bearshorty: (Default)
[personal profile] bearshorty
Title: A Matter of Pride
Author: bearshorty
Fandom: Bible
Summary: Queen Vashti would not obey the King’s command. Book of Esther 1.
Word Count: 369


“Your majesty the Queen, the King commands your presence at his feast.”

Queen Vashti looked with concern at the eunuchs who entered her hall. Harbona was the one who spoke. He seemed reluctant to convey the King’s command. The others stood behind him, not looking at her directly. She held her head high but kept her voice calm. It would not do to show her anger.

“Why?” she said. “He promised me that I could hold my banquet with no interference. I will see him after the feast is over, not before.”

She could see Zethar swallow and take a deep breath.

He spoke, “Forgive us your majesty, but the King wants to show your beauty to his guests. He requests your presence. He wants you to come wearing your royal crown.”

She closed her eyes for a minute to center herself. “How drunk is he?”

The attendants stayed silent.

“Answer me.”

“He is in high spirits. He was very generous to his guests and provided much wine and he himself did not abstain,” said Karkas.

“So he is drunk and so are all his guests and he wants me to come entertain him as they all gaze at me. I am his Queen, not his concubine!” Queen Vashti’s voice did not waver. “You may tell the King that I am worth more than this and remind him of his promise.”

“But your majesty, he gave the order in the hearing of many,” Zethar said, clearly worried.

“I do not care for his pride. I will not be summoned like a common whore.” She turned her back to them, dismissing them from her sight and went back to her guests and the banquet she carefully planned for months.

She heard them hesitate and leave the hall. She centered herself. It would not do to give in to her emotions now. She knew that Xerxes would be angry, not because she did not come but because he would seem weak in front of others. He was always a weak man who listened to others more than he should have. She used that to her advantage before. But she could not obey this. She would not. She had her pride too.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-09-12 08:24 pm (UTC)
baronjanus: I was searching for the answer, it turns out it's rock and roll. Hugh Dillon Works Well With Others (Default)
From: [personal profile] baronjanus
I love a good feminist Vashti. She should get a lot more literature - I vaguely remembered that they'd killed her for this, but apparently I was remembering retellings and not "canon", not the original text. Nothing in it about a bad ending for her - well she lost the crown, but honestly, she could have had a long and good life after that. Nothing to contradict that.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-09-13 09:08 am (UTC)
baronjanus: Adam and Eve picking an apple from the snake; Knowledge: it's what's for dinner. (0 knowledge)
From: [personal profile] baronjanus
Right?! We were all told she was executed! What was the point in that? she wasn't even the villain of the piece, she was just conveniently removed, what did they get out of telling us she died for her disobedience? I mean, if she'd been obedient this entire Esther story wouldn't have happened. I don't get the narrative.

I'm re-reading some of the basic stories, now without teacher guidance ;) and there's a world of "um, I don't remember this part" in things like Noah, or the "cut the baby in half" story, for example. Just basic canon text.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-09-13 06:30 pm (UTC)
baronjanus: (Joss - to read)
From: [personal profile] baronjanus

Don't mind at all! you seem a lovely person.

Mind if I ask which version you are/were reading? because translations have angles of their own.

I'm half "bible stories are interesting" and half "the versions taught to us at school and the choices our educators made are even more interesting in hindsight". It's a meta-level of annoyed ;)

(no subject)

Date: 2017-09-13 07:23 pm (UTC)
baronjanus: I was searching for the answer, it turns out it's rock and roll. Hugh Dillon Works Well With Others (Default)
From: [personal profile] baronjanus
Now that's an interesting path in its own way. How one gets to the stories, and in what versions they are delivered. Me, I went to a state-orthodox school (more orthodox than state schools! less orthodox than orthodox schools! many hours of religious texts a week) so we got a lot of meta and discussion, but still somehow managed to skip some things while inventing others (still not over "Vashti living happily ever after").

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