The Seventh Seal is an exploration of conflicting ways of life. On the one hand we have the Keepers of Thera, pragmatic and largely devoid of emotion. In Odling Smee, the books antagonist, we have a man who desires power. He wants to cut free himself and the people from the governance of the Keepers and replace it with his own form of control. He uses what is inside us all to galvanise his force; self-interest. A good example is in the first chapter when he is addressing his men:
‘Men, the time is nearly upon us to reach for our destiny, to channel our hopes and dreams, to control the power of the regulus and free us from the control of the Keepers. You have all been loyal to me and I hope as we enter this final stage that you will be rewarded by all that life can offer. It is my time, it is your time. Let us prepare for the Keeper and give him the welcome he deserves.’
In using this structure I’ve largely followed the classic Greek Apollonian and Dionysian philosophy. Apollo and Dionysus are both the sons of Zeus, Apollo the god of reason and Dionysus the god of chaos. The former appealing to logic and reason, i.e. balance and the latter to ones emotions and instinct for life; the tension created between the two is the engine that drives the story.