Religion has always addressed the question of life after death. Thus, old mythology is full of protagonists that undergo resurrection such as Orpheus´ Euridike. And probably the most famous figure that finds his way back to life is to be found in the Bible.
However, one does not need the help of God to come back to life after death. Even more modern and secular literature and movies still address the topic of resurrection, not being able to free themselves from this old fascination. Here are some secularized ways in which creative authors have made resurrection work.
10. The Matrix
“The Matrix”, written and directed in 1999 by the Wachowskis, is often characterized as a deeply philosophical film, praised for its richness of references that range from Platonic to postmodern theories. However, it is not only philosophy but also the motif of Christ that plays a significant role in the movie.
When Neo, the movie´s cyber-hacker-hero, gets shot right into his heart several times by the system´s agents, no viewer can possibly doubt that he is dead. Simultaneously, while this is happening in the Matrix, his passive body in the real world is shown in agony. Then, his heart stops beating. Neo stops breathing. “He is gone”, one of the agents confirms.
Trinity, nonetheless, a rebel against the simulation-system just as Neo, does not trust in the eternity of his death. She leans over Neo´s body and presents him the reason for her doubt. Neo cannot be dead because, first, the Oracle told her that she would fall in love with “The One” and that, second, she loves Neo. These two are enough to revive Neo: Logic and Love. Here, resurrection and the gain of even more supernatural powers go hand in hand.
9. Romeo and Juliet
Juliet takes a sleeping-drink which lets her appear dead for 24 hours, in order to escape the planned marriage with Paris. That is because Juliet is in love with Romeo who later finds her in her grave and, out of despair in face of her sudden death, kills himself with poison.
In that moment, Juliet, who by almost everyone was assumed to be dead, awakens. However, seeing her beloved Romeo poisoned, she kisses him and now takes her just regained life – this time, without chance of resurrection.
Though Juliet´s resurrection has been called a “pseudo-resurrection” because she was never actually dead, Shakespeare´s figure cannot be missed on this list for both the play´s big impact on other resurrection scenes and for Shakespeare´s clever way of making resurrection rationally explicable to secularized readers.