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The motif Ghost in HCA : Et Børneeventyr (1831)
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The Hans Christian Andersen Center

The motif Ghost in HCA : Et Børneeventyr (1831)

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Religious motifs : Overview. Search. About religious motifs

Ghost contains among others: Sea ghost, The bone-horse, The grave-pig

Keywords:

Ghost, dead, death, soul

Description of this motif: A ghost is a dead person's soul, that has returned from the other side or never has been set free from this world despite death. The early tale "Dødningen" ('The dead man', 1830) and later "The Traveling Companion" (1838) is about a ghost, who helps the young Johannes, because he unselfishly saved the dead man's corpse from abuse.

Example :

The tale has not been translated (by Hersholt) and is therefore quoted in Danish. Further information and links.

Aldrig kunde dog hans gode Hjerte troe en saadan; ja, da han til sidst døde og kom ned i den store Marmorkiste, fik han dog ingen Ro og man siger, han vandrer endnu om paa Jorden, som en usalig Aand, fordi han aldrig fik sin Længsel stillet.

Comment on this quote:

The good, innocent king in "Et Børne-Eventyr" ("A children's fairytale") in the travelogue Skyggebilleder ("Rambles", 1831) will give his daughter away to a man, that can tell him a lie, which he realizes is a lie. That doesn't happen in his lifetime, even though the court lied all that it could, and therefore, according to the legend, he wanders about as an unhappy spirit. A ghost, that can be set free by an irresistible lie – and the traveling Andersen can tell such a lie to the ghost, who suddenly appears. Andersen has seen a terrible play at the theatre: "Drei Tage aus dem Leben eines Spielers" by Victor Ducange, tells. He tells the play's story to the old king, and he realizes that that must be a lie. Such things do not happen in real life.

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