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The Seventh Seal - Response Paper

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The Seventh Seal: Response Paper

The Seventh Seal is a Swedish film written and directed by Ingmar Bergman in 1957. The film is mainly based on a Knight, Antonius Block who returns with his Squire, Jons after many years from the crusades to their homeland during the time of Black Death.

It depicts the voyage of Block's skepticism on God's Existence and his confrontation with a human embodiment of Death who appears to take his life. Block challenges Death to a game of chess with a pact to let him live if he wins.

The movie also presents an acrobat, Joseph a Christian believing man who has visions of paranormal individuals. Joseph is shown to have seen the Virgin Mary in a crown of gold and blue robe teaching a child to walk.

Both, Block and Joseph can see paranormal individuals in the movie; but Joseph sees a Holy character that foretells a promised continual life after death in the hereafter. More so, later in the movie Joseph also sees Block playing chess with Death. On the contrary, Block only sees death and is never depicted to have seen the Virgin Mary.

In the midst of the film, Block inquires about Devil in yearn to question Devil about God's existence through an imprisoned young girl accused of being a witch and sentenced to be burnt alive. Yet he fails to find a satisfactory answer and remains tormented with his skepticism.

I understand what Bergman is trying to put forward; an argument, more so a sermon on God's Non-Existence. But I find it contradicting when Joseph is depicted to have seen the Virgin Mary and Death. Which in the film makes it evident for the viewers to consider God to be Existent but in the words of Christianity.

On the other hand, Block questions about God and finds no answer, not even Death could provide satisfaction to his struggle between belief and frustration towards it. But I like it how Bergman ultimately leaves the question dangling of what's next after Death when Block and his mates finally face it.

As a follower of the teachings of Islam, I support the notion of self-doubt and to question the belief in the Unseen until its proven. Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) [Peace and blessings upon him] is a very good and dignified example, though not entirely denoting the fictional character, Antonius Block.

Block finds no answer till the end, whereas Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) [Peace and blessings upon him] finds an answer after searching long for truth through revelation from Allaah (God Almighty).

Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) [Peace and blessings upon him] always questioned whether the stars, moon or the sun is his Lord, but when they would set, he'd denounce them. In doing so, he says (in my words), all of this cannot be God(s) or even close, thus my Lord is the one who created all of this. It is then when a revelation comes upon him from Allaah (God Almighty)




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