IMC 2003: Sessions

Session 1219: Speech and Power in Old Norse Literature

Wednesday 16 July 2003, 14.15-15.45

Organiser:Siân E. Grønlie, St Hilda's College, University of Oxford
Moderator/Chair:Matthew Townend, Centre for Medieval Studies, University of York
Paper 1219-a'Orð mér af orði orðs leitaði': On the Rhetoric of Power in Old Norse Verbal Duels
(Language: English)
Antje G. Frotscher, Christ Church College, University of Oxford
Index terms: Language and Literature - Scandinavian, Rhetoric
Paper 1219-b'En þeir váru þó fleiri, es í gegn mæltu': Powerful Words in the Missionary þættir
(Language: English)
Siân E. Grønlie, St Hilda's College, University of Oxford
Index terms: Hagiography, Language and Literature - Scandinavian
Paper 1219-cThe Power of Love?: Revenge and Female Autonomy in the Heroic Poems of the Edda
(Language: English)
David Clark, St John's College, University of Oxford
Index terms: Language and Literature - Scandinavian, Sexuality
Abstract

This session focuses on the rhetoric of power in Old Norse literature. The first paper looks at Old Norse ‘flytings’ in a variety of contexts, outlining the stylistic strategies employed by speakers to assert dominance over their opponents. The second paper examines the role of verbal duels in a more specific context – short stories about the missionaries to Iceland and their struggles with pagan poets. In the third paper, the focus is on verbal incitement to revenge in the Eddaic poems, and the speaker investigates to what extent women can be said to exercise power through revenge and its incitement.