Friday, September 21, 2007

Bit thickheaded, here

So, in Stephen Schwarz's Children of Eden, the snake sings a song called "In Pursuit of Excellence" in which it tries to convince Eve that she ought to eat the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden. I've been listening to this music for almost ten years now, and I just now noticed that the snake is plural in this song. That is, I'd noticed that the show's creators have in mind that multiple people will form the snake, with multiple voices, and in that sense I noticed that the snake is sort of plural. But when I've done/seen the show, it's only been played by one person, so maybe I didn't think about it as much?

Dunno. But I'm listening to it now as I read an essay about Genesis 1-3, and I just noticed that in the show, God is very much singular - played by a single man, always called Father - and the snake is very much plural - enough so that it says "be in pursuit of excellence, like us. Yet, in the Bible, God moves back and forth between singular and plural in these chapters, where the serpent is never referred to as anything but singular.

I'm inclined to think still that the snake is plural because it's a good stage device to use multiple people, and with multiple voices it makes certain sense for those voices to say "us." But now I'm wondering whether Schwarz (or someone involved in the show) reversed that plural with any intention....

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