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Acta Theologica

On-line version ISSN 2309-9089
Print version ISSN 1015-8758


FISCHER, S.. Black am I and beautiful - rhetorical irony in Song of Songs. Acta theol. [online]. 2018, vol.38, suppl.26, pp.305-324. ISSN 2309-9089.

This article argues for an ironic understanding of Song of Songs 1:5-6. The linguistic irony carries a second meaning contrary to the first more obvious one, being expressed as verbal and situational irony. The rhetorical structure and the figures of speech are analyzed. The stereotype conceptualizations of "blackness" and "beauty" in the Old Testament are evaluated. It is demonstrated that she boasts of being black and beautiful. The text is explained by the stylistic device of rhetorical irony. This leads to the result that she is also a city woman and that the vineyard-episode with her brothers (1:5-6) cannot be understood as a serious explanation for her skin colour, as it commonly happens. Perhaps she is associated with Pharaoh's daughter. Finally, the second conflict with her brothers (8:8-12) is taken into account and it is shown how the "Kipp-Phänomen" is used to turn around the expectations of those involved in comic and irony.

Keywords : Old Testament; Irony; Poetics; Song of Songs; Egypt.

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