Pontius Plate Identity

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Pontius especially is perplexed about if others identify him as being evil because he is cast as Pontius Pilate, the “villain” of the passion, year after year. In some of the parts he even plays the role of Satan in the Garden of Eden scene with Mary 1. Pontius’s struggle raises the question for the audience of whether or not people’s perception of us influence how we actually view ourselves. Do we need the validation from a second party to confirm our personal identity? In Part three, Pontius’s actions are especially influenced by how he feels others view him. In order to rectify the wrong doings on Pilate in the trial of innocent Jesus Christ, P (the name of the character in Part three) crucifies himself by hammering a nail through his own…show more content…
Ruhl draws interesting connections, in this part, to soldiers with PTSD because they often return from war and struggle to redefine their personal identity in the contexts of their home lives. Often veterans feel they must return to a “normal” life and fill the standards of their family members. The returned soldiers identities have become defined by how other perceive them. Soldiers with PTSD is just one application of the identity struggle Ruhl attempts to capture in Passion Play as the characters she has written spend all three parts on a journey of self-discovery in relation to the part they must play for the passion in their communities. However, a major contributor and influence in people’s lives while they try to discover themselves is the political climate in their area. Passion Play also gives the unique perspective of taking place in three different eras, each with their own political problems of the time. Because the passion of the Christ has historically been manipulated for people’s personal agenda, it is fitting Ruhl incorporated a political figure of each…show more content…
In order to be a quality leader, a person must comprehend the ability to command a crowd. This relationship causes the audience to consider who exactly they elect to positions of power. Are leader upstanding people or simply actors putting on a show to push their own political agendas? This question must especially be considered in present society, making the issues of Ruhl’s Passion Play relevant today. The 2016 election is right around the corner and politicians are walking the lines between church and state to gain points in the polls. This moral ambiguity can be seen in the Trump’s position regarding immigration and people of the Islamic faith. The voters need to question how authentic Trump is about his platform and whether or not he is maintaining an act like so many leaders before him. There is also the question of defining people’s identities based on their religious ideas, especially if Muslims were forced to wear a physical identifier, which is similar to the struggle of personal identity of the characters in the play. Ruhl’s show emphasizes that personal identity cannot be dictated or validated by an outside force, but is a journey within oneself. These themes in Ruhl’s Passion Play are surfacing in humanity once again and her play helps people start the discussion about personal identity and church and state
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