The Seventh Seal

Topics: Ingmar Bergman, The Seventh Seal, Max von Sydow Pages: 2 (450 words) Published: February 15, 2010
The Seventh Seal

In the 1957 Swedish film The Seventh Seal directed by Ingmar Bergman, a knight returns home after years of war in the Crusades, only to find his home ridden with plague. He then finds Death waiting for him, and buys some time with a chess game to see his wife and to find out answers, refusing to die until he felt complete.

He begins his search as an agnostic, doubting and questioning and desperate to find out whether some sort of higher power exists. He longs for a simple yes or no answer and his shaky insistent faith is what clashes with Jof, with his simple and trusting faith. In th scene where Death disguises himself as a priest, the exchange shows Block's need for a answer, a clear statement that would satisfy him so that he could leave the world in closure. “ Block: I want knowledge. Not belief. Not surmise. But knowledge. I want God to put out His hand, show His face, speak to me. Death: But He is silent.

Block: I cry to Him in the dark, but there seems to be no one there. Death: Perhaps there is no one there.
Block: Then life is a senseless terror. No man can live with Death and know that everything is nothing. Priest/Death: Most people think neither of Death nor nothingness. Block: Until they stand on the edge of life and see the Darkness. Priest/Death: Ah, that day.

Block: [laughs bitterly] I see. We must make an idol of our fear, and call it God.” Block, whose insistence upon answers inhibits him from taking a leap of faith in God, also lives in the denial that there is no higher being. He refuses to believe it, for the idea of such an empty, fated world is one that scares him. Antonius Block ultimately realizes this when he comes across the witch burning at the stake and tries to contact the devil through her. Through the emptiness and terror in her eyes he discovers that there is indeed nothing at the end but a silence, an empty ending. Jons, the harsh realist, explains it to Block here: “Jöns: Look at her eyes. Her poor...
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