ONE NIGHT WITH THE KING (Esther the Bible Movie)


MORDECAI: From whence
comes the purpose
of a person’s life? Come it by chance,
a casting of the lot, or does a call of destiny
beckon to each of us? sah and why
a simple Jewish orphan was chosen to stand
against the annihilation
of her people. And yet
the mystery of the girl
most know as Esther begins not where
one might think, but 500 years earlier with a single act
of disobedience. King Saul of the Israelites had been sent by
the Prophet Samuel to wipe out
an ancient
child-sacrificing enemy. So pervasive was their evil that not even
their oxen nor sheep
were to be spared, and above all,
no survivors left breathing. My lord, I give you Agag,
king of the Amalekites. We have also seized
for you his livestock. Even his queen. What dark portent
bid me haste
to cross this land of ours? How would you accuse me now,
O Prophet? I carried out
your lord’s command. ears ring with the lowing of oxen
and the bleating of sheep? Your Majesty,
the Amalekite queen, she escaped. We have the king. What is one woman? You fool, she is with child. MORDECAI:
While the Prophet Samuel
put a swift end to King Agag, Agag’s queen, fleeing with
the seed of vengeance
growing within her, the Jews never found. HADASSAH: Uncle Mordecai! Rebecca,
what kind of housekeeper
do you think you are? Serves you right
for bringing home your work. HADASSAH: The caravan
arrived this morning. Well, Susa is
the capital of the new world. Caravans arrive every day. Not from Jerusalem. Well, perhaps
you ought to go back
and ask them if they’ll arrive
the same time next year. Next year? You promised. Rebecca!
REBECCA:
Fight your own battles. You don’t pay me enough
to fight the battle for you. Good morning, Hadassah. And where have you been? I’m sorry, Grandmother,
the markets were really busy. There’s a new
caravan in from… (SHUSHING)
Sore subject. Uncle Mordecai, does not your own heart
long to see our people
restored to glory? It does. Did not Cyrus the Great
conquer Babylon and free our people
from captivity? He did. But do we embrace our freedom
and leave this pagan empire to embrace our destiny? Of course not. MORDECAI: Lord, I pray to you day and night to give me
the patience of Job, give me
the wisdom of Solomon. And what do you give me? You give me
the endless equivocations of a beautiful, young woman. Look. Hadassah, always dreaming. Maybe… Here, then,
you be the princess. While many Jews had forgotten
the acts of centuries past, the descendants of Agag
had not. For Agag’s queen
did indeed survive and gave birth to a son. And she forged
for him a mark, prophesying that one day
an Agagite would arrive, a descendant of Agag, who would finally
exact vengeance upon the Jews. GIRL 1: Hadassah,
read us a story! GIRL 2: Read us a story! A story?
You want a story? GIRL: Hadassah, help! Over here. Are y HADASSAH: “And King Saul
said to David, “‘You cannot go
before this Goliath “‘for you are but a youth.’ “David replied, “‘While keeping
my father’s sheep,
there came a l “‘And I slew them both. “‘This Goliath “‘for he defied
the armies of the Lord.'” As will Jesse Ben-Joseph, should he but
take one step closer. With peace, Haman. There’s little
but random news I bear. I judge that. Rumor has it Queen Vashti plans
not the King’s banquet
this evening, in protest of the war. Apparently the King
has no idea. Some see random news. Others, opportunities. Of course,
this is why
you are a dispatch rider, and I am
a prince of the Fars. Tell me, Agagite, what do you do
with the extra darics
you connive from me? I have 10 sons, my lord, and a wife
that makes many demands. (CHUCKLES) Ten sons? You serve
the great king well. Come, come. Go you now. Speak of me
as you lavish
your wife and sons. ABIHAIL: Happy birthday,
Hadassah! HADASSAH: A stone ball? Remember, Hadassah,
it is the glory of God to conceal a matter, the honor of kings
to seek it out. It’s from the Promised Land. Your great-grandmother
brought it with her. And like you,
its true treasure is etched within. PRIEST:
Reconsider my proposition. There is much
ed for leadership More stew, my lord? I don’t suppose
that in your entire caravan you have a cook
one half as good as our Rebecca. Here you are
but a poor palace scribe, one who passes as a Persian,
at that. Are you a Jew? Or have you become
a Gentile? We’re a small people caught up in a vast
and violent empir. We have capricious princes who could order
our annihilation
with the flick of a finger. And your presence
in the palace
might prevent it? Probably not. Look, tell me
what I want to hear about. Tell me about the Temple. What ecstasy
to stand in the presence Like the intimate embrace
of a husband and wife. It’s so much deeper
than mere mortal love. Oh, hello. MORDECAI:
Now, it came to pass
in the days of King Xerxes, who ruled over the empire
of the Medes and Persians, from Ethiopia to India, that in the third year
of his reign, he decreed
a season of feasting. Rumors of war
were in the wind, however, and some thought
this the King’s way of stalling off
a much-debated decision to march on Greece
in retaliation
for his father’s death four years before. MAN: Queen Vashti,
Your Maje Enter. The night’s festivities
hold not your interest, dear? It is long
since you summoned me here. Your hands
have not been idle. Not idle, not gifted either. MORDECAI: Later, Hadassah,
we’ll discuss this later. I have run out of laters. The caravan leaves tomorrow. Did not the priest even say
it would be good for me? me? You have so much
er And perhaps
I’m just being
a very selfish old man. Do you really
want to go to Jerusalem? Truly. Then go with my blessing. Rebecca! Yes, well,
I will be late
coming back tonight. The feasting
has been extended. All Susa is invited. All of Susa? A drunken brawl is no place
for a young lady of purity. Then why is
a good Jew like you going? All the scribes have to go! There is war in the air! (ALL CHATTERING) The Queen indeed
holds her own
feast in protest. All is prepared
as you have asked. You do know why the princes
have asked you to extend
the feast another night. You are too late
if you seek me to deny them. Especially now. Such clamoring
to march upon Greece
and avenge my father’s death. How long have you dreamt
of molding Persia int
and A flame to make
eve
but as I, this is not something
that is won in battle but in the hearts of men. You would have me
do nothing, then? You’re no warrior, no soldier. I’d have you stay, enhance your kingdom, preserve your throne. Looking for someone? hank you. You can run back
to Rebecca now. Oh, I’m sure you’re fine. Only tell me, Hadassah, or whoever you are, how do you intend
ace? You didn’t come
to take me back? Come, or I shall call you
Hadassah the mouse. Wait! I appear to you by
the gracious command of the great king of kings, the emperor of the world,
Xerxes, son of Darius. Great king. (ALL CHEERING) We drink. We drink also to my guard,
the immortal 10,000, but I fear I would
soon have to send them out to conquer
new vineyards for me. ( Then let us drink
to Queen Vashti, the most beautiful
in the land. Bring forth Vashti! Vashti! (ALL CHANTING) Bring forth Vashti! They are serious?
