Samson’s Hair: Symbols of Power
I’m always shocked to see what kind of Biblical connections we can make in fiction where there are none intended. Samson’s Hair is a symbol of power, and it comes from a looooong and bloody story with lots of death, and there’s no happily-ever-after. But one thing that sets the story apart from others is the symbol of strength – something that’s sometimes lacking in Biblical stories due to the fear of worshipping false idols.
The story goes that Samson was asleep in Delilah’s arms when she took a bribe from some Philistines to learn the secret of Samson’s strength. The secret was his hair – and I’m sure she didn’t find it too hard to get that tidbit of critical info out of him – so she had his hair chopped off while he was sleeping. He was captured then, and eventually turned to God for renewed strength and was able to die in an epic collapse of the temple when he shoved two pillars apart and smashed it all to rubble.
But in this story, the symbol of strength is only later Samson’s prayer and faith in God… early on, it’s his hair. I wish my hair had superpowers. All my hair has is the power to fray obnoxiously at the ends. Oh and to get in my eyes when the wind is blowing.
In fiction we often see symbols of power in a physical form, such as…
The Dagger that carries the Sands of Time in Prince of Persia
I’m guessing Jake Gyllenhaal doesn’t need no stinkin’ dagger to gain power over raving #fangirls like me. Must be the hair.
Thor’s Hammer (Myth or Movie, take your pick!) But again, hm, that HAIR! 😉
The Matrix of Leadership (TRANSFORMERS!!!! Revenge of the Fallen)
WHO LOVES TRANSFORMERS AS MUCH AS I DO?!?!
Physical symbols of power are used in so many different forms of fiction. Having that one thing the protagonist pursues as though his life depends on it (because it usually does) really drives a character and a story. Or having that character need to protect the symbol of power from apprehension… that does the trick, too. I’m always inspired when there’s that physical pursuit, like Delilah of Samson’s hair.
Where have you seen symbols of power in fiction, and what movies come to mind when you think about that pursuit for the powerful object? How do these objects change the overall goals of a character?