Analysis Of The Story Of The Adulterous

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Analysis Of The Story Of The Adulterous Woman Essay, Research Paper Stoned Obituary: An Analysis of The Story of the Adulterous Woman Look which of you that never sin wrought, But is of life cleaner than she, Cast at her stones and spare her not, Clean out of sin if that ye be. (N-Town: Woman Taken In Adultery: Medieval Drama; Bevington, David; Houghton Mifflin, 1975) Who among us has never sinned? And, in our place as fellow victims of our own all too human nature, have we any right to pass judgement on those who do the same as we do, if with less discretion? If so, this begs the question of whether morality lies in following the social mores or if it is all in hiding from the public eye how often you don?t follow them. It seems that Jesus, or at least John?s version1 of

Jesus and, later, the playwright of the N-Town Cycle, following in his footsteps, believed that the appearance of a moral life is worthless without the genuine article to buttress it. It sounds like a solid principle, and one that could be applied, even today, but despite the similarities in the texts, did the mediaeval context provide less charitable messages along with the story?s original intended moral? And, for that matter, is there more than first appears to that original moral? Among the gospels, only John makes mention of the Adulterous Woman, which brings to question the probability of the actual occurrence. However, the differences between John and the Synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) have led many scholars to believe that John may have been written to

supplement the material found in the other three gospels. It is believed that the Gospel of John was written later than the Synoptic gospels, but the debate still stands as to how much later; estimates range from 75 A.D. to 145 A.D. However, scrolls containing versions of John?s gospel dated to 135 A.D. have been found as far as Syria, which improves the likelihood of John?s claim that he is a disciple of Jesus. This would place the original writing of the gospel at no later than 100 A.D., and very likely somewhere around 80 A.D. John?s writings, then, are the reminiscences of an elderly man looking back on his time with the Messiah; the views presented in the gospel are more likely to be what he felt and could believe in at the time of the writing, not at the time of his

discipleship. This gives John?s gospel a more mature ambiance than those of the Synoptic writers, who were younger men, and more inclined to write clear-cut, propaganda packed texts. Unlike the Synoptic writers, John avoids descriptions of the origins and early childhood of Jesus, which none of the gospel writers would have known much about, except through less accurate tales than the ones upon which the rest of the writings are based. John also includes a significant amount of material not found in the Synoptics. In addition to the Adulterous Woman, all the other material in John 2-4, which covers Jesus’ early Galilean ministry, is not found in the Synoptics. Prior visits of Jesus to Jerusalem before the Passion Week are mentioned only in John. Nor do Matthew, Mark or Luke

mention the resurrection of Lazarus found in John 11. John presents his material in the form of extended dialogues or discourses rather than the pithy sayings found often in the Synoptics; this holds a certain appeal to the scholarly mind, which seeks accuracy rather than epigrams. This air of accuracy may be what originally persuaded the N-Town playwright to keep his text so true to the gospel account. The N-Town play of The Woman Taken in Adultery follows the account in the Gospel of John very closely, and with only one notable embellishment ? the scene wherein the adulterous woman is abducted from the brothel, including the young man present in that scene. I suspect that this addition was not purely for comic purposes as may be assumed, but that the forceful capture of the