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Thinking as a Hobby


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Teaching   Model  

  • Preparation:

   1. familiarity with the text

   2. variety of teaching material

   3. anticipation of students�� response

  • Class organization:


  • Student contribution:

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Use of PPT 

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  • Six-hour arrangement

   1---2: lead-in, global understanding

   3---4: textual analysis

             text-based, activity-based

   5---6: discussion, drills, quiz

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Student contribution 

  • Guide to preparation
  • Presentation
  • Quiz
  • Essay
  • Exercise
  • Additional reading

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  • Well-designed textbook

   1. mastery of language

   2. reading skills

   3. cultural and moral education

   4. critical thinking

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Lesson 1 
Thinking as a Hobby 

By William Golding

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Beyond the leopard was a n________, m__________ gentleman, who sat, looking down, with his ____________ and his _____________. He seemed u________ miserable.

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Mr. Houghton 
thought with his  


What does Houghton��s neck stand for?

Which part of your body do you think with?

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  • 1. The famous star Jackie Chan uses this brand of hair shampoo and his hair is gorgeous. I��d like to try it too.
  • 2. Man is Creation��s masterpiece; but who says so?

                                          ----Elbert Hubbard

  • 3. The great masses of the people��will more easily fall victims to a big lie than to a small one.

                         ~ Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, 1933

  • 4. Learning without thought is labor lost.

                                        ------ Confucius

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Stick to truth,

Dare to lose 


Lag behind 


Group together 




Destructive  but not constructive 










mocking, satirical, cynical 

prejudiced, ignorant, hypocritical 





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  • Remorselessly: unstoppably

    The wind blows remorselessly.

    a remorseless pursuit

  • Ruthlessly: determinedly

    investigate the case ruthlessly

  • Furiously: fiercely, with a lot of energy

   I read furiously in my first year of college.

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Difficult sentences 

  • There is a kind of innocence in prejudices.

     Because grade-thinkers are often unaware of their prejudices (they believe sincerely they are doing the right thing), they cannot be blamed for making deliberately a wrong judgment.

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  • ��I no longer dismiss lightly a mental process which for nine tenths of the population is the nearest they will ever get to thought.��
  1. 9/10 of the population does grade-3 thinking.
  1. It is the best they can do in terms of thinking.
  2. I��ve learned not to ignore grade-3 thinking because��.

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  • Stampede

  in a mass, easily agitated, thoughtless, destructive

   a bank run


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Fox hunting 

  • http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/449139.stm
  • http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/418681.stm
  • Hunting ban in 2004, UK

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It��s not true!

What you said is self-contradictory! 

Look, I don��t care what everybody says.

Here��s the truth! 

I think so, because they all say so! 




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  • Reading skill: tracing, gap-filling
  • Stylistic appreciation:

    humor--- overstatement, defamiliarization

    parallelism--- P23, P25


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I would dust Venus and put her aside, for I have come to love her and know her for the fair thing she is. 

But I would put the Thinker, sunk in his desperate thought, where there were shadows before him –  

and at his back, I would put the leopard, crouched and ready to spring.

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��His work is characterized by exploration of 'the darkness of man's heart', deep spiritual and ethical questions.�� 

the Author 

William Golding (1911 – 1993), British writer,

1983 Nobel Prize Winner

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His best-known work: Lord of the Flies (1954) 

About a group of small British boys who lapse into violence after they have been stranded on a desert island and lost all adult guidance.  

Ironically the adult world is ...


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Questions for discussion 

  • Golding obviously does not think highly of mass wisdom or set institutions and conventions. Do you think he has good grounds?
  • What good can grade-1 thinking bring us since it is so costly/perilous?
  • Do you think it��s possible to be a grade-1 thinker?

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  • We think so because other people all think so; or because – or because – after all we do think so; or because we were told so, and think we must think so; or because we once thought so, and think we still think so; or because, having thought so, we think we will think so��

                                   -------Henry Sidgwick

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  • "God gave us two ends. One to sit on and one to think with. Success depends on which one you use; heads you win -- tails, you lose."

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  • What are the three grades of thinking? Can you offer an example for each of them (e.g. historical figures, fictional characters or real people in your life)?
  • What do the three statuettes symbolize separately? How do the three ways of arrangement (para. 9, 34, 48) reflect the three levels of thinking? How would you arrange them to reflect your own moral, coherent, logical system of living? 
  • Why does the author include the episode of his encounter with Einstein? Does it help you understand what first grade thinking is? If not, what is his purpose? 


