Religious motifs : Overview. Search. About religious motifs

The motif Wedding is a part of: Ritual


Ritual, love, marriage

Description of this motif: Weddings are based on the church's wedding ritual, which unites two people in the sacred bonds of marriage. In Andersen's tales weddings usually are described as in a traditional folk tale: the hero gets the princess in the end, and they live happpily ever after.

Example :

Then they walked hand in hand through the street s of Kjge, and looked very respectable even on the wrong side; no one could have found any fault with them. On they went, straight toward Kjge Church, and Knud and Johanne followed them – they, too, walked hand in hand. The church stood there as it had always stood, with the beautiful green ivy growing on its red walls, and the great door of the church swung open, and the organ pealed, and the gingerbread couple walked up the aisle.

"Our master first," said the cake pair, and made room for Johanne and Knud to kneel before the altar. And she bent her head over him, and the tears fell from her eyes, but they were icy cold, for it was the ice around her heart that was melting, softened by his strong love.

The tears fell upon his burning cheeks, and then he awoke – and he was sitting under the old willow tree in a foreign land on that cold winter evening; an icy hail from the could s was beating on his face.

"That was the most wonderful hour of my life!" he cried. "And it was just a dream. Oh, God, let me dream again!

Then he closed his eyes once more and dreamed again.

Comment on this quote:

Knud's wish comes true in a dream: he is united with the beloved in church. he awakes, but prefers to dream on, in spite of the obvious dangers of sleeping sitting in the cold. He chooses the dream and death instead of life, and he is found dead in the snow the next day, like the little match girl and the old oak tree.

The motif of tears, that sets free, is reversed: In The Snow Queen Gerda's tears thaw Kay's frozen heart, but her her icecold tears fall on his cheek and wake him up to the tragic reality.