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Monday, 19 March 2012

Day 34: Extra bits of Esther: Addition D

Addition D follows straight on - Esther has finished three days of prayer, dressed in clothes of humility. She now dresses herself in her finery , and dares to go before the king. The narrative emphasises the drama of this moment. Esther looks stunning, even though she is quaking with fear; the king also looks majestic. What will he say? Will he be angry that she has broken protocol? Will he she be thrown out, as her predecessor Vashti was deposed?
He gives her a terrible look, and Esther faints with fear. This was the right thing to do, because the king (with God’s swift intervention) immediately feels sorry for her. She is overcome at his appearance and faints a second time. All very dramatic and swooning, in such a way that her swift recovery to put a cunning plan into action is a little unbelievable. But there we go. This seems to be a feature of the Apocrypha. The stories are embroidered to the point where they cease to be believable.

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