Essay on Kingdom of Heaven Analysis

Words: 1794
Pages: 8

This is my longer analysis of the Kingdom of Heaven. Appreciate any feedback. [SPOILER WARNING]
The Kingdom of Heaven is an anti-religion humanist epic. The moral of the story is that humanism is better than religion. KOH uses a traditional storytelling formula designed to convince people to reject a particular belief or worldview. A sympathetic hero begins the story believing in the worldview the screenwriter wants to discredit. After seeing the worldview for what it really is (according to the storyteller at least), the hero reluctantly rejects that worldview in favor of one the screenwriter wants to endorse. In this case the hero, Balian, starts as a Christian. Through the tribulations of a crusade, he bravely and nobly becomes a
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And the source of ethics, the head and heart, or reason and emotion, are the final sources of humanistic ethics as well.

Balian´s confrontations with religious authorities also move him toward humanism. Here are a few examples of encounters with the Christian bishop of Jerusalem:  Before the Muslims lay siege to Jerusalem, the bishop tells Balian that the two of them should sneak out the back of the city and escape on horses. Balian asks about the people and the bishop basically says "œtoo bad for them but it is God´s will." Balian declines the coward´s exit. This scene shows the Christian as unconcerned about people. The humanist loves people and will defend them. The humanist is the hero.  After a day of being seiged by the Muslims, Balian orders the bodies of the dead burned in order to prevent disease. The priest objects on religious grounds. Balian says something to the effect of "œGod will understand. If He does not, He is not God and we need not be concerned."  Right before the Muslims are about to break through the gates of Jerusalem, the bishop advises "œConvert to Islam and repent later." With scorn, Balian turns and says, "œI am learning allot about religion from you." In other words, religion is fraud and hypocrisy. Who needs it?
In the end Balian learns to rely on his own independent conscience and human wisdom rather than on anything transcendent. He delivers his most explicit affirmation of humanism