The Seventh Seal (1957) & Forced Marriage

The Seventh Seal is just one of the older films that I’ve been watching recently and it’s one that has had a big impact on me and sparked lots of ideas as well, as you would expect from a film that deals with big themes and ideas. The basic plot of the movie is this –

A man seeks answers about life, death, and the existence of God as he plays chess against the Grim Reaper during the Black Plague.

The script is fantastic and pushes these themes to the maximum. It’s definitely worth checking out the quotes page from the film on IMDB.

It was actually a couple of weeks ago that I watched it and have been turning it over in my mind since then, pulling at different threads but taking my time to see what I could take from it. In the last couple of days an idea has been forming and it came about through the merging of my beliefs and what the film offers.

Whilst the main character in this film is struggling with trying to find answers, I am someone who doesn’t believe in any answers but simply that we are here and that one day we die and that is that. This wasn’t always the way I thought but over the years this is what I have come to believe.

With that being said, do I have any view on life in terms of meaning or reason? And that is where the idea of life being a kind of forced marriage entered my head. It is of course impossible to ask to be born, we just are. Coupled with that we can’t choose our gender, social class, skin colour or anything. We are just brought into existence. After this, everything else comes into play, upbringing, education etc etc but the essential thing is that you have no choice in being brought into existence.

And so there we are, forced into a coexistence with life, a forced marriage where there are going to be times where things happen, like losing your job, where you really don’t appreciate your spouse, and times where it feels like they just actively don’t like you: sickness, injury, death of loved ones.

Of course there are good times too but it’s the thought that for a large part of the world their existence is hopeless that it really hits home just what a sorry forced marriage it is, brought into existence for a meaningless few years and you just have to put up with it and make do.

A downbeat blog post granted, but something that would make an interesting discussion I think.




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