In Elizabeth George Speare's The Bronze Bow, what were the different jewish opinions regarding how the Roman occupation should be handled? Describe two.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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One approach to the Romans is embodied in the thought of Rosh.  Isolated from others except for leading a band of outlaw rebels, Rosh demonstrates how the poison of the world around the individual can impact one's heart and state of being in the world.  Rosh takes the approach that violent activity directed at the Romans is the only way to challenge their immense authority.  Rosh might not be as wedded to the cause as much as he is an opportunity to externalize the negativity and hostility that exists within him.  His characterization is one who targets Jewish individuals as well as Romans.  Rosh is filled with hatred and antagonism and his approach towards ending the Roman occupation is rooted in these forces of destruction.

The opposing force that articulates the Roman occupation that Jesus offers. Through Daniel's eyes, it becomes clear that what Jesus offers is a path that eliminates hatred and the poison that envelops the individual.  While Rosh believes that it is force and power that will end up bending the bronze bow, Jesus argues that love is the force that allows the bow to be bent.  The approach that Jesus takes towards the Roman occupation is an inclusive one, a vision where people are treated as ends in of themselves and “as if they have something to say."  Jesus's approach is what Daniel embraces as he realizes the limitations of what Rosh has offered.  In the approach that Jesus takes towards the Romans, spiritual liberation from a prison of venomous hatred is accomplished.  Rosh's approach is shown to be limited in how it simply supplants one object of hatred with another.  Speare's articulation of Jesus's position towards the Romans is one where the cycle of violence and anger has finally reached its end.  In this regard, the book articulates two distinct opinions as to how the Roman occupation and evil in the world is to be confronted.

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