They demand Vashti
be here before all? Already rumors circulate
as to why the Queen
holds her own feast instead of attending yours. They sound riotous, my lord. They fear a divided kingdom. My lord,
you know the Queen’s
position on the war. They go
She mus reigning in a place
such as this. None is more lovely
than you, my queen. My thanks, fair prince.
Prince? Why is it for years
you threatened to join
the caravans to Jerusalem, yet you never do? What holds you back? Perhaps the courage
to face it alone. What if you had
someone to join you? MAN: The herald returns! The Queen asks
the King’s forgiveness. She cannot leave her guests. VASHTI: I’m queen, not a pawn, and I will not
lower my dignity or shame my reign by wearing the royal crown
before your drunk and thinly veiled war council. MAN 1: What news
of the Queen? MAN 2: Where is our queen? MAN 3: Queen Vashti! Am I to be a mockery
before my subjects? Or Greece as well? Continue, Cousin. Might not this deed of refusal travel abroad to all women, making their husbands
contemptible in their eyes? Will not it be
said by all, “Xerxes commanded his wife
to come before him, “but she came not”? Vashti’s guilty not only
the crown but against
the protocol of our fathers. And tell me, what dictates the protocol? A royal edict must be issued and written that Vashti… That Vashti come no more
before the King, but that her royal position
be given to a new queen, more worthy than her. My lord, what answer
do I send the Queen? (ALL CHANTING) Vashti! Vashti! The land has no more queen! I wish not to be queen here
any longer. Mordecai is
giving me his blessing. Let us leave tomorrow, together. MORDECAI: Thus the scris
were assembled, and a decree sent forth. The princes did indeed
press upon Xerxes, war, “Leave behind a queen “to keep the people unified.” Every maiden
was to be considered, the choicest of whom
to be brought from
across the empire and into the palace. In accordance
with the protocol, young men
were also rounded up to become eunuchs who would serve
the queen’s candidates during their
time of preparation. MORDECAI: There’s no need
for alarm. In all likelihood
they will not come for you. And not all that are taken
will be chosen. Doubtless, the queen
has already been selected through bribery or chicanery. How do I keep our laws? How do I pray? What excuse do I offer God
for not keeping
his commandments? Oh, Hadassah. God sees
the inward observance. The court is
a dangerous place. I think it will be better if you forgot
that you were a Jew. If this is a sin, then… Then let it be on my head. Promise me that
you will do that
if you’re taken. Promise me that! If I am taken, I will do as you say. I should give you
t name. Hadassah is too Jewis. Esther. Esther is a good
Babylonian name. Yes. That’s what
we shall call you
from now on. usa. Promise me. Promise me if
en. I said, “If I am taken.” If, if, if. But for now, you should look for me
in the streets of Jerusalem, dancing like David
before the glory of the Lord. Hadassah! Who? Uncle Mordecai! (GASPS) MORDECAI: Is this the way
the King’s orders
are carried out? Senseless brutality
in the middle of the night? Father, please show us favor and turn these dungeons
into someplace wonderful. Is this the dungeon part
or the wonderful part? (ALL GASP) Look! Sarah, it matches your eyes. Have you ever found anything
so wonderful in your life? And Hannah, was it not made for you? Am I never going to
see my mother again? Only if you wish not to. Two, three days,
and who knows? Home you go. Do you think
we’re not beautiful enough to be asked to stay,
Hadassah? Welcome to a brand-new life. The method of your arrival
was not of my choosing. I am Hagai,
His Majesty’s Royal Eunuch. I have been assigned
to oversee your preparation. All right, it’s okay. (GIRL SCREAMS) MAN: Don’t let them escape.
