, Volume 81, Issue 3, pp 403–408 | Cite as

Direct Discourse and Gender in the Ágrip af Nóregs konunga sögum

  • Peter Dendle


The author establishes that direct discourse is employed with specific narrative strategies in the Ágrip af Nóregs konunga sögum, in accordance with established practices of Icelandic family sagas. As rhetorical mechanisms, direct and indirect discourse are used to privilege certain characters over others in terms of social or moral standing, such that audience sympathies are carefully guided. Then, with this practice in mind, it is observed that no woman is granted direct discourse in the work in its extant form. Several curious episodes are examined in terms of the peculiar Ágrip construction of female personae, in which it is seen that the work consistently attributes minimal responsibility, action, or presence to women, while liberally granting them blame. The Ágrip thus defuses the power of women through the socio-hierarchical structures implicit in the rhetorical formulations of discourse.


Comparative Literature Historical Linguistic Minimal Responsibility Moral Standing Established Practice 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Dendle
    • 1
  1. 1.University of TorontoCanada

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