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Written by Helen Smith
Irony of Adam and Eve
We know the story of Adam and Eve ahead of time, so there is irony attached to the temptation provided by Satan. As both characters are seduced by the thought of full knowledge, the audience reads and knows they are about to sin. Once they do so, the scene changes; until then, the action is awaited.
Irony of Sin Quickly Performed
When Moses receives the Ten Commandments, his people believe him to be lost. They quickly turn to idolatry and reverse everything they professed to stand for when Moses left for the mountain. The reader knows that Moses is not only alive but also prospering, and we know that things will turn sour when their golden idols are discovered. The irony of incremental development of corruption emphasizes the scene's conflict.
Irony of Noah's Ark
God chooses to tell Noah to build an ark before a great flood. Noah does so over a long period of time. No one around him understands why he is building the ark; none of them could even conceive of such a flood. Because such a disaster is in the works for a long time, the reader experiences the irony of Noah's preparation. Everything depicted is about to end, except for Noah's story.
Irony of Jesus
Jesus, the Savior, rides to his death on a donkey and chooses a humble path that is dramatically unlike the normal lifestyles of rulers. However, those who believe in him chase him along his journey, hoping for miracles. They cannot cause him to rule over them in their way; instead, they watch as Jesus lives out a life which fulfills prophecies yet is a combination of unassuming and supremely good. His life is unexpected because of the freedom he provides from the line-by-line dictates of the commandments, which can cause people to stray from their intention.
Irony of Imprisonment
Disciples and believers in the New Testament, or the second grouping of books, of the Bible are consistently jailed for expressing what they believe; in particular, they admit and flaunt their belief that Jesus is the son of God, given to free them from the bounds of sin, which causes them to be imprisoned, tortured, or even killed. Much of this action against the early Christians is taken to prevent the dissemination of their faith, but the reader knows that the religion persisted through the ages because they are reading the sacred text of it. The mission of the dramatic action against Christians failed, but they feel that they have gotten the better of the believers they kill or otherwise harm.
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Since the second century, Church tradition believes that the four creatures represent the four gospel writers. The winged man is th symbolic of St. Matthew; the lion is representative of St. Mark; the ox, an animal used in sacrifice, is symbolic...