Kill Which way
to the quarter of the Jews? (GIRL SCREAMS) (GIGGLING) You have a very bad habit. The palace is no place
for children. You think of me as a child? Well, you’re wrong. I am much younger than that. How do they call you? Esther. Curious name. From where do you come? I am of the wind whose sound is heard,
yet none can tell from whence it comes
or where it goes. Well,
we gather within the hour. Try not to blow away
before then. Another 4,000 talents
for metal, weapons, armor. And we must not forget
the pay of the mercenarie. I know this is not
a favored opinion, but if used
for peaceful purposes, such amounts
could serve many needs. Two different ways of life
are involved. The Greeks have no king
and they want none. It is one thing
to beat our chests
and parade our boldness pretending this is
still the empire
of our fathers. But you hear the costs
of an actual campaign! If we are not honest
with ourselves, I fear we lose much more
than just our stature. Then, let us sit back
and do nothing? Let the Greeks conquer. Let them establish democracy. Would not the King
be the first to suffer, Or does the memory
of his father’s death not stir as deep in his bones
as it does in ours? I speak to you as one
not without empathy. I, too,
have stood in the battle and stared into the unknown. For the very sword
that took my eye took from me
my manhood as well. But be at peace. This is no warfare
that you embark upon. This is only the life or at least it can be, if you so choose
to embrace it. Think not I heard
your whispered orchestrations
that night? And how you drew even me
into your schemes? In these troubled times
it is easy to name
any man traitor. I even recall
a certain campaign in Ionia under King Darius, where someone allowed
the defeated Greeks to keep their own form
of government, their democracy, instead of placing
the protocol of the empire
in control. Favoring democracy. The very doctrine
to which all Persia
is opposed. I followed orders! Come. Come, come, come. (CHUCKLES) We trouble ourselves
w
h things. The King asked me to speak.
I did. I obeyed. As you obeyed. MORDECAI: With suspicion
and mistrust creeping
into palace halls, Haman the Agagite found the opportunity
he had been waiting for. He began to strike out
more openly at the Jews living
in the outlying land, painting them
as the true
Greek sympathizers, setting the stage
for his ultimate
act of vengeance. Look. I am curious to whether you frustrate me
out of sincerity or to ensure that
you’re never chosen queen. You assume
I actually care about
being chosen queen. I am serious. Serious of what? Finding a real queen? Is that why you subject us
to these beauty treatments, these classes? You do not like
our fine inst They simply
neglect to teach us
some things. Such as? Well, seemingly anything to do
with actually being queen: the thought well thought,
the word well spoken and the deed well done. As it is said
in the great books. You read? Many tongues. (LAUGHS) Before I received
your “invitation”, I was reading
of Gilgamesh the Babylonian. ESTHER: And Utanapishtim
spoke to Gilgamesh, sayin, ”
and
ut “What can I do
so that you can
return to your land? “I will tell you
a thing that is hidden. “There is a plant
whose thorns “will prick your hand
like a rose. “If your hands
reach this plant, “you will become
a young man again.” Gilgamesh in the original. I read translation, never the original. You read? There are few pleasures
left to one such as I. You offer us
Hagai’s position, my lord, if we grant you the privilege
of picking a queen? Misgath of Persepolis. Misgath? Of unusual beauty. But up here, empty as a beggar’s bowl. Consider her family. Daughter of a rug merchant? Will they not
also shower you MORDECAI: While there were
certainly worse ways for the candidates
to have spent their days than myrrh baths
and beauty treatments, none of the rumors
of riches and glory
stirred more excitement than the thought
of gaining entry
to the royal treasury itself. Whatever you chose
for your one night
with the King will be yours
for the keeping. Candidates, choose wisely. (ALL GIGGLING EXCITEDLY) You stand not impressed? It matters not
what impresses me. How is one to choose
when they know not
what impresses the King? Will you teach me? I will do far more than that.
Come. A recent acquisition. One, I believe,
the King will find
most pleasing. Esther of Susa, come. Seat yourself on the stool and read the scroll. It is
the chronicles of the King, the royal diary. Through these doors
you are no longer a candidate. You are a servant. Remember the protocol. To approach uninvited is death. I read for the King, alone? Like this? “Daily entry 23. “Egyptian wheat reserves “were reported
at half the normal levels
due to a recent drought.” “Admiral Xtes was honored “for serving 20 years
in the Royal Fleet. “After a lengthy speech,
he promptly
keeled over and died.” “Twenty-five.
Three herd of sheep
were stolen from Dirmalmirah, “Satrap of Midea. “He requests
that the crown send out
the proper authority.” And so Jacob, also a sh
de, was sent off into the far,
far-off land where he came across
the fair Rachel
tending her father’s sheep. He wa
an from the well,
and watered
her flock for her. Then Jacob kissed Rachel and lifted up his voice
and wept with joy. When Laban, Rachel’s father,
heard of this, he said to Jacob,
“Should you serve me
for nothing? “Tell me,
what shall your wages be?” Jacob said,
“I will serve you seven years
for your daughter Rachel.” So Jacob served seven years
tending Laban’s sheep. And they only seemed
but a few days,
for the love he had for her. Then Jacob said to Laban, “Give me my wife,
for my days are fulfilled.” So Laban threw
a great wedding feast, dark Laban brought
his older daughter
in to Jacob. And, behold, in the morning
it was Leah, not Rachel. Jacob was shocked.
