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Scholars Day 2008, Wednesday, April 9

Ambiguity in the Interaction Between David and Aschish (1 Samuel 28-29)

The Hebrew Bible contains many passages wherein characters interact with each other in ways that are ambiguous and deceptive. In 1 Samuel 28-29, David is fearful of King Saul and so flees to the Philistines where he settles with the consent of King Achish of Gath. When Israel prepares to fight against the Philistines, Achish, doubtful of David's loyalty, reminds David of his duty to fight against his countrymen. David confirms Achish's doubts when he responds to Achish in a manner full of ambiguity. Close reading reveals that Achish reacts to David's ambiguity with an equally ambiguous response to David, which gestures at his own motives. Although David's attempt to deceive Achish has long been noticed, Achish has often been viewed as a dupe, but in fact he answers David's duplicity in kind.

Presenter: Ellen Buonemani (Undergraduate Student)
Topic: English
Location: 215 Hartwell
Time: 1:45 pm (Session III)