Konflikt dvojí stylistiky v islandských ságách: litotes versus superlativ
Conflict of two poetical elements in the islandic sagas: litotes versus superlative
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The style of the Old Norse saga genres is sometimes reduced to two elements: litotes, taken as an embodiment of the traditional family sagas, and superlative, symbolizing the main feature of the late chivalric and lying sagas. This scheme can be useful only to some extent, as an auxiliary criterion for describing tendencies of the genre development. However, the litotes-superlative generalization eliminates much of the stylistic variation. Thus, further analyses should be based on more elements, and their functions in the narrative, as well as their usefulness to the respective ideology, should be considered. The family sagas tend to use litotes and various forms of indirect assessment, making the heroes hardly flawless, so that the audience needs to create their own opinion based on established phrases. The role of the audience of the chivalric and lying sagas is more passive, the heroes’ qualities are stated directly, often as a hyperbole, making strict difference between the pure good and pure evil, and guiding the audience to the right values.
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