He said to Laban, “What is this
thou hast done unto me? rve with thee “Why, then,
have you beguiled me?” XERXES: Why, then,
have you beguiled me? I must admit
that never before
has such a tale been found in the pages
of a royal diary. Here I expect
to be lulled to sleep
by tedious reports, And how ends your tale? This Jacob,
he’s able to have his bride? He’s able to have her? Uh… Only after serving seven more years
for her, my lord King. Believeth you in such? Love? Is it not
the greatest commandment? No matter what God
one serves. How do they call you? Esther of Susa. Susa? No. Nothing good
ever comes out of Susa. Look at me. Come. Come,
if you wish to see what I do. The Greeks, they have a god
of similar form. His arms will hold the bow,
whose arrows they say are tipped with love. Some archers’ arrows
are tipped with poison,
my lord. Sometimes it’s hard
to tell the difference. The symptoms are the same. Perhaps in another time. Some other place. You will read to me again. You must tell no one
of this night. (GASPS) (TRUMPETS) (ALL CHEE XERXES: My Captain. Blame me not
for this, my lord, but the princes
have ordered us to begin
bringing you candidates by the end of the week. jest. I am in the middle of… At least
you’ll get it over with. Besides, these men might enjoy
see
No?
ladies around. (ALL LAUGHING) They tell me
you’
er now. Oh, Jesse. ch. Shadrach,
Meshach, and Abednego
were pagan names, too. We’re in good company. Their names were Hananiah,
Mishael and Azariah. They were thrown
into the furnace. But then what happened? Come on, I found a way out. And there’s a caravan
leaving for Jerusalem tonight. So we can get
out of this place. Escape? Jesse, I…
leave. What if… What if I’m chosen? What if you’re chosen what? What if you’re chosen queen? Look what they’ve
done to us. What good could come
out of any of this? Perhaps, instead f
asking questions
of our trials… Trials are meant
to ask questions
of ourselves. They cut me! I know we can’t be what I hoped, but… Jesse. I can’t leave. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. HAGAI: Today it begins. Each of you will be given
one night with the King. We gather first to honor
Misgath of Persepolis. Here we go. (WHINNYING) Steady her. I’m so sorry… Oh! Almost there. XERXES: By the looks of it,
I must be allowing
the candidates jewelry. Perhaps a horseback ride
is not the best idea,
my lord. (GRUNTS) (EXCLAIMS) You weep not
for the candidates
ng. My throat is sore. your heart? It has only been a few days
since you read for him. A few days is
a thousand years. If Xerxes had
found pleasure in me,
surely he would’ve… You think a eunuch
cannot know love? Back before I was
a cripple of a man, there was one
that held my heart. What becam I never found
the courage to return
to face her again. She is beautiful
but delicate, Your Majesty. Just one more moment, please. You may approach. How do they call you? (GAGGING) (CHITTERING) Esther. This is your day. We gather to honor
Esther of Susa. You enter as a peasant
and leave a princess. You can let go
of my arm now. He will be the fortunate one
to choose you. He will be
the one to whom
congratulations are due. Esther, my arm. XERXES: The scroll
is on the stool. You
whe
ady. Is there a problem? Did they not tell you
I weary at this
procession of candidates? I simply wanted
someone to… Wait. You are the one
who read to me before. You tried to beguile me
with love stories. Did you not think
I had the sense to see through
your little parable? The arrogance!
You speak to me
as if I was this Rachel in need of help to look after
my father’s sheep. My lord, I meant no… And this is how
you come to see me? Your only adornment
before your one night with the King. It is, Your Majesty. You consider yourself
worth that I can purchase
your love so cheaply? I was taught that when you visit a king,
rather than expect a gift, one should bring one
to lay at his feet. This is my most
valuable possession
in the world. It is my past,
my present, and my future. And all of it is yours. Some would call you
foolish indeed, cob. Of all commodities,
love is the easiest, and most cheaply purchased. If it is for sale, my lord, it is not love. Even you. Even you must have a price. I am neither a buyer nor a seller of love. Suppose, my lady, a man offered you
a more treasured gift, say, a kingdom. (CRYING) The o
I would accept is your heart. Then it is yours. And you did not serve
seven years to get it. T
w
, Tell me of your people. Teach me of your ways. My father taught me it takes the glory of God and the honor of kings
to search it out. Then marry me. And we shall
spend an eternity
discovering this…truth, together. Persians, your queen! (ALL CHEERING) Know you how many times
I tried to come for you
after t
t? How many evenings
I spent counting the stars to keep my mind off of you? How many excuses I created just to avoid
the other candidates? Fools. Misfits. Donkey-brained
caricatures of men, you guaranteed me
that Misgath
would be chosen queen. Who is she?
From whence did she come? Who are her people? There is little known
about her, my lord. She is c
An orpha We should’ve stuck
to our first plan
and poisoned Hagai ourselves. Quiet.
Poison? He did not, my lord. He is far too impetuous.
Far too… about poison. Of course you do. You were once
the royal cupbearers. Suppose in theory,
you wanted to poison another. Suppose… Suppose this other
remained nameless, but was, in effect,
one whom you had once
vowed to protect. My lord prince… Come, come.
Don’t look so distressed. We plot nothing here. My lord. (PEOPLE CHANTING) From India to Babylon, my sword
has spilt the blood
of traitors against the crown. Proud,
arrogant “chosen ones”. Allowed to return
to their homeland. Do they? (MURMURS GREETING) Thank you. How wonderful
are the ways of the Lord that he should have raised up
my little Hadassah and made her queen. Have you told anyone
our secret? No. If you continue
to call me Hadassah,
it will no longer matter. Will you not join me
in the palace? I could have you named
to any post you desire. My Lord will take care of me. Do you take care of your lord? Remember not his orders?
