This question: Is there anything special about Agent Smith that makes him become a virus? assumes Agent Smith becomes a virus.

But in this monologue from The Matrix, he speaks with extreme disdain for humans because they are virus-like.

Agent Smith: I'd like to share a revelation that I've had during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species and I realized that you're not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment but you humans do not. You move to an area and you multiply and multiply until every natural resource is consumed and the only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet. You're a plague and we are the cure.

How is this justified behavior for him? Is he just hypocritical?


1 Answer 1


In my answer to the linked question, I quote the Oracle explaining what the Smith virus is:

Neo: What is [Smith]?

Oracle: He is you. Your opposite, your negative, the result of the equation trying to balance itself out.

Thus, Smith became a virus not of his own accord but because the system turned him into one. At this point, he was flagged for deletion and had a choice between returning to the Source for deletion or going into exile within the Matrix. I've previously explained why Smith decided to choose exile instead of deletion after his defeat in The Matrix:

You destroyed me, Mr. Anderson. Afterward, I knew the rules, I understood what I was supposed to do but I didn't. I couldn't. I was compelled to stay, compelled to disobey...There's no escaping reason, no denying purpose - because as we both know, without purpose, we would not exist. It is purpose that created us, purpose that connects us, purpose that pulls us, that guides us, that drives us. It is purpose that defines, purpose that binds us. We're here because of you, Mr. Anderson, we're here to take from you what you tried to take from us. Purpose.

Smith's purpose was not yet fulfilled (he says Neo "tried" to take his purpose, which meant that he still had a purpose) and he was "compelled to disobey" (choose exile) over deletion.

In short, Smith was turned into a virus by the system yet he was compelled to choose exile (remain a virus) rather than be deleted because he still needed to fulfill his purpose. He wasn't really "okay" with being a virus, he was dealt with that situation. The fact that Smith became a virus despite having previously criticized the virus-like attributes of humans is ironic.

  • The Many vs. The One. Commented Jul 17, 2015 at 15:31

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