The Bible

A Close Reading of the Song of Songs: Imagery, Nature, and Gender Roles in Society College

In the Song of Songs, the narrators are a man and a woman who appear to be lovers. Throughout the poem, they make references to nature and natural landscape which reflect the concept of traditional gender roles. A clear distinction between the role of the man in the relationship and the role of the woman is presented through the references to nature in their respective speeches. In the man’s speeches, he usually describes the woman using imagery of descending natural objects. In addition he also uses nature to present images of feeding and reproduction when talking about his female lover. On the other hand, the woman continuously juxtaposes the ascension of landscape as well as the imagery of highlands with the description of her significant other. As a result, this paper will discuss the ways in which the references to the movements and positions of nature and landscape in the lovers’ speeches comment on traditional gender roles in society.

The female lover conveys the idea that men possess dominance and power as she continuously describes male movement as ascending and refers to high ground when talking about them. In several cases, she creates images of men in ascension using nature. At one point when her lover is...

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