I realised I had never read the book of Esther, so I decided to change that, so sat down and read it all. I enjoyed it, very powerful, and recommend you read it too. If you haven’t the rest of this may not be interesting or make as much sense.
Each of the main 3 are very different. King Xerxes struck me first as a bit full of himself after divorcing his wife for such a small thing as not coming when he called. But I realise now that this would have been a much bigger deal to him, because he was King. His word would probably have been regarded as law, and she was therefore breaking it. Also, women were considered less of, and when he makes the order that each man should rule his own roost, this is not objected to, which highlights it was the thinking of the time. In all of his later actions, he is much more servant and generous, and even at the opening feast, he is remarkably liberal. It goes to show how wrong first impressions can be.
Esther struck me as exactly like the movie stereotype of the reluctant hero. She probably never had any desire to be queen, and had to go through a year of training to get it, but she did all that none the less, because she respected Mordecai. She then sacrifices herself to save a nation, and manages to not only keep her life, but save those of her people, lift up Mordecai, and punish the man who was persecuting him. She had to go through a lot to do it, but thousands of lives would have been lost if she hadn’t. Part of me wonders how you feel after having saved all your people, what more could there be for you to do? A law has been passed allowing them to defend themselves, and she must be pretty content, but what she can aim for now?
Haman struck me as a very typical children’s film villain. He boasted about his evil plans, boasted, and even is foiled right at the moment before his plan is about to come to pass. He also gets hung on his own gibbet, which I actually laughed at, I found it so similar to the norm for kids films. However, we have to remember that this guy was really alive once, and in a position of trust appointed by the King. I worry that Xerxes never noticed his bad character, it strikes me how easy it was for him to get away with such malice. It was only what looks like a coincidence that stops him in the end.
Any thoughts or ideas would be welcome, please leave comments below.