Clunies Ross, Margaret. The Art of Poetry and the Figure of the Poet in Egils Saga

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  • Author: Clunies Ross, Margaret
  • Title: The Art of Poetry and the Figure of the Poet in Egils Saga
  • Published in: Sagas of Icelanders
  • Editor: John Tucker.
  • Place, Publisher: New York: Garland
  • Year: 1989
  • Pages: 126-44
  • E-text:
  • Reference: Clunies Ross, Margaret. "The Art of Poetry and the Figure of the Poet in Egils Saga." Sagas of Icelanders, pp. 126–44. Ed. John Tucker. New York: Garland, 1989.

  • Key words: characterization, literary elements (persónusköpun, bókmenntaleg einkenni)


Contents

Annotation

Examines the nature of Egill as a less noble, morally less worthy figure, and how this is reconciled with the presumed Christian morality of the thirteenth-century saga writer by giving Egill such profound poetic talent. The attitude to poets at the time was such that they were attributed special or even supernatural powers, for example being able to practice seiðr (a type of sorcery) and use runes for magic. The audience is more likely to sympathise with Egill because of his talents and imagination and because some of his negative traits are linked to his melancholia which was connected with ‘poetic frenzy’ (132) and enhanced imagination at the time.

Lýsing

Clover fjallar um einkenni Egils sem frumstæðrar og siðferðilega brenglaðrar persónu og bendir á hvernig þrettándu aldar höfundur sögunnar, sem aðhyllist væntanlega kristilegt siðgæði, vegur upp á móti þeim einkennum með því að gera Egil að mögnuðu skáldi. Á sinni tíð var talið að skáld hefðu sérstaka og jafnvel yfirnáttúrulega gáfu; þau gætu til dæmis magnað seið, sem var eins konar galdur, og rist rúnir með svipuðum árangri. Vegna hæfileika Egils og töfrandi hugmyndaflugs, og þar sem sumir hinna neikvæðu eiginleika hans eru tengdir þunglyndinu (sem virðist jafnvel afleiðing af skáldagáfunni), eru áheyrendur og lesendur sögunnar líklegri en ella til að hafa samúð með persónu hans.

See also

References

Chapter 59: reist rúnar á stönginni: "The poet’s mastery of runic magic can also be seen as having its parallel in the miracle-working powers of saints, and it is in this sphere, as well as in his níð-verses directed against the tyrannous Eiríkr bloodaxe, that Egill uses his poetic gifts for positive good" (s. 140).

Links

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