Sometimes, in our confusion, we have been known to turn the Other into a monster and a god. Hierophanies – where the unshowable deity shows itself – are often terrifying. Hence the double etymology of monstrare, to show and to warn. Zeus’ mutations into a plundering bull or rapacious swan epitomize this paradox. And Kali certainly knew how to scare mortals. Even the generally ‘good’ biblical God could resort to horror on occasion, as Job realized; or Abraham when commanded to kill Isaac, or Jacob when he found himself maimed at the hip after wrestling with the dark angel of Israel. Or Zechariah struck dumb by the angel Gabriel. Not to mention the tales of floods and plagues and conflagrations sent by a jealous God to fill his people with fear. Divine monstrance was not infrequently an occasion of terror. Fascinans et tremendum, as the mystics said.
Poets too have attested to this enigma of the monstrous God. W.B. Yeats captured this disturbing ambiguity of the sacred, for example, in his apocalyptic image of the ‘rough beast slouching towards Bethlehem to be born’. A sentiment echoed by Rilke in his famous opening apostrophe to the Duino Elegies: ‘Every angel is terrible’. And one might also recall here Herman Melville’s chilling evocation of the quasi-divine, quasi-demonic whiteness of the whale, recalling at once the horror of Leviathan and the transcendence of Yahweh.
why is it that villains and not protagonists are always the ones breaking gender roles hmmmm
it’s called queercoding and it’s intentional and basically brainwashes kids into having negative associations with those traits
alia shawkat ♡