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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?

'The Surrender of Breda', a famous classical painting by Spanish painter, Diego Velázquez, appears at a critical juncture of 'Reloaded'. The painting shows the general of the surrendering city giving the keys to the city to the conquering Spanish general during the Spanish-Dutch war in the 17th century. And when does it appear? The painting appears only briefly while the Keymaker is running away from the Twins along a very long corridor with doors, followed by Morpheus and Trinity...in the building where the keymaker is kept and before he gives his own key to Neo to enter the Source, of course.
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