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An Introduction to the Sagas of Icelanders$
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Carl Phelpstead

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780813066516

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813066516.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FLORIDA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.florida.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Florida, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FLASO for personal use.date: 16 September 2021

Identity and Alterity

Identity and Alterity

(p.163) Conclusion Identity and Alterity
An Introduction to the Sagas of Icelanders

Carl Phelpstead

University Press of Florida

A brief conclusion draws together the preceding chapters by emphasizing how they have presented the sagas of Icelanders as narrative explorations of identity and alterity which reflect, but also helped to construct, medieval Icelandic beliefs about the past and how the present came to be. The narratives illuminate beliefs surrounding the ways humans relate to animals, to their physical environment, and to the supernatural. Some saga characters exemplify ideals to which men and women could aspire. But in also describing characters who fail or deliberately refuse to meet society’s expectations, the sagas also offered opportunities for readers to imagine different possibilities and alternative identities.

Keywords:   Icelandic beliefs, saga, Iceland, identity, alterity, glossary

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