Helga Kress. Manndom og misogyni. Noen refleksjoner omkring kvinnesynet i Njåls saga

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  • Author: Helga Kress
  • Title: Manndom og misogyni. Noen refleksjoner omkring kvinnesynet i Njåls saga
  • Published in: Gardar 10
  • Year: 1976
  • Pages: 35-51
  • E-text:
  • Reference: Helga Kress. "Manndom og misogyni. Noen refleksjoner omkring kvinnesynet i Njåls saga." Gardar 10 (1976): 35-51.

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In this article, Helga Kress focuses on what she sees as the foundation of Brennu-Njáls saga, namely the opposition of woman- and manhood. She sees the society in which the saga takes place as a ‚ættesamfunn‘, where honour and manhood are put above everything else. Firstly, she depicts the patriarchy through the two main patriarchs, Njáll and Flosi, and how women are usually the property of these patriarchs, usually through kinship. Helga Kress then goes on to look into men‘s apparent fear of being associated with anything womanly, both physically and mentally. The words ragr, ergi, bleiði and blauðr are used to find the examples where men are challenged on their honour, by people questioning their manhood. She gives examples concerning, among else, cooking, crying and missing beards as instances where men are questioned on their manhood. What Helga Kress is trying to convey through the article is that the saga is an apparent example of a coercion of roles made by the patriarchy. It is, according to Helga Kress, a saga that depicts, how this fear of womanhood, means that the patricarchy is keeping it down, so that it does not challenge this society of manhood. Although she depicts Njáll as one of the grand patriarchs of the saga, she also calls him „værkets utopi“ (the utopia of the work), since he is the middle way between womanhood (his inability to grow a beard) and manhood (his strong sense of honour and courage).


Texta vantar

See also



  • Written by: Kristine Mærsk Werner
  • Icelandic/English translation:
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