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Fifth Business Myth, Magic & Religion Essay

  • Submitted by: dlsamelid25
  • on December 29, 2009
  • Category: Social Issues
  • Length: 1,648 words

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Below is an essay on "Fifth Business Myth, Magic & Religion" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Fifth Business by Robertson Davies is presented by the function of mythology, magic and religion which ultimately shapes different characteristics for the characters in Fifth Business. Davies makes frequent use of myth to explain the personality and relationship of Dunny Ramsay which is achieved through Greek mythology and hagiography. Magic is the escape from guilt that Dunstan and Paul seek. Religion affects each character and the affect religion has on Dunny’s life.

Davies’ dedicates a chapter on the myth of Gyges and Candaules to recognize Dunny’s personality and relationship. In the myth of Gyges and Candaules, Gyges is a friend to the rich and prestige King, Candaules. He is forced to look upon Candules naked wife, and is persuaded to think that she is as beautiful as Candaules says she is. Gyges agrees and is pressured by the wife, to kill Candaules in order to acquire his thrown and all he possess (including her). In Fifth Business, Davies’ writes Boy to be the great King Candaules, Dunny to be the friend, Gyges and Leola to be the wife. Boy makes Dunny develop a roll of naked photos of Leola, in order to flaunt her beauty, which prompts Dunny to mention how closely the Gyges and Candaules myth is a like to their lives, “It’s happened before, you know. Do you remember the story of Gyges and King Candaules?” Page 149. Dunny interprets this in terms that Leola may plot with Dunny to kill Boy, since Leola is mistreated by Boy. Boy jokes with Dunny as he is uneasy with this myth when he states, “‘Really? Not much chance of that here, is there Leo? You’d find my throne a bit too big, Dunny.” “The other is that Gyges killed Candaules.” “I don’t suppose you’ll do that, Dunny.’” Page 149-150. Dunny never follows through on the myth, but he is shown to be prophetic when Leola throws herself at Dunny and is rejected. Davies shows that myth is never far from Dunny's mind, that his personality and relationship with Boy is quick to change whenever the time comes....

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