Anne Pedersdotter

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Anne Pedersdotter

Anne meets a tragic fate based on events that take place with Absolon and Martin

throughout the play Anne Pedersdotter. Both Relationships play an important role in the

final outcome. Lies, Truths, Untruths and Unknowns weigh down on Anne making her

believe that she may actually be a witch, without someone to set her straight she comes to

her own conclusions through grief and sadness.

Absolon’s relationship with Anne throughout the play is quite strained. Although Anne is

Absolon’s wife she is not the mistress of the house, Merete however, Absolon’s mother a

woman of 80 seems to have the most control in the household and bears a grudge against

Anne and makes her life in Absolon’s house unpleasant. The first sign of trouble begins

when Absolon is grievenced with the news that Herlof’s Marte (accused as a witch and

Anne’s mother) has passed away; this reminds him that he disobeyed his priestly duties

by having her accuited of burning as a witch so he could marry Anne, for as the daughter

of a witch she too would have burned at the stake. Absolon confesses this truth to Anne

and in doing so plants the idea in her head which she states… “I am wondering if I

inherited from her” (52) where she is then cut off by Absolon telling her to not be

tempted by the devil. Being an older man Absolon cannot satisfy Anne’s primal urges he

tells her… “I took your youth without payment” (79) without the love of her husband she

is forced to look for compassion some where else, namely Absolon’s son Martin.

Martin also plays an important role in the end result. Anne having found out her mother

was a witch and she potentially had inherited her mother’s powers, as a witch was eager

to try them out, finding no compassion (sexual favours) from absolon she turned to

Martin. Thinking she was using her powers she called Martins name ever so softly as if to

summon him, when he arrived in her doorway shortly after and the two of them engaged

in some hanky panky this led her to believe all the more that she really was a witch. In

fact it was likely Martin would have arrived even without Anne supposedly summoning

him, because Martin fancied Anne all along. The two engage in a conversation when they

first meet in the play about how they remember each other from their childhood where

Martin confesses… “It seems as if I remembered you ever since then. All the time” (23)

somewhat signifying that he was always thinking of her. Martin is worried of the sin that

he and Anne have committed, adultery being a great sin in the eyes of a the church, also

that he is a priest and is cheating with his fathers wife. Martin tells Anne… “If it were all

undone, I’d come back to you. To your love.” (70) he also tells her he could love only

her, this strengthens her resolve to shake Absolon from her life, so long as her and Martin

are together she thinks nothing else matters. This leads to the conversation where Anne

tells Absolon she wishes him dead, Absolon in a way eggs Anne on by reminding her of

the things he’s done to her and eventually she tells him… “I’ve given myself to your son.

Now you know it! I wish you dead.” (79) this situation leads Anne to believe all the more

that she is a witch, in her eyes she had wished someone dead and they died, unbeknownst

to her the Absolon had a bad heart and the shock of the news gave him a heart attack. The

final straw is at Absolons funeral when Merete Accuses Anne of being a witch, she cares

little for Anne and knows she cheated on her son with her grandson, in this instance

Martin had the power to save her, but he took his chance when Merete says… “I’ll tell

you why he defends her. She has bewitched him.” (91) Martin draws away from Anne

and leaves her to defend herself.

In Conclusion Absolon is more to blame for the final outcome of the play, he plants the

idea in Anne’s...
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