The Matrix Agent Smith Analysis: The Agent Smith Virus

Hugo Weaving’s Agent Smith is the iconic and primary antagonist of The Matrix trilogy. Despite this, attempts to analyse just what he represents remain relatively scarce. Herein, just what Agent Smith represents across the three Matrix movies will be explored.

What Does Agent Smith Really Represent?

Agent Smith represents the antithesis of Neo throughout the series in that he is the negative result of Neo’s actions. In the first film, Agent Smith is a security program. In the second film and third films, Agent Smith is a computer virus.

The Matrix’s Agent Smith As A Security Program

In the first Matrix movie Neo is a hacker struggling to defeat a more powerful security system and as a result his antithesis is one aspect of this security program. As there are three primary antagonists, there are three security program agents to balance them out and serve as their antithesis. These programs are something akin to the Matrix’s form of an anti-virus or firewall. Neo’s particular antithesis is Agent Smith, which is why Smith is particularly adept at figuring out where Neo will go. Ultimately, Neo ends up being able to directly hack the matrix and as a result hacks the smith program and dismantles it at the end of the first film.

The Matrix’s Agent Smith As A Virus

When Neo hacks the smith program at the end of the first film, he unknowingly turns the program into the equivalent of a computer virus. How computer viruses function is by getting through security systems and recreating themselves, then repeating. This is precisely how Agent Smith functions, by copying himself over other programs and integrating pieces of their code onto his own. As such, Smith is in essence the ultimate virus, being able to adapt constantly and gain new ways of getting through security. In this way Smith is the antithesis of Neo in that Neo hacks the matrix with a specific purpose whereas Smith simply hacks. It is because Neo created him that he springs forth as this entity that can exist beyond the matrix and potentially take over the matrix. As a twist of irony, where Neo can hack the matrix, Smith can hack reality and is hence able to bring his ‘code’ to the real world by copying over a person’s brain.

The Matrix’s Agent Smith Is Defeated

As both Neo and Smith are able to see beyond the matrix while being in it, neither can effectively be defeated while in the Matrix. Ultimately, in order to defeat Agent Smith Neo had to delete his presence and actions from the Matrix akin to hitting the undo button.

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