David and Goliath, Where is the mighty man

Goliath gives vent to his arrogance in a bombastic style. This should be borne in mind by the speaker. David, on the other hand, expresses himself with modesty, but in a tone of confident courage:

Goliath.   Where is the mighty man of war, who dares

Accept the challenge of Philistia's chief?

What victor-king, what general drenched in blood,

Claims this high privilege? What are his rights?

What proud credentials does the boaster bring


To prove his claim? What cities laid in ashes,

What ruined provinces, what slaughtered realms,

What heads of heroes, or what hearts of kings,

In battle killed, or at his altars slain,

Has he to boast? Is his bright armory

Thick set with spears, and swords, and coats of mail,

Of vanquished nations, by his single arm

Subdued? Where is the mortal man so bold,

So much a wretch, so out of love with life,

To dare the weight of this uplifted spear?

Come, advance!

Philistia's gods to Israel's. Sound, my herald,

Sound for the battle straight!

David.                Behold thy foe.

Gol.   I see him not.

Dav.                Behold him here.

Gol.                                    Say, where?

Direct my sight. I do not war with boys.

Dav.   I stand prepared; thy single arm to mine.

Gol.   Why, this is mockery, minion; it may chance

To cost thee dear. Sport not with things above thee:

But tell me who, of all this numerous host,

Expects his death from me? Which is the man

Whom Israel sends to meet my bold defiance?

Dav.   The election of my sovereign falls on me.

Gol.   On thee! on thee! by Dagon, 'tis too much!

Thou curled minion! thou a nation's champion!

'Twould move my mirth at any other time;

But trifling's out of tune. Begone, light boy!

And tempt me not too far.

Dav.                I do defy thee,

Thou foul idolator! Hast thou not scorned

The armies of the living God I serve!

By me he will avenge upon thy head

Thy nation's sins and thine. Armed with his name,

Unshrinking, I dare meet the stoutest foe

That ever bathed his hostile spear in blood.

Gol.   Indeed! 'tis wondrous well! Now, by my gods!

The stripling plays the orator! Vain boy!

Keep close to that same bloodless war of words,


And thou shalt still be safe. Tongue-valiant warrior!

Where is thy sylvan crook, with garlands hung,

Of idle field-flowers? Where thy wanton harp,

Thou dainty-fingered hero?

Now will I meet thee,

Thou insect warrior; since thou dar'st me thus,

Already I behold thy mangled limbs,

Dissevered each from each, ere long to feed

The fierce, blood-snuffing vulture. Mark me well,

Around my spear I'll twist thy shining locks

And toss in air thy head all gashed with wounds.

Dav.   Ha, say'st thou so? Come on, then; Mark us well.

Thou com'st to me with sword and spear, and shield;

In the dread name of Israel's God, I come;

The living Lord of Hosts, whom thou defi'st;

Yet though no shield I bring; no arms, except

These five smooth stones I gathered from the brook

With such a simple sling as shepherds use;

Yet all exposed, defenceless as I am,

The God I serve shall give thee up a prey

To my victorious arm. This day, I mean

To make the uncircumcised tribes confess

There is a God in Israel. I will give thee,

Spite of thy vaunted strength and giant bulk,

To glut the carrion-kites. Nor thee alone;

The mangled carcasses of your thick hosts

Shall spread the plains of Elah; till Philistia,

Through all her trembling tents and flying bands,

Shall own that Judah's God is God indeed!

I dare thee to the trial!

Gol.                Follow me.

In this good spear I trust.

Dav.                I trust in Heaven!

The God of battles stimulates my arm,

And fires my soul with ardor not its own.

In this dialogue, the first speech of Goliath is simple vaunt. Confident in his huge bulk and strength, he strides occasionally from side to side while speaking, elevating his arms and throwing his limbs about as if anxious to display his powerful sinews and muscular proportions. He speaks very loud, as if willing to terrify all Israel with his voice.

In this second speech, Goliath partly stoops, half shuts his eyes like a  person endeavouring to discern some diminutive object, and, after looking intently a short time, suddenly straightens himself up to his full height, and says arrogantly: "I see him not."

In his third speech, Goliath maintains the same ground, till, in the conclusion, he seems, at last, to have perceived David, and, turning away contemptuously, adds: "I do not war with boys."

In the latter part of the dialogue, Goliath becomes really furious, and is in haste to transfix David with his spear; while David, on the other hand, becomes more calm, collected, and observant as the critical moment approaches, thus denoting his firm and unwavering trust in the God of Israel. David makes but few gestures, but always assumes a reverential attitude when he mentions the name of God—not puritanical by any means, but expressive of humble hope and smiling confidence.