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RELC 02-04-13

Literary tropes within accounts of martyrdom

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Literary tropes within accounts of martyrdom. Coincidences and symbolism within the accounts. Things to look for in these accounts:
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RELC 2/4 References to other literary texts Community the author represents Discussion 1. What echoes of biblical stories do you hear in the narrative? What conclusions might we draw from the presence of these? o Fantastic nature of the stories? Hyperbole? Miracles, parables? o Emphasis on relics and appreciation for “holy” items with spiritual connection? o Polycarp’s story is similar to the story of Jesus’ persecution and execution i. Prayer by himself while his followers and persecutors overlook, wait for him to finish? ii. Entering the city on the Sabbath while riding on a donkey like Christ did. iii. The undressing of Polycarp, taking off his shoes, usually others would do that for him. People would take the shoes off of Jesus’ feet and wash him… iv. The suffering of Polycarp, taking/joining in the cup of Christ. v. Side pierced, and blood flows out. (In some versions, a dove also comes out) vi. Parallels to Jesus are pretty clear but stop at the point at which Polycarp is about to be nailed down similar to the crucifixion of Jesus. Why? vi.1. Maybe to distance himself from Jesus- not copy Jesus vi.2. To exemplify more of a sacrifice for Jesus, like the story of Isaac and Abraham on the mountain. Sacrifice for God- he is the ram. 2. What are some general attitudes toward martyrdom you see reflected in the text? o Tortured for faith gives you sanctification, authority o Something to be revered for, positive connotation towards martyrdom. o
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Literary tropes within accounts of martyrdom Coincidences...

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