Njála, 119

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Chapter 119

ASGRIM AND NJAL'S SONS PRAY MEN FOR HELP.


By that time Flosi had come to the Thing, and filled all his booths. Runolf filled the Dale-dwellers' booths, and Mord the booths of the men from Rangriver. Hall of the Side had long since come from the east, but scarce any of the other men; but still Hall of the Side had come with a great band, and joined this at once to Flosi's company, and begged him to take an atonement and to make peace.

Hall was a wise man and good-hearted. Flosi answered him well in everything, but gave way in nothing.

Hall asked what men had promised him help? Flosi named Mord Valgard's son, and said he had asked for his daughter at the hand of his kinsman Starkad.

Hall said she was a good match, but it was ill dealing with Mord, "And that thou wilt put to the proof ere this Thing be over."

After that they ceased talking.

One day Njal and Asgrim had a long talk in secret.

Then all at once Asgrim sprang up and said to Njal's sons, "We must set about seeking friends,[1] that we may not be overborne by force; for this suit will be followed up boldly."

Then Asgrim went out, and Helgi Njal's son next; then Kari Solmund's son; then Grim Njal's son; then Skarphedinn; then Thorhall; then Thorgrim the Big; then Thorleif Crow.

They went to the booth of Gizur the White and inside it. Gizur stood up to meet them, and bade them sit down and drink.

"Not thitherward," says Asgrim, "tends our way, and we will speak our errand out loud, and not mutter and mouth about it. What help shall I have from thee, as thou art my kinsman?"

"Jorunn, my sister," said Gizur, "would wish that I should not shrink from standing by thee; and so it shall be now and hereafter, that we will both of us have the same fate."

Asgrim thanked him, and went away afterwards.

Then Skarphedinn asked, "Whither shall we go now?"

"To the booths of the men of Olfus," says Asgrim.

So they went thither, and Asgrim asked whether Skapti Thorod's son were in the booth? He was told that he was. Then they went inside the booth.

Skapti sate on the cross-bench, and greeted Asgrim, and he took the greeting well.

Skapti offered Asgrim a seat by his side, but Asgrim said he should only stay there a little while, "But still we have an errand to thee."

"Let me hear it?" says Skapti.

"I wish to beg thee for thy help, that thou wilt stand by us in our suit."

"One thing I had hoped," says Skapti, "and that is, that neither you nor your troubles would ever come into my dwelling."

"Such things are ill-spoken," says Asgrim, "when a man is the last to help others, when most lies on his aid."

"Who is yon man," says Skapti, "before whom four men walk, a big burly man, and pale-faced, unlucky-looking, well-knit, and troll-like?"[2]

"My name is Skarphedinn," he answers, "and thou hast often seen me at the Thing; but in this I am wiser than you, that I have no need to ask what thy name is. Thy name is Skapti Thorod's son, but before thou calledst thyself 'Bristlepoll,' after thou hadst slain Kettle of Elda; then thou shavedst thy poll, and puttedst pitch on thy head, and then thou hiredst thralls to cut up a sod of turf, and thou creptest underneath it to spend the night. After that thou wentest to Thorolf Lopt's son of Eyrar, and he took thee on board, and bore thee out here in his meal sacks."

After that Asgrim and his band went out, and Skarphedinn asked, "Whither shall we go now?"

"To Snorri the Priest's booth," says Asgrim.

Then they went to Snorri's booth. There was a man outside before the booth, and Asgrim asked whether Snorri were in the booth.

The man said he was.

Asgrim went into the booth, and all the others. Snorri was sitting on the cross-bench, and Asgrim went and stood before him, and hailed him well.

Snorri took his greeting blithely, and bade him sit down.

Asgrim said he should be only a short time there, "But we have an errand with thee."

Snorri bade him tell it.

"I would," said Asgrim, "that thou wouldst come with me to the court, and stand by me with thy help, for thou art a wise man, and a great man of business."

