Friday, April 24, 2015


Something I found interesting about the story of Bisclavret was how it related to the biblical story of Samson and Delilah. The story goes that Samson was a Nazirite who was strong and powerful, and one day he fell in love with a prostitute named Delilah. The leaders of the Philistines soon heard of this relationship and reached out to Delilah. (The Philistines were a group of people who were enemies of the people of Israel). Once they got in touch with her, her mission was to discover and unfold the secret behind Samson's strength.

She asked him three separate times and he lied to her on all three occasions, and she was angry that he would make a fool of her in such ways. So, after the third time she nagged and nagged until he was sick of listening to her that he told her his secret.

“No razor has ever been used on my head,” he said, “because I have been a Nazirite dedicated to God from my mother’s womb. If my head were shaved, my strength would leave me, and I would become as weak as any other man.” (Judges 16:17)

When Delilah realized that this was the ultimate truth of his mighty strength, she put him to bed and called someone so they could shave off the braids of his head. Once this was done, his strength had left him for good. She then called for the Philistines and they took him and gauged out his eyes and took him as a prisoner. When he was imprisoned, his hair began to grow back again.

In the end of the story, the Philistines brought Samson out of the dungeon from where they were keeping him because they were going to sacrifice him to their god. Once he was out, he prayed out to God, and asked to give him his last final strength. When Samson was brought out he leaned against two pillars and brought them down upon the Philistines and he himself dies with them. He does this to get revenge from them taking out his eyes.

The moral of the story is that Samson told Delilah ("his love") his secret and once she found out, she used it against him to make him weak. This is the essentially the same scenario that happens in Bisclavret when he tells his wife his secret of being a wolf. Both women betray their partner and deceive them of their only weakness.

I just thought this related to origin stories we covered in the past couple weeks, and how they are closely relevant to each other.

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