Mordion/Tess - with Biblical quotes

Hallie O'Donovan hallieod at
Sun Mar 12 15:41:31 EST 2000

If anyone was offended by Melissa's post (I won't add fuel to the possible
fire by saying I can't imagine anyone having been), this one will probably
be best deleted.


> Mordion is definitely a
>suffering servant, isn't he?  Setting aside the connection between the
>Biblical references and Christ for the moment, there are some remarkable
>similarities.  I'm thinking again of the passage in Isaiah, which is in the
>end of chapter 52 and all of chapter 53; I mentioned one of the relevant
>quotes in my other post, but there's also the bit about how the servant has
>no real beauty that makes him desirable (remember the death's head?) as well
>as "we did esteem him stricken of God, and smitten" (i.e. a nutcase) and
>Mordion is certainly viewed by the Reigners as not fully human, more of a
>tool than a person.  I'm sure there's more than this, but I would have to
>drag out my Bible, and I know y'all don't want me to go that far.

I hadn't copped on to the Isaiah reference, but as soon as Melissa
mentioned it, I had to "go that far".  This is Isaiah Chapter 53, verses
2-3, to add to what Melissa quoted.

"For he grew up before him like a young plant,
and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or comeliness that we should look at him,
and no beauty that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by men:
a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

This is the Fourth Servant Song in Isaiah, and the first (42.1-4) is about
how the Servant will bring forth justice (as in the task before Mordion as
First Reigner).  I didn't see much relevance in the other Servant Songs.
I'm not sure smitten couldn't just also mean suffering as punishment (?),
but either way it makes sense.

>Now, I don't think this makes Mordion an analogue for Christ.  It's sort of
>an extended link:  Mordion--"suffering servant"--Christ, and of course in
>Jewish biblical scholarship the suffering servant is interpreted very
>differently and that second link wouldn't exist at all.  But it's opened up
>an intriguing line of thought for me.  I just wish it had come up about six
>months ago, when I could have had a venue for an essay on it.... :)

This is about where I've ended up, now that you and Philip have elucidated.
It's not that I think Mordion is a Christ figure, either, but that link
between Mordion and the suffering servant really does bring something more
to my understanding of Mordion.

Well, bearing in mind what I have just said, I must confess to another
thought arising from a hymn this morning (no, I don't spend *all* my time
in church thinking about DWJ!).  Can't quote all of this verbatim, but it's
a Lenten hymn, which starts "Forty days and forty nights, thou wast fasting
in the wild", and also has something about being beset by wild animals and
sleeping on the stony ground.  Of course, my mind immediately went to the
time in the Wood with Hume, and being hungry and cold, and the wolves.
Even just possibly the "temptation" of using Hume to kill the Reigners.
Again, I see all the many points of dissimilarity just as well as the
similarities, but the image still adds a layer of meaning for me, in the
places where there may be a connection.

>And perhaps we will end up with some true understanding as well.

Not sure I've arrived at a final state of "true understanding", but I do
feel a lot more enlightened than when I saw Philip's original thought, and
could only come up with "things aren't fair, for both Tess and Mordion" as
a connection between the two!  And now all the hard work of thinking has
made me hungry, and tapioca sounds pretty good ... (oh, no, that wasn't a
food comment, was it? :-(

hallieod at

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