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The Matrix: Symbolism

Symbolism of Names

Matrix [UPDATED] in the dictionary refers to "a situation or surrounding substance within which something else originates, develops, or is contained. The womb." Additionally, the concept of the Matrix as an illusion or a 'construct' that humans are unaware of resembles the idea of Samsara in Buddhism and Hinduism. Samsara teaches that the world we consider 'real' is actually a projection of our own desires. From Morpheus Neo learns that how he'd perceived himself in the Matrix was simply a "the mental projection of your digital self." The "real" sensory world "is simply electrical signals interpreted by your brain."

Neo in latin means new. It's also an anagram of "one". Thomas Anderson, Neo's given name relates to 'doubting Thomas' in the bible when he doesn't believe he is the One. Anderson means 'son of man' which is a messianic title.

The Oracle in greek history was an intermediary between god and man. People could ask an Oracle questions and get an answer, sometimes in a riddle format that often wouldn't make sense until later. In the Matrix she says, "You know what that means? It's Latin. Means know thyself." "Know thyself" is inscribed upon the Oracle of Apollo and attributed to the Delphic Oracle, Greece, 6th century B.C.

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Trinity represents the number three which is a powerful number in many stories and traditions. In keeping with the Christian themes, the 'father', 'son', 'holy spirit' seems to be related here. In The Matrix, Morpheus, Trinity, and Neo fight the machines.

Morpheus means the fashioner or molder, because of the shapes he calls up before the sleeper, in classical mythology. He is the god of dreams, which ties in with the sleep/dream theme that runs throughout the Matrix.

Cypher is the classic betrayer, the Judas Iscariot. The word refers to a mathematical symbol denoting an absence of quantity, a zero. Also, someone with no value, a nonentity. It's also potentially related to Satan (the name could be a shortened version of 'Lucifer'). Cypher also has a goatee and wears red early in The Matrix which relate to popular images of Satan.
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Did You Know?

At the 'Door to the Source' briefing in 'Reloaded' The Keymaker tells the rebels that the amount of time that the One has to open the door to the Source is 314 seconds. This is likely an allusion to PI, 3.14, which is a close approximation of the relation of a circle's circumference to its diameter, yet contains an unending anomaly, much like the One is to the Matrix.
- Submitted by Ross McDermott
Main Character from The Matrix

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