The theme I chose is power, specifically the power of the kings, as I feel that it greatly portrays the importance and high-class roles in society. This elaborate piece of artwork shows a crown that is made for a great king. The jewels of the crown are a representation of the reverence that the people have for the king. The king is even buried with pieces of gold from the crown, which only further contributes to the sense of power and authority that the kings have. In the Epic of Gilgamesh, there are positive and negative aspects of the power of Gilgamesh, the King of Uruk. His power is portrayed in a negative way through his abuse of power, which we see through him raping women and demanding too much control. For example, the people of Uruk say: “[Though powerful, pre-eminent,] expert [and mighty,] [Gilgamesh] lets [no] girl go free to [her bridegroom.] (George, 2003, p. 4). Gilgamesh’s power, however, is also beneficial for the people, as he is a strong and confident leader that does not give up. He has goals in mind and will not stop at anything in achieving them for the people. This is clearly seen in the story when Enkidu advises Gilgamesh to stay away from the forest of Cedar, but Gilgamesh goes anyway. We see Gilgamesh respond with ‘Why, my friend, do you speak like a weakling?’ (George, 2003, p. 19), showing that he is persistent in what he believes is right. Not only is his power shown through Gilgamesh’s actions, but also through the words, actions, and beliefs of the people. The people’s loyalty to Gilgamesh is seen on page 23 through their speaking to Enkidu: “In our assembly we place the King in your care: you bring him back and replace him in ours!” (George, 2003, p. 23). Gilgamesh gains even more confidence in his power as king knowing that the people of Uruk want him to return safely and rely on him. Overall, the exquisite design of the crown in this artwork is representative of the admiration the people have towards him, contributing to his power and authority.
Adding to my original theme of power, for this piece of art I wanted to talk specifically about the power of Socrates, and the power of Meletus and the Judge in, “The Trials of Socrates.” With the theme of power in mind, this artwork immediately caught my attention. The strong fist in the middle represents the power of Socrates and his unwillingness to give up in what he believed in and his strong obedience to God. He didn’t care if he has to die, as long as he was loyal to what God commanded, sought for wisdom, and examined the truth and people of Athens. He states, “Athenians, I hold you in the highest regard and love; but I will obey God rather than you.” (Plato, p.57 ) He also showed great power and determination in the questioning of Meletus and Euthyphron. When questioning Meletus, he was very wise and tried to confuse Meletus to get him to admit that he doesn’t truly care about what Socrates is doing to the youth. The two-blinded men represent the power of the Society of Athens, including Meletus and the judge. The government has so much control over the people of Athens, especially the youth. For example, Socrates states, “and they (City of Athens) spoke to you when you were at the age most readily to believe them.” (Plato, p.37) Because Socrates’s teachings were different than those of Athens, he is going to be prosecuted and eventually put to death. According to the jury and Meletus, the youth is being blinded and corrupted by Socrates’ teachings against God. This shows how the youth’s feelings and opinions are of virtually no importance, but instead Socrates’ feelings and beliefs are pushed onto the youth, therefore essentially controlling their minds. Overall, the theme of power is clearly portrayed throughout the, ”Trials of Socrates,” and is evident through the actions and events of Socrates, Meletus, and the Judge and I feel like this picture symbolizes this.
This picture is showing the last animals entering Noah’s ark that he built after God had commanded him and warned him of the flood coming. In the story of the flood, the number seven is brought up many times and has a great significance. The number seven is not just a random number and symbolizes completion, satisfaction or perfection. The first time the number seven is brought up is in Genesis 1, and it is when God had completed the creation of the universe in seven days. For example, Genesis 1 states, “By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work” (Zondervan, 1989, line 2). We also see, on the seventeenth day, the rain started, symbolizing the start of the flood; however, the end of his people’s inclination to sin and their corruption on earth. Genesis 7 states, “On the seventeenth day of the second month—on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened” (Zondervan, 1989, line 11). God warned Noah that the flood would start in seven days and asks Noah to bring seven pairs of each animal aboard. It is also very interesting how the number seven is so apparent in the Epic of Gilgamesh because this story too, has a flood story very similar to the one in Genesis. In the Epic of Gilgamesh, the flood lasted for seven days, there were seven days between the boat coming to the mountain and the dove being released and seven jars were offered for sacrifice. The symbol of the dove and a sacrifice being offered is also brought up many times in Genesis. The number seven is so powerful in the bible because it symbolizes the Divine Revelation, an insight revealed to us by God. God marked the bible with the number seven because it is the fullness of Him. I picked this picture because of how apparent the number is in the story of the flood and how it is representative of the end of the unfaithfulness of the people to God. Before God flooded the world, it was filled with violence, corruption and disobeying of Him. For example, Genesis 6 states, “The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time” (Zondervan, 1989, line 5). Therefore, the flood story in Genesis represents the end of the wickedness of the world and a start of a new life with Noah serving as an example on how to live as God commanded. In conclusion, I think this message is clearly shown through the number seven.
This picture depicts the parable of the Good Samaritan in the Bible that Jesus uses to show that everyone is our neighbor, or friend regardless of his or her race, religion, etc. In the Gospel of Luke, parables of Jesus are brought up many times and have a very powerful effect on Jesus’s followers. Jesus uses parables to teach his followers a lesson that is more relatable and easier to understand. Jesus’s parables were very important to giving not only his follower but always any of the doubters an insight about heavenly and spiritual concepts and also would help them develop a better relationship with God. They represented how God expected his followers to act and showed what values they should hold close to their heart. By listening to these parables and using the lessons that came out of them, the people would be able to fully understand Jesus’s teachings and more importantly what being apart of the Kingdom of God entailed. The parables are also so powerful because the stories Jesus’s tell have a more influential effect on the people rather then just saying the lesson. One parable in the Gospel of Luke, which had a powerful effect on an expert in the law was the Parable of The Good Samaritan. The gospel states, “But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him” (Zondervan, 1989, Luke 10). By this parable, Jesus showed the lawyer how we are to show compassion and love for everyone, no matter who they are. Parables can also serve as a metaphor, which makes the people of the time of Jesus reflect on what they just heard. Overall, this piece of artwork illustrates the parable of the Good Samaritan, which ultimately has a very powerful effect on many of Jesus’s followers and made many of his doubters follow the path of Christ.
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