The character spotlight pattern :Characterization and the NA'AR in 1 Samuel

Nyberg, Meredith Faubel (2017) The character spotlight pattern :Characterization and the NA'AR in 1 Samuel. PhD thesis, University of Gloucestershire.

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This study explores the narrative techniques and patterns used to introduce and develop the main characters in 1 Samuel by identifying a fivefold 'character spotlight pattern' presented in the order of Samuel, Saul, and David. I assert that I have recognized this pattern rather than imposing it upon the text, following the order of: 1) Anticipation; 2) Introduction; 3) Comparison and Contrast; 4) Chosen and Challenged; and 5) Rise, Rule, and Replacement. Although the character-based layout of 1 Samuel is clear, the overlapping spotlight pattern explored by this study has not previously been identified. Thus, the present work offers a new way of looking at characterization in the books of Samuel using the method of literary analysis. The Hebrew word na 'ar is key to understanding this 'character spotlight pattern,' for it is densely clustered in the introductory narratives of the three main characters, culminating in the story of the covenant between David and Jonathan (1 Sam 20). In this study, I propose a nuanced translation of na 'ar using the word 'select' to indicate the lad or young man in the role of a representative, a Hebrew word used in two ways: first, to flatten a character by using a non-specific word for a named or unnamed lad; and second, to heighten comparison and contrast between two characters. In addition, I use social science theory to explore the concepts of 'honor and shame' and 'limited good.' I also propose areas of displaced chronology in 1 Samuel that have not previously been identified. Overall, this study helps to illuminate characterization in 1 Samuel through an understanding of the 'character spotlight pattern' developed purposefully by the storytellers. A better understanding of this pattern may further reveal how the storytellers develop ideas about leadership through the important roles of the kings and prophets of biblical Israel.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
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Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Creatives
Depositing User: Anne Pengelly
Date Deposited: 27 Apr 2022 12:48
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2023 08:55

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