"Suits fall heavy on us now," says Snorri the Priest, "and now many men push forward against us, and so we are slow to take up the troublesome suits of other men from other quarters."

"Thou mayest stand excused," says Asgrim "for thou art not in our debt for any service."

"I know," says Snorri, "that thou art a good man and true, and I will promise thee this, that I will not be against thee, and not yield help to thy foes."

Asgrim thanked him, and Snorri the Priest asked, "Who is that man before whom four go, pale-faced, and sharp-featured, and who shows his front teeth,[3] and has his axe aloft on his shoulder."

"My name is Hedinn," he says, "but some men call me Skarphedinn by my full name; but what more hast thou to say to me."

"This," said Snorri the Priest, "that methinks thou art a well- knit, ready-handed man, but yet I guess that the best part of thy good fortune is past, and I ween thou hast now not long to live."

"That is well," says Skarphedinn, "for that is a debt we all have to pay, but still it were more needful to avenge thy father than to foretell my fate in this way."

"Many have said that before," says Snorri, "and I will not be angry at such words."

After that they went out, and got no help there. Then they fared to the booths of the men of Skagafirth. There Hafr (1) the Wealthy had his booth. The mother of Hafr was named Thoruna, she was a daughter of Asbjorn Baldpate of Myrka, the son of Hrosbjorn.

Asgrim and his band went into the booth, and Hafr sate in the midst of it, and was talking to a man.

Asgrim went up to him, and bailed him well; he took it kindly, and bade him sit down.

"This I would ask of thee," said Asgrim, "that thou wouldst grant me and my sons-in-law help.

Hafr answered sharp and quick, and said he would have nothing to do with their troubles.

"But still I must ask who that pale-faced man is before whom four men go, so ill-looking, as though he had come out of the sea-crags."

"Never mind, milksop that thou art!" said Skarphedinn, "who I am, for I will dare to go forward wherever thou standest before me, and little would I fear though such striplings were in my path. 'Twere rather thy duty, too, to get back thy sister Swanlauga, whom Eydis Ironsword and his messmate Stediakoll took away out of thy house, but thou didst not dare to do aught against them."

"Let us go out," said Asgrim, "there is no hope of help here."

Then they went out to the booths of men of Modruvale, and asked whether Gudmund the Powerful were in the booth, but they were told he was.

Then they went into the booth. There was a high seat in the midst of it, and there sate Gudmund the Powerful.

Asgrim went and stood before him, and hailed him.

Gudmund took his greeting well, and asked him to sit down.

"I will not sit," said Asgrim, "but I wish to pray thee for help, for thou art a bold man and a mighty chief."

"I will not be against thee," said Gudmund, "but if I see fit to yield thee help, we may well talk of that afterwards," and so he treated them well and kindly in every way.

Asgrim thanked him for his words, and Gudmund said, "There is one man in your band at whom I have gazed for a while, and he seems to me more terrible than most men that I have seen."

"Which is he?" says Asgrim.

"Four go before him," says Gudmund; "dark brown is his hair, and pale is his face; tall of growth and sturdy. So quick and shifty in his manliness that I would rather have his following than that of ten other men; but yet the man is unlucky-looking."[4]

"I know," said Skarphedinn, "that thou speakest at me, but it does not go in the same way as to luck with me and thee. I have blame, indeed, from the slaying of Hauskuld, the Whiteness Priest, as is fair and right; but both Thorkel Foulmouth and Thorir Helgi's son spread abroad bad stories about thee, and that has tried thy temper very much.

Then they went out, and Skarphedinn said, "Whither shall we go now?"

"To the booths of the men of Lightwater," said Asgrim.

There Thorkel Foulmouth (2) had set up his booth.

