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In Egil’s Saga, have read chapters 68-90 (end). pp. 145-205. Answer each question below with one paragraph
5. The motif of the “accidental acquisition of knowledge” is a common one in folk tale and legend. How is it appropriate to Sigurd?
6. One critic has remarked that as “choosers” of the slain, Valkyrie and shield-maiden characters in these texts are themselves not characteristically “feminine,” in that they exercise free choice, or resist having others’ choices forced upon them. How does this apply to Sigrun and Brynhild? Does is apply to the non-valkyrie women, such as Signy and Gudrun?
7. Unlike Baldr’s “ominous dreams” in the Eddas, which are not described, but which move Odin to seek answers and Frigg to take precautions, the many prescient dreams in the Volsung/Niflung cycle are told in great detail, but no preventative actions are taken—in fact, the dreams of their wives are dismissed by the doomed Gunnar and Hogni. How would you account for the difference in treatment?
8. As the legend enters a more historical world in its second half (when Sigurd joins the family of Gunnar, Hogni, and Gudrun), supernatural events such as the appearances of Odin in the narrative fade away (except for the very end of the Saga of the Volsungs, probably a late addition). Is the change due to the joining of what were originally two separate hero legends, of different character? Or, as some have said about Egil’s Saga, has the supernatural and mythic dimension become internal, psychologized?