Noah and His Sons
As I began Noah and His Sons, I ran into something that has always fascinated me, when it comes to religious literature and films. How did this play decide to portray God? Unless I missed it, the play never mentioned it. I believe the way God is portrayed would say a lot about the playwright. Was it just a man in white? Or was it a man's voice with his body obstructed? If God is portrayed by a man, the playwright could be using that as a metaphor for God being equal to man. Or, if God is just portrayed by a voice, this says something totally different to me. This would say that no human is capable of imitating God. So, I think this would've added to my experience reading the play.
On the note of Noah and His Sons' interpretation of God, I've noticed that this week's readings come a long way in representing God. Instead of a vengeful, fearful God, we have a kind one. But there is a still a hint of the personality of the gods in this representation. Lines 121 and 122 show this for me:
"To my bidding, obedient; friendship shall thou feel as they reward."
God is offering Noah friendship. This seems a far cry from people who feared their God/gods. Instead of killing to please his God, Noah must just build an ark to be considered a friend to God. However, the fact that God says his friendship is a reward reminds me of the vanity of the ancient Greek gods.
I Have Our Help Here In Our Arms
Fr. Pilarz’s piece immediately drew me in because of the clever tie-in to pop culture. Anyone who knows me well enough knows that I practically speak in film and television quotes and references. For this week’s readings, I have had a hard time following because of the language used. However, the Fr. Pilarz’s writing style kept me interested and wanting to read more.
Many interesting points stuck out to me while I was reading this. One thing I found interesting was that whoever was portraying the Holy family had to pretend to be from the city wherever they were performing at. I also thought it was interesting that these plays really tried to show the human side of Mary and Joseph.
On that note, a part of this reading reminded me of the prejudice of theatre we learned about last week. One of the philosophers that we read about last week denounced the theatre because viewers would try to emulate what they saw on the stage. However, it sounds like those who created the Corpus Christi cycles intended just that.
“While watching their friends and neighbors play Jesus, Mary and Joseph, they would have had good reason for wanting to become what they beheld – holy families” (p. 13).
So, it seems like these cycle plays were presented more as a lesson, instead of art or a celebration of the Holy family. This play has put in perspective the journey that theatre has taken to come where it is now. I am anxious to see how this journey progresses in our next set of readings.