pISSN: 1598-3293

영어영문학연구, Vol.62 no.2 (2020)

DOI : 10.18853/jjell.2020.62.2.008

On the Historical Present in The Story of Genesis and Exodus

Shin, Sungkyun

(Kangwon National University)

Middle English (ME) The Story of Genesis and Exodus (Genesis and Exodus), an anonymous early English song, edited by Richard Morris (1865), is said to have been written in A.D. 1250. The story— or the very long narrative poem, contains many examples of the historical present (HP) or the simple present tense (SP). Through the analysis of SP and HP examples in ME in Genesis and Exodus, I have found that SP can be categorized into two types: First, SP is used to express “eternal truth” in that Adam and Eve (man and woman, humankind), representing man and woman, are clothed, and their shame is also hidden by God’s clothes of sheepskin, later of righteousness, and become acquainted with sorrow, care, evil and death. Adam and Eve hope to be brought back into Paradise by the sacrifice and redemption of God’s Son. Second, I have also found the usage of SP as HP to give enlightened vividness in Genesis, which describes, e.g., the situation of the event of the Old Testament Genesis, in which Joseph tests the brotherhood of his brothers by falsely accusing his youngest brother of thievery, describing the event as if it were present, giving vividness, urgency, and immediacy. It is the same case with Exodus.
  통시적; 역사적 현재시제; 단순 현재 시제; 창세기·출애굽기 이야기;diachronic; the historical present; the simple present tense; The Story of Genesis and Exodus

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