The legend of Faust was a legend that occurred in the 1500's in Europe. Over time, as the story was told and passed on through generations, many different ideas on what happened were brought up, but the main idea of the story is the same in most cases. One of the most interesting things about this legend is the fact that though this story is more than four hundred years old, it is still told in some contemporary films to this day. All though it is not always as direct as a deal with the actual devil, the same basis of the story can be seen in present day films. In one of the most successful movies of the year 2000, The Matrix, a Faustian theme is evident. The Matrix is a science fiction movie directed by the Wachowski brothers. The old legend of Faust is, in short, about a young scholar who made a deal with Mephistopheles, the devil. Faust was seeking ultimate knowledge and in the deal the devil said he would grant Faust ultimate knowledge in return for his soul. Faust agrees to the deal and after a certain time period of possessing ultimate knowledge Faust suddenly dies. There are many different versions of the story as to exactly how he died, and some versions of the story go into more detail than others. As time passed, Faustian legends were being told in many different stories, many different ways. To have a Faust story, four basic elements should be present: a Faust figure, a devil figure, some sort of temptation, and a price.
The Matrix is about a man, called Neo, who was living an average life, and was heavily into computer hacking. One day he receives messages appearing on his computer leading him towards a meeting with a powerful man named Morphius. Morphius alerts Neo that the reason that the reason that all of federal agents were chasing him and all of these other things were happening to him because he was "the one". He was searches for a greater truth in the world than what was just there in his face, and Morphius says that he could show Neo that truth. Morphius then holds two pills in his hands, one pill would lead him to the truth, the other would just take him back to his regular life as if nothing ever happened. Neo wanted the truth about the world so Morphius explained it. He said that the perception is that our day-in, day-out world is real; in reality, that world is a hoax, an elaborate deception spun by all-powerful machines of artificial intelligence that controls us to hide the truth. This artificial world is called the matrix. The movie goes on with high-tech stunts, graphics and visuals about a struggle between a chosen few humans that know about the matrix, and a group of human-like robots trying to keep the matrix secret.
The Matrix is a variation of the legend of Faust because it deals with the same basic idea. There is a deal made in which someone tries to seek some sort of personal gain and the deal goes bad. The reason that this is a Faustian story is because it has all of the four basic elements needed. The Faust figure is Neo, the devil figure is Morphius, the temptation is the truth, and the price is his regular life and his perception of the real world.
The Faust figure in the Matrix is Neo. The Faust figure is the main character, the one who is the recipient of most of the action in the story, and the one who is tragedy stricken at the end. Neo made a choice to leave the real world and his perception of reality to learn of the truth. When he made that decision he basically sold his regular life just as Faust sold his soul. When Neo found out the truth about the world he did not want to believe it and he got angry and even though he did not die at the end, it is not always a positive thing to know too much about something when everyone else knows nothing about it. Other people would probably not believe him and some may even get angry just as he did if he tried to explain the truth to the world.
The devil figure in the Matrix is Morphius. The devil...
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