Monthly Archives: April 2014

Allusion on Sir Gawain and the Green Knight!

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During my research of the movie the Hobbit,I begin talking about what I had planned to do for my allusion with a friend. Her interest in finding out what I meant by an allusion lead us to the topic of John Ronald Reuel Tolkien. J.R. R. Tolkien, if you must know is the author of The Hobbit and Lord of The Rings books, and all of which are brilliant pieces of literature. We know that they are great and interesting because J.R. R. Tolkien writes them. Interesting enough, we discussed the topic and other things that allude to such subliminal messages used by Tolkien. Then somehow, we were on the topic of Green horses. This topic lead us to the subject of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight by Tolkien and also Revelations the pale green horse. I am familiar with this text of Sir Gawain because of the recent English literature course. As many know, Tolkien is also known for being a literature professor and a linguist. He translated Gawain and the green knight from French. It deals with the realm of Camelot and the issues of Christianity mixing with traditional pagan gods and ideas. The green knight is, I think, supposed to be the Green Man or the god of the forest but we will discover later in this paper. Celtic mythology has different versions of him than in others. Tolkien was also really big into historical literature and did lots of other translations. So As we ended the topic, I found myself wanting to do my allusion on Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. During Christmas at King Arthur’s court. the knights and court gather to celebrate in a feast known as all saints day. During the feast, King Arthur wanted to witness or hear something amazing, “glorious.” During this time, a mysterious man with “green skin” comes into the hall on a green horse desiring to challenge someone, or anyone. The green knight states that he’s arrive to test the honor of the legendary knights of the round table, and he suggest they play his a game. In this game, he will allow one to yield a fatal blow, and this one blow preferably from the hands of one of the king’s knight.  This however, will only be done if the knight agrees to meet him a year from today( meaning the day he challenged him) to receive a blow in return. Afraid of such an appeal and gazing upon a green monster looking man and horse, no one emerged from the audience to take on this challenge.

            The Green Knight maliciously mocks them and actually challenges King Arthur himself to take up the challenge. Nevertheless, before Arthur can even wallop a blow, his nephew, Sir Gawain, spoke out and said that “it’s dishonorable for the king to have to participate in such a ridiculous game.” So Gawain volunteers himself,  he is so brave. Then bringing down the axe on the green knight head Gawain slams down, and chopped his head off. Instead of dying, the green Knight picks up his own head, turns it to face the people, and tells Gawain to meet him at the green Chapel in a year and a day after, and he finally leaves out of the hall.The relevance of this is all in Revelations 6:8, “And I looked, and behold, a pale horse! And its rider’s name was Death, and Hades followed him. And they were given authority over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by wild beasts of the earth” (http://biblehub.com/revelation/6-8.htm).I thought as we discussed this topic in class about the word pale, “meaning green” I had to jump on this topic.In the greek text, as discussed in class the word “chloros” is present. “Chloros” means GREEN and it is the same as seen in the word chlorophyll, which is the green color of plants (http://kenraggio.com/KRPN-GreenHorse.html). This is obviously the color of the horse and its rider. As mentioned by Ken Raggio,  the Old Testament allusion to the fourth horse in the bible is stated, “grisled and bay”(http://kenraggio.com/KRPN-GreenHorse.html) . However, “grisled” happens to be a texture (spotted or splotched) and not a color. The Hebrew word that is translated “bay” is stated by Raggio as not used anywhere else in the Bible. It is an vague term that could mean “strong or courageous.”  The act of Gawain if not noted should be seen as courageous, his willpower to give his life for King Arthur which shows his strong demeanor and selfless act of being generous. Much of Gawain focuses on exile, a mans punishment for his active will to sin. Gawain had a choice to complete the blow to the head and committed to it, and knowing his punishment towards the end. As noted earlier, the importance of the green knight leaving his sword with Gawain, could be seen as the sword of death, something that symbolizes an awaiting trial period that when the mystical creature comes back will erect its destruction and agony on its victim.Assuming that this sword holds the hellish expectation of a brutal death awaiting Gawain. In the (http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread525933/pg1#sthash.vhZXAnZH.dpuf), it mentions that in revelations it explains the times in which provide a vision to the impending death, “a killing is timed to coincide with a ‘disclosure’ of god.” This is something that the green knight gives to Gawain as a revelation of what is to happen in his near future. This assumption could be seen as hell, in revelations we read of what is to follow this horse, and indeed it is prophetic. The most important fact is a horse was given power over the ¼ of the earth and it was to kill by the sword, famine, and death. Mind you, King Arthur was the authority in those parts, who deviously convinced his people whom he had control over that he was just as clueless as them but could easily control them. This story has many multiple levels and the fact that this Arthurian parable, the tale of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is an example, on how the green knight represents the Christian beliefs on the nature religion(http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/beltanemayday/p/GreenMan.htm).

What is the history and meaning behind the Book of Revelations?

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Reading the book of Revelations can be quite intimidating to the average person, the description of beast, spiritual beings, the world ending, and consuming fire goes against the structure of normality. Although, in today’s culture and media such things are embraced through; television, magazines, movies, technology, and through cultures that clinch on to this type of hellish ends. However, in this culture many are into genres such as science fiction and thriller; vampire vs. human, demon vs. angel, the future holding some apocalyptic end. Revelations topples every book that I have read in the bible because of its intensity and ability to have any individual question their life and whether they are “going to hell.” As I was reading, I really felt maybe focusing on who is the actual writer of Revelations. Also how did society or their culture accept the content during the time . Did people question its truth and validity and where was the book of  Revelation found. What happen after the release of revelations and why is it called revelations.

