Acts of the Christian Martyrs

In this account of the final days of a handful of early Christians, it can be valuable to pay attention to the identity of the characters. Properly defining them and associating their actions with reasoning can not only help to understand the thoughts going through their heads, but can help the reader connect to the characters and learn to be more like them on a personal level. Specifically, over the course of the text, Perpetua develops a firm and faithful identity. From her condemnation, she roots herself firmly in the LORD. Even when her loving father begs her to denounce her faith, a request he does out of pure love for her, Perpetua realizes that love for the LORD must be kept closer than Earthly love, no matter how difficult this may be. In her vision of her life after death, Perpetua easily passes the dragon and climbs the treacherous and deadly ladder out of pure trust in God, reinforcing her faithfulness. Finally, Perpetua is stripped and enters the stadium completely calm and expecting of what to happen, traits that can only possibly be found in the firm, faithful identity of Perpetua. She stares the devil in the face and fears not, for she knows the LORD is with her.

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