The David Myth in Western Literature

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Raymond-Jean Frontain, Jan Wojcik
Purdue University Press, 1980 - 212 pages
This collection of eleven original essays each by a different scholar outlines the rich body of imaginative and devotional literature which has the biblical poet-warrior-king as its subject or primary focus, showing David to have as strong an imaginative appeal for Western writers as such better-known mythic heroes as Orpheus, Oedipus, Samson, and Ulysses. The introduction to the volume surveys the development of the David myth particularly in British and American literature. The essays represent a variety of critical approaches to the myth as literature, treating in detail such works as Shakespeare's Hamlet, Cowley's Davideis, Christopher Smart's A Song to David, and Faulkner's Absalom, Absalom! and examining the complex uses made of David in the Midrash, Talmud, and Patristic writings; medieval sermons and Reformation devotional treatises; and American Puritan sermons.



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This collection of essays regarding the myth of the Biblical David and it's influence throughout the Western literary canon. The David myth is complex as David is complex--he is both a model of ... Read full review

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Contents

Discriminations against Davids Tragedy
12
Frail Grass and Firm Tree
38
Two Views of the Evangelical David
56
Cowleys Davideis and the
96
David the Military Exemplum
106
Blest Light
120
Faulkners Absalom Absalom
136
The Words of Their Roaring
156
Saul and David in the Early Poetry
170
Notes
179
Contributors 209
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Page 116 - My goodness, and my fortress; my high tower, and my deliverer; my shield, and he in whom I trust ; who subdueth my people under me.
Page 165 - I WAITED patiently for the Lord ; And he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, And set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.
Page 193 - COMMIT thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. AND he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.
Page 82 - tis not to come ; if it be not to come, it will be now ; if it be not now, yet it will come : the readiness is all.
Page 194 - FOR yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place and it shall not be. BUT the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.
Page 43 - Thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun. For thou didst it secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun.
Page 193 - Fret not thyself because of evildoers, Neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, And wither as the green herb.
Page 164 - Deliver me out of the mire, and let me not sink : let me be delivered from them that hate me, and out of the deep waters. 15 Let not the waterflood overflow me, neither let the deep swallow me up, and let not the pit shut her mouth upon me.
Page 88 - But in all Israel there was none to be so much praised as Absalom for his beauty : from the sole of his foot even to the crown of his head there was no blemish in him.
Page 77 - And it came to pass when David had made an end of speaking these words unto Saul, that Saul said, Is this thy voice, my son David?

About the author (1980)

Jan Wojcik, associate professor of English and comparative literature at Purdue, studied at Boston College and received his doctorate from Yale. He is author of Muted Consent: A Casebook in Modern Medical Ethics, Road to Emmaus: Reading Luke's Gospel, Arguments of Agriculture: A Casebook in Contemporary Agricultural Controversy, and David Myth in Western Literature.

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