Treacherous Ties: a Comparative Look at Betrayal in the Norse Myths of the Völsungs and Euripides' House of Atreus Plays
The Norse myths featuring the Völsung family and the Greek plays of Euripides are multigenerational mythic arcs containing many acts of betrayals. Yet there are key differences in the way betrayal features in each of the sets of stories studied. Through these differences, it is possible to determine the level of import given to specific family relationships in each of the mythic cycles’ two cultures. Some important differences occur in the way women are perceived in each culture and the level of importance given to close kin versus the society at large. In both mythic cycles, however, betrayal is subject to public scrutiny. The opinion of the cultural group is what decides on the consequences enacted on the betrayer for an act of betrayal. The concept of betrayal, despite being a conservative force, is revealed to be a social mechanism that can over time enact change on the values held by a cultural group.
Language--Ancient, Literature--Classical, Literature--Scandinavian and Icelandic
Baird, D. (2016). Treacherous Ties: a Comparative Look at Betrayal in the Norse Myths of the Völsungs and Euripides' House of Atreus Plays (Master's thesis, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada). Retrieved from https://prism.ucalgary.ca. doi:10.11575/PRISM/28521