Tuesday, September 18, 2007

What did we just do?













The Bible? We read out of the Bible?

What is it about the Book of Job that ties in with what we've been reading and discussing? What elements of literature are present in this book that make it a part of the tragic canon?

Here's what I want to know from each of you...

What is significant about the Christian use of the tragic character in the Book of Job? Discuss the similarities and differences between Job's experience/story and what Sophocles and Aristotle thought a tragedy should consist of. Is Job a tragic hero? Why or why not?

Answer the questions with full purpose and detail. Be honest here. Yes, others will see your posts and laugh hysterically, or not, but be complete and thorough. Be honest with yourself and be bold enough to include those thoughts here in the blogosphere. Respond to the questions for yourself, and then discuss (here) what your differing opinions and insights are with each other. Use quotes and examples from the text, using chapter:verse citations.

Remember to put your first name and last initial at the bottom of your post each time. No name or full name = NO CREDIT. Yes, that's ticky-tack. Yes, you're advanced students with advanced skills. First name, last initial.

169 comments:

Anonymous said...

so i havent actually read Job but it sounds pretty tragic...

Molly M.

Anonymous said...

I believe that Job has a lot of similarities with classic Tragedy. He is a well-endowed man of high standing, who experiences a tragic downfall, losing everything.

I don't he believe he is a tragic heroe though. He has no personal flaw, he does not fall of his own fault or action. Satan and God's competition does this to him, not himself.

Arden Y.

Anonymous said...

Job is a really repetitive story however it is repetitive for a reason it teach the message of the story over and over again so it is ingrained into the head of whoever reads it

Luke K.

Anonymous said...

It ties in with the Greek form of tragdy well, because it's meant to show the error of man ands his fall at the hands of God/the gods.
tarynl

Anonymous said...

I think Job has some similarities to a classic Greek tradgedy, in that he falls from power, but a Arden said, it was not through any fault of himself. There's no Reversal or Recognition, and Job ultimately comes out of the situation better than he went in
-Ella A.

Anonymous said...

I fail to see how being repetitive makes it relate to Tragedy

Arden Y.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Arden's statement that Job doesn't really fit the tragic hero category because he did not have a tragic character flaw...

Katrina G.

Anonymous said...

Why did God have to test Job to know that Job loved him? Wouldn't God just know?

Ruth H.

Anonymous said...

Job isn't anything like the Greek tragedies sure a man from high standing goes to a low standing however he receives double of what he had earlier making him better than before, is that tragic?

Luke K

Anonymous said...

job is kind of ghetto, the hole idea of god and satan betting is funny but unrealistic unless of course your one of those "i believe that the bible was written by god himself and men and there moralistic ineptitudes had nothing to do with it." If there is such a thing as your god and he is so loveing and forgiving then why the heck is he giving the okay for job to get his tail kicked in a bet, and if realistically he did do something like that he cant be such a nice guy, seriously who does that

FJT

Anonymous said...

I agree with what Arden said about repetition.

Job does reflect a lot of the same concepts as Greek Tragedy. For one, it shows the fickleness and unreasonability of the gods, and their quickness to play with man.

Michelle T.

Anonymous said...

I suppose Job's fall from grace has something to do with teaching us (humanity) something about ourselves, namely believe in God no matter what because he'll always be right, but Job already knows this before we go into the story. It's more his friends who have to discover this.
Ella A.

Anonymous said...

I agree wuth Ruth, just that in order to make this story tragic he had to test him... but why?
-morgan k

Anonymous said...

Job can be considered a tragic hero because a)Job is a man of high standings b)Job does have a tragic flaw---he denies all sins and gives himself a pity party. c)he comes back to repentence in 42:6

Anonymous said...

Job can be considered a tragic hero because a)Job is a man of high standings b)Job does have a tragic flaw---he denies all sins and gives himself a pity party. c)he comes back to repentence in 42:6 Levi W.

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't someone post something original and stop going off of ardens comment?

Anonymous said...

Even though Job is a man of higher rank who has everything taken away from him, he never falls morally. There's also no Reversal and Recognition Scene. This indicates that Job is not a tragic hero. I also don't think this story creates fear, as Aristotle said tragedies should. Pity, yes, but fear? I suppose if you're religious and you're fearing God in the sense that you think of him with reverence after reading this, then that could fill the requirement. But to me, that's stretching it.

Anonymous said...

What is significant about the Christian use of tragic character in Job? I think Job is very similar to other tragic characters in the fact that at the beggining he is noble, rich, and richeous and proceeds to loose everything. In that aspect, he is a tragic character... What I am having trouble deciding is:

What is his tragic flaw?

Is he loyal to a fault? I don't think so because God gives him everything back for that exact reason. I think the fact that it is hard to find his tragic flaw is what separates him from characters in Greek Drama. For this reason, Job is not a tragic hero, but just a hero for his loyalty to God through the worst of timnes.

Dylan W

Anonymous said...

This discussion is about the way Job relates to Tragedy Ruthy and Forrest, so let's not make this a religious debate.

I will say however Ruthy, the writers of the Job wanted to illustrate the dogma that Satan cannot harm you without the allowance of God, and that this hurt only makes you better and stronger.

Anyways back to discussion

Arden Y.

