Original Research - Special Collection: Septuagint

Character focalisation and its function in the story of Susanna

Risimati S. Hobyane
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 78, No 1 | a7641 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v78i1.7641 | © 2022 Risimati S. Hobyane | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 13 April 2022 | Published: 28 July 2022

About the author(s)

Risimati S. Hobyane, Department of Ancient Language and Text Studies, Faculty of Theology, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa


The characters in a story can function as vehicles that carry the message(s) that the implied author intends to convey to the implied readers as they read the story. Characterisation is, as it were, the artistry the implied author uses to shift the intended reader’s worldview. Whilst there have been many insightful scholarly contributions on Susanna, the use of character focalisation and its possible function have never been explored. It remains open for investigation. This article examines the way in which characters are focalised in Susanna and how their role contributes to the implied reader’s ability to grasp the possible intended message of the story. The article concludes that focalisation offers a useful interpretive angle from which Susanna can be studied.

Contribution: The article proves that characterisation and the narrator’s role in the story are not a literary decoration to the text but a well-intended process that aims at inviting participation and decision-making from the implied reader.


Susanna; characterisation; focalisation; function; analysis


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