Vinsamlegast notið þetta auðkenni þegar þið vitnið til verksins eða tengið í það: http://hdl.handle.net/1946/34376
This thesis is a study of animal shape-shifting in Old Norse culture, considering, among other things, the related concepts of hamr, hugr, and the fylgjur (and variations on these concepts) as well as how shape-shifters appear to be associated with the wild, exile, immorality, and violence. Whether human, deities, or some other type of species, the shape-shifter can be categorized as an ambiguous and fluid figure who breaks down many typical societal borderlines including those relating to gender, biology, animal/ human, and sexual orientation. As a whole, this research project seeks to better understand the background, nature, and identity of these figures, in part by approaching the subject psychoanalytically, more specifically within the framework established by the Swiss psychoanalyst, Carl Jung, as part of his theory of archetypes. This project includes, among other things, a critical examination of the extant archaeological and Icelandic literary sources (as well as other works such as Historia Norwegiæ and Gesta Danorum) relating to shape-shifting as a means of analyzing the concept of Old Norse animal shape-shifting, and earlier understandings of human/ animal relationships as a whole, noting how this motif seems to have been perceived by Scandinavian society over time. In short, the thesis aims to understand the “inner mechanics” of shape-shifting and why these figures later came to be demonized, exiled, and persecuted in Scandinavian society.
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