Biblical Myth and Rabbinic Mythmaking

By Michael Fishbane | Go to book overview

3 Personalization and Historicization of the Combat Motif: In Prayer and Prophecy

In the preceding discussion, the main subject was the myth of the divine combat with the sea—both in the Urzeit of world origins, and in the Endzeit to come for the nation in travail. In all cases, this myth was repeatedly revised and incorporated into prayers and prophecies to meet the needs of changing circumstances or concerns. But however varied the voice of the speaker who refers to these mythic events, or who is invested in their reality and recurrence, the concern is with communal crises, and not a difficulty in the life of any specific individual or personality. Moreover, the magnalia dei referred to serve as mythic prototypes for the divine power and aid requested for the nation. The events in time past thus have their own independent status separate from the contexts in which the speaker exists. The cases wherein God prophesies a new iteration of victory confirm this point.

Quite different are the cases of mythopoesis where these mythic exemplars are variously personalized or historicized. On these occasions, features of the mythic trope of combat are applied to an individual or nation and produce a complex metaphor of identity; and it is just this fusion of differences (of a person with a dragon, for example) that is rhetorically exploited by the speaker. 1 Accordingly, for all their fantastical qualities, these metaphors concretize a correlation perceived between a given person or nation and the mythologem, and in so doing they not only reactualize the myth in dramatic ways, but give human life an ironic dimension. This process of ironization through mythic attribution saves the image from veering into the absurd or from totally encumbering the rhetoric. Hence whereas myths derive their effect precisely because they narrate something ancient and believed true, these mythic metaphors open up an ironic space between the image (the dragon or the sea) and its vehicle (the person or the nation) and are effective

-58-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Biblical Myth and Rabbinic Mythmaking
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 461

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.