  • Why does Golding structure his essay as a narrative? How would you write an essay about ��three grades of thinking�� instead? Which style may have the better effect?

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  • 4. 5. 6. The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.
  •    ~ Bertrand Russell

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  • 8. The great masses of the people��will more easily fall victims to a big lie than to a small one.
  •    ~ Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, 1933
  • 9. Any formal attack on ignorance is bound to fail because the masses are always ready to defend their most precious possession – their ignorance.
  •    ~ Hendrik Van Loon

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  • 10. A rich man is slave to his possessions. In order to obtain a quantity of false goods he has sold the only true, lasting good, his own independence.

                                                   -------- Diogenes

  • 11. We think so because other people all think so; or because – or because – after all we do think so; or because we were told so, and think we must think so; or because we once thought so, and think we still think so; or because, having thought so, we think we will think so��

                                             -------Henry Sidgwick

12.Learning without thought is labor lost.

  •                                             ------- Confucius


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  • Describe the statue of Rodin��s Thinker from the perspectives of three grades of thinkers.

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  • Analysing by considering the ELEMENTS: 
  • Point of view –
  • Purpose –
  • Question at issue –
  • Concepts –
  • Information –
  • Interpretation and inference –
  • Assumptions –
  • Implications and consequences –    

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  • Produce a SEE-I on the topic of :


   I think it is _____________ to become a grade-one thinker. 

Come to the class with your SEE-I on Friday





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Lord of the Flies 
(movie: directed by Peter Brook)

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The resounding question�� 

  • Is Man born good or evil???

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Some other works 




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At the Nobel Prize Reception 

"Twenty-five years ago I accepted the label 'pessimist' thoughtlessly without realising that it was going to be tied to my tail�� Critics have dug into my books until they could come up with something that looked hopeless. I can't think why. I don't feel hopeless myself�� Under some critical interrogation I named myself a universal pessimist but a cosmic optimist���� 

To listen to his Nobel lecture, please visit http://nobelprize.org/literature/laureates/1983/golding-lecture.html

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  • To know more about the writer, please visit:


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  • Theme:


    - What are the three grades of thinking?

   - What is the purpose of the article?


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  • Style


   -- contrast in style between the two parts:  

   -- humor, sarcasm, self-mockery        

   -- parallel structures

   -- simile, metaphor & metonymy


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  • Structure


   Para. 1 – Para. 22: Introduction

   Para. 23 – Para. 24: Grade-three thinking

   Para. 25 – Para. 29: Grade-two thinking

   Para. 30 – Para. 35: Grade-one thinking

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Detailed Study 

Section I

(Para. 1 – Para. 15) 

At the headmaster��s office

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Don��t you ever think at all? 

Then you��d better learn – hadn��t you? 

That��s what a man looks like when he��s really thinking.

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  • Why was he a frequent visitor to the headmaster��s study?

   (because of the latest thing I had done or left undone) 

  • What would he do when he found himself in a penal position before the headmaster��s desk?

   (sink his head, writhe his shoe, stare down at the worn rug) 

  • What would he see when he was demanded to look up?


Comprehension Qs

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��frozen in an eternal panic lest��

��in an unfortunate position to��

��busy being �� 

Next to her, crouched��, ready to�� 

Beyond the leopard was��

He seemed ______ly miserable.

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  • Defamiliarization:

    a technique by which the writer disrupts our habitual perception of the world and enables us to see things afresh.

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Alternative perspectives

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Humor (2) 

  • Exaggeration:


    para. 9 

    ��contemplate��, ��hindquarters��


    ��inspecting the universe��

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  • Why couldn��t he communicate with the headmaster?

   (nothing human behind the headmaster��s spectacles when they caught the light) 

  • What was the conclusion he came to in the end?

   (he couldn��t think – something missing in him; others claimed they could think; there were three grades of thinking) 

  • What does the story between the headmaster and the boy tell us?

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Mr. Houghton 

Now, boys! Deep breaths! Feel it right down inside you – huge draughts of God��s good air!

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Comprehension Qs 

What he claimed

  • Telling me to think
  • He had thought a bit himself.
  • Always talking about the clean life and the virtues of fresh air.
  • High-minded monologues about the good life, sexless and full of duty.

