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K. Olsen
Conceptualizing the Enemy in Early Northwest Europe
Metaphors of Conflict and Alterity in Anglo-Saxon, Old Norse, and Early Irish Poetry

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VIII+252 p., 156 x 234 mm, 2016
ISBN: 978-2-503-55227-9
Languages: English
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Despite the prominence of conflicts in all mythological and heroic literature, perceptions of these conflicts and their participants are shaped by different cultural influences. Socio-economic, political, and religious factors all influence how conflict is perceived and depicted in literary form. This volume provides the first comparative analysis to explore conceptions of conflict and otherness in the literary and cultural contexts of the early North Sea world by investigating the use of metaphor in Old English, Old Norse, and Early Irish poetry. Applying Conceptual Metaphor Theory together with literary and anthropological analysis, the study examines metaphors of conflict and alterity in a range of (pseudo-)mythological, heroic, and occasional poetry, including Beowulf, Old Norse skaldic and eddic verse, and poems from the celebrated ‘Ulster Cycle’. This unique approach not only sheds new light on a wide spectrum of metaphorical techniques, but also draws important conclusions concerning the common cultural heritage behind these three poetic corpora.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Metaphor, Alterity, and the Early Poetry of Northwest Europe

Chapter 2: Heathen Gods and their Enemies in Old English, Old Norse, and Early Irish Poetry

Chapter 3: Marginalizing the Enemy in the Heroic Poetry of Early Northwest Europe

Chapter 4: Defaming the Enemy in the Occasional Poetry of Early Northwest Europe

Conclusion

Bibliography

Interest Classification:
Medieval & Modern (Indo-European) Languages & Literatures
Germanic langs & lits (other than English)
North Germanic/Scandinavian languages & literatures
English language & literature
Old English language & literature
Other Indo-European langs & lits
Celtic languages & literatures
Comparative & cultural studies through literature
Comparative literature (general)
Medieval literature (general comparative)

This publication is also distributed by: ISD, Marston
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