“There Are Many Who Can’t Tell Whether He’s a Man or Woman”, or (Un)manliness in Old Icelandic Egils Saga and Njáls Saga Cover Image
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„Wielu, co go widzi, nie wie, czy to chłop czy niewiasta”, czyli o (nie)męskości w staroislandzkiej Sadze o Egilu i Sadze o Njalu
“There Are Many Who Can’t Tell Whether He’s a Man or Woman”, or (Un)manliness in Old Icelandic Egils Saga and Njáls Saga

Author(s): Radosław Jakubczyk
Subject(s): History, Language and Literature Studies, Cultural history, Studies of Literature
Published by: Wydawnictwa Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego
Keywords: masculinity; effeminacy; impotence; family sagas; medieval Iceland

Summary/Abstract: In this article, I discuss how masculinity is constructed in Old Icelandic Egils saga andNjáls saga through various kinds of unmanliness (impotence, lack of facial hair, baldness,effeminacy, cowardice, old age). Both sagas demonstrate the restrictiveness of gender rolesin medieval Iceland and how men become their captives. The ideal of masculinity is soexaggerated that it becomes oppressive, because everything may be used against men. It leadsto failed marriages and feuds. However, Egils saga’s and Njáls saga’s treatment of genderis critical.

  • Issue Year: 461/2018
  • Issue No: 2
  • Page Range: 129-142
  • Page Count: 14
  • Language: Polish