Christos Paschon

March 10, 2008

Christos Paschon/ Christus Patiens, or Christ Suffering

Unknown authorship

Very different tragic her: tragic will-Christ as divine will, no division with flawed human ethos, nothing is done despite himself

Criticism of Christian tragedy: isn’t tragic at all, the Christian tragic fall is read as divine redemption
Final words with Christ: promise redemption and threat of damnation
Tragic element as revenge ethic: Mary’s wish for vengance and anti-Jewish sentiments, Christ’s counter statements, to hate no one but ending statement of damnation for those who do not accept him as Christ

Awareness of maternal role in Mary makes vengeful emotions easily read as an aspect of flawed humanity: Mary represents both human maternal figure and divinity: Redemption for women in Mary as a second Eve
Mary’s anti-feminist language: original sin is Eve’s transgression, Mary claims that ‘men sin’ and asks for Christ to forgive Peter, which Christ obeys (divide in Christ as human son and divinity)

Threat of the mob to both Peter and Mary

Suffering as only human aspect of Mary- this suffering does not allow her to see the full meaning of Christ’s death (no divine sight)
Mary, like Christ, is fully divine besides her human suffering

Joseph: Jewish character that respects but does not accept Christ, Joseph must be exiled


“I shall proclaim the world-saving passion;/ As if from the mouth of the virgin-mother girl/ And the initiate loved by the Master./ For this story will present her first/ In maternal lament at the time of the passion/ And bewailiing it from the very beginning/ As if she herself were really the cause”

“Mother of God: If only the serpent had not slid in the garden/ Nor the snake lurked in the groves,/ Crooked-minded, for never would the offspring of the rib,/ Mother of the wretched race, have been deceived/ And dared to dare an over-daring deed,/ Thunderstruck with love of the fruit in her heart,/ Believing that from this she would obtain godhood”

“she was fated to bear with pains and groaning/ And to send successive generations into life”

“Indeed I believe it is the greatest salvation/ When a woman does not think apart from her husband/ And bringing all things before him, as is right,/ Does not listen to the allurements of another/ But is in agreement with her rightful husband.”

“For wretched woman does not cease from pains,/ giving birth, not giving birth and fleeing children”

“Alas, what new evil upon evil/ If we are betrayed by those who seem friends.”

“Messenger: Listen, wretch, who was before most blessed,/ Hear what ill-fated words I bring you.”

“Messenger, Quoting Peter: You, as is fitting, evil, will die evilly,/ First hanged from knotted ropes,/ Going swiftly into Hades,/ Wracked with pain since you betrayed him for silver/ And the lake of all-consuming fire will receive you.”
“For he would not be able not to be good/ But he would not help you if you are unwilling;/ For he has not placed a law of force upon mortals/ nor is his will tyrannical”
“For God will not force you to be wise:/ In the choice and decision of mortals/ Is his wisdom in all things, always.’ / Some angel or mortal,¬† I know not which, said these things,/ As I have said them, to the traitor.”

“Mother of God: May the doer die; Justice knows/ And the foul disciple will pay a just price”
“But the greatest of all human diseases/ is shamelessness.”
“Your faith is gone, it died long before./ Revealed as such, do you dare see the light, wretch?/ Or do you think the God of before does not still rule/ Or that the yoke of justice now lies idle?”
“Be gone, foul doer, destroyer of love:/ I spit, nor should I even mention your name/ For God abhors the betrayer./ O Child, why did you give to men/ Clear proofs to know the worth of gold/ But no bodily stamp of men by which/ To distinguish good from evil?/ Or, knowing yourself, do you want others not to know?”

“women who are close to this disaster,/ I will not bear the unbearable;/ I will hurl myself away, I will release my body, dying,/ I will recede from life; farewell: I am no longer myself.”

“Give, give me a word, oh Word of God the Father,/ Do not pass by your lowly mother in silence./ For now I need to hear the voice.”

“Chorus: Go to those terrors; now is the struggle of courage./ And we will follow with tearful step./ For the raging mob runs round him/ And one must not get too close to their anger./ Their heart is grave, the hateful mob will not bear/ To look at us; murderous, violent,/ It swings with the sway of hateful judgement.”