Anonymous said...

i think that in many ways Job fits with Oedipus, however they are very different. Both characters fall from wealth and power. For Oedipus it's because of his flaws as a person, where Job falls because of the devil's intervention. Job never falls and in the end he receives more than he had before.

Melissa G

Anonymous said...

There really isn't a reversal/recognition. And Job doesn't have a change of mind- therefore he doesn't really learn anything from his experience. I wouldn't call it greek tragedy. Especially since he has a happy life afterwords...And I agree with the Morgan/Ruth theory...why did he have to be tested in the first place? God should have just told Satan to shove off...




Mary B

Anonymous said...

Okay, so why are God and Satan having this nice, friendly little chat in the first place?
Ella A.

Anonymous said...

Job is a tragedy no doubt because of his terrible downfall at the hands of things out of his control. He has everything he could want and is a good man before God, but he loses it all for no apparent reason. Job's reaction to his tragedy is great sorrow, but the way he deals with it, while cursing himself and his birth, marks a great moral that doesn't exist in any Greek tragedy we've read yet. I think that universal moral at the end of the story is what makes this story so influential not only to the Christian religion, but also to Judaism and Islam. It's a great story about Tragedy and Redemption that is cherished by many.

-Jace Q.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Ella and Katrina when they said that Job does not have a tragic character flaw and comes out better than he started. The story shows that he knew what was really important in his life, which was not his possessions.
Laura C.

Anonymous said...

Christians use the tragic story of Job in the Bible to show that worldly possessions are not the most important thing in life. It was Job's faith in God that made his life good. It also shows that everyone has trials in their life, even the best of people, but trials will go away and you will be blessed from them if you are faithful.

Lisa M.

Anonymous said...

the one that's posted at 9:05 with no name on it, that's mine....

Courtney K.

Anonymous said...

he has no tragic flaw, thats the point. hes simply a good person who bad things happen to. It's a good foundation for a tragic character, but not enough to make him one completely.

Morgan L.

Anonymous said...

Job is, in a christian context, a story demonstrating the fact that bad things can happen to good people.
Job is similar to a greek tragedy as in the beginning of the story he was blessed with great wealth and as the story progressed he lost it. He experiences despair like the heroes of tragedies. Also as aristotle said, a tragedy should fulfill the audiences moral sense, which it did when Job's blessings were restored.
It is different from a tragedy because Job ends up happy again, what Aristotle viewed as giving the audience what they want to hear.
Job is a hero in the sense that when he went through a really hard time he kept his convictions, but I don't think he is a tragic hero.
Brent T.

Anonymous said...

while job is a tragedy as he falls from grace, the story of job is unlike greek tragedy as job does not fall due to human failings but actually falls because he doesnt have human failings and he has to be tested because of this.

i agree with Ruth why did job actually have to be tested?

Molly M

Anonymous said...

I fail to see why the all-knowing god had to test Jobs faith if he already knew he was faithful. Why would a loving God torture one of his followers just to prove he had faith that god already knew was there. It just doesn't add up for me.

Michelle C.

Anonymous said...

The biblical use of the tragic character is used to illustrate many fundamental parts of the religious struggle. In many ways it is a form of Tragedy.

However Job is not a Tragic Hero.

Let's please stay of the religious debating

Anonymous said...

Morgan, that is what I am thinking, the fact that he has no tragic flaw is what separates him from Greek Drama. Also, there is a lack of a reversal/recognition in the story of Job.

Dylan W

Anonymous said...

i really agree that Job can't be a tragic hero because he has no flaw.

Melissa G

Anonymous said...

Well, it also incorporates irony.

It's his unwavering faith that brings him unbearable suffering (so unbearable that it creates several solioquies worth of complaint) ... yet that is what brings him the ultimate riches.
Ironic.

Michelle T.

Anonymous said...

sorry, that was kinda delayed...
Morgan L.

Anonymous said...

The book of Job does tie in with the tragedy of Sophocles and Aristotle, because it shows the fall of Job, recognition of fault, and all those quantitative parts.
Levi W.

Anonymous said...

Ruth-
Why did God have to test Job to know that Job loved him? Wouldn't God just know?
In answer to your question yes, God probably did know. But did Job know how much he loved God? Probably not. These trials helped him to grow and change for the better. Job now knows how much he loves God, and his character is so much stronger for it.

Anonymous said...

The problem is, there is no tragic flaw. There is no pity party. Job stays true to God through everything good and bad, and I personally see nothing tradgic in. It is simply showing that a God-fearing man and can withstand everything through God's help.
(Ignore my first post, I didn't remember the story right off hand, and was thinking about something else.)
Taryn L.

Anonymous said...

Isn't just a little weird that the story of Job is about the unnecessarity of possessions, though God gives Job a prize at the end of possessions, when he just proved that he didn't need possessions...

Anonymous said...

The comment just above answering Ruth's question was me. Sorry I forgot to put my name on it.
Laura C.

Anonymous said...

I suppose Job's flaw is pride. Within the context of the story, Job is right to never lose his faith in God, but he also knows that he's right, and pretty much rubs his rightousness in the faces of all the friends who come to see him. God, however, doesn't see this as a flaw, he sees it as an asset.
Ella A.

