The King’s Apology: A Generic and Metaphoric Criticism of Psalm 51

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Patrick Wheaton


This paper uses generic and metaphoric criticism to examine the effectiveness of King David’s apologia in Psalm 51. The king committed adultery and murder and prayerfully sought forgiveness from the Lord in this Psalm. This Psalm fits into two of the four factors of an apologia, defined by Ware and Linkugel (1973). King David enhances his apologia by using metaphors of up and down, and clean and dirty. King David’s apologia differs greatly from modern apologia as seen today, adding the factor of remorse that is neglected in famous apologia. King David is acknowledged as a role model in the Christian religion, despite his faults and mistakes. The king shows great remorse in his apology to the Lord, thus ensuring his forgiveness and a successful apology. Because David is remembered for his accomplishments and not his mistakes, his example of an apologia should be a model for future apologies.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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