Procure it not
from the palace, so nothing
can be traced back to us. The Jews have apothecaries. Where is he now? You, over there… Why cannot
a truce be arranged? Truce? That devil Memucan
has beaten me twice in a row. I fear losing you. I gave an oath to my father. He’s the one
I fear losing you to. You must dream.
You’ll be gone much
in the coming months. Keep this for me. But it is yours. I… Then be at peace. I always return
e. Will thou sit there all day,
my lord? Uh-huh.is one. MORDECAI: Why would they buy
belladonna off you? Maybe they seek
to poison someone. Very deadly, very quick. You sold them poison? A Jew sells poison
to the King’s food tasters? Have you any idea for whom
it might’ve been intended? Please,
just allow me to see it. The scribe says it is
for the Queen’s eyes only. (GIRLS GIGGLING) That is what she told. A plot to kill the King. The King should be notified
at once, my lady. He and Memucan
are a day’s ride away
at the training grounds. Then it would be better,
my lady, if I send
for the captain of the guard
to investigate. Who else
is closest to the King? Admantha. This is treachery. If my lady will permit, I myself will bring
these two eunuchs to you. I’m armed, so I doubt
the need for force. That will not be necessary. The King’s
new captain of the guard
has gone to investigate. Time was of the essence,
my lady. If only
all shared your loyalty
to the King, my prince. Captain of the guards. Master Haman, my lady. What of the eunuchs? They are being led
to the gallows as we speak. I found this
about their person. I interrogated them both. I’m convinced
they plotted alone. Make sure Mordecai’s name
is entered in the chronicles and
w so he may be properly
rewarded by the King. ADMANTHA:
Please, help yourself. Only a bite. Now I no longer
ride the highways,
e suffers. Then may I assume that your fee
for spying for me
? may be less, not of my sons, my wife. Well, that may
cost you more, my prince. Much, much more. What might you have done? I would save
the King for last. As in the palace board game.
Rid yourself first of all of those pieces
that are closest to him. HAGAI
this I go with or without you. There are too many rumors
drifting through the palace, and not enough answers. These hinges are well-oiled. There must be plenty
who use it. Lovers always
find a way, my lady. HAMAN: The time has come,
my brothers and sisters, where we must root out
those amongst our midst who seek our wreck and ruin! When a field of crops
is defiled by disease, do we not set it on fire? (ALL CHEERING) I am asked
why I choose to speak
against these foreigners and strangers in our midst. ALL: (CHANTING) The Jew! The Jew! No, not the Jew. I, myself,
know many an individual Jew who I am proud
to call friend, but put these
individual Jews together,
and what are Egypt, ake? Lead me away from here,
quickly. You want proof? Pulled from
ry, the great scheme
of the Greeks and the Jews to conquer the world! For let me tell you,
the Greeks and the Jew both live
by the same evil doctrine. All men are created equal. Do you believe
you are equal to a slave? ALL: No! HAMAN: And you believe
neither in the Jewish God,
nor in Greek democracy, but there are others
in the palace that do. Let me now speak of Memucan. Prince. General. Arch traitor! “For services rendered
to King Darius. “Pacification
of the Babylonian provinces. “Payments made
to Haman the Agagite.” When? When? Ask of Memucan why he allowed
the Greeks of Ionia
to retain their democracy. Ask whose voice is loudest
against the war today and you will find out
it is he! “Common year.” 13 years ago. HAMAN: My lady. Are you alone? Highly unsafe. I–I was just finishing. Please. Allow me. Shall I return this for you? Thank you. Something must weigh heavy
on my
art in order to be kept up
at this hour, reading. My queen. Is her Highness unwell? I’m fine. Perhaps I should retire. (COUGHS) MEMUCAN: You’re not
scheduled at the palace
for more than two weeks. She’ll be
wonderfully surprised,
think you not? Here, read this, my lord. You do not appear
to be a traitor, Memucan. Return with me,
and I’ll have
Admantha investigate Haman’s accusations
immediately. Haman is my appointment. And we do need him
e. Truly, Memucan,
at one moment you sulk, you say your name
has been slurred, . I have enough lives
on my conscience. Chastise him mildly,
and he will perform
his duty well and be more grateful to you
for your leniency. rue Persia. Never judging a man
before all the good
and all the bad are weighed. Ride with me. MORDECAI:
So you burnt the evidence? Worry not,
action will still be taken. Lest you forget,
this Haman is now head
of internal protection. And lest you forget,
I’m still queen. Yes, but queen subject
to an ancient protocol
that no doubt Haman knows how to manipulate
far better than you do. Go not by the main gate. I wish not for the Queen
to be alerted to my coming. (COMMANDS HORSE) You must promise me that you will not
reveal this to anyone. Any more such promises
and I shall have to
take a vow of silence. Rusty old lovers’ gate. I trust you used it much
in your youth, Memucan. Who do you think
had it installed? Go now. My love.
Oh, how I’ve missed you. Have you? Now, what is that
supposed to mean? You looked flushed.