Anonymous said...

oh.. that question of possessions was mine.
-morgan k

Anonymous said...

Levi, care to elaborate on those "Quantitative parts?"

Arden Y.

Anonymous said...

Does Job really have a recognition? If so, what exactly is it?

Dylan W

Anonymous said...

I don't think Job is a tragic hero. Yes, he lost everything he had, and went from good fortune to bad, but none of this happened because of a flaw of Job's. In fact, he didn't have any flaws according to the story. In the introduction of The Book of Job in line one, "There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright,..." In Sophocles' writing, the tragic hero always had a tragic flaw. Oedipus was too prideful, as was Creon. Aristotle said that Tragedy must excite fear and pity. Job's story might have made you pity him, but I didn't have any fear for him, because I knew that Satan was not allowed to kill him.
Martha M

Anonymous said...

what is with the name job seriously
who the deuce calls there kid job and spells it like that gosh.

Forrest J Tovar

Anonymous said...

I don't think Job actually fell in the same way as Sophocles characters did, because he came back up at the end of the story unlike Oedipus or Antigone.

Anonymous said...

God tested Job not to see what Job would do, but to prove that He; God, was truly all knowing. If he didn't test Job before the Devil, the Devil could say that the only reason the righteous worshiped him was because of the good stuff he gave them. If God took all that stuff away and the righteous still worshiped him, it would prove to the Devil that God was truly all knowing, powerful, etc. This contest wasn't about Job at all. This was between God and Satan.

-Jace Q.

Anonymous said...

Okay, stop posting how you interpret the moral lessons of Job. Unless you explain how the use of tragedy or the lack of it aids the moral lesson, it isn't relevant. And will someone please tell me why God is listening to Satan in the first place? It seems a little... odd.

Courtney K.

Anonymous said...

i don't think that it's just about not needing possessions, but it's also about having faith through hardship.

Melissa G

Anonymous said...

Pride? I never see any pride in Job. Where are you seeing those things? Speaking about faith and such, yes, but not pride. Pride is a sin, and God comments that Job is one of his greatest followers. I don't see any pride in anything he does.

Care to site a source?

Arden Y.

Anonymous said...

So can you be a tragic hero if no one knows of your flaw?

Mary B.

Anonymous said...

To respond to forests comment, I believe that the bible was written through prophets of god who spoke for god and what they said was what god would have said. However, the bible has been translated, abridged, transcribed, etc. so moral ineptitudes play a role in the product we have today. Anyone who has read the song of Solomon, or (god forbid) the Apocraphea would know that. The whole god betting with satan aspect of the story is a farce.
-Brent T.

Anonymous said...

So, anonymous, what you are saying is that everything happens for a reason even if it is not immediately apparent? I guess I can understand that.

Ruth H.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Courtney. Let's please bring this back to the discussion of Job and Tragedy people

Arden Y.

Anonymous said...

Dang it arden i hace the same right to talk on this blog as you do

Anonymous said...

To: mary
Did Job have a flaw ..... or was he just being tortured to prove he had none.
Michelle C

Anonymous said...

Morgan-
Yeah, now Job knows that he doesn't need to have possessions, but isn't it still nice to have them? God knows that Job will now not take them for naught, and that he will use them wisely.

Anonymous said...

I support Jace's view of the story of Job, it is between God and Satan.

Dylan W

Anonymous said...

The story of Job does create pity and fear as the Greek tragedies were supposed to. Pity is obvious and Job learns to fear the Lord because he can take everything from you as Job states in 1:21 "the Lord has taken away" and again we see the fear the Lord in chapters 39-40 the Lord has created all and controls all that is something to fear.
Levi W.

Anonymous said...

I personally feel that the only reason that God tests Job is to prove Satan wrong. Doesn't sound to fair to me. Isn't God to supposed to be fair? I mean, you hear that life isn't fair, and I agree, but shouldn't God be?
Taryn L.

Anonymous said...

Jace...
Why does God have to have a contest with Satan?

Does he feel inferior?!?

...

Mary B.

Anonymous said...

I don't think that Job had a tragic flaw. He is God-loving and evil-fearing. Even throughout his whole ordeal, he never once curses God, the one that is causing all this misfortune.

The only thing that relates Job to a greek tragedy is the fact that Job came from a high standing and lost everything. But in the end, he gains everything back and then some.

-Jessica R.

Anonymous said...

Going of Molly and Michelle's question on why Job had to be tested, Job had to be tested because life is a test. No one gos through life without trials, including good people like Job. Even though God knows Job is faithful, we still have our right to choose what our reactions will be to the hardships we face.

Lisa M.

Anonymous said...

Sure it's about faith through hardships, but that he gives him double of everything he really didn't need. Seems a tad excessive.

Anonymous said...

maybe let me think about it

Anonymous said...

This story is like a tragedy because the time period it is coming out of. At that time this was the style of writing. This is not a Tragedy it is story meant to teach a lesson particularly to the children of the day, kind of like a fable.

Luke K

Anonymous said...

Mary,
God knew Job's tragic flaw.
Didn't the lord tell us about his unfathomable knowledge? His motives and intents are clear to him, just have faith.

Anonymous said...

Excessive was mine again.
-morgan k

Anonymous said...

