|“||But I was their enemy. I-I was the Prince of Egypt! The son of the man who slaughtered..th-their children! You-You've chosen the wrong messenger. H-How can I even speak to these people?||„|
|~ Moses questioning God's choosing him to lead the Hebrews despite his past mistreatment of them.|
Moses is the main protagonist of the 1998 film The Prince of Egypt, just like in the Bible Story, which it's based off. He is the second son and youngest child of Yocheved, the younger brother of Aaron and Miriam, the adoptive son of Pharaoh Seti and Queen Tuya, the adoptive younger brother of Rameses, the husband of Tzipporah and the son in-law of Jethro.
While growing up, Moses lived the carefree life of a prince. He was lively, rakish, and fun-loving. He was also very loving towards his "mother", Queen Tuya, his "father", Pharaoh Seti, and his "older brother", Rameses. However, Moses was also very privileged and insensitive towards those "beneath" him. He tended towards recklessness in addition to his good qualities. But after God revealed to him his true heritage through a dream, Moses's personality underwent a change. He began to care about Hebrew slaves and became sensitive to his "superiority". When Moses escaped Egypt and lived in Midian, he became more responsible as a shepherd and care-giver to the people of Jethro's tribe. After Moses was chosen by God to become the leader of the Hebrews, he had to adopt a more serious personality. Yet throughout the film, Moses maintains his loving nature and free-spirit.
Role in Film
At the beginning of the film, Pharaoh Seti I orders that all the newborn Hebrews are killed to prevent the Hebrew population from overtaking that of the Egyptians. Seti feared that as the Hebrews grew in number, they would attempt to overthrow him. As the cries of mothers echoed through Egypt, a Hebrew woman named Yocheved along with her daughter Miriam, and son Aaron, takes her newborn baby son to the Nile and place him in a basket.
Yocheved, nearly pursued by Egyptian guards, kisses her child and desperately sends him down the river, in the hopes that he will find sanctuary somewhere else. The basket finds its way to the royal palace and is found by Seti's wife Queen Tuya, who is by the river with her young son Rameses and her servants. Tuya is smitten with the child she finds within and decides to keep him. Miriam, who followed the basket to the palace, finds her brother in a place of safety and prays that he will return to deliver the Hebrews out of Egypt. Queen Tuya names the boy Moses (which means "raised from the river").
Years later, Moses grew up in a carefree life as a prince. One day, he and Rameses, were racing through the temple of Ra and made a mess of it. After being confronted by Seti, Rameses got in more trouble than Moses because he was next in line for the throne and Moses wasn't. After Rameses was called "a weak link in the chain" Moses asked Seti if Rameses could just have the opportunity to prove that he's worthy of the throne. Seti agreed and later that night, he made Rameses Prince Regent. It was also at the party that Moses meets a captured woman named Tzipporah who is presented to Rameses as a potential wife. Rameses gives her to Moses after she tries to bite him. Tzipporah is sent to Moses' room but she escapes and instead of turning her in, Moses lets her go and followed her till he met Miriam and Aaron. Miriam was excited to meet her long lost brother but Aaron didn't seem to recognized him. Miriam tries to explain that Moses is not actually a prince and that he was her brother but Moses doesn't know what she's talking about. Before he storms off, Miriam sings the lullaby Yocheved sang to him as a baby. Moses recognizes that and runs back to the palace in confusion. Moses then falls asleep and God showed what Pharaoh Seti did in the beginning of the film and when Moses wakes up he's shocked to find a carving of Seti ordering all the newborns to be thrown in the Nile on the wall. Pharaoh Seti explains why he did this and tells Moses that they were only slaves but Moses, greatly disturbed, pulls away from Seti and runs off. Moses is then seen at the spot where he was found as a baby and Queen Tuya tells him that he is their son and they loved him, and that "the gods chose you so forget the truth." This doesn't help Moses very much either.
At the temple of Ra, Rameses is planning to redesign it and Moses saw all the hard working Hebrews but with a different impression. One elderly slave was being cruelly whipped by a guard. Moses, trying to stop the guard, accidentally pushes him off the scaffolding; and the guard falls to his death. Shocked and horrified at what he just did Moses then tries to exile himself, but Rameses tries to tell him that he can change what happend. Moses doesn't care stating "all I've ever known to be true is a lie!" Moses then flees Egypt.
Moses then travels the desert for a few days until a sand storm rolls in and buries him. A camel then takes a bite out of his hair, waking him up, and the leaves with a bag of water. In a lust for thirst, Moses follows the camel back to an oasis where he drinks the same water as the sheep. He then sees desert muggers picking on children and makes their camels run away free. Moses then accidentally falls down the well and the children try to get him out. Tzipporah arrives and helps but when she recognizes Moses, she drops him back down to the bottom of the well.
Moses then spends a few years in the oasis and during that time, he and Tzipporah fell in love and were married. One day, while Moses was tending to the sheep, a lamb wandered into a cave and Moses follows it. Inside the cave is a bush burning cool fire and before Moses knew it, the bush spoke. It was God that was talking him and he told Moses that he has heard the cries of the Hebrews and he has chosen Moses to bring his children out of Egypt. Moses listens and he and Tzipporah return to Egypt. Moses and Rameses (who is now Pharaoh and has a wife and young son) reunite after years of not seeing each other, but the reunion is short lived when Moses asks Rameses to let God's people go free. Rameses refuses and instead doubles the work load of the Hebrews (much to almost everyone's displease).
As Moses leaves the palace, a Hebrew man throws a handful of mud at him, knocking him to his knees. Now fearless of speaking back, Aaron confronts Moses and asks him how he likes it when he is struck to the ground. He accuses him of never caring about slaves until he realized he was one of them. Although Moses agrees with him and apologizes for making their lives more difficult, Aaron is reluctant to believe him and states that his lack of "wanting to see" doesn't change years of suffering that he and the Hebrews have endured. Miriam approaches and angrily tells Aaron that he "shames himself" and comforts their younger brother. Miriam promises Moses that God will not abandon him, so he must not abandon the Hebrews. When Moses sees Rameses on the Nile, he rises to follow him. Moses then goes to the Nile and asks once again to let God's people go. Rameses refuses and in an instant, Moses turned the Nile to blood. Rameses thinks that it is a trick and still refuses to let the Hebrews go.
Over the next few days, chaos rained over Egypt until finally the Angel of Death took the lives of the first born children of Egypt (including Rameses' son) and Rameses gave Moses and the Hebrews his permission to go. Moses leads the Hebrews out of Egypt, but before they could cross the Red Sea, Rameses and his army appear and plan to kill the Hebrews. However before they could get a chance, God summoned a tornado of fire to block the soldiers from reaching the Hebrews. Moses then made a clear pathway through the Red Sea and guided the Hebrews through. However, when they were almost on the other side, the fire tornado disappeared and Rameses and his soldiers charged toward the Hebrews. However, the walls of the sea began to fall and in an instant, all to the soldiers drowned and Rameses was left on shore in defeat. Moses says one last goodbye to his former adoptive brother and the film closes with him receiving the 10 Commandments (most likely the second tablet).