W. P. Ker (essay date 1908)
SOURCE: Ker, W. P. “Tragic Imagination.” In Epic and Romance: Essays on Medieval Literature, pp. 207-24. New York: Dover Publications, 1908.
[In the following essay, Ker describes the tragic quality of Icelandic sagas, with particular reference to the Laxdaela Saga as a historical and epic romance.]
In their definite tragical situations and problems, the Sagas are akin to the older poetry of the Teutonic race. The tragical cases of the earlier heroic age are found repeated, with variations, in the Sagas. Some of the chief of these resemblances have been found and discussed by the editors of Corpus Poeticum Boreale. Also in many places where there is...
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