Wednesday, April 20, 2011

"St. George and the Dragon" by Jacobus de Voragine

Source: Storynory (mp3)
Length: 7 minutes
Reader: Natasha

The story: Saint George's feast day is April 23rd. When I think of the legend of St. George and the dragon, I think of a medieval knight in Europe, like in the picture to the right. Listening to the story again, I learned that the setting was not Europe, but North Africa, the time period was not the Middle Ages, but the Roman Empire, and the hero was not a knight in shining armor but a Roman soldier.

Whatever the background, the story itself had a great hold on people across the Christian world. St. George appears as the patron saint of a number of different cities and nations, including England and Georgia. I think this is because of the appeal of  classic good versus evil conflict stripped down to its most basic form. The dragon poisons the peoples' water supply, spreads diseases and eats their sheep and people. George, and the princess he defends, represent purity, chastity, honor and Christianity. The idea that goodness will unfailingly and quickly triumph over evil is an appealing one, and this type of story is needed for times when reality seems much darker.

Rating: 7 / 10

The reader: Natasha tends to tell a story with heavy emphasis on the drama. While this classic storytelling style could get tedious in a longer reading, it really enlivens a short piece like this. Natasha has a soprano British accent that is cheerful and sunny. Her reading is pitched towards children, so she tends to emphasize words with a kindergarten teacher tone and a singsong delivery.

(Painting by Rogier van der Weyden. No copyright restrictions)

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