The Origins of Drama in Scandinavia

Front Cover
Boydell & Brewer Ltd, 1995 - Literary Criticism - 414 pages
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This book takes a new approach to the question of whether some form of drama existed in early Scandinavia. Dr Gunnell examines the dialogic poems of the Poetic Edda, preserved in manuscripts from the late thirteenth century, from the viewpoints of both performer and audience. He argues that in order to be fully understood by the audience, the poems must have been presented in some dramatic fashion, and not merely chanted. He substantiates his claims by exploring characteristics found only in the manuscripts of these dialogic poems and in contemporary manuscripts of dramatic works from England and Northern France, suggesting that even in the thirteenth century, the dialogic poems must have been regarded as dramatic works. The examination is accompanied by the most complete review to date of the evidence for some kind of ritual drama having existed in pagan Scandinavia, looking at archaeological evidence for the use of masks and costumes, information contained in the sagas, and contemporary historical accounts. TERRY GUNNELL teaches English at Hamrahlid College, Iceland.
  

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Contents

A definition
10
Conclusion
21
The archaeological evidence
36
Literary evidence for ritual dramatic activities
80
E Conclusion
92
Norsk
111
Costumed combat traditions in Scandinavia
128
The battle between Summer and Winter from Olaus Magnus
129
Det Arnamagnaeanske
215
F The prose in the mythological dialogic poems
223
CHAPTER IV
234
G The difficulties involved in a oneman performance of the
236
H Conclusion
281
B Other early medieval Scandinavian manuscripts containing
283
Det
285
European manuscripts of dramatic works 10001300
290

E The continuation of pagan ritual in Scandinavia?
140
Wooden mask found at Storaborg by Eyjafjoll Iceland
146
Sveinn
152
Shetland Museum
169
H Conclusion
179
The Eddie Poems and Drama
182
The prose in the Eddie poems
194
Codex Regius of the Elder Edda MS Gl kgl sml 23654t0
209
The use of the margin to indicate speakers in dramatic
300
E Scandinavian contact with European dramatic manuscripts
324
CHAPTER V
330
E Conclusion
348
Bibliography
365
Index
399
Copyright

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