What he did

  • Heavy drinking
  • Health ruined
  • Unaccustomed to fresh air
  • Watching girls out of sight
  • Settled detestation of France & America

What kind of person was Mr. Houghton? 


He thought with his neck. (irrational, illogical, hypocritical, biased ��)

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He would stand before us, put his hands on his waist and take a ___________breath. You could hear the wind, _________in his chest and ______________with all the unnatural ________________. His body would _________with shock and his face _______white at the unaccustomed _____________. He would __________back to his desk and ___________there, __________ for the rest of the morning. 











Check on Preview

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  • Three statuettes

    introduction of the subject; foreshadowing

  • The headmaster

    the purpose of the article: how to educate people to think

  • Mr. Houghton

    a living example of grade-three thinker 

How I started to think;

my first step towards thinking 


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Additional question: 

  • In the original essay, Golding mentioned he later changed the positions of the three statuettes and also told us if he had had chance again, he would have rearranged them in a different way. Besides the humorous effect, does it imply anything else? How would you arrange the three statuettes?

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Section II 
(Para. 23 – 24) 
Grade-three Thinking

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  • Discussion:

    Provide an example of each grade of thinking.

  • Paraphrasing:

   often there is a kind of innocence in prejudices.

   I no longer dismiss lightly�� to thought. (24)

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  • How did the author deal with grade-three thinkers at first?
  • Did he changed his idea about this group of people later? What do you think happened in his encounter with the pious lady? 


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  • Grade-3 thinking:

   - prejudice

   - ignorance

   - hypocrisy 


    rather than


  • Grade-3 thinkers:

   - majority

   - solidarity

   - dangerousness 



    the same way

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Section III 
(Para. 25 – 29) 
Grade-two thinking

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    Grade- 3 thinkers 

  • Majority
  • Self-contradiction
  • Stampede, jump on the bandwagon
  • Delight in their solidarity
  • Innocent stupidity


   Grade- 2 thinkers 

  • Minority
  •  the contradictions
  • Lag behind, withdraw from the crowd
  • Delight in laughing at others
  • Destruction without construction

What kind of follies and contradictions did the author detect?

Para. 25

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��But the Catholic��s Vulgate is also literally inspired. So which is true, which is false?�� 

��The Bible was literally inspired. It was written in God��s exact words. So it must be true.��

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History of the Bible

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Old Testament


New Testament



LATIN (4th Cen.) 

King James�� Bible

ENGLISH (17th Cen.)

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There were an awful lot of Methodists, and they couldn��t be wrong, could they – not all those millions? 

If we were counting heads, the Buddhists were the boys for my money

The combination of my arm & those

countless Buddhists was too much for her.

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  • What is wrong with Ruth��s claim?

   jumping onto the bandwagon 

  • What lessons can we draw from William��s failed romance with Ruth?

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How to court? 

Flowers never fail.

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The price for being a grade-2 thinker�� 

  • It ��could be costly as well as fun��.
  • It ��did not make for content��. 
  • It ��satisfies the young ego but does not make for personal security��
  • It ��took the swimmer out of his depth��.
  • It asks ��what is truth?�� and stops there.

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Pontius Pilate as a typical grade-2 thinker 

  • Pontius Pilate

     Roman Governor



    ( 26—37 A.D.) 

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  • "Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I  into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Everyone that is of the truth heareth my voice. " (John 18:37)
  • "What is truth?" and left without waiting for the answer.
  • Cynical indifference

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declined in interest, became dull 

Argument flagged. (Para. 26) 


  •  Language study

Do you still remember 
Russell Baker��s mother, 
who needed a pep talk to 
recharge her flagging spirit

An awful flicker of doubt appeared in her eyes. 


Interest, appetite, conversation 


waver, flutter, tremble 

A brief or slight sensation 


shadows, leaves, candles

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Section IV 
(Para. 30 – 35) 
Grade-one thinking

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Fisch. Ja. Ja. 

Here��s a real grade-one thinker! How I aspire to them!

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  • Why did the author decide to become a grade-one thinker? What is the suggestion of the meeting between him and Einstein?
  • What might be grade-one thinking like? 


Comprehension Qs 






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  • Can you give any examples of grade-1 thinking?
  • What are the prices for grade-one thinking? 


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  • Can you think of any examples of these three grades of thinking in our history?





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Essay Question 

Choose one topic to write an essay of about 400 words.