Thorkel Foulmouth had been abroad and worked his way to fame in other lands. He had slain a robber east in Jemtland's wood, and then he fared on east into Sweden, and was a messmate of Saurkvir the Churl, and they harried eastward ho; but to the east of Baltic side (3) Thorkel had to fetch water for them one evening; then he met a wild man of the woods (4), and struggled against him long; but the end of it was that he slew the wild man. Thence he fared east into Adalsyssla, and there he slew a flying fire-drake. After that he fared back to Sweden, and thence to Norway, and so out to Iceland, and let these deeds of derring do be carved over his shut bed,[5] and on the stool before his high seat.[6] He fought, too, on Lightwater way with his brothers against Gudmund the Powerful, and the men of Lightwater won the day. He and Thorir Helgi's son spread abroad bad stories about Gudmund. Thorkel said there was no man in Iceland with whom he would not fight in single combat, or yield an inch to, if need were. He was called Thorkel Foulmouth, because he spared no one with whom he had to do either in word or deed.

ENDNOTES:

(1) Hafr was the son of Thorkel, the son of Eric of Gooddale, the son of Geirmund, the son of Hroald, the son of Eric Frizzlebeard who felled Gritgarth in Soknardale in Norway.

(2) Thorkel was the son of Thorgeir the Priest, the son of Tjorfi, the son of Thorkel the Long; but the mother of Thorgeir was Thoruna, the daughter of Thorstein, the son of Sigmund, son of Bard of the Nip. The mother of Thorkel Foulmouth was named Gudrida; she was a daughter of Thorkel the B1ack of Hleidrargarth, the son of Thorir Tag, the son of Kettle the Seal, the son of Ornolf, the son of Bjornolf, the son of Grim Hairy-cheek, the son of Kettle Haeing, the son of Hallbjorn Halftroll.

(3) "Baltic side." This probably means a part of the Finnish coast in the Gulf of Bothnia. See "Fornm. Sogur", xii. 264-5.

(4) "Wild man of the woods." In the original Finngalkn, a fabulous monster, half man and half beast.

References

  1. We must set about seeking friends : “What is clearly literary in the scene is the compulsion that makes each person visited ask after ‘the man fifth in line.’ But that's all. It would be hasty to dismiss everything else as pure artifice. Requests of support from powerful people required some adherence to forms of protocol; we simply do not know enough to dismiss the precisely ordered line as something to make a good story. Skarphéðin's insults have a certain ritualized quality to them, but it cannot be certain that this is not a form of flyting that our sources suggest was very much a part of Norse lived experience.” Miller, William Ian. Making Sense of the Sources (p. 48).
  2. a big burly man, and pale-faced, unlucky-looking, well-knit, and troll-like?: "This episode is of special interest in relationship to the death drive. It is a series of five scenes which are all structured in the same way and all repeat with variations the identification of Skarphéðinn […] it is the repetition that makes them remarkable as well as the fearsome and uncanny behaviour of Skarphéðinn. This eeriness is suggested to the reader in several ways, among others in the way the four successive chieftains describe him. […] During this episode, there is something out of the ordinary to Skarphéðinn that awakens a sense of unease in those who meet him, as if death itself were among them." Torfi H. Tulinius. Ærið gott gömlum og feigum (p. 953).
  3. shows his front teeth: "One remarkable, special kind of laughter is the grin of the unfortunate, the man against whom fate regularly turns. This expression is personified in Skarpheðinn (...). Skarpheðinn laughs either through incomprehension of the misfortune awaiting him, or as a form of defence-defiance towards this bad luck. In the latter case, his laughter would resemble the famous tragic laughter of the sagas, the equivalent in a culture far removed in space and time of the sardonic laughter characteristic of the Phoenicians." Le Goff, Jacques. Laughter in Brennu-Njáls saga (p. 163).
  4. but yet the man is unlucky-looking : " and he [Skarphéðinn] starts taking part in the acts of vengeance that ultimately take him to Alþingi, where he is described as ógæfusamligr, ‚unlucky-looking‘. What is important here is that Skarphéðinn is not mentioned as ógæfusamligr until after the killing of his foster brother – after he has killed his own kin." Kanerva, K.T.. Ógofa as an Emotion in Thirteenth-Century Iceland (p. 6)
  5. let these deeds of derring do be carved over his shut bed : "It will be noticed that Thorkell is involved in three fights: against a spellvirki, against a finngálkn and against a flugdreki. [...]. The carvings on Thorkel‘s bed-closet and on the chair in front of his high-seat thus depicted three fights, against an evil-doer human in shape, against a creature half man half beast living near or in water, and against a flying dragon. Any Anglo-Saxon who had heard the poem Beowulf would have little difficulty in recognizing that these carvings depicted events closely similar to those narrated in the Old English poem." Opland, Jeff. A Beowulf analogue in Njálssaga (pp. 55-56)
  6. his high seat: "The saga’s allusive and indeed ironic development of the Beowulf tale-type controls and modifies the audience’s attitudes towards Skarpheðinn at the assembly following Höskuldr Hvítanessgoði’s death." Clark, George. Beowulf and Njáls saga (p. 66)

