Showing posts from May, 2024

Demons deserve our sympathy

My latest Coppola Comment post reflects on what we mean by "demons". Are they really the evil spirits of myth? Or are they a metaphor for something else - something all too human, and for many people, all too familiar? I spent last Saturday singing Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius. There’s a famous “Demon’s Chorus” in this piece, which made me think… well, about the demons. I felt sorry for them. Seriously.  In the Dream of Gerontius, demons are an auditory representation of mindless evil and cruelty. The Soul doesn’t hear them until after death, but of course mindless evil and cruelty exist in life too, so they must have been present throughout its earthly life. Perhaps it encountered them a few times but didn’t realise what they were. Or perhaps it never went to places where demons hang out.  Anyway, the Soul is disturbed by the sound. Demons are noisy things. The Soul asks the Angel what the “fierce hubbub” is, and comments that it ought to find it frightening, though fear now