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The motif The Holy Spirit in HCA : The Marsh King's Daughter (1858)
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The motif The Holy Spirit in HCA : The Marsh King's Daughter (1858)

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Religious motifs : Overview. Search. About religious motifs

The motif The Holy Spirit is a part of: God

See also Baptism, Jesus Christ, Madonna, Whitsuntide

Keywords:

Spirit, God, trinity, Christianity

Description of this motif:

The Holy Spirit is in Christianity God's power, as it works in the lives of men. In Genesisman gets part of God's spirit, when Adam was given life by his Creator.

In the New Testament The Holy Spirit plays a central role in the life of Jesus: he is conceived by an act of The Holy Spirit; that's how his mother remained a virgin. At hi sbaptism and by his death The Holy Spirit appears.

The Holy Spirit is, according to christian dogmas a part of the trinity, which is constituted by God, Jesus Christ and The Holy Spirit.

The trinity and The Holy Spririt were theological matters, on which Andersen and his friend Ingemann didn't agree. The two were in many ways quite congenial and shared some rather unusual theological views, which in several ways didn't converge with the official Danish church. In opposition to Ingemann Andersen couldn't accept the mystical dogma of the trinity, and he never spoke of the Holy Spirit. God was, according to Andersen, one, and Jesus was mere a chosen man. A great man, but a man.

See also Allah.

Example 1:

Beside the grave mound lay the cross of green boughs that had been tied together with bark string, the last work of him who lay buried there. Helga picked it up, and the thought came to her to plant it between the stones that covered the man and the horse. Memory of the priest brought fresh tears to her eyes, and with a full heart she made cross marks in the earth around the grave, as a fence that would guard it well. When with both hands she made the sign of the cross, the webbed membrane fell from her fingers like a torn glove. She washed her hands at the forest spring, and gazed in amazement at their delicate whiteness. Again, in the air she made the holy sign between herself and the dead man. Her lips trembled, her tongue moved and the name she had heard the priest mention so often during their ride through the woods rose to her lips. She uttered the name of the Savior.

The frog's skin fell from her. Once more she was a lovely maiden. But her head hung heavy. She was much in need of rest, and she fell asleep.

However, she did not sleep for long. She awoke at midnight and saw before her the dead horse, prancing and full of life. A shining light came from his eyes and from the wound in his neck. Beside him stood the martyred Christian priest, "more beautiful than Balder," the Viking woman had truly said, for he stood in a flash of flame.

There was such an air of gravity and of righteous justice in the penetrating glance of his great, kind eyes, that she felt as if he were looking into every corner of her heart. Little Helga trembled under his gaze, and her memories stirred within her as though this were Judgement Day. Every kindness that had been done her, and each loving word spoken to her, were fresh in her mind. Now she understood how it had been love that sustained her through those days of trial, during which all creatures made of dust and spirit, soul and clay, must wrestle and strive. She realized that she had only obeyed the impulse of her inclinations. She had not saved herself. Everything had been given to her, and Providence had guided her. Now, in humility and shame, she bent before Him who could read every thought in her heart, and at that moment she felt the pure light of the Holy Spirit enter her soul.

Example 2:

The sun shone brightly in all its splendor. As in the old days when at the first touch of sunlight the frog's skin fell away to reveal a beautiful maiden, so now, in that baptism by the sun a form of heavenly beauty, clearer and purer than the air itself, rose as a bright beam to join the Father. The body crumbled to dust, and only a wilted lotus flower lay where she had knelt.

Comment on this quote:

This quote is, as the entire tale about Te Marsh King's Daughter, an outstanding example of Andersen telling about a connection between God, the spirit, the heavenly, nature, the Holy Spirit, baptism, birth and death, all united in a process of transformation.

Interpreting the baptism by the sun as the work of the Holy Spirit is possible, but it may indeed not have been the poet's intention, and the text does not refer explicitly to the motif.

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