Kafli 119

Flosi var á þingi og skipaði alla búð sína. Runólfur skipaði Dalverjabúð en Mörður Rangæingabúð. Hallur af Síðu var lengst kominn austan en nær ekki annarra manna. Hallur af Síðu hafði þó fjölmennt mjög og fór þegar í lið með Flosa og bað hann sætta og friðar. Hallur var vitur maður og góðgjarn. Flosi svaraði öllu vel og tók þó lítið af. Hallur spurði hverjir honum hefðu liðsinni heitið.

Flosi nefndi til Mörð Valgarðsson og kvaðst hafa beðið dóttur hans til handa Starkaði frænda sínum.

Hallur kvað góðan kost í henni en kvað allt illt við Mörð að eiga „og muntu það reyna áður þessu þingi sé lokið.“

Síðan hættu þeir talinu.

Það var einnhvern dag að þeir Njáll og Ásgrímur töluðu lengi hljótt.

Síðan spratt Ásgrímur upp og mælti til Njálssona: „Ganga munum vér og leita oss vina[1] að vér verðum eigi bornir ofliði því að þetta mál mun verða sótt með kappi.“

Ásgrímur gekk þá út og næst Helgi Njálsson, þá Kári Sölmundarson, þá Grímur Njálsson, þá Skarphéðinn, þá Þórhallur, þá Þorgrímur mikli, þá Þorleifur krákur. Þeir gengu til búðar Gissurar hvíta og gengu inn í búðina. Gissur stóð upp í móti þeim og bað þá sitja og drekka.

Ásgrímur svarar: „Eigi veit þannig við og skal þetta ekki á mutur mæla. Hverja liðveislu skal eg þar eiga er þú ert, frændi?“

Gissur mælti: „Það mundi Jórunn ætla að eg mundi eigi undan skerast þér að veita. Skal og svo vera nú og oftar að eitt skal yfir okkur ganga.“

Ásgrímur þakkaði honum og gekk í braut síðan.

Þá spurði Skaphéðinn: „Hvert skulum vér nú ganga?“

Ásgrímur svarar: „Til búðar Ölfusinga.“

Síðan gengu þeir þangað. Ásgrímur spurði hvort Skafti Þóroddsson væri að búð. Honum var sagt að hann var þar. Gengu þeir þá inn í búðina. Skafti sat á pallinum og fagnaði Ásgrími. Hann tók því vel. Skafti bauð Ásgrími að sitja hjá sér.

Ásgrímur kvaðst skamma dvöl eiga mundu „en þó er við þig erindið.“

„Lát heyra það,“ segir Skafti.

