Ármann Jakobsson. Troublesome Children in the Sagas of Icelanders

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  • Author: Ármann Jakobsson
  • Title: Troublesome Children in the Sagas of Icelanders
  • Published in: Saga-Book 27
  • Year: 2003
  • Pages:5-24
  • E-text:
  • Reference: Ármann Jakobsson. "Troublesome Children in the Sagas of Icelanders." Saga-Book 27 (2003): 5-24.

  • Key words: social reality, characterization, history, literary elements (samfélagsmynd, persónusköpun, sagnfræði, bókmenntaleg einkenni)


Contents

Annotation

Jakobsson uses the depiction of children in the Sagas of Icelanders to study medieval attitudes towards children. Egill is depicted as a particularly violent child but the descriptions of his difficult attitude otherwise may not in fact be so different from the ‘normal’ rebellious behaviour of a young child. However, the child Egill’s characteristics are consistent with those of the adult Egill. In fact, they are more excusable in the child than they are in the adult, whose behaviour demonstrates an aggressive, childish lack of moderation. Egill is compared with the young Grettir of Grettis saga, who differs from Egill most significantly in that his nature changes as an adult whereas Egill remains fundamentally immature.

Lýsing

Ármann notar lýsingar á börnum úr Íslendingasögum til að kanna viðhorf miðaldamanna til barna. Agli er lýst sem óvenjulega ofbeldisfullu barni en að öðru leyti gætu lýsingar sögunnar á erfiðri skaphöfn hans átt við hvaða óþekka barn sem er. Það vekur hins vegar athygli að persónuleiki barnsins Egils er hliðstæður þeim persónuleika sem Egill sýnir á fullorðinsárum. Auðveldara er að bera í bætifláka fyrir þessi einkenni í tilviki barnsins en hins fullorðna manns. Í síðara tilvikinu ber ofbeldisfull hegðun vott um barnalegt hömluleysi. Ármann ber Egil saman við Gretti úr Grettis sögu. Grettir þroskast eftir því sem hann eldist á meðan Egill gerir það ekki.

See also

References

Chapter 31: í þökk skáldskap sinn: "The verses earn popularity for Egill and the episode could be taken to indicate that it is with his poetry that Egillwill win the favour of others. Thus it foreshadows his later successful attempt to escape death and the wrath of King Eiríkr through poetry” (p. 13).


Chapter 40: lét sér fátt um finnast: "In any psychological discussion of Egils saga, this paternal indifference would obviously make for a very promising explanation of Egill’s difficult character" (p. 13).

Links

  • Written by: Jane Appleton
  • Icelandic translation: Jón Karl Helgason
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