Deep analysis of protagonists and their character arcs

Deep analysis of protagonists and their character arcs


  • Abraham’s faith: Abraham’s faith is a central theme in Genesis 12-25, and it strengthens due to his relationship with God. His faith is tested repeatedly, which he overcomes, while also revealing human doubts and fears. Abraham’s faith becomes an example for a monotheistic faith.
  • Obedience and trust: His obedience towards God is displayed in several instances such as when he leaves his homeland to travel to Canaan (Genesis 12:4) and when he is willing to sacrifice Isaac (Genesis 22:1-19), showcasing his utter trust in God.
  • Conflicts and resolutions: Abraham encounters various challenges and moral dilemmas, particularly in his relationships with Sarah and Hagar. His peaceful resolution of these conflicts, for example with Lot over grazing lands (Genesis 13), reveals his diplomatic skill and commitment to family ties.


  • Barrenness and miracle: Sarah’s initial barrenness and consequent miraculous conception of Isaac highlights both her despair and joy, serving an important function in the narrative.
  • Sarah’s laughter: Sarah’s laughter in response to God’s prophecy of her bearing a son (Genesis 18:12) can be interpreted in various ways - disbelief, joy, or skepticism. Her character is thereby marked by a transformation from skepticism to belief.
  • Sarah’s relationship with Hagar: A significant element of Sarah’s character is seen in her uneasy relationship with Hagar, indicative of her insecurities and human flaws.


  • Passive role: Isaac’s role is more passive compared to Abraham and Sarah. His character is primarily shaped by the actions and decisions of others around him, such as his near sacrifice by Abraham (Genesis 22).
  • Transition figure: Isaac serves as a transitional figure, carrying forward the Abrahamic covenant to the next generation, as seen in Genesis 25:5-6.


  • Hagar’s expulsion and survival: Hagar’s expulsion into the wilderness with Ishmael shows her vulnerability but also resilience when God rescues her (Genesis 16 and Genesis 21). Her character symbolises survival and faith amidst severe trials.
  • Hagar’s visions: Unlike other female characters, Hagar has direct encounters with God, marking a divine endorsement and her unique role.

Group dynamics

  • Power dynamics: Power dynamics, particularly within the family unit of Abraham, Sarah, and Hagar, play a pivotal role in developing the narratives of Genesis 12-25.
  • Roles and relationships: The complex relationships between the main characters influence their respective character arcs and narrate insightful human experiences, offering multiple layers of understanding for the text.
  • Covenant and promise: The main protagonists play various roles in the continuing theme of the divine covenant and promise, showing their different responses to divine intervention and plans.