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God in Literature

One could make an arguable case that God and the supernatural are two of the most popular elements of all time in literature. From religious texts like the Koran to Elizabethan dramas like William Shakespeare's Hamlet, God and the supernatural appear in numerous and diverse works of literature. God and the supernatural are also elements found in the medieval poem The Song of Rowland and Boccaccio's novellas in the Decameron. Even Middle Eastern literature like Tales from One Thousand and One Nights combine elements of God and the supernatural in heroes like Aladdin and Sinbad. One might also make an arguable case that for many people, believers and non-believers alike, God and the supernatural are one and the same thing. This analysis will discuss the elements of God and the supernatural as they appear in the Koran, The Song of Rowland, Tales from the Thousand and One Nights, the Decameron, and Hamlet. A conclusion will address why God and the supernatural continue to be enduring elements of literature throughout history, across cultures, and still to this day.

In the religious text the Koran, God's (Allah's) presence is pervasive. The entire text is the word of God as delivered to the prophet Mohammad in the opinion of most Muslims. Yet, like angels being portrayed as real in the Bible, in the Koran there are supernatural beings like the Al-jinn, a type of genie that can be a force of good or evil. Of course, many view Mohammad's many miracles, such as riding to Jerusalem and back in one evening, as supernatural occurrences akin to Moses parting the Red Sea in the Bible. God remains paramount in this text, as numerous references are made to its text being the word of God in the first person.

In Boccaccio's Decameron, God and religion are elements in the novellas, but instead of being the subject of reverence, they are the target of satire and ridicule. The Church, its priests, and religious b...

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God in Literature. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 01:19, May 29, 2023, from