The Complex Themes of “The Kingdom of Heaven”
“The Kingdom of Heaven” is a 2005 epic historical drama film directed and produced by Ridley Scott. It stars Orlando Bloom, Eva Green, Jeremy Irons, David Thewlis, Marton Csokas, Brendan Gleeson, Ghassan Massoud, Edward Norton, Mikeal Persbrandt, Liam Neeson, and Alexander Siddig.
The film’s plot is set during the Crusades of the 12th century. A blacksmith named Balian (Orlando Bloom) joins the Crusaders in an attempt to save his wife’s soul from damnation. He eventually becomes the military commander of the city of Jerusalem.
The film has been criticized for its depiction of religious themes and for its historically inaccurate portrayal of the Crusades and the people involved in them. Nevertheless, “The Kingdom of Heaven” is an excellent film that raises important questions about religious faith, cultural values, and political power.
2. Themes in “The Kingdom of Heaven”
“The Kingdom of Heaven” is a film that deals with many complex themes. Some of the most prevalent themes include:
– Religion: The film portrays the conflict between Christianity and Islam through the Crusades. It also shows how people of different religions can coexist peacefully.
– Politics: The film explores the issue of political power and who should have it. It also addresses the question of whether or not violence is ever justified in the pursuit of political goals.
– Culture: The film examines the clash between Western and Eastern culture during the Crusades. It also looks at how cultural values can shape people’s actions and beliefs.
3. Characters and their roles
There are many significant characters in “The Kingdom of Heaven”. Here are some of the most important characters and their roles in the film:
– Balian: Balian is a blacksmith who joins the Crusaders in order to save his wife’s soul from damnation. He eventually becomes the military commander of Jerusalem.
– Selah: Selah is a Muslim nobleman who befriends Balian and helps him defend Jerusalem against the Crusaders.
– Baldwin IV: Baldwin IV is the King of Jerusalem who is suffering from leprosy. He appoints Balian as his successor before he dies.
– Princess Sibylla: Princess Sibylla is Baldwin IV’s sister and heir to the throne of Jerusalem. She is married to Guy de Lusignan, a French knight who wants to take control of Jerusalem.
– Tiberias: Tiberias is the capital of the crusader states in Syria. It is governed by Raymond III, Count of Tripoli.
– Godfrey of Bouillon: Godfrey of Bouillon was a medieval French knight who led the First Crusade to capture Jerusalem from Muslim rule in 1099.
4. Jerusalem – religious and political significance
Jerusalem is a city with immense religious and political significance. It is the birthplace of Christianity and the site of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. For Christians, Jerusalem is a holy city and the promised land. For Muslims, Jerusalem is the third-holiest city after Mecca and Medina.
During the Crusades, Jerusalem was the ultimate prize. The Crusaders fought to regain control of the city from the Muslim Seljuk Turks. In 1099, the Crusaders captured Jerusalem and massacred its Muslim inhabitants.
The film “The Kingdom of Heaven” shows how people of different religions can coexist peacefully in Jerusalem. Balian, a Christian, befriends Selah, a Muslim. They work together to defend Jerusalem against the Crusaders.
5. Selah’s wife and Balian’s brother – the people of different cultures and religions
Selah’s wife and Balian’s brother are two minor characters who represent the people of different cultures and religions who live in Jerusalem. Selah’s wife is a Muslim woman who is married to a Christian man. Balian’s brother is a Christian who is married to a Muslim woman.
Both couples are able to overcome their differences and live happily together. This shows that it is possible for people of different cultures and religions to coexist peacefully.
6. The crusaders – groups with different objectives
The Crusaders were divided into two main groups: the French and the English. The French were led by Godfrey of Bouillon, while the English were led by Baldwin IV. Both groups had different objectives.
The French were primarily motivated by religious zeal and the desire to capture Jerusalem for Christianity. The English were more interested in gaining political power in the Holy Land.
7. Baldwin IV and Princess Sibylla – the ruling power in Jerusalem
Baldwin IV was the King of Jerusalem from 1174 to 1185. He was a leper who was forced to abdicate his throne in 1185 due to his illness. Baldwin IV was succeeded by his sister, Princess Sibylla, who ruled until her death in 1190.
Princess Sibylla was married to Guy de Lusignan, a French knight who wanted to take control of Jerusalem. After Sibylla’s death, de Lusignan became king but was immediately deposed by Baldwin IV’s nephew, Baldwin V.
8. Tiberias – the capital of the crusader states
Tiberias was the capital of the crusader states in Syria from 1099 to 1291. It was governed by Raymond III, Count of Tripoli, during most of its history. Tiberias was an important city during the Crusades due to its strategic location on the Mediterranean Sea.
The city fell to Muslim forces in 1291 and was not recaptured by the Crusaders. Tiberias remained under Muslim rule until 1918 when it was captured by British forces during World War I.
9. Godfrey of Bouillon – the First Crusade
Godfrey of Bouillon was a medieval French knight who led the First Crusade to capture Jerusalem from Muslim rule in 1099. He was declared King of Jerusalem after the city’s capture but refused to wear a crown made of gold because he believed that only God should be worshiped.
After ruling Jerusalem for five years, Godfrey died of an illness and was succeeded by his brother, Baldwin I.
“The Kingdom of Heaven” is an excellent film that raises important questions about religious faith, cultural values, and political power. The film is set during the Crusades of the 12th century and deals with many complex themes.
The characters in the film are well-developed and play significant roles in the events that take place. The film’s depiction of the conflict between Christianity and Islam is accurate and provides a realistic portrayal of the Crusades.