All I Really Want To Do: the struggle to dominate

By Larry Fyffe

Depending on which translation is referenced, women are biblically described metaphorically as  ‘screech owls’, ‘lamias’, and ‘liliths’ who are cast out of Eden by God for refusing to be subservient to men:

The screech owl also shall rest there
And find for herself a place to rest
(Isaiah 34:14)

This is not exactly how things were initially supposed to be; so saith the Hermaphroditic God:

And God said, "Let us make Man in our image
After our likeness, and let them have dominion
Over the fish of the sea ...and over all the earth ....
So God created Man in His own image
In the image of God created He him
Male and female created He them
(Genesis 1:26,27)

Apparently, Adam is not happy because Lilith wants dominion too; so God does things all over again; creates Eve:

And the rib, which the Lord God taken from the man
Made He a woman, and brought her unto the man
(Genesis 2:22)

Now it’s Lilith turn to be unhappy. She curls up on a tree branch; seduces Eve to do that which God has forbidden her to do:

Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field ....
And the serpent said unto the woman, "Ye shall not surely die
For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof
Then your eyes shall be open as gods, knowing good and evil"
(Genesis 3:1,4,5)

A Gothic romantic poet  describes the snake-shaped lamia:

She was a gordian shape of dazzling hue
Vermillion-spotted, golden, green, and blue
Striped like a zebra, freckled like a pard
Eye like a peacock, and all crimson barred
(John Keats: Lamia)

A preacher and poet elaborates on this archetype by way of analogy –  Geraldine, a sexually charged vampiric lamia, has little trouble gaining dominance over innocent Christabel:

And in her arms the maid she took
And wel-a-day!
And with low voice, and doleful look
These words did say
"In the touch of this bosom there worketh a spell
Which is the lord of thy utterance, Christabel"
(Samuel Coleridge: Christabel)

From the Holy Bible, from the poetry of Keats, and that of Coleridge, singer/songwriter/musician Bob Dylan grasps the hermaphroditic serpent:

And hisses:

Just a minute before you leave, girl
Just a minute before you touch the door
What is it that you are trying to achieve, girl
Do you think we could talk about it some more?
You know the streets are filled with vipers
Who've lost all ray of hope
You know it ain't even safe no more
In the palace of the Pope
(Bob Dylan: Don't Fall Apart On Me Tonight)

The theme of a desire to dominate others appears again in the song lyrics below:

A worried man with a worried mind
No one in front of me, nothing behind
There's a woman on my lap, and she's drinking champaign
Got white skin, got assassin's eyes
I'm looking up into sapphire-tinted skies
I'm well dressed, waiting for the last train
(Bob Dylan: Things Have Changed)

And then there’s the struggle to dominate conflicting facets of one’s own nature:

I ain't looking to block you up
Shock or knock or lock you up
Analyze you, categorize you
Finalize you or advertise you
All I really want to do
Is, baby, be friends with you
(Bob Dylan: All I Really Want To Do)

There is something that doth not like a vampire:

Never could learn to drink that blood
And call it wine
Never could learn to hold you, love
And call you mine
(Bob Dylan: Tight Connection To My Heart)

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