CON WEST ESSAY 1 - Malik 1 Akber Malik Professor David...

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Malik 1 Akber Malik Professor David Levene Conversations of the West: Antiquity and the 19 th Century October 6 , 2009 Moses’s and Achilles’s Rage Moses and Achilles are two of the most compelling figures in the ancient works in which they appear . For stories with such simplicity and directness, each is surprisingly complex and different from the other . One is shy and has a stutter, but has the power of God behind him , and the other is a godlike warrior and great leader, but only has the power of gods who are weaker than the Old Testament’s God and is weakened by his own actions . One of the main differences between Moses and Achilles is the influence that rage has on each character’s actions . In this essay, we will examine each of the characters first individually , and then compare the two, looking especially closely at the instances where each character exhibits , or does not exhibit, rage. We will find that Moses , for the most part, lacks the rage that Achilles does. By comparing the characters’ storylines in the Old Testament and The Iliad , we find that rage leads to success only in small doses and in specific situations . Obviously rage is impulsive and cannot be controlled , so a character’s general nature decides how successful he will be, because his nature decides how and when rage is channeled . Moses is one of the Old Testament’s most interesting characters because , among other things , God chooses him as his messenger and prophet even though he is timid and
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Malik 2 lacks any eloquence . After God turns Moses’s staff to a snake and back to a staff, and after God turns Moses’s healthy hand leprous and back to a healthy hand , Moses says to God , ‘O my Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor even now that you have spoken to your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue ,’ (Exodus 4:10) . The Old Testament presents a very passive Moses here, one who surely does not seem ready to lead the Israelites from Egypt and the Pharaoh . Not only is he not ready, but also he explicitly asks God to choose someone else: ‘O My Lord , please send someone else ,’ (Exodus 4:13). When a leader gets his position reluctantly, it can be a sign that he is a bad leader; good leaders generally crave leadership . Passive Moses is not the only Moses that we see in the book of Exodus . It is obvious that Moses has a certain flare in his personality , despite his passiveness. In fact, the reason that Moses is not in Egypt to hear God’s decision to make Moses prophet in the first place is thanks to Moses’s fiery impulses . Earlier in Exodus, Moses comes across an Egyptian beating a Hebrew . ‘He looked this way and that, and seeing no one he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand ,’ (Exodus 2:12). It is interesting to note here, by the way , both the lack of importance that the writer gives to this verse (it is as if Moses did nothing wrong) , and that Moses violates one of the Ten Commandments,
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This note was uploaded on 03/10/2010 for the course HISTORY v55 taught by Professor Lui during the Spring '10 term at Art Inst. KC.

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CON WEST ESSAY 1 - Malik 1 Akber Malik Professor David...

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