Icelandic Saga and Myth

Ref: C2227140

Warriors or poets? Christians or Pagans? Who were the medieval Icelanders who gave us the tales of Viking sagas and such unruly gods as Odin, Thor, and Loki? In this course we will explore the early literature of Iceland and uncover a world of violence and tenderness, cunning and stupidity, capricious gods and formidable women, preposterous tales and rich poetry. We will witness the settlement of Iceland, and consider the Viking ethos. We will read tales from Norse mythology, including the violent creation myth, and more playful tales of gods, dwarves and giants. We will also discuss sagas of warrior-poets, and the great family sagas which give a vivid insight into the complex lives, folk beliefs, and rich culture of a time which continues to excite the imagination.

Course aim

To read and discuss to the great variety of mythical and legendary stories in early Icelandic literature, and to enhance knowledge of Viking-age culture.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • understand the historical, political, and religious context of early Icelandic literature
  • demonstrate knowledge of entertaining stories of Norse mythology and Icelandic saga
  • identify typical mythological and literary themes in the texts

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • You may be asked to undertake additional work in your own time to support your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor

What else do I need to know?

  • Extracts from the essential texts will be supplied. You may wish to bring a pad and pen for note-taking.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful

What can I do next?

Download full course information sheet

Icelandic Saga and Myth

Enrolment Conditions

As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2019
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

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