The Transparency of King Saul

in European Judaism
Author: Malcolm Cohen1
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  • 1 Leo Baeck College
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While there exist many instances in the Tanakh of characters who are 'fraught with background' and whose internal workings are hidden, Saul could not be described as one of them. It is not just that his thoughts and feelings become public knowledge in the sense that the reader understands them clearly. In addition his internal life seems to be at the mercy of others, beyond his control. Such is his transparency that psychologists have found it easy to analyse his turmoil. Furthermore, there are literary devices that serve to highlight his openness and exposure compared to the opaqueness of other characters, in particular David.