King David: A Play
The story of King David which is taught to children in Sunday school is little more than a short fairy tale. It is a simple, straight forward story for the young, which offers excitement and an attractive young hero, whose bravery brought to him the Crown of Israel.
When David came out in his shepherd's tunic and no apparent weapon, Goliath laughed at the small, young, unarmed challenger, but David picked up a stone, put it in his slingshot and threw it at Goliath. David's aim was true, the stone hit Goliath's forehead, and Goliath died on the spot. Then David picked up Goliath's great sword and cut off the head of the Philistine's warrior. The Philistines, horrified and frightened by the death of their strongest warrior, retreated, and the Jews attacked them as they ran from the battle and the Kingdom of the Jews was saved."
After many other adventures during his youthful years, David then became King of Judah and then of Israel, which, over a forty year reign, became one of the greatest empires of his era.
However, the full story of the life of King David is a much more complex story than the Sunday School version -if it is read with an open mind, it is a remarkably candid story of how a poor shepherd boy became King of Israel.
But then what kind of man was David? What one careful reading of the Hebrew Bible reveals is that David was an inveterate adulterer and that married women and widows were one of his great weaknesses.
This play deals with the real David and the relationships he made with the many women in his life. Though the history of the time is included, the main purpose of the play is to see into David's thoughts and the thoughts of those women who were important in this life and his road to the throne.
This is done through poetic conversations David has with his young concubine, Shulamite and through Sonnets of his many wives.
"An absolutely new look at the familiar story of King David." Phil Blazer, Jewish News
"The Hebrew Bible's story of King David demands or at least invites modern interpretations of the text, and Fred Simmons' King David, a Play invites the thoughtful reader to a thoroughly enjoyable read." Ziony Zevit, University of Judaism, Loa Angeles, California
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