Possibly Job's tragic flaw could be ignorance. He does speak like he knows more than he does. He questions God throughout the entire story, which would be foolish because no man could question God. God even makes this point. Perhaps the theme of this story could be more to the idea that "it is foolish to question God" more so than "God is all you need in life"
Calvin E

Anonymous said...

The reason that Job, a tragic character, is used in the bible is for the same reason noble characters are used in greek tragedy. He is used as a symbol. It's to show that everyone can fall in their life. Job was a 'pure' character, in a world of sin. He doesn't have a tragic flaw, though the idea of a tragic flaw is pushed upon him, he never conforms to his friends and wife's beliefs.

Emily B.

Anonymous said...

Are we psychoanalyzing God, Mary? I am so with you.

Michelle T.

Anonymous said...

In the Book of Job, Job's tragedy was not used to show his follies. It was used to show his purity amongst sinners.
The tragedy of the Book of Job was not really Job's tragedy. If this story was to be considered a tragedy, it would be the tragedy of Job's friends, not of Job. Job suffers in this story but in the end, he recieves twice as much as he had before. His friends, however, are scorned by God and must sacrifice some of their wealth instead of being rewarded.
In the tragedies of Aristotle and Sophocles, the tragedy is for the main character. As stated in the above paragraph, this was not Job's tragedy.
Job is not a tragic hero. He does not learn anything new. It is Job's friends who learn so, as I have said twice, they are the tragic characters. Job may be a hero but he isn't a tragic one.

Leah V.

Anonymous said...

I believe that Job, is a tragic hero ... according to the standards of a "tragedy" --something tragic has to happen to a leading character in society. " ...there is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God, and shuns evil." (JOB, 1:8) Although, Job's tragedy is not determined by his own character faults, i believe that the trials that he is put through create tragedy. Job's family, livestock, and life in general is put through a test by God. ----amy y.

Anonymous said...

mary im not sure that is a tragic flaw

Anonymous said...

I am in agreement with Levi on this.

Job is not a true Tragedy. He has no Tragic Flaw, he does not come out materially worse in the end, and he is spiritually glorified through his test. This is the story of a man going through a great ordeal in order to illustrate a moral point. It is not a Tragedy.

Arden Y.

Anonymous said...

If God is all powerful, He might get a little annoyed with his enemy mocking him over his adherent: Job. God doesn't feel inferior, but he doesn't want the Devil to go around telling people that He is. If he lets this argument go, the Devil might use it against him in the future. I hope that answers some questions, and I'm sorry if the response is a little late, there are a lot of blogs to read.

-Jace Q.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Taryn, why is God even testing Job? Unless God is proving to Satan that no matter what hardship Job went through, that he would stay true to his faith.

I feel bad for Job, hadn't he proved his love and devotion to God before his tests? Job is portrayed as a pretty much sin-less man. Isn't living your life in as little sin the same thing as living your life for God?

Anonymous said...

I agree with calvin about Jobs tragic flaw
Michelle C.

Anonymous said...

As far as Job's tragic flaw, he doesn't have a apparent flaw, but let's remember that Job is human. He's not going to be perfect. Not that that relates or anything. It was just a thought.
Taryn L.

Anonymous said...

I think Michelle C. has a valid point when she says that he was tortured to prove he had no flaw. However if he has no flaw...is it a greek tragedy? To me it seems a flaw is important to a greek tragedy, it brings recognition/reversal, it makes it more tragic. Is there anyone in here who feels bad for Job? I don't. Does anyone feel bad for Oedipus? I certainly do. He lived out his life in misery and he was alone. Job lives his life better than it was before. To me it is no longer a tragic story.

Mary B.

Anonymous said...

yeah. it has tragic elements, but it's not a tragedy.

Morgan L.

Anonymous said...

As I think about this more, Job isn't really a tragedy in the Greek sense of the word at all. It is perhaps meant to do the same things, namely teach us something, but it is missing many of the crucial elements that define a tradgedy in the first place - a flaw, a Scene of Sorrow as the character realizes he/she has brought about everything bad by themself.
Ella A.

Anonymous said...

that last comment was Jessica R

Anonymous said...

Sophocles and Aristotle thought that a tragedy should have a tragic hero, the downfall of that person from fame , power, etc. to disgrace, and also a "complex" plot should have a reversal and recognition.
Laura C.

Anonymous said...

God was not testing to find out if he loved him. He already knew Job loved him. He was proving to Satan that purity was possible.

Leah V.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Taryn, why is God even testing Job? Unless God is proving to Satan that no matter what hardship Job went through, that he would stay true to his faith.

I feel bad for Job, hadn't he proved his love and devotion to God before his tests? Job is portrayed as a pretty much sin-less man. Isn't living your life in as little sin the same thing as living your life for God?

Jessica R

Anonymous said...

Emily, Job wasn't totally "pure", though he did have some flaws even if they are not apparent in the story.
Laura C.

Anonymous said...

Why did he need to prove it to satan, are we seeking his approval?
Michelle C.

Anonymous said...

I disagree with Calvin. Job is not questioning god's judgement. He grieves, and feels pain, and wants to know why his life is being made so. But then again, anyone would do the same. Job has no tragic flaw.

