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date: 29 July 2021

Abstract and Keywords

The biblical narrative of King Saul has been received and interpreted in the Western post-biblical tradition in several eras and genres. Included here are Flavius Josephus’s interpretation of it; two musical renditions (Handel’s oratorio and Mussorgsky’s song); visual works by Rembrandt van Rinj, William Blake, and Benjamin West; dramas by D. H. Lawrence and J. M. Barrie; and three late twentieth-century films. The article includes a summary of the narrative, highlighting the scenes most drawn on for interpretation. Interpreters have tended to focus on issues urgent in their era, drawing on portions of the biblical narrative that seemed particularly relevant. Different genres offer unique challenges for reinterpretation and reception of the biblical text, especially those that are non-verbal or that add visuals to verbal cues.

Keywords: King Saul, Flavius Josephus, George Frideric Handel, Rembrandt van Rinj, D. H. Lawrence, J. M. Barrie

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