Evaluation of character representation in poetry

Evaluation of character representation in poetry

Character Representation in Biblical Poetry

  • The Psalms’ represent characters through metaphorical traits and descriptions. For instance, Psalm 7 characterises God as a righteous judge in its vivid portrayal of divine judgement.

  • Delving deeper into the linguistic choices, such as metaphors and similes, can help us understand the emotional, spiritual, and moral complexities of the characters.

  • In the Psalms, God is often portrayed with anthropomorphic language. This human-like depiction of God serves to emphasise His close relationship with humanity.

  • The psalmist’s character is often portrayed through the emotions, struggles, and triumphs that he/she describes. This enables us to connect empathetically with the psalmist and fosters a shared human experience.

Developing Character Analysis

  • Important tool in analysis of character in Psalms is understanding the context. Who could be the potential speaker and recipient of the psalm? Could it be an individual or collective voice?

  • What does the Psalm reveal about the character’s emotional journey throughout the Psalm? Consider the starting and ending emotional state of the character. Is there a change or development?

  • Look beyond literal interpretations and consider potential symbolic representations. Why is God repeatedly represented as a shield, rock, and stronghold in these psalms?

  • Evaluate how the character’s relationship with God is portrayed. Pay attention to the use of personal pronouns and verbs.

Role in Thematic Development

  • The Psalms’ characters play a significant role in its thematic development. By following a character’s journey, we can gain insight into recurring themes such as salvation, justice, and mercy.

  • Character portrayal plays a significant part in the psalm’s emotional intensity. For example, the raw desperation in Psalm 6 personifies the psalmist and highlights the theme of emotional distress and spiritual struggle.

  • The representations of God as a just ruler (Psalm 9:7-8), a merciful saviour (Psalm 3:7), and a personal confidant (Psalm 4:3) reinforce the psalms’ central theological themes.

  • How does the character representation emphasise the overall moral or theological message of the Psalm? Are there significant character moments or dialogue that drive these key messages?