The story of David is the greatest single narrative representation in antiquity of a human life evolving by slow stages through time, shaped by the pressures of political life, family, the impulses of body and spirit, and the eventual sad decay of the flesh. In its main character, it provides the first full-length portrait of a Machiavellian prince in Western literature.. "The beautiful, musical David, loved by all, resourceful slayer of Goliath, is revealed through his life to be a calculating political animal. To advance his own cause, he becomes a collaborator with the archenemies of Israel, the Philistines. Later he commits adultery with Bathsheba, and compounds the betrayal with murder. But through the author's empathy and skill, David also emerges as a fully realized character, a man of passion and intelligence who navigates the ambiguities of belief, loyalty, ambition, temptation, and circumstance with uneven success.