3/9/09 11:58 AM Saga of the Volsungs: (lecture 3/4) P.65-66= catabasis Descent into the underworld When touching buried treasure- coming into contact with danger or death P.57 belongs to a different world/ time P.59 the treasure is moving between different worlds Doesn?t want to be owned, feels like it belongs to the underworld Brings death to owner- is cursed P. 66 when he kills the dragon, it becomes a part of him- ate heart/ drank blood Moving up or down in world because of it? Weird that he only eats part of the heart -> shares with wife After he drinks blood, he can understand birds- similar to how Sigmund and Sinfjotli put on the wolf skins and then they can understand the wolf calls and start to act like them P.67 meets brynhild? Mix of male and female = women warrior Hild means battle Bekk means bench Bryn means male coat/ armor Writing is so rare- has magical properties Brynhild is called a monster- why? She?s androgynous- category crisis Women who kill are considered to be monsters mythology -> history- less supernatural Monsters and the monstrous in Saga of the Volsungs: Saga style- Viking culture Volsungasaga Beasts and their meanings, native and continental The uses of beast imagery in Saga of the Volsungs Talking about wolves Territorial, social (pack oriented)- like people, mirror us Outcasts Dragons Written by priest working at a farm Commissioned by a farmer and conserved at farms No aristocracy, the wealthy farmers have the power Politics are all reduced to family feuds Saga was entertainment Characteristics: Farm and vicinity plays major role Kinship networks of characters often central Feuds and kinship strains typical Male and female roles are both important Recurring patterns over generations How and why do women die in the Saga of the Volsungs? Signy walks into a fire P.106: Godrun tried to drown herself to purify herself Waves do not kill her they just purify her the role that nature plays in killing or refusing to kill these women p.107: natural world did not let Svanhild to die would not trample her suffocated kinship marriage alliances extend the kinship networks outward to create new generations and to create more alliances male alliances insure trade relations across distances male and marriage allies marrying sisters (sometimes daughters) or allies: fosterage Sigurd= foster son because he was adopted- common in culture for children to be sent to live with male allies The linkages of Scandinavian life: Kinship Marriage alliances (grimness- in terms of honor) Male alliances (duty in terms of honor) Marriage and male alliances (generosity in terms of honor) Greek: agathos (good warrior) philos sophos Romans: Pietas ? dual meaning merciful Greek and Roman (qualities of a good society): Practicing hospitality Devoted to the Gods Law Scandinavian Art: Complicated Intertwining social networks Male responsibilities: Doing acts of valor Rewarding friends Punishing acts of shame Punishing enemies Female responsibilities: Tie families together (binding) Encouraging great deeds Nurturing a new generation Enforcing family duties (being bound) Goading for revenge Raising up avengers The five phases of the saga of the volsungs Preliminary generations (ch. 1-12) Sigurd and his foster family (ch. 13-25) Sigurd and the Gjukingar (ch. 26-33) Gudrun and the budlingar (ch. 33-40) Gudrun?s last marriage (ch. 41-44) Intensity 1 low 2 higher 3 climax 4 lower 5 lowest 2 and 4 are favorite subjects of illustration Odin appears throughout the text in sections 1 and 5 specifically Beasts and their meanings: Wolf- important animal/ monster that we see in Saga of the Volsungs Snake/ Serpent is another monster that we see Lurking, cunning, spiteful, vicious Scary Monsters Lecture 3/9/09 11:58 AM 3/9/09 11:58 AM
Want to see the other 6 page(s) in Comparative Literature 203?JOIN TODAY FOR FREE!