As I read the first chapter and fist verse of revelations, I gather in reading, that this was a vision given to Jesus , who from God, sent his angel to his servant John who was witnessed to this word of  God and witness to the testimony of Jesus Christ ( Revelations 1: 1-2). It sounds or looks to me when I  read back over these verses for clarity, as if John the writer and speaker; speaks in third person.  Many Christians would however explain it as being content that it is not John or someone writing this story as a listener of John, but John being “divinely inspired by God.” Researching the clarity of who is the actual writer , I read bibleprobe.com which said that the writer is Apostle John, but reading copwisecounty.org, it mentions something similar to what I believe which is that  the writer may be a hearer of John, and not john himself. The reason I say this is because of how in the intro it is written in third person, Revelations 1:1. Many believe it to be John of Patmos this we will assume as him until proven otherwise. He was about 92 years old when he wrote the book of  Revelations(bibleprob.com). During this time he was in prison in Patmos and persecuted by leaders because of his “extreme beliefs of Jesus Christ” and testifying to his second his coming (http://www.bibleprobe.com/revelation.htm). Also to throw in an interesting read, it mentions that magistrates were outraged with John at this time because he was thrown in boiling oil and lived (http://www.bibleprobe.com/revelation.htm). Well, I didn’t know oil boiled but it was something I wanted to interject.

This book is said to be written in 92-96 AD or in 70 ad, but I will go with what many scholars agree as being the actual date, 94-96AD. The next important question leading from this is the effect on society or how did their culture accept the content written in revelations at that time. Well of course, if you read Revelations you will read the prophesies which explain what John was told to tell certain people or angels what is to come good and bad.The angels reference in the text means Greek angelos “messenger, envoy, one that announces” angel.  I will only give a couple of examples which start in  Revelations 1:20 and on. John mentions, “the seven lamp stands symbolizing the seven churches.” In the letter to Ephesus, he writes and explains what god would have them to do, “I know your works; and what you have endured, you test those who do evil…nevertheless you have fallen, repent and do the first works or else (Revelations 2:1-9). This is quite scary when you read further on in revelations on what is to happen to those who don’t repent, or fall into the category of being “bottomless pit worthy.” If I had been in Ephesus at this very moment, fear would be my deepest concern and repenting high on my to do list! Another was the message john had to relay to Thyatira in revelations 2:18-2, he mentions their good service then basically tells them God said he doesn’t like this get it right or die a harsh death. John’s message to Thyatira Jezebel who calls herself a prophetess…who by her teaching deceives my servants into sexual immorality and eating idols’-meat./I have given her time to repent but she has shown no desire to repent of her immorality./See, now, how I throw her into bed and her lovers with her, and I will send them terrible suffering unless they repent of what she has done” (J.B Phillips  https://www.ccel.org/bible/phillips/CPn27Revelation.htm). If I had been in Thyatira hearing this and aware of Jezebel , I am sure  many were repenting and awaiting the day of condemning. The mention of Jezebel in this area of the bible or New Testamentis really bizarre to me because I know when she is known to be relevant years before this and mention in the story in 1 Kings. Well, maybe there is another Jezebel? Nonetheless, this would strike most Christians at this time and leaders to be a constant reminder that someone is watching and maintaining order was life or death, so get in order or  be“thrown in the fire and obliterated by the beast.” To add in my next question, I will give in short my beliefs on the validity and truth of the message  during that time. The fact that John was a respected leader of the Christian community, and  a martyr , therefore making this message increasingly popular, and  influencing  much of the Christian way of life. We notice now that the influence was short lived as culture evolves  the message still has a power but has faded in strength.  As we look back now,  how those areas have evolved to brutality, yet still trying to hold religious orthodox without pure moral concept, has weaken the quality of the message that God spoke through John.

After the message was release there were many problems people found wrong with the text but it was purely how Christians interpreted the text, this may sounds familiar and quite ironic. In reading “Revelation in Late Antiquity and the Early Church,” it explains three problems during Johns time. It explains that allegory of the text has always been the problem, Allegory in greek allegoria “figurative language, description of one thing under the image of another,also meaning “literally” (http://www.etymonline.com). During the second century, “Clement of Alexandria rebuke Christian women who took the description of the New Jerusalem in Revelation 21 as a merit for wearing jewelry” http://persweb.wabash.edu). During this time and after much of the text was spread along Rome and Egypt  the text took a turn in a less figurative approach to what was to happen literally. In one of the articles I first read ,which is bibleprobe.com, it mentions that Johns vision was a look into the future of new technology or high tech weaponry. That at John’s time what we know now as advance weaponry or bio weaponry could only by God be divinely given through vision (http://www.bibleprobe.com/revelation.htm). Many scholars believe the what John saw was an advance set of machinery, which now would be him referencing or predicting our new age technology leading us into the end of this world “Apocalyptic”. Those in John’s time were more concerned of the beast and took it literally, which is still what Christians do today. Lastly, what does Revelations actually mean? Revelations is a literal reference in Greek, meaning the “Apocalypse” (pbs.org) The word apocalypse means revelation, it is said to be  “that which is exposed or revealed,” it comes from the Greek word which means to pull the cover off something (pbs.org). It is prophetic books based on the inspiration of God, and how God will selects certain human beings to speak and to be spokespeople for his will whether it be a excellent  inspiring message to tell or in the words of prophet Jeremiah, someone will have to speak (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/apocalypse/explanation/brevelation.html).