How does the Templar's character develop in Nathan the Wise?

In Nathan the Wise, the Templar's character develops throughout the play, in line with his increased knowledge. At first, he doesn't know anything about his true parentage. Nonetheless, that he put aside his nominal Christianity to rescue what he believed to be a Jewish woman, Recha, from a fire, indicates a connection between them. Once the Templar discovers that Recha is actually his sister and that their father is a Muslim, he realizes that he is part of something bigger.

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The Templar's character develops in parallel with his increased self-knowledge. At first, it seems that he's just an ordinary Christian soldier, albeit one who was prepared to risk his life by saving a Jewish woman, Recha, from a fire. Nonetheless, the very fact that the Templar acts like this is...

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The Templar's character develops in parallel with his increased self-knowledge. At first, it seems that he's just an ordinary Christian soldier, albeit one who was prepared to risk his life by saving a Jewish woman, Recha, from a fire. Nonetheless, the very fact that the Templar acts like this is a sign that he's far from being your average Crusader.

But although the Templar may have saved Recha's life, he's still not prepared to meet her. Old habits die hard, and for a Christian man to have met with a Jewish woman at that time in any kind of social context would have been considered taboo. But when the Templar does finally meet Recha, he falls head over heels in love with her. This marks a clear development in his character and is a sign that the Templar isn't as hidebound by religious and social convention as most of his co-religionists.

Later on in the play, in fact right at the very end, the Templar will discover that not only is Recha actually his sister but that they are both the children of Saladin, the Muslim warrior and ruler of Jerusalem. When this stunning secret is finally revealed, all the characters embrace each other in silence. They have realized, this of course includes the Templar, that they are all part of something bigger, a humanity that transcends religious differences.

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