The film The Prince of Egypt tells the tale of Moses. This essay will focus on how the movie handled the issue of race. In terms of the essay, race can be defined as, the conflict between the Egyptians and Hebrews. In particular this essay will focus on the depiction of slavery, Moses killing an Egyptian, and the relationship between Moses and Ramses. The conflict between the Egyptians and Hebrews was well demonstrated throughout the movie. Although comparing it to Exodus, the conflict was portrayed less brutal. The animosity between the Hebrews and Egyptians is played down. The relationship between Ramses and Moses shows compassion towards Egyptians and Hebrews. The issue of race is evident ...view middle of the document...
Although the reason for killing the babies is stated in Exodus as,
The king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, whose names were Shiphrah and Puah, “When you are helping the Hebrew women during childbirth on the delivery stool, if you see that the baby is a boy, kill him; but if it is a girl, let her live.” 17 The midwives, however, feared God and did not do what the king of Egypt had told them to do; they let the boys live. 18 Then the king of Egypt summoned the midwives and asked them, “Why have you done this? Why have you let the boys live?” The midwives answered Pharaoh, “Hebrew women are not like Egyptian women; they are vigorous and give birth before the midwives arrive.” So God was kind to the midwives and the people increased and became even more numerous. And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families of their own. Then Pharaoh gave this order to all his people: “Every Hebrew boy that is born you must throw into the Nile, but let every girl live.” (Exodus 1: 15-22).
This quote shows it was the pharaoh who ordered to have the Hebrew boys killed. The sacrifice he speaks about was because, Look,” he said to his people, “the Israelites have become far too numerous for us. Come, we must deal shrewdly with them or they will become even more numerous and, if war breaks out, will join our enemies, fight against us and leave the country.” (Exodus 1:9-10). The sacrifice was out of fear.
The playing down of racism is also seen in the scene when Moses pushes an Egyptian down to his death. In this scene, Moses sees an old man being whipped repeatedly and he pushes the man down saying stop it leave this man alone. When this happens Ramses tell Moses he will take care of it but Moses tells him he is not the man he thinks he is and to go ask the man who he calls father. Moses then leaves to the dessert -he takes of his jewellery and wig. This scene is in exodus saying, One day, after Moses had grown up, he went out to where his own people were and watched them at their hard labor. He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his own people. Looking this way and that and seeing no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand (Exodus 2: 11-12). In the film, this scene is depicted as an accident. Exodus states that Moses murdered the Egyptian out of antagonism.
The relationship between Ramses and Moses also plays down racism in the movie- sets the tone to play down the racism. Ramses becomes a “brother” to Moses. Throughout the beginning of the movie they are seen having a close relationship with one another and doing mischief throughout Egypt. Although this brotherly relationship is fictional and is not written about in Exodus. Having a fictional relationship, especially at the beginning of the movie doesn’t display any animosity between the two races. Instead it brings the characters close together and creates an emotional relationship.
This can be further seen when Moses accidently kills the Egyptian. When this is done Ramses...