Analysis Of Alfred In G. K. Chesterton's The Ballad Of The White Horse

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Alfred the Great, the famous Saxon King during the late 800s is the main character in G.K. Chesterton’s The Ballad of the White Horse. History tells us that Alfred is the one responsible for protecting England’s Christian religion from Danish pagans in England. Alfred lost much of his authoritative power as a result of the successful attacks from Danish tribes. Reacting quickly, Alfred constructs an army by asking three of his closest friends, better known as chiefs, to each assemble an individual army. Alfred convinces Eldred, Colan, and Mark to wage war against the powerful pagan foe by explicitly explaining how Mary, the Mother of God appeared to him at Athelney. Alfred and his armies are powerfully changed in each of the two apparitions they experience with Mary; one being at the eve of the battle, and the second occurring during the brink of defeat. Because of Mary’s presence, Alfred’s armies become more trusting, self-giving, and encouraged in defeating their pagan foes. Mary’s appearance to Alfred at the …show more content…
Speaking to Eldred, Colan, and Mark, Alfred proclaims that “Out of the mouth of the Mother of God…I go gathering Christian men… To die in a battle” (p. 23). Even though each of the three know they are fighting a battle in which they have no chance to win, the three chiefs are convinced by Mary’s appearance to Alfred. Eldred, Colan, and Mark each consent into his desires, knowing how much harm they may endure. They proclaim that the safety of the Christian religion requires their service. Each one of the friends explain to their army that if they die, they all wanted to be laid down in specific spots. Eldred chooses the peacefulness of his farm, Colon chooses where the highest trees climb, and Mark wishes to be buried on Roman ground. These armies faithfully fight to the very point of convincing themselves of

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