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Document Details :

Title: Playing Hard to Get
Subtitle: The Elusive Woman in Song 4,4
Author(s): VERDE, Danilo
Journal: Ephemerides Theologicae Lovanienses
Volume: 94    Issue: 1   Date: 2018   
Pages: 1-25
DOI: 10.2143/ETL.94.1.3281485

Abstract :
The present essay analyses the simile of Song 4,4, which portrays the woman’s neck as an armed tower. On the syntactic level, it is argued that Song 4,4 presents a case of inverted word order that underscores the simile in question. On the semantic/conceptual level, it is argued that Song 4,4 presents an overlap of the domains CITY and WAR to describe the woman as having the power of simultaneously attracting and parrying the man’s courtship. On the communicative level, it is argued that the underlying metaphor WOMAN IS FORTIFIED CITY twists the mirror metaphor DEFEATED CITY IS WOMAN, which is very wide-spread in both the Hebrew Bible and cognate literature. In doing so, Song 4,4 has the effect of empowering the woman and challenging not only the Song’s beloved man, but also androcentric comprehensions of both eros and woman common to both biblical literature and its cultural milieu.

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