Song of solomon
One way to approach a research paper on Song of Solomon is to analyze one or two of the characters in Song of Solomon. The basic idea of your religion research paper is to discuss what the character represents and then to discuss how the plot/conflicts surrounding the character develops the idea of what the character represents. Things to consider in your research paper:
- Look for objects and settings associated with the character and discuss.
- Analyze the character`s dialogue and narrative passages dealing with the character using your poetic tools, especially syntax, connotations and associations, and imagery. Always think symbolically!
Concerning the Song of Solomon, some scholars suggest that the superscription to Solomon does not belong to the author. Nevertheless, the Song of Solomon is a unique work in that it is pointed to as one of the only books of the Old Testament that does not manifest a religious or national theme and is the only work of a completely secular and sensual nature.
Biblical scholars maintain that the Song of Solomon became a part of the Old Testament canon based not on its value as "an ancient book, a religious book, and one that had always been religious" because this was not so. Rather, it is believed that it was included largely because of its human appeal and its ability to establish that "love is sacred even in passionate manifestations, when not perverted by a sophisticated self-analysis". These assertions are supported from the start:
Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth! For your love is better than wine, 3your anointing oils are fragrant, your name is perfume poured out; therefore the maidens love you (Song of Solomon 1:2, NRSV).
That the Song of Solomon is a tribute to love is manifested throughout. However, its value as both a tribute to love and foundation for the spiritual relationship is manifested best in the following:
Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it. If one offered for love all the wealth of his house, it would be utterly scorned (Song of Solomon 8:7, NRSV).
Although the authorship of the book of Proverbs is attributed to Solomon, some biblical scholars suggest that there are, like the other books attributed to him, discrepancies that lead to the conclusion that only portions may be attributed to his authorship. One of the greatest discrepancies is that some of the proverbs "seem very inappropriate in the mouth of Solomon, from all that is known of him in the book of Kings". Nevertheless, the implicit value of the book of Proverbs as a source of wisdom reflective of the wisdom of Solomon remains indisputable (Clifford 4), an assertion that is supported from its very beginning:
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge;
fools despise wisdom and instruction. Hear, my child, your father's instruction and do not reject your mother's teaching; for they are a fair garland for your head,
and pendants for your neck (Proverbs 1:7-9, NRSV).
The same can be said of the book of Psalms, which is not considered the work of one author or single act of collecting but rather the work of several, including Solomon to which only a few of the psalms have been attributed. These include Psalm 72, which offers evidence of Solomon's increasing dominion and the emphasis on the "grace of kingship":
Give the king your justice, O God, and your righteousness to a king's son. May he judge your people with righteousness, and your poor with justice. May the mountains yield prosperity for the people, and the hills, in righteousness. May he defend the cause of the poor of the people, give deliverance to the needy, and crush the oppressor (Psalm 72:1-4, NRSV).
Psalm 127, which is also attributed to Solomon, is pointed to as evidence of Solomon's understanding of "the significance of God's actions in man's everyday life":
Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the LORD guards the city, the guard keeps watch in vain (Psalm 127:1, NRSV).
It should follow that the books of wisdom, at least in part, be credited to the authorship of Solomon if not by indisputable proof, by the fact that their purpose and content reflect the wisdom that King Solomon demonstrated during his reign over the kingdom of Israel and has served as the foundation of wisdom for generations after.