Summary of The Meaning of Life
The Meaning of Life is regarded as Monty Python’s third and last film, and it has some unique features, separating it from the other two. The first unique thing about the movie is that there are no central characters that can be traced from the beginning of the movie to its end (Chapman 3). The movie does not have any central location and does not provide the chronological unfolding of events. It rather presents a compilation of sketches that are linked by the concept of human life. The reality of the film begins with the few skits on the stage of life-birth. At first, the mother gives birth and asks about the gender of the baby. The doctor responds by saying that it is too early to impose roles on it. The main character, Brian, is born in the building near Jesus, and the wise men also mistake him for being Jesus. Throughout the film, Brian is mistaken for the Messiah, and in the end, he faces crucifixion, just like Christ did. Brian is fated to die like the messiah since he was continuously mistaken for Jesus (Chapman 7). Did his place of birth seal his destiny?
Relationship with Logic
An important part of philosophy is logic. There are various philosophical elements of logic represented in the film. Socrates set strong prominence on the need for examining a person’s life, which can be seen at the end of the Meaning of Life. The meaning of life beyond the personal existence can be viewed in various dimensions (Jones 12). A person may have things they are sure to serve as the source of significant individual satisfaction, but these will fall short of what people expect from the “meaning of life.” There is much of talk regarding life having the meaning that is bound up with the whole private experience. Based on the personal existence, the “meaning of life” is something that can be articulated as an internal monolog. It seems impossible to articulate the concept outwardly to the cogent satisfaction of the listener. When a person answers the question of the meaning of life, others should be in the position to understand what such a person says and come to their rational judgment about the vocalized meaning (Jones 14).
Based on the social existence, the meaning of life is how the communities get attached to specific meanings of existence as they discuss it with different people and develop the philosophical implications of their reasoning. But does the logic end there? And if it ends at that point, it seems that asking “Does existence get any meaning?” may seem equivalent to asking, “Do societies have shared meanings for existence?” Of course, the communities do have that (Jones 16). Logically, it is never enough to say that different communities hold divergent views with regards to the meaning of life. Another outstanding question is whether there exists the independent, objective meaning to existence, and not the recognized attribution of meaning, which would allow to bid a goodbye to the Existentialist account of the meaning of life, together with the Constructionist and the Cultural Relativism view (Python 44).
Perception vs. Reality
In a nutshell, if you haven’t seen Chapman’s Monty Python’s Meaning of Life, I am sure you do not expect the idea of Reality versus Perception. The idea is what Plato emphasizes in his philosophy that states that not all is the way it seems and the perception often fools you.
Jones, Terry. Jesus and Brian: Exploring the Historical Jesus and his Times via Monty Python’s Life of Brian. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2015.
Chapman, G., et al. Monty Python’s the Meaning of Life. Methuen, 1983.