‘God’ and ‘Wealth’ in Literature and Religion

Literature / April 23, 2015 / No Comments /
An examination of three to texts to discover the importance of denying oneself earthly pleasures as a necessity for reaching heaven.

This paper draws on Catholicism in “Brideshead Revisited”, familial loyalty and duty in “Measure for Measure” as well as the question of royal wealth in “Richard II”. The author of this paper demonstrates that it is not the denial of earthly pleasures that one inflicts upon oneself that gains heaven; this is merely a route that is commonly necessary for some to find their inherent religious nature. The author highlights how the texts have shown that while self denial and piety are a route to God, they are only a means to an end, and the same result can be gained by a life of drinking or sin as long as the individual has an inherent spirituality.
“This attitude is understandable. The king believes that by giving up his fortune his concentration will be more on God and therefore he will become a more righteous person. He is also mindful of the well known passage from the Bible, that, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.”.
“However, a further school of argument would suggest the king has missed the point. By offering his worldly wealth in exchange for spiritual health he is once more advocating the concept of materialism. The entire passage relates to the exchange of material wealth for a desired change in lifestyle. Essentially Richard is illustrating his wish to purchase holiness, an act which goes entirely against Christian doctrine.”


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