Esther: A Plot Analysis

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The setting is somewhere in Persia sometime between 500-400b.c. at the palace of King Ashauerus in Susa. Queen Vashti has been deposed for disobeying a direct order to appear and perform before the inebriated quests of the somewhat “merry with wine” King. This sets the stage for a story of excess, irony, reversals and a captive Jewess who would become queen and the savior of a nation. Mentored by her cousin and guardian Mordecai, Esther leads the reader through a tale of intrigue that deliver a people on the brink of annihilation resulting in the celebration of deliverance that exists until the present day. Although the characters are colorful and information on the reason behind their actions is often lacking, the author’s rapid paced plot serves to buoy and move events toward the ultimate celebration. King Ashauerus may have been the envy of the world with a kingdom able to withstand a 187-day party. All must have been well with no more nations to conquer and all the citizenry content to be his subjects. It is during one of these party nights that he summons his queen by sending seven eunuchs to fetch her in order that she may exhibit her beauty while wearing his or her favorite crown. We are not provided the reason why a king would want his queen to display her national treasures to a group of drunken politicians but there had to be some initiative to get the story going. Queen Vashti, who is having her own party with the women, decides she has no desire to leave her guests. Bechtel makes a point to have us to consider that the excess may very well be perceived as abundance. However, as soon as the author employs seven eunuchs sent for one person, we know that excess is the rule rather than the exception. As far as we know,... ... middle of paper ... ...ngs in the palace, the Kings signet ring and written edicts exemplifying power, feasting and more feasting. However, it is the Feast of the Purim that symbolizes the purpose of the story. Ironic that the story opens with feasting of the Persians for reasons unknown and close with the Jews feasting celebrating their rescue from annihilation. The plot works with or without a theological inference. Works Cited Bechtel, Carol M. Interpretation, A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching, Esther. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press. 2012. Print Fox, Michael V. Character and Ideology In The Book Of Esther. Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press.1991. Print Moore, Carey A. Esther. Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Company Inc. 1971. Print Harrelson, Walter J. General Editor. The New Interpreters Study Bible. Nashville TN: Abington Press, 2003. Print.

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