Monday, December 29, 2008

Vashti

One of the classes I took last term was Bible as literature. I'd never read the Bible before, except for little snippets, so it was something quite new for me. Partway through the term I was regretting that I hadn't read the Bible before. No, I'm not a Christian (in fact, I'm Pagan), but that doesn't change the fact that I found it fascinating.

Of particular interest was Book of Esther. I don't know why - it just grabbed me, from the first time I read it. And who is my favorite character? You'll never guess. Oh wait, yeah you will, since her name is the title of this post. Vashti. Remember her? She's the first queen, who only makes an appearance in the first chapter.  (FYI, you can take a look at the first chapter, and more,  here.) Why her, you might ask. She's scarcely in the story. But thing is, that's part of why she captures my imagination. There's so little known about her.

And there's that big question: why did she not obey her king, and make an appearance when he commanded her to do so? Well, I've had fun brainstorming ideas. Let's see...

1) She was PMS-al, and didn't give a dang what he wanted.

2) She was having a bad hair day, and either
a) couldn't bear the thought of appearing before everyone with lousy hair.
b) didn't want to shame her king when he wanted to show off her beauty.

3) She was exhausted from overseeing that a feast was prepared for the ladies, and was simply too tired to put in an appearance.

4) She was sick and tired of being at his beck and call, and decided to make him send her away by disobeying him.

These are four of my favorite theories. But of course, we likely will never know for certain why she refused to answer her king's summons. As my English professor drummed into my head last term, the Bible is "fraught with background."

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