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Man, punishment, eternity, life, death

Description of this motif:

The wandering Jew is, according to a medieval legend a jew,who hit the suffering Jesus and therefore was condemned to eternal, restless wandering. The common details of the legend are known from a German polpular book from 1602 (Danish 1607): the name is Ahasverus, he was a shoemaker and had the nicknames The eternal/Wandering Jew and the Jerusalem's Shoemaker.

The wandering Jew is present in Andersens's oeuvre as early as 1829, in the debut book Fodreise, and the figure is a lead character in the ambitious drama Ahasverus (1847).