Thursday, May 22, 2008

Moses and Caspian: A Kosher Twist

For all the motion pictures that call on Christian themes I was stunned at how much of an allegory to the story of Passover can be seen on the screen in the second installment of The Chronicles of Narnia – Prince Caspian.

For those not familiar with the second novel of the series it focuses on the four Pevensie children. Kings and queens of Narnia, Peter, Edmund, Susan and Lucy Pevensie return to the land of Narnia, one year after their first encounter with the magical land, in The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. Thirteen hundred years have in fact passed on the other side of the looking glass and the heir to the throne of the Telmarines, Prince Caspian is forced to run from his kingdom as his uncle Miraz seeks his death to usurp the throne, following the birth of his son.

Wouldn’t you know it, Moses was a Prince in Egypt taken in by a foster family much like Prince Caspian was taken in by his uncle, following the death of his brother the king. Moses who did not know he was born a Hebrew would have become Pharoh had his title not been stripped from him by the Pharoh’s blood son. Moses like Caspian is driven out from the land of his people. Moses then returns from his exile with Aaron in toe on a mission to free the Hebrews from their bondage and save them from extinction by the Egyptians. The Prince returns with high king Peter to save the Narnians from the Telmarines.

The iconic lion Aslan etched into a stone tablet spiritually guides the royals and their followers who call out to him and seek guidance, though he does not show himself nor speak directly to them in great numbers. Only a few Narnian’s are chosen to receive messages from the great Aslan directly much like the chosen few in the Torah who received messages from on high. The leadership of the witch encased in ice could be likened to the golden calf constructed at the base of Mount Sinai, who in the Narnian’s hour of desperation, is nearly turned to as a spiritual intermediary in the absence of Aslan’s wisdom.

In the falling action of the film as the Narnians retreat for safety a river is crossed which miraculously begins to lower its depth. A massive flood of water comes crashing down on the remnants of the Telmarine forces whose leader, much like the expression found upon Egyptian soldier's faces, looks upon the wall of water with absolute terror knowing the end of the chase had come.

Ultimately freedom is achieved for the Narnians. High king Peter and Prince Caspian bring forth a new beginning for their people though because of rash actions taken, Peter shall not see the magical land again in his lifetime. Sounds to me like a similar ending to our forty years in the dessert, for because of Moses’s rash actions he is forbidden from entering what would become Eretz Yisrael. Perhaps C.S. Lewis dug in deeper into more cultural fables and religious tales than ever imagined.

2 comments:

patrick said...

haven't seen Prince Caspian yet but definitely looking forward to it... i'll have to look over the book one more time just to remind myself how the original story goes

Blintzkrieg said...

C.S. Lewis enjoyed mining the biblical texts for material. Hey, if it worked for Moses, Jesus and the rest, it's good enough for Narnia.