Professor: Peter Austin
Due Date: Feb 22/2013
THE TRAGEDY OF LUST
The tragedy of lust
In the play Anne Pedersdotter the author describes the Middle Ages period where the witchcraft is severely punished by inquisition and there is belief that the evil forces in the face of Satan and his powers are present. The play presents a very exciting and tragic fate of the priest Absalon who is widower and takes young beautiful woman called Anne as a wife. He also has a son called Martin who is in love with his young wife. Being a very honest, deliberate and honorable man, the Priest makes a big mistake by saving the life of Anne’s mother who was convicted to death for witchcraft. He puts his personal motives and interests first instead of punishing the mother of Anne and marrying young lady while being blinded by her beauty. At the end of the play Absalon finds out that Martin and his young wife are both in love with each other. In a short dialogue, his wife tells him that she never loved the Priest and he dies. After that, Anne is convicted of summoning the dark forces and thus killing the father of Martin. Absolon creates such circumstances that result in the terrible and tragic fate of Anne Pedersdotter. Above and beyond that, Martin is loved by the young lady and they have a very strong love affair where Absolon is complication. Finally, Merete dislikes Absalon’s wife and creates
We certainly try to empathize with the Absalon because he is portrayed as decent and noble Priest who fights evil forces in the times of darkness and danger. His mother Meret, who brought her son in strict and conservative traditions, could not withstand his possession of Anne. Absalon’s mother disliked his wife. The old priest finds a joy marrying a young bride while forgetting his main meaning in life which is a witch hunt. “I was blinded by your beauty…But I took your youth without payment” (77-78). The tragic end of Pedersdotter which is accusation of her being a witch and killing her husband is the result of her being unhappy, dissatisfied with the marriage. Anne says, “You robbed me of my joy…But have you given me one happy moment?” It is obvious that while being forced to live with the husband who Anne disliked, the lust was struggling to break free and that is when she sees Martin and falls in love with him.
Martin is a very interesting character in the play. He appears as the son of the Priest and immediately is stunned by the looks of his father’s wife. He understands that Pedersdotter feels alienated to Absalon. We certainly see that the Author tries to convey to us. It is a message that there cannot be love when it is not mutual. Martin is young and ambitious man and his father looks very old and dull for young and gorgeous woman like Anne. Martin is not to blame for Anne’s tragic fate because he defends her until the last. “He was taken suddenly, by a sudden death…no human being is to blame for my father’s sudden death” (89) Absalon’s son explains that Anne cannot be blamed for the tragic death of his father. Morevover, it is not reasonable to accuse her of witchcraft or summoning evil forces. His father dies from sudden heart failure and not the will of Anne.
Merete is another wonderful character that we may observe during the play. Being the Priest’s mother, she completely dislikes Anne and tries to explain Martin that Absalon’s relationship is misfortune and it would bring only sorrow to her. “Anne’s mother should have gone the same road. But instead of that, my son takes her daughter to wife” (66). Merete is the only character who does care about her son. In the play, it is clearly visible that she foresees the moment the relationship would bring the escalation of conflict which results in the death of the Priest and the tragic end of his wife.
In the end of the play Anne Pedersdotter we are excited by how small mistakes in life lead to the tragic circumstances. During a play, reader may feel sorry for Absalon who chooses dangerous path and influences on the destinies of himself and Anne. Martin is definitely not to blame for the tragic end of Anne because they find themselves happy and understand that there is no choice than to be together. Merete seems to be the only adequate and deliberate person in the whole play who tries to prevent her son from the tragedy.
Wiers-Jennsen, H..”Anne Pedersdotter”. “ Little,Brown,And Company”.