Bill Murray: Sisyphus, But Better

Groundhog Day, easily one of the greatest movies of all time, stars Bill Murray, also one of the greatest people of all time, in a modern take on the ancient myth of Sisyphus.

In Groundhog day, Bill Murray finds himself in a mystical time loop that has forced him to relive the same day over and over again.

At first, Murray is confused, but upon realizing his situation, he begins living his days as if there was no tomorrow, because there wasn’t. He does all the things most of us would do if we knew our actions didn’t have consequences: punch salesmen, drive trucks into quarries, endanger the lives of others, classic stuff.

Murray, like Sisyphus, probably doesn’t find his magical predicament very enjoyable at first. Murray tries to kill himself a number of times, only to find that he cannot escape the time loop.

But through acceptance of his situation, Murray, like Sisyphus, becomes powerful. “I’m a god”, as Murray puts it.

After acceptance of his situation, Murray finds purpose in the life presented to him, and tries to become a better person in order to help others. According to google, Bill Murray’s character spent about 33 years trapped inside of the time loop, practically an eternity to the average person. If Camus is right about Sisyphus, it might be that an eternity in groundhog day wouldn’t have been that bad.

One thought on “Bill Murray: Sisyphus, But Better

  1. GRACE F

    I like the connection you made here. Power comes when you understand and become familiar with the evil your facing. Agency in an uncontrollable situation seems contradicting but it was a topic widely discussed in my US history class when confronting the issue of slavery. Sysiphus is a slave to the rock, yet after some time we can identify him as powerful because he continues to work with what he’s got.


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