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What is the definition of saga?

The definition of saga is a long-form prose narrative with mythological elements.

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Last Updated May 26, 2023.

A saga is a term used in literature to describe a long, narrative work, often composed in prose, that typically tells the story of heroic or legendary figures. Sagas are commonly associated with the medieval period and are rooted in oral storytelling traditions. They often focus on heroic characters' exploits, adventures, and genealogies, portraying their courage, conflicts, and relationships.

Sagas can be categorized into two main types: the "saga of the Icelanders" (also known as the family saga) and the "saga of the kings" (also called the courtly saga). The former typically revolves around the lives and struggles of Icelandic settlers, while the latter focuses on the exploits of kings and other noble figures.

Sagas are characterized by their episodic nature, encompassing multiple generations and featuring many characters and interconnected storylines. They often blend historical events with mythological elements and reflect the cultural and social context of the time in which they were written.

Although sagas originated in the medieval period, their influence can still be seen in modern literature and popular culture. They continue to captivate readers with their tales of heroism, conflict, and human experience. Some modern-day sagas include A Song of Ice and Fire and The Dark Tower.

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