Arden Y.

Anonymous said...

In Poetics, Aristotle said that it was bad form for the Gods to intervene on the story to make things better or worse. Isn't that exactly what happens in the story of Job? In that aspect Job's story is not related to Greek Drama.

Dylan W

Anonymous said...

Well said Jace.

Leah V.

Anonymous said...

The character from our Tragedy readings that most resembles Job, I suppose, is Antigone. They both served as martyrs who never wavered from their beliefs. Theoretically, Antigone was rewarded with the ultimate honor: a prideful death. In the same way, Job was rewarded with all he wanted. There is a lot in common between the two.

Michelle T.

Anonymous said...

To all the people who are saying: Why did God punish Job?
Well, he wasn't punishing Job. He was making a point to the Devil that Job would still worship him, even if he took away all his posessions and children. So, God allowed the Devil to go after Job, but he only picked Job because he knew Job could withstand Satan and prove his point.
God had no vendetta against Job, and wasn't personally punishing him. He only allowed bad things to happen to Job. He didn't make them happen.

Lacy W.

Anonymous said...

i dont think that there even was greek tragedy when, whenever job was written


Forrest J T

Anonymous said...

Related to Leah's statement:
Why did he feel the need to prove himself to Satan? That's what I kept thinking about all through the story. Job had to suffer, but he didn't do anything wrong.

Katrina G.

Anonymous said...

In the STORY of job, god does play around to much with the life of Job on a whim, just like the god's in greek tragedies. (Please note the emphasis on story)
Brent T.

Anonymous said...

Is complete purity possible though? The only pure person that ever lived was Jesus. We can all strive to live in a pure life, but we are human, we sin.

Jessica R

Anonymous said...

I agree with Jace's opinion god doesn't need to prove to himself that he is better than Satan and really he doesn't need to prove it to Satan however he needs to prove it to all his children on earth because they have gone through the vale and don't know any better.

Anonymous said...

At this point, it's a moot discussion why God is testing Job in the first place - it doesn't relate to the tragedy question at all.
Ella A.

Anonymous said...

In analyzing the Tragic nature of Job, it might help to remember the culture of the story. Greek tragedies are for Greeks. Job is a story from Northern Oman. Their idea of Tragedy is different from our own. Just because we don't recognize the culture, doesn't mean it's not still tragic. I do recognize the lack of a flaw, but isn't it more tragic that a perfect person fell?

-Jace Q.

Anonymous said...

Leah i agree. in Oedipus and Antigone, you see the tragic heroes fall from their power and wealth due to their own faults. And at the end when they have nothing left because they have destroyed everything that mattered to them, they learn something. they realize what they did and how they got to where they were. they recognize faults and see their wrongs. however this is how Job doesn't fit in. he does fall from his wealth but it's a test of his faith and not to show his flaw. at then end he is blessed more and doesn't have a tragic moment like the others. what happened to him was not on his account but the devil's little game to see if he would crack.

Melissa G

Anonymous said...

Job's stroy illustrates the trial's of life. He isn't being punished, nor truly tested. The story is showing that the path of a true follower of god is hard. God is helping Job. He is made better for all the pain that he goes through. That is what the story is about.

You have to look beyond the bare basics of the story here. The biblical writers had a message they wanted to get across.

Arden Y.

Anonymous said...

Whoever made the comment about Job being about not needing possessions, I disagree with you. This was put into the Bible so it must be a little more moralistic than that. I think this is about purity and loyalty to God. Not possessions.

Leah V.

Anonymous said...

Discuss the similarities and differences between Job's experience/story and what Sophocles and Aristotle thought a tragedy should consist of.

SEE? What ARISTOTLE AND SOPHOCLES thought of tragedy.
Ella A.

Anonymous said...

M-chelle no i dont think we're even seeking satans approval but it could be necessary for god to prove that there are men with unshakable faith although i think god may have gone a little overboard i mean killing his whole family? that seems a bit harsh especially if it make the whole family suffer as well

Molly M

Anonymous said...

Okay! I've had a hard time keeping up with all the comments.

I believe that Job had a lot happen to him that was tragic, but that doesn't make him a "tragic hero."
God said there was no one on earth like him, but he was still just a man who God allowed Satan to test.

God gave Job everything he had....why couldn't he take away?

Bobbi D.

Anonymous said...

Mary:
You have to feel somewhat sorry for Job. Sure, he doesn't lose everything from a tragic flaw, but he does lose everything. He didn't know that he was going to get everything back and more. He was truly a broken man with nothing but his faith and trust in God. I don't think anyone would be pitiless to a person who has lost everything, including his family...kind of a big deal, and yes has done nothing wrong.
Taryn L.

Anonymous said...

Jace has a good point, differnt cultures have a different opinion of tragedy. Job fell, yes, but in the end he was given everything back and then some. I don't see that as tragic. I see it as a test of one's faith.

Anonymous said...

Yes a perfect person fell, Jace, but he returned to perfection plus more. For this reason, when I finish reading the story I don't feel the same pity or remorse as I would when reading a tragedy where the hero's downfall is permanent.

Dylan W

Anonymous said...

Antigone wasn't a martyr, she killed herself. She would have been a martyr though, if she hadn't killed herself and Creon hadn't changed his mind.
Laura C.