„Eg vil biðja þig liðsinnis að þú veitir að málum vorum.“

„Hitt hafði eg ætlað,“ segir Skafti, „að ekki mundi koma vandræði yður í híbýli mín.“

Ásgrímur svarar: „Illa er slíkt mælt að verða mönnum þá síst að liði er mest liggur við.“

„Hver er sá maður,“ segir Skafti, „er fjórir menn ganga fyrri, mikill maður og fölleitur, ógæfusamlegur, harðlegur og tröllslegur?“[2]

Hann svarar: „Skarphéðinn heiti eg,“ segir hann, „og hefir þú séð mig jafnan á þingi en vera mun eg því vitrari en þú að eg þarf eigi að spyrja hvað þú heitir. Þú heitir Skafti Þóroddsson en fyrr kallaðir þú þig Burstakoll þá er þú hafðir drepið Ketil úr Eldu. Gerðir þú þér þá koll og barst tjöru í höfuð þér. Síðan keyptir þú að þrælum að rísta upp jarðarmen og skreiðst þú þar undir um nóttina. Síðan fórstu til Þórólfs Loftssonar á Eyrum og tók hann við þér og bar þig út í mjölsekkjum sínum.“

Eftir það gengu þeir Ásgrímur út.

Skarphéðinn spurði: „Hvert skulum vér nú ganga?“

„Til búðar Snorra goða.“

Síðan gengu þeir til búðar Snorra. Þar var einn maður úti fyrir búðinni. Ásgrímur spurði hvort Snorri væri í búð. Sá sagði að hann væri þar. Ásgrímur gekk inn í búðina og þeir allir. Snorri sat á palli. Ásgrímur gekk fyrir hann og kvaddi hann vel. Snorri tók honum blíðlega og bað hann sitja.

Ásgrímur kvaðst þar skamma dvöl mundu eiga „en við þig er erindið.“

Snorri bað hann segja það.

Ásgrímur mælti: „Eg vildi að þú færir til dóma með mér og veittir mér lið því að þú ert vitur og framkvæmdarmaður mikill.“

„Þungt ganga oss nú málaferlin,“ segir Snorri goði, „og draga sig nú fram mjög margir í móti oss og erum vér því trauðir að taka vandræði annarra í aðra fjórðunga.“

„Vorkunn er það,“ segir Ásgrímur, „því að þú átt oss ekki varlaunað.“

„Veit eg er þú ert góður drengur,“ segir Snorri, „og vil eg því heita þér að eg skal hvergi í móti þér vera og eigi veita lið óvinum þínum.“

Ásgrímur þakkaði honum.

Snorri goði mælti: „Hver er sá maður er fjórir ganga fyrri, fölleitur og skarpleitur og glottir við tönn[3] og hefir öxi reidda um öxl?“

„Héðinn heiti eg,“ segir hann, „en sumir menn kalla mig Skarphéðin öllu nafni eða hvað viltu fleira til mín tala?“

Snorri goði mælti: „Það að mér þykir þú maður harðlegur og mikilfenglegur en þó get eg að þrotin sé þín hin mesta gæfa og skammt get eg eftir þinnar ævi.“

„Vel er það,“ segir Skarphéðinn, „því að þá skuld eiga allir að gjalda. En þó er þér meiri nauðsyn að hefna föður þíns en spá mér slíkar spár.“

„Margir hafa það mælt áður,“ segir Snorri, „og mun eg ekki við slíku reiðast.“

Eftir það gengu þeir út og fengu þar enga liðveislu. Þaðan fóru þeir til búðar Skagfirðinga. Þá búð átti Hafur hinn auðgi. Hann var son Þorkels Eiríkssonar úr Goðdölum, Geirmundarsonar, Hróaldssonar, Eiríkssonar örðumskeggja er felldi Grjótgarð í Sóknardal í Noregi. Móðir Hafurs hét Þórunn og var dóttir Ásbjarnar Myrkárskalla Hross-Bjarnarsonar. Þeir Ásgrímur gengu inn í búðina. Hafur sat í miðri búðinni og talaði við mann. Ásgrímur gekk að honum og heilsaði á hann. Hann tók því vel og bauð honum að sitja.

