Thursday, December 24, 2009

Manhunter analysis - part 64: The Melchizedek allegory

CATEGORY: MOVIES     [Hidden plot related]

Violet coloring in the sink in Lecktor's cell.

We recall that in Lecktor's prison cell, there is a silver-colored sink (no doubt made of stainless steel), within which is some sort of light-emitting device which gives the inside of the sink a violet "glow."

We need to determine whether there is any relationship between Lecktor's plans for Will, and the fact that Beverly Katz is trying to deceive Will in the investigator's meeting. First, we note that when Will and Crawford first bring Katz the tissue note and hair samples from Baltimore, Katz is standing near a microscope in a large laboratory area, and against the far left (from our perspective) wall of this lab, there are several large bins or enclosed recesses in the wall which have a violet color, very similar to the glow in Lecktor's sink as described above. This suggests some relationship between Katz and Lecktor.

Katz's work area. Note the violet coloring of the enclosures at the left-hand side of the screencap.

We need to investigate the underlying symbolism and metaphor in the movie, to determine what the relationship between Katz and Lecktor is.

Let us begin with Katz's name. Katz is a frequent German surname. It is also a common Ashkenazi Jewish surname. It is, along with Cohen, the oldest and most common of Jewish last names. It is an abbreviation formed from the initials of the name Kohen Tzedeq, and has been used since the seventeenth century, or perhaps somewhat earlier, as an epithet of the descendants of Aaron. The collocation is most likely derived from Melchizedek ("king of righteousness"), who is called the priest ("kohen") of the most high God (Genesis 14.18).[a] The following passage is contained in Genesis 14:17-20, which falls under the heading, "Abram Blessed by Melchizedek" (Abram is the same person as Abraham):

17. After Abram returned from defeating Kedorlaomer and the kings allied with him, the king of Sodom came out to meet him in the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King's Valley). 18. Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, 19. and he blessed Abram, saying, "Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth. 20. And praise be to God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand." Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything. [New International Version]

The common 'raham' in the names Graham and Abraham implies that Will Graham represents a descendant of Abraham. Thus, we can now see the overall metaphorical meaning of the events taking place among Graham, Katz, and Lecktor: Katz represents (a descendant of) Melchizedek, and she is praising Lecktor (her 'god most high') for delivering Graham's enemies (Molly, Bloom, and Kevin) to him (that is, to Will): recall that Lecktor's book code message, which is intercepted during the investigators' meeting, is designed to send Will to Captiva to "kill them all."

According to the online Encyclopedia Britannica, Melchizedek is an old Canaanite name meaning "My King Is [the god] Sedek" or "My King Is Righteousness" (the meaning of the similar Hebrew cognate). Salem, of which he is said to be king, is very probably Jerusalem. Psalm 76:2 refers to Salem in a way that implies that it is synonymous with Jerusalem, and the reference in Gen. 14:17 to "the King's Valley" further confirms this identification. The god whom Melchizedek serves as priest is "El 'Elyon," again a name of Canaanite origin, probably designating the high god of their pantheon. (Later, the Hebrews adapted another Canaanite name as an appellation for God.)[b] However, in our allegory described above, Katz, as a descendant of Melchizedek, is serving the Canaanite deity Baal, and this within the context that Baal is another name for the Devil, of whom Lecktor is a personification. (Later in the analysis, we will see that the name Hannibal is etymologically connected to the name Baal).

Based on the above, we see that Katz and Lecktor are in league with each other. We will talk about this some more later, and we will also attempt to find out if any of the other FBI personnel are working against Will.

a. Wikipedia, 'Katz (surname)'. Web, n.d. URL =
b. 'Melchizedek'. Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2016. Web. 02 Nov. 2016. URL =


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