Anonymous said...

Job was not a martyr either. a martyr is someone who was killed for a reason. Job was not killed, just tested.

Lisa M.

Anonymous said...

Jace has a good point, differnt cultures have a different opinion of tragedy. Job fell, yes, but in the end he was given everything back and then some. I don't see that as tragic. I see it as a test of one's faith.

Jessica R

Anonymous said...

Alright, so we have looked at Job as literature (which it is) and we become confused over the logic. It seems that many of us are unsure of why God must prove to Satan of Job's devotion. However if we look at it from how it is meant to be read I think Satan really is a metaphor for the non-believer. This story is showing how good God is, how that if you always devote yourself to him you will come out better in the end. Does this make sense?

Mary B.

Anonymous said...

We keep coming back to god's motivations to allow Job to suffer. Perhaps that is the tragic flaw. Just as Oedipus's tragic flaw could have been fate(and not pride at all), so could Job's be the fate that god has chosen for him. That is his tragic flaw ... in my opinion.

Michelle T.

Anonymous said...

Bobbi i think it is because of gods "lovingness" however allowing something like that is pretty mean .

Forrest T

Anonymous said...

yeah, but god only helps job after he allows his life to become miserable. he's GOD. i fail to understand why job has to live a hard life in the first place.
Morgan L.

Anonymous said...

To all those freaking out about the morality of the story: The writers of the bible obviously had a message. We're not debating that anymore. The question is, is it tragic?

Courtney K.

Anonymous said...

This storry seems a bit more uplifting than tragic as it focuses on outstanding character rather than a tragic flaw

Molly M

Anonymous said...

The story of Job does not follow Aristotle's view of Tragedy. He has no tragic flaw, his fall is not permanent, there is no reversal or recognition. Job is not a tragic hero. Tragic things happen in the story, but it is not a Tragedy.

Arden Y.

Anonymous said...

Katrina-
Job was a better person for his trials. Wouldn't you be willing to suffer through some trials if you knew that you would be blessed and be a much better person?
Laura C.

Anonymous said...

Bobbi
Even if Job was a hard working man and earned everything he had by working for it, are you still going to say god gave it to him? My take on this is if Job worked and earned everything he had, and it didnt just appear on his doorstep one day, he earned it god didnt give it to him. Therefore why should god have the right to take it away?
Michelle C.

Anonymous said...

Leah... Sure the story is about the love of God, flaws, faith, and pressure. But I just keep thinking of the processions and excessivity. Just an oddity I picked up on. -morgan k

Anonymous said...

Jace, I disagree. I think that the idea of tragedy is fairly universal. Yes it is sad that Job fell, but it is not tragic, because he ends up in a better position, he isnt a "hero" or an athourity figure, he is just wealthy and looses it.

Calvin E

Anonymous said...

I agree with Mary 100%

Isn't Satan just that, a nonbeliever trying to bring people down in their most vulnerable moment?

Jessica R.

Anonymous said...

arden y bring aristotle into this


FJT

Anonymous said...

Laura C.,
Of course humans all have flaws but in order to put the point across in this story, Job had to be portrayed as a completely pure character. It doesn't matter if he really was or not. In the story he is and that is what makes this story somewhat tragic.

Leah V.

Anonymous said...

Morgan, I fail to understand why any of us have to live a hard life... But we do.

Dylan W

Anonymous said...

I don't know who wrote this but it was in response to Jace...
I don't think that God is trying to prove anything. Not even to his children. I think that he is teaching a lesson, that he is showing what faith can do. I don't think he is trying to prove himself.

Emily B.

Anonymous said...

Hm. Well in response to Laura and Lisa ... I think a martyr is somebody who refuses to waver in his/her belief, even through intense - and sometimes fatal - suffering.

Maybe it's a subjective definition?

Michelle T.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Molly. Job had outstanding faith and his story highlighted that.

Jessica R

Anonymous said...

Ella-
I agree with you. The story of Job is not a Tragedy, though it has some of the same motivations and even some of the elements.

Ruth H.

Anonymous said...

I disagree with Michelle, a tragic flaw is a flaw in someones character, not negative situations beyond the characters control.

Morgan L.

Anonymous said...

Many of you think that he is not a tragic hero because he had no flaw that lead to his downfall, but wasn't it his love of god that was being tested? Perhaps that was his tragic flaw?

Josh J.

Anonymous said...

Forrest...
Yeah I don't think that it was exactly the "nicest" thing of God to do. But he created the Universe and all that is in it. In the blink of an eye he can take it all away. I think he has that right.
I think that God letting Satan test Job, and make his life a living hell is what makes this story so tragic.

Bobbi D.

Anonymous said...

Dylan...
I am not saying that we have to, but when he has plenty to start with, enough livestock to care for his family, why does he need more?
-Morgan K

Anonymous said...

Laura C.:
Yes, but Job didn't know that. He just trusted God and kept his faith, which is admirable. Still though, I think the reason for his trials wasn't the best.

Katrina G.

Anonymous said...

If this were true, god would not have allowed it to happen to Job unless he knew that Job could bear it and would become stronger for it. God isn't one of those immature god's from a greek tragedy. I really like Leah's comment though, it triggered a perspective shift in me. And that way the experience can be seen as good for Job instead of god just proving a point.
Brent T.

