Framing The Cast of Characters . . . .

cast of characters popeye3c

A Way Of Framing The Cast Of Characters


D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones does a remarkable job at setting up an “audience rationale” for considering who the Bible characters are, before examining the actual biblical account.  He calls up a splendid example to warrant his introduction of — “The Cast of Characters.”

This message comes from an alternate version of a previously posted link to Lloyd-Jones’ message titled — Righteousness, Temperance, and Judgement.

Here is the link to an audio clip from that alternate version.

Notice certain dynamics which operate in Lloyd-Jones’ explanation to his audience.  Lloyd-Jones . . . .

  1. highlights the importance of what he is going to do — “If we are to really understand and grasp the message . . . . is always important with any drama or any play . . . “
  2. connects what he is going to do with what the audience has experienced — “Many young people here tonight who are either studying the writing of Shakespear . . .”
  3. visualizes the experience — “You open the book . . . and there on the righthand side . . . but before you come to that . . . . you find on the opposite page a heading with reads . . . “
  4. gives weight to the experience — He uses the classical Latin phrasing “Dramatis Personae” — Persons of the Drama — which gives a weightiness to the purpose of such a character listing
  5.  compares it to what he is going to do —  “there you get a list of names — they’re the name of the people who will appear in this drama . .  in this play. . . . and there you’re told just a little bit about them . . . “
  6. lays out the rational again — “Why do they do that? . . .  You can’t fully understand the meaning without . . . . “
  7. restates the purpose again — “That is done for our help . . . and for our aid”
  8. states the reasonableness and rightness of what he is about to do –“well if that is true of any drama, it is particularly true about this one


  In eight ways Lloyd-Jones keeps circling around the rationale for what he is doing — eight interesting, productive, and “re-productive” ways / steps/ or techniques.

  In two minutes and fourteen seconds, Lloyd Jones provides the audience with a rationale for taking the time to do what he is about to do.

  In a concise way he “argues” that it is profitable and worth the time to provide the history of the characters reflected in the biblical passage.  An”argument” is being made, NOT because the audience members are opposed to what he is about to do, but because it advances and enhances the purpose of what he is about to do!

Not all “argument” is to prove a point!  An “argument” can be to . . . .

  • confirm or re-confirm the truth or/or value of something
  • support the value of what he is doing and/or the audience is doing
  • elaborate the worthiness of a belief and/or activity
  • improve the standing of an approach and/or action
  • validate the need to take the time and/or understand
  • assure an audience of the reasonableness of a belief, action, or activity
  • etc.


The Template:  If you can quantify the rhetorical activity, even if you alter it, you have a pattern which you can follow by which you can do what was done.

  1. highlight the importance of what you are going to do
  2. connect what you are doing with an audience’s experience
  3. verbally visualizes that experience
  4. give weight to the experience by referencing a stately comparable experience
  5. compares the experience in detail
  6. layout your rational again
  7. restates your purpose again
  8. state the reasonableness and rightness for now taking the time


Alternatives:  There are other similar yet different ways to do what Lloyd-Jones has done.  Instead of calling up a Shakespearean play, a speaker can call up similar but different “experiences” . . . .

Cliff Notes — gives a brief description of each character

Books — lays out in words and deeds the nature of the characters

Columbo — tells you who the “bad guy” is up front, else . . . .

H.S. Play — A High School play which lists the characters in order of appearance and a brief synopsis of what the play is all about, so you are not confused.

Plays Beginning With A Narration — The play begins with a narrator laying out the general understanding of what has happened in light of what will happen.

Character Names — Some characters are given names so you know what role he/she plays in the drama.

Character Dress — Some characters are dressed in such a way so that you know what role he/she will play in the story.

A Program Speaker’s Resume — Some “programs” give you a little history of the person who is about to speak.

A Letter of Introduction — When submitting an application for a job, you typically include a letter of introduction so that the reader gets an idea of who you are.





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