Busy morning? Not as busy as it could get. No visitors? You sent for me,
Your Highness? It appears you have
misplaced our necklace. I wonder if that is all
you have misplaced. (WOMAN EXCLAIMING PLAYFULLY) Perhaps Your Majesty
would like to send
for one of the concubines. Perhaps not. You look so much
like your father. Sometimes I forget
how different you truly are. Makes me wonder
all the more why you feel such need
to follow in his steps. Give her a few more nights, and then have her
brought to me. ADMANTHA: You call
that public tirade subtle? You mock me, Agagite. I need but report
but once to the King
of your arrogance. And your dreams of kingship
die with me. You might be less harsh
on the Jews. You should make yourself
a laughing stock. The Jews, my prince, will be your chief weapon
by which you attain power
to the throne. Think, we plan
to take the crown by force when the King
is deep in Greece. What excuse will you use? Who attacks the land? Well, no one, actually. Unless, of course,
you claim it was Memucan expects an apology,
as you predicted. Well, an apology
is a cheap enough price
to pay for a kingdom. Invite, then,
Memucan to your estate. Presumably so In
apologize to him. On the way, however,
he will be ambushed. ADMANTHA: By whom? By my Jews, of course. Jews who slew him
for being coupled
with them as a traitor. And what of
Memucan’s own guard? It’s merely an apology. Perhaps you can
suggest to Memucan that if he arrive
with a large number, he’ One or two guards
my men can handle. And who’ll handle you? Who but you, my king. Prepare to die, Greek-lover. Thank the gods
you are unharmed,
my lord. XERXES: Come. My queen… MAN: Your Highness, blood has been spilled. You are needed at once. But lord King,
an accusation
by a dispatch ride. Why did you wait so long
to inform anyone
of Admantha’s plot? Surely you don’t… My lord,
I had to but play the traitor to catch the traitor. Where are his witnesses,
my lord? What were my motives? Let this Haman
prove his words
or be forever silent. But what would he have
me show, my lord? There are no witnesses
to plans forged in secret. You will not
act like that, Admantha. And was it not even Admantha
who stirred the crowd ance, knowing she would not come? All lies. That’s lies. Lies. I stand
in a crumbling house of lies. Remember before whom
you plead. Plead for what? For your life, Admantha. (CRICKETS CHIRPING) Is it my foolish desire
to believe these stories
I hear or my glaring inability
to perceive their mysteries? Perhaps you… You placed them back
upon the shelf
to collect dust without ever
truly completing them. Who is the one
that gathers dust? I believed I was your Rachel. But it appears I’m only Leah,
and you serve time
with me for another. No, my lord.
It’s not what you think. Nothing is
as I think anymore. Plots slither
through the night. Trust, it decays
like secret gates
left to rust. Admantha is carried to torture
even as we speak. This Jacob and Rachel,
they are no mere story
to you. Give me some incentive
to believe in
who you really are. Give me some honor. For if it is truly
the honor of kings
to seek out truth in lie, I am a man of scorn. I will answer you,
my lord, irst answer me. Answer you what? Why did you summon Vashti when you knew
she would not come? I am king. And I need answer to no one. (CRYING) MORDECAI: After many days
of torture, Admantha,
the g
ian prince, and was dealt with
according to
the protocol of the land. For his brave
and valorous services,
Haman the Agagite Fars to inherit Admantha’s house,
wealth, prestige and power. Pieces are falling into place we’ve spoken of, one by one. Soothsaying does
not become you,
Haman. No, my darling,
I speak of the truth,
not of stars. My burden
I would not wish on any man. The blood of my forefathers
will be avenged. And the gods
will smile down on our son
through our obedience. And are you mad?
This is your plan? It is not that our allies
are unwilling, my lord, but they have not fared well. A storm has robbed
the Phoenicians
of a good part of their fleet. Carthage finds herself
short in timber with which to complete
our warships… Surely the fate of the empire
does not hinge on money? Are you ready
to furnish it, then? No, not I, my lord. But I’m aware of traitors
within our borders
tha The Jews? We are not children. Nevertheless,
the money may be raised by the confiscation
of Jewish wealth
and property. And the Jews will just
hand it over without a fight? No, of course not. First we must kill them all. Every last one of them. It is the only way to ensure
they do not rise up He speaks of women
and children, my lord. Yes, women and children. I know. What is your solution? Or would you rather,
my dear Memucan,
t
unite and, hand in hand,
murder us in our beds
while we sleep? Is the past so mighty
that we must destroy
our brothers to be free of its grasp? No kingdom was ever so grand
as the Jews’
own King Solomon. He fought not one battle,
toiled through not one war, but prospered upon the peace
handed down by his father. Do not make void
what your own father’s death
has purchased. By picking back up… Mind your tone, General. are when we can drink
so deeply of peace? You speak of peace,
let us speak of the Jews. They would rather
bow down to their own God than obey
the laws of protocol. Their prophets even speak
of a coming king. A king who will
reign over all kings
and set all men free. Is that not
the very essence of democracy,
my dear Memucan? I do believe,
under your guidance,
we are undone. If we are undone,
we are undone
from within, indeed. March upon Greece,
if you wish. But you march
with no general in your lead. Then it has not yet
been signed into law? Not as yet, my lady. Perhaps guilt stirs men
too hotly at times, and they seek
the salve of the law to ease the burning. And what would
you have me do? I cannot seek him
in the library
unless summoned. If you arrived first, then he in effect
would be seeking you, How came you pass my guard? I demanded none use I seek that
which you seek, my lord. Truth. Perhaps the truth
of what exists between us? I have come
on matters of state. Matters of state. I see. And what matters of state
might that be? You desire more perfumes? You Surely as queen
of the kitchen,
you need not await me here. You know as well as I
how quickly word travels
throughout the palace. Especially when
murder’s involved. You are…
You are learned, well-read. Offer me a story
that answers my dilemma. I have never
pretended with you. Never pretended? Think you not that I see
Memucan’s strings You care more for these Jews
