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The Balder myth has many analogues in mythology and world religion, i.e., tales in which a just, virtuous, beautiful or well-loved deity ends up dying unfairly in a manner that grieves the heavens and earth. Lewis wrote of how he loved Balder before he loved Christ (i.e., converted to Christianity). Tolkien, a devout Catholic, sought to convert Lewis to Christianity.

Key instances are the legends of consort-deities like Adonis in ancient Greece or Tammuz in the ancient Middle East, or in the New Testament tradition, the sacrificial death of Christ. As an atheist before his conversion, Lewis struggled with the fact that precursors and analogues to the Christian narrative long predated the New Testament account, which made Lewis doubt the historicity of the Gospel narratives. Tolkien's argument was basically that, while it was historically certain that analogues to the Christ-tale preexisted (and may have influenced) the accounts in the gospels, God took the human myths and made them literally real in the story of Christ, i.e, that the older myths were symptomatic of human desires for forgiveness, grace, and wondrous resurrection, and that God took the human stories, with their archetypes, symbols, and wish fulfillment, and designed his plan for salvation as a literal enactment of these older myths, finally giving us what humans had always sought in the pagan legends.

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Shakespeare in particular is often referred to as "the Bard" or "the Bard of Avon" in spite of the fact he wrote in the Renaissance, long after the heyday of Celtic bards.

The modern day has seen a sort of revival of bardic performance since 1822, when the ancient bardic performance contests were revived in Wales.

BACHIC FOOT: A three-syllable foot of poetry consisting of a light stress followed by two heavy stresses.

This verse pattern was not unknown in Greek verse, but is fairly rare in English verse.

The gods of Aesir have funeral rites for Balder, burning him in a longship.

During their lamentation, the father-god Odin sends the messenger-god Hermod to ask the goddess Hel (keeper of the souls of the dead in Niffleheim) to release Balder back to the Aesir.These contests are called in Welsh Eisteddfodau (singular Eisteddfod).In modern Welsh, the term bardd refers to any participant who has competed in an Eisteddfod.The story of Christ's death and resurrection seemed merely an echo of hundreds of similar myths compiled in James Frazer's . This argument is what finally persuaded Lewis to convert.: In common parlance, song hits, folk music, and folktales or any song that tells a story are loosely called ballads.An example of a phrase that corresponds in meter to the Bachic foot is "BAD QUARTO: In the jargon of Shakespearean scholars, a "bad quarto" is a copy of the play that a disloyal actor would recreate from memory and then submit for publication in a rival publishing house without the consent of the author.

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