Chapter

The Book of Ruth As Comedy: Classical and Modern Perspectives

Nehama Aschkenasy

in Scrolls of Love

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print December 2006 | ISBN: 9780823225712
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823237067 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fso/9780823225712.003.0004
The Book of Ruth As Comedy: Classical and Modern Perspectives

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More than any other biblical story or cycle of tales, the book of Ruth belongs to the dramatic genre. Structured as a series of short, eventful scenes animated by spirited, dynamic dialogue, it can be easily adapted for the stage. Scholarly consensus regarding the literary genre of the book of Ruth is that it is “a historical short story” or a novella written in prose, and, at times, in poetic prose. Yet the predominance of dialogue and the clear division of the dramatic structure into different scenes allows one to view the book of Ruth as drama. Dialogue is the fiber of drama, the yarn that weaves the story. As in the best plays, in the book of Ruth it is dialogue that advances action and reveals character.

Keywords: biblical story; drama; book of Ruth; poetic prose; dialogue

Chapter.  6564 words. 

Subjects: Biblical Studies

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