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There is no Hero Without a Dragon: A Revisionist Interpretation of The Myth of St. George and the Dragon

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image of Religion and Theology

It is the purpose of this paper to interpret the legend of St. George and the Dragon in terms of alchemical symbolism. While the victory of the Christian hero over the Dragon is traditionally interpreted as symbolic of the triumph of good over evil, it is argued that both combatants represent the four alchemical elements: air, water, earth and fire. Instead of a duel of opposites their combat transmutes the coiled-up energy of the dragon into solar light, which manifests as the beautiful princess of the myth. The conclusion is drawn that there is a dialectical movement of force in the battle between St. George and the dragon. The hero releases the antithetical power of the dense, dark matter symbolised by the dragon so that the elements of a polarity do not remain contrasted but are resolved creatively.


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