  • Give a brief description of the three grades of thinking with your own illustrations.
  • What kind of thinker are you? (Analyze the thoughts you have had on a recent issue, and explain why those thoughts result from grade-one, grade-two, or grade-three thinking.)
  • ��I think it is ____________ to be a grade-one thinker��


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Group discussion 

  • What kind of thinker are you?
  • How can we develop a habit of thinking? 


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  • Grade-two thinking is a withdrawal (from what?), with eyes and ears open (for what?).

    grade-two thinkers detach themselves from the crowd, while keeping alert for detecting their mistakes. They are on-lookers and commentators of others�� behavior.

  • But there are compensations (for what? In what way?).

    though being a grade-two thinker I suffer from my inability to find any useful solutions, I can make up by finding some fun out of others�� follies.  


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Summary: blank-filling  

I discovered that grade-three thinking is often full of ________ prejudice, ignorance and hypocrisy. More properly, it is ________, rather than thought.

But it is not to be  ________ lightly for it engages nine tenths of the population. They have immense ________. We had better respect them, for we are _________ and surrounded.  







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Grade-two thinking is the ___________ of contradictions. Grade-two thinkers do not _______ easily, though often they fall into the other fault and _____ behind. Grade-two thinking is a __________. It destroys without having the power to create.

Grade-two thinking, though it filled life with fun and excitement, did not bring  ________. To find out the _________ of our elders satisfies the young ____ but does not make _______ personal security.  








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These grade-one thinkers were few and ___________. They did not visit my grammar school in the ______ though they were there in books. I ________ to them, because I now saw my hobby as an unsatisfactory thing if it went no _________. I therefore decided that I would be a grade-one thinker. I ________ in the end with what must always remain the ___________ for grade-one thinking. I ________ a coherent system for living. It was a moral system, which was wholly ______.  

far between 




came up 




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  • Language study


  1. Since she had no arms, she was ___ an unfortunate ______ to pull the towel up again.
  2. Whenever I found myself in a ________ position, I would��
  3. I was not integrated. I was, ________, disintegrated.
  4. Nature had ______ the rest of the human race ____ a sixth sense and let me out.
  1. She was not generous. She was, ________,  rather miserly. 
  2. Everyone is ___________ some talent. We only have to find it out on our own.

3. According to Rachel Carson, man is the only species that is ________ to alter the nature of his world. 



in a position 

if anything 

if anything 



endowed with 


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Language study 

  1. Mr. Houghton was _________ high-minded monologues.
  2. I ___________ the grade-one thinkers.
  3. In the prewar days, I ___________ lose a great deal.

  1. We all ___________ a good command of English.
  2. He ____________ stardom (= he aspired to _________ a star).
  3. He was __________ blushing in front the teacher.
  4. We ___________ make lots of money out of the deal.
  5. Harry potter knows that he has friends who��d ________ him whatever happens.
  6. I want to know what she ___________ before I vote for her.

stand to 

stand by 

stands for

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Additional translation 

  • Slip


     My foot slipped and I nearly fell.


    These few weeks slipped by.


    The terrorists had slipped through the airport��s security net.


    My friend slipped him some money on the train in order to get a hard berth.   

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   I��m sorry I missed your birthday; it completely slipped my mind.


   You��re not going to let a chance like that slip through your fingers, are you?


    She let slip that she��s going to leave the company. (to let slip that / to slip out )


  n. a slip of paper; a slip of tongue / pen; a woman��s slip����ȹ��

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  • Learning without thought is labor lost.

                                                         -- Confucius 

  • Man is but a reed, the most feeble thing in nature, but he is a thinking reed (һ���˼����«έ).

-- Blaise Pascal 

  • Reading furnishes the mind only with materials of knowledge; it is thinking that makes what we read ours.

-- John Locke 


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  • "God gave us two ends. One to sit on and one to think with. Success depends on which one you use; heads you win -- tails, you lose."

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Use our head! 


Thank you!

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Lord of the Flies

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  • Beelzebub


  • Christian myth, one of the powerful seraphim first recruited by Satan. He became associated with flies because he had sent a plague of the insects to Canaan. He may also have become known as the "Lord of the Flies" because of the popular belief that decaying corpses generated flies.
  • when summoned by sorcerers or witches, he would appear in the form of a fly, a gargantuan cow, or a male goat with a long tail. He had a tendency to vomit flames if he was angered 
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