Breaking the Glass Ceiling: A Comparative Study of Judith and Esther as Heroic Figures
An integral element of the Christian faith and one of the world’s oldest written works, the Bible is a rich and distinctive piece of literature. Referred to as the Word of God by the Christian faithful, the Bible was composed over a period of over one thousand years by several different authors of varying backgrounds as well as religious perspectives. As such, it is a library of stories—of interpretations that form the pillars of a religion—involving a number of different characters and events that make the Bible a literary goldmine. Bible stories have been told and retold time and time again, generation after generation. Because of the number and variety of books and written pieces found in the Bible, it is no surprise that some parts are more known while others are overlooked. The Creation narrative, the poetry of Psalms, the accounts of the gospels—these are parts of the holy book that many have heard often. Other shorter, minor books about people who have fought for God’s glory or remained faithful throughout obstacles are not as frequently or lengthily delved into, and some examples of these are the stories of the women of the Bible. Only three books of the Bible are named for and have women as central characters: Ruth, Judith, and Esther. Judith and Esther in particular, took an active stand against a force threatening their people, and in the face of adversary, truly earned the titles of Bible heroines. The Book of Esther tells the tale of a young, Jewish girl married to King Ahasuerus of Persia. The king had previously divorced his first wife, Vashti, over a trivial matter and had chosen Esther for her beauty. Haman the Agagite, the jealous and powerful vizier of the king, wanted to destroy all the Jews living in Persia because of his hatred and anger towards the Jewish servant Mordecai. Mordecai was Esther’s uncle and had for religious reasons refused...
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