The Passion

I didnít yet know the full dimensions of passion.

D. Covington, Salvation on Sand Mountain

EN 305-02

March 18, 2004

Mel Gibsonís controversial film, The Passion of the Christ (2004), held the number one position in box offices across the country for over two weeks since its release. The movie, spoken in the original language of the characters portrayed, is a record of the last 48 hours of Jesusí life. With an ample amount of attention focusing on the horrific mistreatment of Jesus before his crucifixion, The Passion of the Christ is a realistic account of the Passion of Jesus Christ, as it relates to the evens in the Holy Bible. While Gibsonís movie recounts the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, The Passion of the Christ begins with Jesus agonizing in the Garden of Gethsemane (Luke 22:39-46) and ends with the resurrection of Christ (Luke 24:1-3). The movie does not show events that lead up to Jesusí visit in the Garden (i.e., Passover, The Last Supper), nor does it focus on the Christís works great works after the Resurrection (i.e., The Appearance to Two Believers, Appearance to the Disciples). From Gibsonís depiction, many question the movieís beginning and end: Why does the movie begin and end in those particular phases of Jesusí death? In referencing Gibsonís title, The Passion of the Christ, as it relates to rhetoric and language usage, one can derive at the conclusion that the abrupt beginning and ending of the movie intentionally presents a multifaceted passion: the passion of Christ, the passion of the Pharisees (persecuting Jewish leaders), and the passion of the viewing audience.

Gibsonís title, The Passion of the Christ, can be explained grammatically in the following formula:

Article + Proper noun + Preposition + Article + Proper Noun (Object of the Preposition).

The Article + Pronoun (The Passion) identifies a subject, more importantly, a particular subject - the passion. The preposition, of, introduces a prepositional phrase, thus giving

the subject (The Passion) the option to stand alone. The prepositional phrase provides specific information of whom (or) what the subject can be linked to, in this case, the subject can be linked to the Christ. The title, in relation to grammar, presents the main focus of the movie, the passion. However, the object of the preposition tells the reader whom the passion is in reference to Ė the Christ. From this formula, there are two observations that can be noted that can provide insight on why Gibson chose to end and begin The Passion of the Christ in the manner in which he did. The addition of the prepositional phrase leaves the subject open to stand-alone; it is in that device that Gibson can choose only to focus on the passion. The passion can take the form of the overwhelming passion Jesus has for Godís people, the passionate anger of the Pharisees, or the passion that viewers feel for the Christ in the movie. The second observation looks into Gibsonís scope on the audience on which he tries to attract. The object of the preposition, the Christ, is different from the phrase Christ. By placing an article in front of the pronoun, one can attribute a figure or an idea to the word Christ. This article broadens the audience scope from people of specific denomination or believers to opening the realm to those who do not know who Christ is or who do not believe in Christ; one can now attribute the passion to the Christ figure, or a Christ type.