According to the small introduction to Esther in my Bible I am meant to admire her courage and devotion to her people. I do not see any courage or devotion. What I see is a woman who carries out the instruction of her cousin and those around her to flatter a man of power. I do not find out anything of Esther’s own thoughts, morals or soul to admire – we are told very little about them.
Now she has every right to act in this way much as some women do today (and maybe a handful of men too for all I know except they do not receive the same attention) – acting in a certain way and dressing and making themselves up in a certain way to attract the attention of the rich and powerful. The only objection I have to all this is when they then complain about the treatment they receive. If you are willing to sell your soul, fine, but you have to accept that in this case there are sacrifices that will have to be made, certain facets of life that you will have to give up in order to live the life you have ultimately chosen to pursue.