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Kalevala Essay | Critical Essay #2

This Study Guide consists of approximately 118 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Kalevala.
This section contains 633 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
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Critical Essay #2

In the middle ages, the emerging nations of Europe used quasi- historical literature to forge national idendities. France's Song of Roland glorified Charlemagne and Frankish valor, while the Arthurian legends captured the English imagination. As paganism gave way to the universalizing force of Christianity, Icelandic poets rescued the Norse gods from oblivion, giving the Scandinavian people a link to their pre-Christian past and a source of ethnic cohesion. For these and other European countries, transferring oral mythology into writing was part of a process of self-definition.

Finland's legends, however, remained unrecorded into the nineteenth century. The church had attempted to banish the ancient Finnish demigods, shaman-heroes, and nature spirits, and centuries of cultural and political domination by Sweden had driven the legends even further to the periphery of the nation's cultural life. Preserved only in the songs of peasants, these myths were unknown to the outside world and...

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This section contains 633 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Kalevala Study Guide
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Kalevala from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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