I am confused by the Prose Edda. Can anyone explain the basic concepts of this Nordic mythololgical poetry?

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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The Prose Edda was written by Snorri Sturluson (a powerful leader in Iceland). Containing four sections (Prologue, Gylfaginning, Skaldskaparmal, and Hattatal), Prose Edda tells of both the creation and end of the world. Filled with tales of giants, elves, gods, heroes, and queens, the text provides readers with the mythology ingrained in Nordic history.

Therefore, the basic concepts of this text focuses upon how things came to be as they did (origination/lore). The Prologue defines, from a Christian perspective, the Nordic gods a former Trojan warriors who left Troy to settle elsewhere and are idealized as superior to all others. Gylfaginning defines the creation through the destruction of the world. Skeldskaparmal defines the conversation between Aegir (a sea god) and Bragi (the Skaldic god of poetry). Their discussion defines the intricate relationship between poetry and nature. Hattatal is the most personal of Sturluson. This section defines the typical verse form of poetry of the period. He used this section to illustrate how poetry should be written (identifying himself as the premiere example).

Essentially, the text acts as an educational tool for those interested in Norse mythology, Norse history, and poetry. Similar to other mythology texts, Prose Edda introduces readers to how things came to be as they are, educated discussions of academic nature, and a lesson on poetic writing. While the stories of the gods, elves, heroes, and queens proves entertaining, the text's focus is that of an educative nature.

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