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Friday, May 7, 2010

The Kingdom of Heaven: An Essay

The Crusades were known as a series of expeditions in the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries undertaken by the Christian countries to take the Holy Land, which is Jerusalem, from the Muslims. Many years ago, Jerusalem was under the control of Muslims. Christians could hardly enter the Holy Land for their pilgrimage to pray and sing their praises. For Christians, Jerusalem is a very important place for it is where Jesus was born and crucified. The Holy Land is where the forgiveness, wealth and peace are. For Muslims, Jerusalem is important because of their belief that Mohammad, their god, is there. These are the very reasons for the crusades that took place for a long period.

The crusade was a conflict between the Christians and Muslims where interactions of war are minimal. The movie portrayed the presence of both Christians and Muslims ruled by King Baldwin IV and Saladin respectively. Throughout the entire movie, there were only three wars that broke up and two of it was perfected. The first war sparked through the influence of Reynan and Guy de Lusignan, husband of King Baldwin IV’s sister, Sibylla when they attacked a Muslim caravan. However, both parties pulled back after King Baldwin IV and Saladin’s conversation:

Saladin: I pray you pull back your cavalry and leave this matter to me.

King Baldwin IV: I pray you retire unharmed to Damascus. Reynald of Chatillon will be punished. I swear it. Withdraw or we will all die here. We have terms.

Saladin: We have terms. (Kingdom of Heaven)
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The second war was again influenced by wickedness and war thirst of Reynald and Guy de Lusignan when the latter succeeded the throne but the war ended in their indiscriminate loss due to lack of water and armies. The third was an attack to the Jerusalem by the Muslim as an aftermath of the second war. Though the Christians lost the war, the lives of many women children and helpless were spared through the righteousness and courage of Balian.

The crusades were influenced by the belief of the Christians that their sins would be forgiven and they would find wealth in Jerusalem. This has been portrayed in the movie with several conversations:

Godfrey of Ibelin: (speaking to Balian): Some say, Jerusalem is the very center of the world for asking forgiveness but myself I call it here. Now. I have one hundred men at arms. If you will come with me you will have a living… (Kingdom of Heaven)

It is depicted also by the priest by saying “If you take the take the crusade, you may relieve your wife’s possession in hell. She was a suicide. She is in hell”. This was believed by Balian when he followed his father:

Balian: I have done murder… Is it true that in Jerusalem I can erase my sins and loss of my wife? Is it true?

Godfrey: We can find out together. (Kingdom of Heaven)

The movie has depicted the histories of disintegration of the crusades. When Guy de Lusigna succeeded the throne of the king, he wanted to get rid of the Muslims, as what happened also in the history of the crusades. Upon sitting, Guy de Lusigna formed his armies to wage war against the Muslims but Tiberia and Balian resisted because they were certain of loss for lack of water, arms and the powerful armies of the enemy. The greediness and politics that have happened in the history of the crusades were depicted by the movie in the person of Guy de Lusigna and Reynald. This has also caused the disintegration because of Guy de Lusigna’s arrogance and rudeness to Godfrey and Balian, as showed when they were eating together:

Guy de Lusigna: You sit at my table.

Balian: Is it not the king’s table?

Guy de Lusigna: … I cannot eat. I’m fin nicking about the company in front of this could not inherit… (Kingdom of Heaven)

Guy de Lusigna’s war thirst, as transcended in the crusaders’ history, was portrayed by Guy de Lusigna:

Guy de Lusigna: Give me a war.

Reynald: Yes my lord. That’s what I do. (Kingdom of Heaven)

Notably, the personalities in the crusades were also portrayed in the movie in the person of King Baldwin IV and Saladin. These personalities were credited for their greatness and braveness in the crusades. King Baldwin IV and Balian portrayed the very purpose of the crusades which is to protect the Christians even it means their life:

King Baldwin IV: We must meet him before he reaches Kerak. I will lead the army.

Tiberias: My lord, if you travel, you’ll die.

King Baldwin IV: Send word to Balian to protect the villagers.

King Baldwin IV: Assemble the army! (Kingdom of Heaven)

Further, these two personalities, during their reign has established and maintain between them peace. Both Christians and Muslims were free to pray in Jerusalem as showed where Muslims were praying in the Messina, port of the Holy Land and in the place ruled by Balian. It was also portrayed when Balian spared the life of Nasir.

With all the statements above, it can therefore be said that the movie Fingdom of Heaven has portrayed the conflict of the Christians and Muslims that created crusades in the olden history of Middle East.


  1. Hello Dear friends crusade war is one of the important topic and incident of our life because our
    life cycle is revolving around this cycle. To understand this we should learn or we should get knowledge of some things like our religion, our living style, things around us and most important previous history.

    There are more than eight hundred billion people on this earth and there are 365 different religions in this world from which a few are famous and majority of religion are not famous to rest of world. From few famous religion five religions are very much famous (Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, Jewish, Buddhism) and among all these five religions there are different kind of groups and every group claim that they are on right path e.g. in Christians some believe in that chariest is the only spirit in this world and other believe that chariest is not only one but there is an addition of holy mother then the power complete and same is the case in Hinduism some of them believe in different gods and so that they have conflicts between their religious groups and same is the case in Islam, Jewish and Buddhism. If we calculate sincerely with neutral mind then we find a fact that every group from any religion should be of between 10~20% of the world and considered that they are right and rest of the world 80~90% peoples are wrong. Every religion have its fantasy of revival of their religion and for this every religion has its character which is know by different names in different religions. And also have the concept of great evil and the war between evil and that character is known ascrusade war
    If you wanna know about interesting things and wanna know and express yourself come join me at blogs Crusade War

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  3. i think you need to review your history my friend, and maybe educate yourself a bit more on the matter, i read the first 5 sentences of your essay, just to find very mistaken facts, like the prophet Mohammed is not the Muslim God, Christians were not prosecuted under the Islamic empire, rather they were treated with respect, and they were protected by Islamic army, to confirm that fact, When SalahEldien entered Jerusalem, he guaranteed Christian worship rights. The more I read with this essay, I find your facts to be very wrong, and biased.
    thanks for the article.

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