Anonymous said...

Going off Bobbi's question at the end of her comment "God gave Job everything he had....why couldn't he take away?"

It reminds me of the belief that everything is Gods and that we are just stewards of what is already his. The story of Job is meant to remind us of that so that we do not become greedy.

Lisa M.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Bobbi and Lisa saying that everything we own is God's, so he can take away whatever he wants. But it will always be in some way for our benefit.
Laura C.

Anonymous said...

As for the moral message in this story, I agree with Emily. But this isn't a discussion of religion of God's motives. It's a discussion about how this compares with Aristotle's view of Tragedy. So let's get back on topic everyone.

Arden Y.

Anonymous said...

mary b,
I like your comment about Satan being symbolic of the nonbeliever. That is often used in the Bible to portray such evils as temptation, blasphemy, and so on. It makes a lot of sense to say he is symbolic of nonbelievers now.

Leah V.

Anonymous said...

Who's God think he is? Messing with Job like that...

Levi W

Anonymous said...

if Job's tragic flaw was believing in God, than that's the kind of tragic flaw I want, the kind that results in a better life than before...

Jessica R

Anonymous said...

Plot, Character, Thought, Diction, Song, and Spectacle... those are the elements of a Greek tragedy to Aristotle. Do we see those elements in Job's story? The first four, perhaps, but the last two? Not really. Maybe I'm taking it to literally... thoughts? But regardless of that, I think that in order to truly be tragic, the tragic hero can't come out well in the end. Job does, therefore he isn't a tragic hero and his story isn't tragic.

Courtney K.

Anonymous said...

well Levi,
God is God....

Jessica R

Anonymous said...

LEAH..
i just had that smae thought about Satan equaling non-beliving.
Morgan K.

Anonymous said...

Morgan,
You don't think that a flaw is tragic BECAUSE it is beyond the character's control? (( CAPS is for emphasis, not volume of voice ))

Michelle T.

Anonymous said...

Levi W.,

Job already feared God. It was not something he learned as a result of the tragedies that befell him. I still don't think that this tragedy, if it was one, was Job's tragedy.

Leah V.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful statement Jessica.

Katrina G.

Anonymous said...

Michelle C...
I believe that God gave Job all he had. Nothing on this earth belongs to us. When God is speaking to Job he tells him...who made all of this around you? Who gave you all that you have? GOD DID. He created the earth. He can destroy it whenever he wants.
Thats what makes the story of Job so tragic. He lost all of what he had, but it wasn't his in the first place.

Bobbi D.

Anonymous said...

Bobbi that is what it is
a story


fjt

Anonymous said...

Moral plays and stories usually try to have an uplifting end, to show the audience that everything will be alright if they trust in their God. The story of Job does have a happy ending so to say, but I've noticed that a few blogs say that they felt sorry for Job too. If a moral story can get you to relate to the character and their tragedy, then it can give you a personal bond to it's theme. The tragedy seems to be evident in this story, but to prove it's biblical point, the story needs to have a happy ending. Whether this story is fiction or not, I think most of us at least felt pity for the character of Job, giving this story a tragic nature.

-Jace Q.

Anonymous said...

Josh how could his love to God be his tragic flaw, he followed it through and came out better, that isn't a flaw.
Levi W.

Anonymous said...

True, people could say, of course you love god, he's blessed you, but how much more powerful is it if you love god despite being cursed?
Brent T.

Anonymous said...

Josh, how can love of God be a Tragic flaw? I fail to see the negativity in it.

Arden Y.

Anonymous said...

Aristotle's view on Tradgedy is different than tragedy in the Bible because in Aristotle's view, People should be able to relate to the Tragedy but in the Bible, it would be very hard to relate to Job's story.

Dylan W

Anonymous said...

no i don't because it's not a flaw in CHARACTER if it is beyond control.

Morgan L.

Anonymous said...

May I point out that God did not harm Job. He merely allowed for Satan to unleash his wrath upon him. Don't blame God. God just pointed out that Job could not be moved in his faith. Job was blessed by God, yes, but Satan always had full access. He just didn't take advantage of that until God pointed out that Job could not be shaken.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, that last comment was mine.
Taryn L.

Anonymous said...

So if you allow somebody to be hit by a bus it's not the same thing as shoving them in front of it?

Anonymous said...

There also was no competition between God and Satan. Read a New King James Version if you are getting confused.
Taryn L.

alexis pindar said...

Note: Job is not a "Christian" story; it is Jewish—yea, pre-Jewish, for Job's story is older than the Pentateuch. Thus, its appeal and scope is far more broad than the Judeo-Christian experience.

People from every culture have been faced with a similar dilemma: why do those who seem to live good lives end up suffering? What do we do with tragedy when it strikes? To whom do we appeal? Do we embrace it with open arms, thinking it will be our ultimate salvation? Do we chafe against it, thinking that it will lead to our ultimate destruction? Or do we hide in our stoicism and ignore it, minimize it or outright deny it? Or do we live with it as a matter of fact part of life, treat it like the common cold and just grin and bear it? Who do we blame? Like Job's gaggle of fairweather friends, do we chalk it up to personal imperfection? Do we blame ourselves? Do we blame circumstances? Do we blame the world, our family or co-workers, teachers, etc.? Do we blame God?

