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Rameses

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Evil-doer

Rameses

Full Name
Rameses II
Alias
Pharaoh of the Exodus
Origin
Occupation
Pharaoh of Egypt
Powers / Skills
Great (if harsh) leadership skills, unlimited political power
Hobby
Chariot-racing
Goals
To become as great a leader as his father - even if it means executing the Hebrews
Type of Villain
Evil Ruler


I will not be the weak link! Tell your people as of today, their work load has been doubled, thanks to your God. Or is it thanks... to you?
~ Rameses

Rameses is the main antagonist of The Prince of Egypt the others being Hotep and Huy and his father Pharaoh Seti I despite him not being seen- he was based on the Pharaoh from the biblic tale of Moses and indeed the movie, for the most part, follows the story faithfully - however in this version he and Moses were raised as brothers and the conflict between them was seen as a deeply personal one on both sides.

He is voiced by Ralph Fiennes making it his second villain role (the first being Amon Göth in Schindler's List) who also portrays Lord Voldemort in the Harry Potter series and Victor Quartermaine in Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were Rabbit.

History

Childhood & Early Rise To Power

Rameses was but a toddler when an infant Moses was discovered by his mother, during this period in history his father had ordered the death of all Hebrew boys after a prophecy saying that the slaves would be united under a leader chosen by God (similiar to how Herod would, many years later, attempt another Massacre Of The Innocents). The young Rameses was by his mother's side as she took his new baby brother to meet the Pharaoh.
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Young Rameses (Right) and Baby Moses (Left)
Becky1991Added by Becky1991

The Pharaoh agreed to raise the infant and Rameses presumably had a happy childhood with Moses, when next we meet them they are in their early teens and prone to mischief - engaging in wild chariot-races, both brother were competitive but fairly good-natured towards one another: however their games often caused great damage to their surroundings, infuriating Rameses father - who was often harsh with his son (once calling him a "weak link" - an insult that deeply wounded Rameses and would continue to affect him later in life).

However a short time later Rameses is appointed as Prince Regent by his father (who was moved by an appeal by Moses on his brother's behalf) - during the celebrations the two high-priests Hotep and Huy were ordered to give Rameses a gift as a sign of respect for their new superior, the two offered Rameses a kidnapped woman from a desert-tribe as his bride (or more likely a concubine), however due to her fiery nature Rameses didn't want her and tried to give her to Moses: which simply angered her more and she fought back, until being humiliated by Moses - Rameses found this amusing and ordered guards to "dry her up and have her delivered to Prince Moses chambers" (although Moses would ultimately set her free).
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Rameses and Moses as teenagers
Becky1991Added by Becky1991

Rameses then promptly appointed Moses as Royal Chief Architect.

At a later point Rameses was overseeing the building of a great temple when Moses (who had learned of his true Hebrew nature) fought against a guard abusing an old slave and accidentally killing him in the process: Rameses was shocked and confused, running after his brother as he fled - Rameses showed little concern over the death of the guard and even told Moses that as royalty he could see to it that the crime would never be heard of again.
However Moses was too full of regret and confusion and fled into the desert, leaving Rameses alone in Egypt.

Taking The Throne

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Rameses, the ruler of Egypt
Becky1991Added by Becky1991
During Moses time in the desert Rameses had taken power following the death of his father and the oppression of the Hebrews had become worse as Rameses continued to build, determined to make a legacy as great as that of his father.
When Moses returned Rameses was overjoyed - Hotep and Huy were quick to try and ruin the reunion however by insisting Rameses enforce the death sentence on Moses for killing the guard, however Rameses dismissed them and proclaimed Moses innocent of all crimes and a prince of Egypt.
However Moses was charged by God to stand against Rameses and free the Hebrews, which would quickly cause the two brothers into a confrontation.

Conflict With Moses

Moments after rejected Rameses proposal Moses transformed his staff into a cobra as his first miracle, however Rameses was unimpressed and had Hotep and Huy perform a magic act of their own in order to try and humiliate Moses - following this event he motioned to Moses to follow him to a secluded area so as to talk alone.

Once Rameses was away from the public eye he conversed more openly with Moses, trying to justify not only his own actions but that of his father: however he was visibly hurt when Moses rejected his words - yet he grew angry at the same time and told Moses that he "knew not this God", that he would not let the Hebrews to be free, and that he would not be the weak link, in his anger he also informed Moses that all slaves would have their work load doubled.

When next the two met Rameses was enjoying a boat ride on the Nile when Moses once again demanded that he set "his people free" - Rameses grew tired of Moses and uttered the line "Enough, I will hear no more of this Hebrew nonsense! guards - bring him to me." at which point his guards attempted to capture Moses only for God to turn the entire river into blood as another of his miracles.
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Rameses refusing Moses's pleas
Becky1991Added by Becky1991

At first Rameses was shocked at the show of power and demanded that Hotep and Huy explain how it was done, the two magicians replicted the miracle via the use of dye and Rameses' fear subsided, he laughed it off and warned Moses that the "joke" must now end - unaware that this was just the beginning of God's wrath..

The Plagues

The two brothers confrontation reached its climax during the event known as the Ten Plagues of Egypt - in which God unleashed his greatest curses upon the kingdom of Egypt, although the suffering was unbearable Rameses refused to give into Moses demands and as a result the people of Egypt suffered for many days and nights as the wrath of God manifested as frogs, flies, death of livestock, fire from the sky, painful boils, locusts and a cloud of darkness.

During the onset of the great darkness Rameses was visited by Moses in the temple, he was embittered and angry - parallelling his father when he expressed a desire to recreate the events of the massacre (stating that his father may have had the right idea about dealing with the Hebrews): this saddened Moses, who told Rameses that he had brought the final plague upon himself.

Thus, due to Rameses' hubris, the tenth plague was unleashed upon Egypt and all of the kingdom's firstborn children died, including Rameses' own son.

Overwhelmed with grief Rameses told Moses to go and take his people with him, thus the Hebrews (along with some Egyptians) left Egypt behind and began their great exodus.

The Prince of Egypt-The Plagues(02:47)

Final Confrontation

However Rameses had a change of heart and pursued the Hebrews across the desert, cornering them at the Red Sea alongside a small army - he charged at them with the intent of either recapturing them or killing them: however God intervened by sending a pillar of flame to stop Rameses and his army long enough for Moses to part the Red Sea using his staff - the Hebrews then proceeded to cross the sea.

However Rameses wouldn't stop and once God removed the pillar of flame he resumed his charge - prompting God to close the path made by Moses, drowning many of Rameses men and sending Rameses himself hurling back onto the shore. He then yells Moses name in anger and sorrow, broken by defeat.

Personality

While it would be an exaggeration to call him a tragic villain, Rameses was not truly evil per se, just stubborn. His cruelty and stubbornness apparently stems from his past, where his father taught him to hold fast to a strong will, and an unwavering mindset; it is worth noting that Rameses principle objective was getting his father's acceptance. Rameses also did genuinely, and deeply cared about his son, and was utterly broken by his son's death. Prior to the events in the movie, Rameses did have a true brotherly bond with Moses, and they considered each other quite close. You could also consider him to be a control freak forcing high standards on one of his guards bringing a guard who is ill up onto his feet and giving him his stick even though he is too ill to guard his king

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