Femme Fatale Analysis

Decent Essays
The Most Iconic Femme Fatale Of Them All:

Delilah’s Portrayal In Popular Culture


Charanpreet Kaur

Perhaps, one of the most iconic figures of our time, Delilah has been portrayed to be the front face of the dangerous femme fatale. Her story alone in Judges 16 raises questions about her faithfulness towards Samson. Over the years, we have seen the gaps of her story be filled in through the use of popular media; such as songs, artwork and films. Specifically, a film with great cultural impact has been Cecil B. DeMille’s 1949 hit Samson and Delilah. He brings his own perception of the story through his own life experiences with culture and religion, as well as values that are to do with the time of the release. Through the chosen example, we will explore how Delilah is shaped into a femme fatale, and how her definition brings about change for the label to popular culture. We will discuss the surrounding factors of not only the gender expectations of 1949, but also the portrayal of Samson, done by the director to fill in the gaps to Delilah’s story.

Through Bible depictions, love is no longer an option for Delilah, as she is overcome with greed for obtaining materialistic objects. In Judges 16 (Revised Standard Version) Delilah is offered an exchange on Samson, “Entice him...and we will give you eleven hundred pieces of silver”. Unfortunately, whether Delilah receives this exchange is unknown of and is not mentioned after Samson’s capture. The reader is left pondering
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