How does individual suffering play into the greater scheme of things? Is suffering meaningless? Every great world religion has their particular point of view. In this case, in the pre-Jewish Semetic mind, the purpose of suffering is ultimately answered in the unanswerable, sovereign will of the Almighty, the transcendent Being who owes explanation to no one, not even his trusted servants. His will is beyond knowing in some cases, and if He decides to let Job in on the scenario, it is by his choice. Job, a mere man, needed to know his place in the universe, i.e., he is a creature with limited perspective, and his test is to trust even in the midst of a seemingly tragic situation. God, who sees the end from the beginnning, the one who "gives and takes away," not only knows the last act but, in fact, wrote the play, has every right to do as he sees fit. Man needs to realize that he is not ultimately in control.

With that said, Job, like Oedipus, Creon and Antigone, is tempted with pride and the tempting arrogance of figuring it all out. Yet, like God said, Job doesn't know the birthplace of the winds from the birthing grounds of the mountain goats. He is myopic and needful of wisdom from above, not matter how small or great the issue.

Anonymous said...

To comment about the bus; there is a difference of watching someone get hit by a bus and throwing someone under a bus. If you throw someone under a bus, you purposely mean to harm them. But if you see someone in the middle of the road and a bus is speeding toward them, don't you have some type of moral sense that would make you want to get them out of the road?

However, if you ALLOW someone to be hit by a bus, then you are a heartless person, and even though you personally didn't shove them into the road, you also didn't save them from becoming a road pancake...

Jessica R.

Anonymous said...

For Jessica:

Job didn't get thrown in front of a bus—perhaps a bicycle or even a moped, but nothing more menacing than that. Remember, God told Satan that he could touch his body, but had to spare his life. Satan could do NOTHING that God hadn't sifted first. What an honor for Job that his God thought him worthy of such a trial. How do each of us feel when we are considered worthy of a sitation under which others buckle or melt? Job knew he was going through the Refiner's fire, and that he would come forth as gold. Most people prefer to hide behind their 14 carat gold plate rather than to be tested and found to be made of common or inferior material, such as iron, lead or brass. In Job's case, he was 24 carat through and through.

Anonymous said...

What?
Job didn't know that he would make it through allright. He spent a few pages enumerating how he had suffered. Where does he say he knew he would make it through? You consider it an honor to suffer unnecessarily -- to suffer for the pride of a god who should have enough maturity to let satan's insults just wash over him? If anyone in this story suffered of hubris, it's this god.

Anonymous said...

If you don't feel comfortable signing your name...DON'T POST!!!

Mary B.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps reflection should be made on what alexis pindar stated. Most of us have a western image of God and that has misconstrued the analysis of this excerpt from the bible. From the viewpoint of a bystander, the whole point of whether this is a tragedy seems to have been missed. The bible shouldn't be viewed as having ONLY religious affiliation; it has other cultural implications as well, as well as historical meaning.

Now, glancing at the first comment, I feel this question should be posed: How many of you actually read the book of Job? And while we are focusing on credibility, how many of you have read the bible? How many of you go to church regularly?

I am willing to bet that few of you have the credibility to properly analyze the Book of Job in a religious context. I am not saying by any means that you should not! It is important for you as young adults to explore such concepts. I am merely stating that there is more to this than you know.

Now, as to whether the Book of Job is a tragedy, I personally feel it is up to individual interpretation of the reader. What I feel safe in assuming is that everyone can find similarities and parallels between the Book of Job, Job, and God, with Oedipus, the character, Oedipus, and the Greek gods or the oracle, respectively. Where we differ in opinions is when we try to more accurately define the concept of whether the Book of Job is a Greek tragedy. I don't know what you have all been taught, but it looks as though you are fairly well educated with respect to these topics, with the exception of religion.

What do I think? I believe that the Book of Job is not what Aristotle would define as Greek tragedy, but the general gist, I believe, is still present. It is important to consider what the author or authors' intentions were when writing the Book of Job. They had religious motives, of course, but they may have written this story for the sake of what was happening at that point in history. This is very prominent throughout historical writings. For instance, Jesus is portrayed as a suffering prophet in Mark's gospel because the Jews were being particularly oppressed by the Romans at that time. Chopin's "The Story of an Hour" is about the oppression of women and was written in the late 19th century.

So you see how there is no absolute fact of whether or not this is a Greek tragedy? Well, that is my opinion. You, whomever you may all be, are perfectly entitled to believe something different. I don't think the point of this exercise was to concretely define whether or not the Book of Job is tragedy; it seems like your teacher had other things in mind when he gave you this assignment. But having read through your comments and discussions, it seems clear that you have all a more concrete definition of the concept of Greek tragedy.

I would say more but, as I stated before, alexis pendar said it better than I could have.

And Mary, I am unaware as to whether or not you are referring specifically to your peers, but I feel comfortable remaining anonymous. Besides, it's likely no one is ever going to read this before it's deleted.

--Anonymous

Anonymous said...

Wrong. It has been read and referred to since in classes.