than you do for me. Do you enquire of my burdens,
do you offer me solutions? No. You just complain. As Vashti did? Away from me! And come before me no longer,
no matter what pretense
you seek, or your fate
shall be worse than Vashti. Love has failed me. Knowledge has failed me,
thus I bind myself
to the protocol of my fathers
and to my empire. By the next moon,
I leave for war. And whatever my fate,
it shall no longer
be shared with you. This was once
your favorite reading. And though it may no longer
bear the story of love, it bears that
of one Mordecai the Jew. One of whom
you wish to destroy
saved your life. And you never even
honored him for it. The casting of the lot,
the Pur… It has determined
upon which day he kingdom
. This day is to be
the 13th day
of the month of Adar acc
the
s. Prince… The annihilation of a people can only be authorized
by one who bears the signet
of the King himself. (PEOPLE SCREAMING) MORDECAI: And those letters
were sent into all the lan, to slay and annihilate
all the Jews on the 13th of Adar,
some six weeks hence. Both young and old,
men, women and even childre. And to plunder
all of their possessions
for the sake of the crown. The scribe insists that
all is dependant upon you,
my queen. Dependant upon me? My queen might wish
to go before the King
and intercede for…those
that have no other hope. My lady… Have you forgotten
your protocol? To approach the King
unsummoned is death. Perhaps in court. But surely you can
visit him in private. Surely I cannot. I have been. I walk before you
with a loyal heart. And now I stand
in the hour of trouble precisely because
of my obedience. I beseech you, Father, let there be another way. Rise up a deliverer
and let this pass. Let this pass. MORDECAI: “‘Comfort, “‘comfort my people,’
says your God. “Cry unto Israel “that her warfare is finished, “that her iniquity is removed. “The everlasting
neither faints nor is weary. “His understanding
no one can fathom. “He gives strength
to the weary
and power to the weak. “Even the youth
shall faint and be weary, “and young men
shall utterly fai. “But those
who wait on the Lord
shall renew their strength.” Lord, we wait on thee. Renew our strength. MAN: Clear the way
for he who comes. Kneel before
the great prince. Clear the way
for he who comes. Kneel for the great prince. You… Lower yourself to honor
the great Prince Haman.
Kneel! I said kneel. Stop! Why do you not kneel? I kneel before my king. I abase myself
only before
the God of my fathers. What’s his name, this God? The great I AM. The one true God,
the maker
of heaven and earth. The God of Abraham,
of Isaac and of Jacob. A Jew. Mordecai Ben-Yair. Mordecai… I shall name
my prize pig after you. Perhaps I may give you
other reasons
to remember my name. You will remember mine for this! Move on. MAN: What good did that do? You still ended up
on the ground But I did not kneel. Come, now,
you are a mere three days
from being handed a kingdom. We must not let one Jew
rob us of our joy. That is not good enough. Then seek permission
to honor the King’s departure with a public execution
of a rebel (ECHOING) a symbol
of your authority
over those that remain. A gallows, 50 cubits high
with Mordecai right… The chronicles. XERXES: Rise. A matter disturbs me. You may be of assistance. I am most pleased, my lord,
for I, too, desire
your counsel on a matter. eat service He has received many honors
amongst his people, but he once saved my life. I feel, despite everything,
full recognition has not yet been given him. What think you,
shall be done for this man
in whom the King delights to honor? Let a royal robe be sent for, one his Majesty
has donned in public. And a horse on whose head
a royal crest is set. Deliver them
to one of the noblest princes
of the Fars, so that he can array the man
in whom the King delights. And then parade this man
through the streets,
proclaiming, “Thus shall it
be done to the man “in whom the King
delights to honor.” Most excellent proposal. Go yourself now and do
all you have suggested. My lord. To a one Mordecai, the scribe who sits
within the King’s gates. Mordecai? The Jew? My lady. And who is this honored man? A scribe. A Jewish scribe,
who claims to have saved
the King’s life. I should think
you would be honored by such a privilege
given by the King. Honored? The prestige of Persia
is at stake. What will it be said
of your husband, the king,
that he commands his highest prince
to lead a Jew
through the streets? A Jew, my lady! And how is a Jew
any different than you or I? They are our enemy. They must be destroyed. They may be your enemy,
but not mine. From the way that
you defend them, one might almost think… One might think what, my prince? One might think.
That is all, my lady. One might think. HAMAN: Make your way
for Mordecai, the Jew. (CROWD CHEERING) Make your way for Mordecai,
who saved the King’s life. . All hail
for Mordecai, the Jew,
honored of the King. Beloved of the Queen. All hail for Mordecai,
the Jew. Honored of the King.
Beloved of the Queen. (THUNDER CRASHING) Guards… My queen,
I bring you word
from Mordecai. You’ve run out of time. When the King leaves
for Greece tomorrow, he will appoint Haman
as his regent. It is our last chance
to stop this edict of death. He made me vow
to speak his words. You will indeed
risk
if yo
g… MORDECAI: …but do not thik
that if you keep silent your position
will save you alone
from this edict. For if you keep silent,
deliverance for the Jews will arise
from someplace else, but you will surely perish. Who knows whether
you have come to the palace for such a time as this? . Tell Mordecai
to assemble the Jews. Ask them to fast and pray. I will do the same. And in the morning,
arrange for me a litter. I will array myself as queen
and go before
the King unsummoned, even though
it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish. (THUNDER CRASHING) XERXES: People of Persia,
servants of the crown, today we embrace our destiny to raid
and rule the world over
and stand against the Greeks and all who would
rob us of our glory. MAID: Her crown, quickly. The litter will be here
any moment. No litter is coming. What? I do not know
what you plan, but… The King leaves
for the outpost
within the hour. I have not time
to wait out this rain. I am not going to allow you
to kill yourself. No… Please tell me you did not. What possible
assurance do you have he
to
his scepter You do not go into
a bedroom of a man, you go into
the hall of a king. This is not you against him. . Then I… I go as David did
before Goliath
and the Philistines. Th
Es
tories, Do you hear me?
