My Reaction Paper: Literature in Ben Hur Film

Topics: Ben-Hur, William Wyler, Charlton Heston Pages: 4 (1290 words) Published: September 1, 2011
My Reaction Paper: Literature in Ben Hur Film

I cannot think of a better movie about the early days of Christianity than this one. There are others, of course, but none has the grandeur and the spectacular dimension of Ben-Hur. I gladly and proudly give Ben-Hur a score of 10 out of 10!

“In order to know the history of nation’s spirit, one must read its literature.” Ben Hur film exposes history of Romans and Jews. The novel that was adopted was written in a less vulgar time about a very spiritual event. Perhaps William Wyler, the director, resolved to study the Bible and learn about his faith so that he would be better prepared. He did his research well. Judah Ben-Hur and his mother and sister are descended from a very ancient family of Hebrew nobility. The founder of this house was Hur who in the Bible was the husband of Miriam who was Moses’ sister. Hur pops up as a peripheral character during the whole story of the Exodus. He invested the characters that Charlton Heston, Martha Scott, and Cathy O'Donnell play with a heroic lineage which makes their fall all the more tragic. So, on the consciousness of the public were the Hur family that one often thinks of them as real people.

In one of the final scenes, after the Crucifixion, Judah (Charlton Heston) returns home. He crosses the courtyard and heads to the door. Before entering the dwelling he stops to fix something on the wall to the right that is broken. What is he fixing and what is the significance? Why did director William Wyler see this as something to include? I found out that it is a Mezuzah, a box with scriptures enclosed, which all Jewish homes have. There should a mezuzah at the entrance to every Jewish home and on the doorpost of the main rooms within the home. Every time a Jew passes through a door with a mezuzah on it, he or she touches it and then kisses the fingers that touched it, expressing love and respect for God and his commandments, and as a reminder of the specific...
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