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The Norse tale of Ragnarok Essay

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The Norse tale of Ragnarok presents an interesting example of apocalyptic literature by providing both an end and a unique beginning. The world which rises from the cosmic rubble seems to be essentially equivalent to that which the apocalypse destroyed, possessing the same creatures, features and Gods of times past. This considered, and by incorporating themes of time and fate, Snorri challenges the concepts of the past, present and future of Norse lore by providing a framework which allows for the potential reiteration of history. By reviewing The Prose Edda’s telling of the events surrounding Ragnarok, the relationship between fate, time and history provide a unique alternative to the standard eschatological timeline. The Prose Edda…show more content…
Instead the Gods are awarded most of the spotlight. Unlike John’s Revelation, The Poetic Edda offers no guidance to man on how to confront this issue, nor does it offer any means of escape. Therefor, it can be assumed that man has no effect on the end, except possibly by way of untrimmed nails and scrap leather (Snorri, 72). However, by presenting deities that possess more human characteristics, who have weaknesses and quarrels, they become the relatable entities within the text. Introductions established, The Edda continues by exhibiting the questioning of Odin, chief of the Gods, by Gylfi, a traveling king (Snorri, 10). Gylfi asks about the race of Gods, to which Odin tells the story of his wife Frigg and their favorite son Balder. The purity of whom foreshadows his future significance. Balder, Odin responds, suffered from a series of foreboding dreams which prompts Frigg’s to take maternal action. She traveled the world, requiring an oath from every substance and material that they will not harm her son. Thus protected, Balder could bear the abuse of swords, sticks and fire without sustaining injury (Snorri, 65). Here Odin introduces of Loki, the trickster God, who becomes jealous of Balder’s immunity. While disguised, Loki asks Frigg “ ‘Have all things given their oath not to harm Balder?’ Frigg answers, ‘A shoot of wood grows to the west of Valhalla. It is called Mistletoe, and it seemed too young for me to demand its
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