“Mother of God: First of all, whether blame does or does not/ Attach to woman, she will have bad reputation/ If she does not remain at home inside”
“I kept silent tongue and placid gaze”
“The serpent contrived, by the error of woman,/ To cast him from the garden and the sky:/ But God contrived against him in return/ To be born from woman and, remaining God,/ To become mortal and slaughter the destroyer/ Of mortals, destroy him and cast him underfoot”

“Chorus: Illustrious, most beautiful maiden,/ Rich, as you say in your offspring God,/ These things you know; now consider the future./ For we know that you are wiser than mortals/ And that, seeing these things, you also know their end.”

“Mother of God: I lament them/ And I bewail the deed that would next be done/ By those who crucified you, Child”
“For you will easily kill our enemy/ And you will cast down death and, arising swiftly,/ You will take revenge upon your torturers./ But woman is weak and naturally prone to tears./ And so, I lament and am struck/ By barbs of pain and grieve wretchedly./ I have glory, but nevertheless am destroyed/ Since I am stripped of your divine sight”

“Why do you cry, Peter? You have done terrible things/ But you can still obtain forgiveness./ Oh Child, oh beloved, oh Word of God,/ Forgive him. Men sin, Child,/ And Peter sinned from fear of the mob.”

“Christ: Virgin mother, go away now, strong,/ I absolve the sin of Peter as you ask/ For I have always obeyed your words/ Because of your pious and noble heart”

“Mother of God: My heart desires to know everything/ And even in your sufferings is greedy./ Oh, oh, oh oh;/ I knew these things from the prophecies./ Ai, ai; what shall I do? For my heart is gone.”

“Theologian: For nobly scraping away the bane of old age,/ The bane of man-ruining corruption,/ Let him make me a flourishing young man:/ Since now most evil old age emaciates all,/ Oh, how old age destroys me with a burden of pains/ From the outrage of our ancient mother decieved.”

“Half-Chorus: Of all things that have souls and sense/ We women are the most miserable creatures/ Who, having begotten children, see them die”
“But you, virgin, have now known the bed of a man;/ You heard your conception from an angel of God, you say:/ How can you now bear to see him as a corpse?”

“Joseph: For as is fitting, though I have no relation/ Of kin, I also honor his corpse as mine./ How we should take him or what we should do/ for the corpse to please you, consider, but if you follow my counsel,/ Keep silent, for this is always most seemly./ Nor will you see outrage against your dead Child:/ for I do not deny that I am Jewish:/ But I will never be able to believe/ that your Child was not noble,/ Not even if the whole race disagrees/ Or fills the mountain wood with words,/ Since I know that he was noble.”

“Mother of God: These wretches have not et recognized your birth/ Which came down to earth from Father’s heaven./ And so you must show them that you are God;/ And you will show them entirely; and if the race of Jews/ You wish to expel from the land in anger,/ You will drive them to the Roman hosts/ Whom they thoughtlessly chose to rule them,/ Since they rejected your mastery/ And took up Caesar as their lord./ For I see the punishement of your life-bearing death,/ Fire near homes and the foundation of palaces/ Already in ruins, the unquenchable gleam of fire,/ The immortal anger of God at this city”

“Magdalene: I saw two angles dressed in white/ Sitting above and below the tomb,/ The one at the head, the other at the foot/ And, seeing their divine brilliance,/ I stood astonished with joy and fear:/ And then I heard a voice in my ears,/ Unlike anything, and began to tremble again,/ And straight away I saw Christ in a new appearance;/ I have said it was not easy to approach his form,/ And I fell on the ground and embraced his feet.”

“Christ: Look at my hands and feet,/ And, seeing my pierced side clearly,/ Know me, that I am again myself,/ For a spirit does not have flesh at all/ And a spirit does not possess bones/ As you now see that I have them;/ And, touching me, see that I have these things./ This is how my Father sent me here;/ In this way too I send you to the world/ And I breathe the Holy Spirit into you, my friends;/ And you must take this and announce me to all/ With the Father and the Holy Spirit.”

“Narrator: Roayl one, queen, most blessed Virgin,/ You dwell in the seat of the blessed, heaven,/ Having escaped all mortal suffering,/ Wrapped in the robe of immortality,/ Always ageless and known as God;/ From above, please be kind to my words.”
“You have my true dream, something not made up/ Nor stained with the dung of mythic trash”


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