Fox, Denton. Njáls Saga and the Western Literary Tradition

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  • Author: Fox, Denton
  • Title: Njáls Saga and the Western literary tradition.
  • Published in: Comparative Literature XV/4
  • Year: 1963
  • Pages: 289-310
  • E-text:
  • Reference: Fox, Denton. “Njáls Saga and the Western literary tradition.” Comparative Literature XV/4 (1963): 289-310.

  • Key words: epic, structure


Contents

Annotation

Fox begins this article by comparing Njáls Saga with the other great epics of western literature, such as The Iliad, The Odyssey, Beowulf, and Song of Roland. Beyond specific small similarities, such as knowledge of characters’ eventual fates, Fox focuses on the structure of the saga, how its make-up and more importantly its break-up mirrors the broken structures of the other epics. The structure of the saga helps the plot move by interrupting up the protagonists’ movements and mirroring their progress with the overall progress of medieval Icelandic culture from an honor-centered pagan past to law-focused and orderly Christian future.

Lýsing

Fox byrjar á því að bera Njáls sögu saman við önnur epísk verk sagnaskáldskapar innan hins vestrænna heims eins og Ilíonskviðu, Ódysseifskviðu, Bjólfskviðu og Rólandskvæði. Að undanskildum smávægilegum líkindum, eins og vitneskju um örlög persóna, beinir Fox athygli sinni að byggingu Njáls sögu og hvernig deilur og sættir endurspegla brotna byggingu hinna epísku verka. Bygging Njálu styður við framvindu sögunnar með því að brjóta upp frásagnir af persónum og um leið varpa ljósi á þróun íslensks miðaldasamfélags frá heiðnu og heiðurs miðuðu samfélagi til kristins og laga miðaðs samfélags.

See also

References

Chapter 159: heilum sáttum: “We see Kári as the final hero, uniting in himself the figures of the heroic individual, Gunnar, and the man of justice and Christianity, Njál, but finding for himself a new solution, and one which involves life, not death.” (p. 309)

Links

  • Written by: Zachary Melton
  • Icelandic translation: Andri M. Kristjánsson
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