the story takes place in roughly 1300 to 1200 B.C.E. It is a dusty dry desert inhabited by Hebrews and Egyptians, as well as camels and it is portrayed through stereotypical shots of the pyramids, sphinxes, and other Egyptian monuments, many of which were still being constructed, thus dating Egypt as ancient. The fact that slavery was still prevalent in Egypt also presented the region as archaic and backwards. It is also presented as a place of false religion and mysticism. Ramses and his subjects pray to false idols and gods and receive nothing in return, as occurs when Ramses pleads with the God of Darkness to resurrect his son, which…show more content…
What are Egyptian men and women like? What are Hebrew men and women like? How do they compare to each other? If other ethnic groups are represented, identify them and describe what they are like according to the film. In The Ten Commandments, Hebrew men are depicted as selfless heroes. This is evident when Moses saves Jochabel from being crushed by the stone and in Joshua’s many attempts to save Lillia from the Egyptian men that lust after her. The are kind and generous (evident when Moses give the Hebrew slaves grain and one day in seven off of their labors). They are religious and devout believers. Joshua, in particular express their belief in the “Deliverer” thirty years after his birth was announced, despite never receiving any proof of his existence. They are los depicted as oppressed slaves, working to fulfill the greed and gluttony of the Egyptians, particularly Sethi and Ramses who have them work non-stop to build monuments and shrines for themselves. Hebrews do not revolt because they know the Deliverer will come and Moses does. When he takes over building Goshen, he is immediately generous giving them food and time off, though he does not yet know he is Hebrew and was raised Egyptian. This suggests that Hebrews are inherently kind, generous, and righteous. Hebrew women are characterized similarly though they are also depicted as vulnerable objects of Egyptian men’s affection, as was the case with Lilia, who was kidnapped by Dathan to become his concubine. They are also depicted as chaste. They may be the objects of male affection but they do not reciprocate. They are suggested to remain pure until marriage. Much like their male counterparts, they are also incredibly strong and religious. Lilia service concubinage to take part in Moses’ exodus and Jochabel, sent Moses down the river giving up her son son to save his
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