By Jo Carruthers
This interdisciplinary remark levels from early midrashic interpretation to modern rewritings introducing interpretations of the single biblical booklet let alone God. reveals a wealth of overlooked rewritings encouraged by means of the story’s relevance to issues of nationhood, uprising, windfall, revenge, woman heroism, Jewish id, exile, genocide and ‘multiculturalism’Reveals many of the struggles and methods utilized by spiritual commentators to make experience of this purely biblical e-book that doesn't point out GodAsks why Esther is underestimated via modern feminist students regardless of an extended background of subversive rewritingsCompares the main influential Jewish and Christian interpretations and interpretersIncludes an creation to the book’s myriad representations in literature, song, and artPublished within the reception-history sequence, Blackwell Bible Commentaries
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Additional info for Esther Through the Centuries (Blackwell Bible Commentaries)
She is further aligned to the biblical Esther through her echoing of ‘If I perish, I perish’ in her punctuated ‘“Once more, duty, duty, Esther” said I’ (). Although fleeting references, for the attentive reader familiar with the biblical story, the connection is suggestive. That novelistic Esthers at this time were unusually assertive and resolute characters, as well as often representing sexual misdemeanour of some kind, suggests that Dickens had a sense of what Esther signified in culture at large.
Jewish Megillot (Esther scrolls) function to expand the Hebrew Esther to guide the reader to assume implicit religious elements within Esther and Mordecai’s activity. John Rylands Manchester MS , for example, contains a frame of Jews at their synagogue, thus converting the explicit fasting of the story to community-wide prayer (Plate , p. ). Many writers simply assume a divine frame for interpretation. ] (: sig Fv : ) Handel’s oratorio inserts a prolonged section of praise lasting eighteen minutes following its opening on Haman’s genocidal decree.
Other queenly Esthers carry with them specific elements from the biblical book. The Hester of Emily Foster’s Hester Cameron’s Three Offers (), is ‘some queen of a pure arcadian land’ (), and works for the temperance cause (see Esth :). Although William Axton makes a brief allusion to a connection between the Esther of Dickens’ Bleak House (–) and the biblical queen, the connection has since been left unexplored, even though it is unlikely that Dickens uses the name unthinkingly. Inspector Bucket describes the qualities of a young lady by which she ‘becomes a Queen’, declaring to Esther ‘and that’s about what you are yourself ’ (Dickens : ).