A lovely film which I enjoyed watching on dvd.
This is the biblical story of Queen Esther who eventually helped free
her Jewish people.
The story needs to be seen within the context of the times where women
could be banished as occurred to queen Vashti for not attending an entertainment
and banquet for the King's assembled nobles and visiting dignitaries.
King Xerxes often took advice from his wise and experienced counsellors. He was
advised to send Queen Vashti away and find a more suitable queen.
Esther never asked for anything. It was customary for the women of the harem
to request whatever they may require before going into the king's presence. Esther was
happy to oblige with whatever was suggested by the eunuchs in attendance who served
It was a fascinating time in history. The action of the story takes place in Susa and King Xerxes was King of Persia and Media and reigned over 127 provinces.
Esther's Jewish background was not known. This was
on the instructions of Mordecai, a cousin who had brought Esther up.
Mordecai, at a later stage, saved the king's life by discovering a plot.
Haman, a noble who had been elevated at the court by the king, had issued an edict to destroy Jewish people. He was also plotting against Mordecai.
The story is fascinating with beautiful settings and exquisite costumes. Esther becomes a beautiful queen and it is in this respect as a queen and using her wits she tries to do as Mordecai wished by
influencing the king as regards the Jewish people.
Mordecai had sent messages to Esther and after receiving a reply he warned her that she could
not remain silent on this issue and that just because she lived in the king's palace she could not believe that she alone of the Jewish people would escape. The Jewish people may find another way for their deliverance but she would not be safe. He also believed that it was possible that Esther was a royal for such a time as this. This strong message of Mordecai spurred Esther to try and do something to influence the king. In the biblical story, Esther and her maids fasted for three days and she also requested Mordecai to do the same with the Jews of Susa.
Within the context of the story Esther was playing with fire. The king had not seen her for thirty days when she eventually went to see him. He offered the gold sceptre which was an exception to the rule that people without formal request who entered into the king's presence were punished and put to death.
With lavish surroundings and banquets which Esther prepares the story moves to its climax and eventually the Jews are freed. The tables are turned on Haman.
The film is excellent and well worth watching. Esther and the king are wonderful characters.
I loved viewing this film and may watch it again. It has all the elements of a great and wonderful story and with clever manoevrings on the part of Mordecai, who was subsequently raised to a high level in the court, and also of Queen Esther, the Jewish people found their freedom again. They issued a decree that the Jews were allowed to gather and protect themselves. The occasion became a celebrated feast day in all of the provinces of the king.
It is a wonderful story.
Temple of Esther and Mordecai:
Best wishes from Sandra