Just stories. Know you what I love most
about the story
of David and Goliath? David’s victory came not
because he fought well but because he believed well. Thus I leave you on this day,
your regent, in my absence, Lord Haman,
prince of the Fars. It is my will
that each of you
obey him in every way, exactly as you
would regard your king. Unsummoned
she comes before the King. She does. Is protocol not broken? Yes,
protocol has been broken. Guards! (INAUDIBLE) (INAUDIBLE) (ALL CLAMORING) …before the King. (SIGHS) We have not time to waste. What did he say
to your request? The timing, the faces…
I could not ask it. Not there, not in court. What then?
? We have but one last chance. You must help me prepare. A king may lower his scepter
to whoever he wishes. My lord, this day your kingdom
has all but been ripped
from your hands. This Esther
has dishonored you
more than Vashti ever could. See not you now
how she has trapped you? Inviting us to a banquet
to hear her request? If you go,
the people will
deem you to be a pawn. If you refuse, a coward. (DOOR SLAMS SHUT) There is
but one way to proceed. Is the meal
to your satisfaction,
my lord? The night draws late. Once more I ask for
your petition, my queen. My petition, is that you allow me
to finish a story. One that I began
many nights ago. The story of Jacob, my lord, does not finish
with marrying Rachel. Well, they go on
to have 12 sons. And like these 12 pillars
that surround us, they became
the pillars of a people. Surely… Surely you do not
delay an army only to finish
a children’s tale? If I still find favor
in your sight, let my life be given me,
at my petition. And my
equest. You demand of me your life
and that of your people? My dear girl, I know not of your people. You have yet to tell me
who they are. Had we been
merely sold as slaves,
I would have held my tongue. This–This Haman
wanted our blood, my blood,
the blood of Jacob,
your Jacob. Your Jacob was given
a new name. Israel. As, too, was I. You, Esther? A Jew? Not Esther, my lord. Hadassah Bat-Abihail, daughter of
the tribe of Benjamin, child Never have I heard
a more pathetic story
in my entire life. She is no Jew. She’s another Vashti. Seems it not
convenient to you? An army marches, and suddenly she is a Jew. Esther is a Jew. Your Vashti but protested
the notion of war. This queen seeks to counter
the very authority
of your rule. A Jew? If such were true,
why did she hide it till now? Pray, do tell us. The Almighty
has indeed ordained that my words
speak not truth unto you. At least allow my heart. For this which I have offered you,
my most precious
in all the w the very identity
etched within me. Well, is something supposed
to be happening here? The stars…
Do you not see them? Do you not see them? A mockery. Perhaps not how
you had hoped it would end? Imagined you
that I would beg? Think you I will beg? Beg for my life? Beg like my forefather Agag
before your sword? Would you like me
to beg for you? Oh, please, my lady. Please, Your Highness. Please spare me. Spare me my life.
You are a lady of mercy. Spare me. I beg for forgiveness. Spare me (GRUNTS) Would he also
assault the Queen, my wife, while I am in my house? Harbonah has informed me
that the gallows post
stands in Haman’s yard even as we speak.
Apparently intended
for one Mordecai the Jew. No! No! (GROANS) What made you come back? I saw them. I saw the stars. (RELIEVED CHUCKLE) MORDECAI: Thus
with one faithful act has a new generation
redeemed the time
of centuries past and stepped
into their destiny. On this day,
I give you your new princ,
and master of audiences, Mordecai Ben-Yair. On the day appointed
for their destruction, all Jews shall have the right to protect themselves and shall be entitled
to take all the property
of their attackers. And I send forth
this story enjoining all to keep a day
of feasting and gladness. A celebration to be
passed on and retold
through every generation, or the casting of the Pur
that determined its time. While we continue
onward in the face of a world filled
with uncertainty, we can rejoice,
for hidden
within its mysteries is the honor of a king. Thus dictated,
I order this decree sent out under the great
seal of Mordecai, prince of Persia, a Jew. ♪ One nig
h the king ♪♪ Changes everything ♪ One day in his courts ♪ Could forever
change my course ♪ One moment sence ♪ And I’ll never be the same ♪ One night with the king ♪ Changes everything ♪ One night with the king ♪ Changes everything ♪
s ♪ Could forever
change my course ♪ In his presence ♪ And I’ll never be the same ♪♪ One night with the king ♪ Changes everything ♪♪ From a peasant to a queen ♪ It had been my destiny ♪ To be chosen
for such a time as this ♪ I didn’t know
that all my dreams ♪ Could become reality ♪ Until I saw his face ♪ His love captured me ♪ One night with the king ♪ Oh, changes everything ♪ One day in his courts ♪ Could forever
change my course ♪ One moment ♪ In his presence ♪ One moment ♪ In his presence ♪ Oh, one moment ♪ In his presence ♪ And I’ll never be the same ♪ One night with the king ♪ One day in his courts ♪ Changes ♪ One night with the king ♪♪ Changes ♪ Everything ♪

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