Job as Comedy, Revisited

September 2010
Journal for the Study of the Old Testament;Sep2010, Vol. 35 Issue 1, p89
Academic Journal
Inspired by William Whedbee's 1977 claim that the Book of Job is a comedy, this article interprets Job as such, contrasting tragedy's portrayal of humankind as noble with comedy's portrayal of humans as fools. When Elihu, an obvious buffoon, enters the story, his foolishness reflects back on Job and his friends, inasmuch as he is like them, turning what has seemed to be a tragedy into a comedy. God, too, becomes a fool when, in his speeches, he picks up on Elihu's language, even as he attempts to differentiate himself from his self-appointed spokesperson. The article concludes with two comedic readings of God's speeches and offers a possible reason why the author has chosen to write this way.


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