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Hrafnkel or the Ambiguities – Hard Cases, Hard Choices - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Hrafnkel or the Ambiguities: Hard Cases, Hard Choices

William Ian Miller

Abstract

A close reading of one of the best known of the Icelandic sagas, showing its moral, political, and psychological sophistication. The saga tells of a fairly simple feud in which a man rises, falls, and rises again with a vengeance, so to speak. The saga deals with complex issues with finely layered irony: who can one justifiably hit, when, and by what means? It does this with cool nuance, also taking on matters of torture and pain-infliction as a means of generating fellow-feeling. How does one measure pain and humiliation so as to get even, to get back to equal? People are forced to set prices ... More

Keywords: Hrafnkels saga Freysgoða, Hrafnkel’s saga, Iceland, Norse, sagas, revenge, feud

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2017 Print ISBN-13: 9780198793038
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2017 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198793038.001.0001

Authors

Affiliations are at time of print publication.

William Ian Miller, author
Thomas G. Long Professor of Law, University of Michigan

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