Ásgrímur mælti: „Hins vildi eg biðja þig að þú veittir mér lið og mágum mínum.“

Hafur svaraði skjótt og kvaðst ekki taka mundu undir vandræði þeirra „en þó vil eg spyrja hver sá er hinn fölleiti er fjórir menn ganga fyrri og svo illilegur sem genginn sé út úr sjávarhömrum.“

Skarphéðinn mælti: „Hirð ekki þú það, mjólki þinn, hver eg er því að eg mun þora þar fram að ganga er þú situr fyrir og mundi eg allt lítt hræðast þótt slíkir sveinar væru á götu minni. Er þér og skyldara að sækja Svanlaugu systur þína er Eydís járnsaxa og þau Steðjakollur tóku í braut úr híbýlum þínum og þorðir þú ekki að að hafa.“

Ásgrímur mælti: „Göngum út. Ekki er hér von liðveislu.“

Síðan gengu þeir til Möðruvellingabúðar og spurðu hvort Guðmundur hinn ríki væri í búðinni en þeim var sagt að hann var þar. Þeir gengu þá inn í búðina. Hásæti var í miðri búðinni og sat þar Guðmundur ríki. Ásgrímur gekk fyrir hann og kvaddi hann. Guðmundur tók honum vel og bauð honum að sitja.

Ásgrímur mælti: „Eigi vil eg sitja en biðja vil eg þig liðsinnis því að þú ert kappsamur og mikill höfðingi.“

Guðmundur mælti: „Ekki skal eg móti þér vera. En ef mér sýnist að veita þér lið þá munum við vel mega tala um það síðar“ og tók á öllu vel.

Ásgrímur þakkaði honum orð sín.

Guðmundur mælti: „Maður er sá einn í liði yðru er eg hefi horft á um hríð og líst mér ógurlegri flestum mönnum þeim er eg hefi séð.“

„Hver er sá?“ segir Ásgrímur.

„Fjórir ganga fyrri en hann,“ segir Guðmundur, „jarpur á hár og föllitaður, mikill vöxtum og ernlegur og svo skjótlegur til karlmennsku að heldur vildi eg hans fylgi hafa en tíu annarra. Og er þó maðurinn ógæfusamlegur.“[4]

Skarphéðinn mælti: „Veit eg að þú þykist til mín mæla og er eigi einn veg farið ógæfu okkarri. Eg hefi ámæli af vígi Höskulds Hvítanesgoða sem vorkunn er en þeir gerðu illmæli um þig Þorkell hákur og Þórir Helgason og hefir þú af því hina mestu skapraun.“

Gengu þeir þá út. Skarphéðinn mælti þá: „Hvert skulum vér nú ganga?“

„Til Ljósvetningabúðar,“ segir Ásgrímur.

Þá búð hafði tjaldað Þorkell hákur. Hann var son Þorgeirs goða Tjörvasonar, Þorkelssonar langs, en móðir Þorgeirs var Þórunn Þorsteinsdóttir, Sigmundarsonar, Gnúpa-Bárðarsonar. Móðir Þorkels háks hét Guðríður. Hún var dóttir Þorkels hins svarta úr Hleiðrargarði, Þórissonar snepils, Brimilssonar, Örnólfssonar, Björnólfssonar, Grímssonar loðinkinna, Ketils hængs, Hallbjarnarsonar hálftrölls. Þorkell hákur hafði verið utan og framið sig í öðrum löndum. Hann hafði drepið spellvirkja austur á Jamtaskógi. Síðan fór hann austur í Svíþjóð og fór til lags með Sörkvi karli og herjuðu þeir í Austurveg. En fyrir austan Bálagarðssíðu átti Þorkell að sækja þeim vatn eitt kveld. Þá mætti hann finngálkni og varðist því lengi en svo lauk með þeim að hann drap finngálknið. Þaðan fór hann austur í Aðalsýslu. Þar vó hann að flugdreka. Síðan fór hann aftur til Svíþjóðar og þaðan til Noregs og síðan út til Íslands. Og lét hann gera þrekvirki þessi yfir lokhvílu sinni [5]og á stóli fyrir hásæti sínu.[6] Hann barðist og á Ljósvetningaleið við Guðmund hinn ríka með bræðrum sínum og höfðu Ljósvetningar sigur. Gerðu þeir síðan illmæli um Guðmund, Þórir Helgason og Þorkell hákur. Þorkell mælti svo að sá væri engi á Íslandi að hann mundi eigi ganga til einvígis við eða á hæl hopa. Var hann fyrir því kallaður Þorkell hákur að hann eirði engu hvorki í orðum né verkum við hvern sem hann átti.

