Philosophical Analytical Paper: The Seventh Seal (film)

Essay by BalthomosCollege, UndergraduateA-, July 2009

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The Seventh Seal, directed by Ingmar Bergman, is a film that portrays concepts of philosophy, which includes achieving a meaningful life, orders of desires, and determinism. Having a meaningful life should not be confused with finding the meaning of life, which is finding the purpose of why we exist, but rather, meaningful acts we accomplish to prove to ourselves that we hold some kind of morals and values. This goes in hand with fulfilling certain desires whether it be our first-order desires, second, third, etc. Wanting to have a meaningful life could be considered to be a first-order desire. Then evaluating this desire, you set out to accomplish certain goals in order to fulfill it, which would be your second-order desire. It would also be up to the person who carried out the action to determine if it was meaningful or not so that he would satisfy the first-order desire.

Determinism is also shown to be a big concept throughout this film because of Death's constant appearances. The main character and holy knight Anthony Bloc and the personification of Death represents the portrayal of different concepts of philosophy.

Anthony Bloc is a holy knight/crusader coming back to his home country of Sweden only to see death and torment caused by the plague. He is shown to have many different levels of orders of desires. His first-order desire is to stay alive long as long as possible by playing chess with Death. His second-order desire is to find a meaning in life before he dies. He tries to fulfill the second-order desire throughout his journey back home to his castle. He first goes to confession booth and tries to question the existence of God. He asks what will become of him who want to believe in God but cannot. He...