The rest of Am Yisrael experiences joy, unity, salvation, triumph, and celebration — but Queen Esther does not seem to.
We want the happy ending in which Mordechai HaYehudi rescues his wife from the Zoroastrian harem and the horrible king who had her kidnapped and forcibly married to him.
But that desired ending never arrives.
What really happened with Queen Esther after that first glorious Purim?
As usual, the answer is complex and deep...and not all is as it seems.
Here's Rav Itamar Schwartz of Bilvavi on the topic:
The Geulah on Purim was a preparation for the Geulah shelaimah (complete Redemption), but it was not yet the Geulah shelaimah itself.
The Gemara says that “We are still the slaves of Achashveirosh” (Talmud Bavli Megillah 14a).
Mordechai was only favored by “most” of Klal Yisrael, but not to all of them, and the Gemara says that this was because he had to be involved with the government, so he was not accepted by everyone after that.
And, similarly, Esther remained as Achashveirosh’s queen.
However, the Zohar says that Esther took control of Achashveirosh’s power and of his entire kingdom.
Esther represents the spiritual point of malchus d’Atzilus, and Achashverosh was the Zeir Anpin on the side of impurity.
According to the Zohar, she sent a demon in her stead to be with Achashveirosh, and this is unlike the view of the Talmud Bavli, which states that Esther was forced to be with Achashveirosh.
The sefer Magid Meisharim writes that because the Jewish people sinned by marrying gentile women, they were punished with Esther being forced to be married a rasha.
The sefer Chemdas Yomim says that Esther represents the Malchus D’Atzilus, the Shechinah, which was placed into exile, for she was forced to be married to a wicked person, like a rose among the thorns.
The Ramchal also writes that Esther being forced to be with Achashveirosh represents how the Shechinah is currently exiled to the Sitra Achra, to the side of evil.
Achashveirosh wanted to control Esther – the Shechinah – but Mordechai made the demon swear that it would take Esther’s stead and go to Achashverosh instead.
So even when she had to go willingly to Achashverosh, she never actually was with him, because she sent a demon to be with him instead, so she never actually stayed with Achashverosh for the rest of her life.
It was only in the beginning when she was first taken as queen, that she had to be with Achashverosh – but she did not actually remain with him.