Tilvísanir

  1. Ganga munum vér og leita oss vina : “What is clearly literary in the scene is the compulsion that makes each person visited ask after ‘the man fifth in line.’ But that's all. It would be hasty to dismiss everything else as pure artifice. Requests of support from powerful people required some adherence to forms of protocol; we simply do not know enough to dismiss the precisely ordered line as something to make a good story. Skarphéðin's insults have a certain ritualized quality to them, but it cannot be certain that this is not a form of flyting that our sources suggest was very much a part of Norse lived experience.” Miller, William Ian. Making Sense of the Sources (s. 48).
  2. mikill maður og fölleitur, ógæfusamlegur, harðlegur og tröllslegur?: "This episode is of special interest in relationship to the death drive. It is a series of five scenes which are all structured in the same way and all repeat with variations the identification of Skarphéðinn […] it is the repetition that makes them remarkable as well as the fearsome and uncanny behaviour of Skarphéðinn. This eeriness is suggested to the reader in several ways, among others in the way the four successive chieftains describe him. […] During this episode, there is something out of the ordinary to Skarphéðinn that awakens a sense of unease in those who meet him, as if death itself were among them." Torfi H. Tulinius. Ærið gott gömlum og feigum (s. 953).
  3. glottir við tönn: "One remarkable, special kind of laughter is the grin of the unfortunate, the man against whom fate regularly turns. This expression is personified in Skarpheðinn (...). Skarpheðinn laughs either through incomprehension of the misfortune awaiting him, or as a form of defence-defiance towards this bad luck. In the latter case, his laughter would resemble the famous tragic laughter of the sagas, the equivalent in a culture far removed in space and time of the sardonic laughter characteristic of the Phoenicians." Le Goff, Jacques. Laughter in Brennu-Njáls saga (s. 163).
  4. Og er þó maðurinn ógæfusamlegur : " and he [Skarphéðinn] starts taking part in the acts of vengeance that ultimately take him to Alþingi, where he is described as ógæfusamligr, ‚unlucky-looking‘. What is important here is that Skarphéðinn is not mentioned as ógæfusamligr until after the killing of his foster brother – after he has killed his own kin." Kanerva, K.T.. Ógofa as an Emotion in Thirteenth-Century Iceland (s. 6)
  5. lét hann gera þrekvirki þessi yfir lokhvílu sinni : "It will be noticed that Thorkell is involved in three fights: against a spellvirki, against a finngálkn and against a flugdreki. [...]. The carvings on Thorkel‘s bed-closet and on the chair in front of his high-seat thus depicted three fights, against an evil-doer human in shape, against a creature half man half beast living near or in water, and against a flying dragon. Any Anglo-Saxon who had heard the poem Beowulf would have little difficulty in recognizing that these carvings depicted events closely similar to those narrated in the Old English poem." Opland, Jeff. A Beowulf analogue in Njálssaga (s. 55-56)
  6. hásæti sínu: "The saga’s allusive and indeed ironic development of the Beowulf tale-type controls and modifies the audience’s attitudes towards Skarpheðinn at the assembly following Höskuldr Hvítanessgoði’s death." Clark, George. Beowulf and Njáls saga (s. 66)

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