Sunday, September 1, 2019

Kormaks saga Essay

The saga began with Harald Fairhair who was king of Norway, the chief in the kingdom was known as Cormac who was one of the Vik-fork by kindred and was the mightiest of champions as went to the battles with the king. Cormac had a son Ogmund who earned himself a good name and riches for taking sea-roving in summer and served in the kings house in winter. He one summer he went roving in British Isles and met with Asmund Ashenside who had worsted many men of war and vikings. Since they had heard of each other’s greatness, they challenged each other by fighting. Asmund, although he had a better following withheld some of his men from the battle and as a result most of his people were killed and he fled therefore leaving the victory for Ogmund and went back home with wealth and worship once more. Ogmund then married Helga daughter of Earl Frodi and when Asmund heard of it, he went to meet him and asked for a fight which Ogmund agreed and after the fight, Osmund left three marks on Asmund but did not kill him. Kormaks Saga is an Iceland saga which seeks to the life and death of Kormaks, In this paper, the research will be based on the life, how he fell in love, loss of love and how he fought for it to the end. Cormac was born and bred. Ogmund had a son with Helga by the name Frodi. After the death of king Harald Fairhair, Eric Bllodaxe took over the kingship and since they were not in good terms with Ogmund, he prepared to take a ship and head to Iceland. However just before the ship was ready, Helga fell sick and died along with her son Frodi. Ogmund sailed to the sea and as they neared the land, he changed course and they landed in Midfiord at the time when Skeggi ruled the land. Skeggi welcomed them and gave them land for settlement and since his lurk seemed to grow less, he built himself a house on the sand hills where he lived ever after and married Dalla daughter of Onund the seer and gave birth to two sons; Cormac and Thorgils, (Mallet & Scott, 1847, 148) . Cormac fell in love After his father’s death, Cormac set eyes on Steingerd daughter of Thorkel who lived at Tunga and she thought him to be handsome, (Bredsdorff, 2001, 321) . However, some of the people in that homestead disliked him and he had a hard time trying to win over her affection. Two sons; Odd and Gudmund of a woman named Thorveig who lived at Stonestead in Midford new too much about the deal. Odd more often than not came to Steingerd house to check on Thorkel and made great friend ship with his sons. Odd however did not like Cormac drove the brothers against him and were ready to attack him when he came. The swords which were set for him at the door feel on him and he broke a great deal of his notch on them and as a result, Thorkel attacked him calling him a rascal and then took Steingerd, locked her up and swore that they would never see each other again. He tried to fight back but saw her brothers with swords ready to attack him and therefore he ran saying that he would fight them back and that no one threatens him and that the gods will befall them and punishment will fall upon them. Despite that, he sought her and once he found where she was hidden, he burst the doors and talked with her the entire day even though she feared for his life. When Thorkel saw that his plan did not yield any fruits, he told the sons of Thorveig waylay Cormac in a dale near his garth but himself remained at home so that he would bring them help if need be and so he send Narfi to go with them. As Cormac went back to his home in the evening, he saw the three men who attacked him severely although Narfi did not fight but instead dodged behind them. Cormac fought them, killed Odd and Gudmud died afterwards due to the wounds he had received. Steingerd father however was unable to help them because his daughter saw him as he set towards Cormac with weapons and stopped him on his tracks. Cormac the went to Thorveig and ordered her out of that are and refused to pay her any money as a compensation for her sons death, as a result, the woman cursed him and old him that he would never have Steingerd but he did not believe her. According to ( Collingwood, 1901, 52) , after all this, Cormac went to see Steingerd as usual and she asked him to make peace with her father so that he can marry her, so Cormac took gifts to Thorkel and after many people had their say about the whole saga, it was concluded that Steingerd be pledged to Cormac and therefore their wedding was fixed. However, Thorkel had had bewitched Cormac so that he could not have his daughter and when the wedding day came. Cormac failed to appear and it was said that he had broken the engagement. Due to all what had happened, Thorkel and his son planned on how to avenge Cormac by wedding Steingerd off to Bersi who was a widower and lived in the land of Saurbae. Although he was afraid of Cormac at first, they assured him that he was out of the way and therefore a wedding was set at once so that the news could not get out through the countryside where Cormac lived but all this was done against Steingerd will. Steingerd sent her Narfi to go and tell Cormac about all what was happening but his two trials failed as he was stopped by Vigi and therefore the wedding went on and they set off for a journey to Hrutafiord. In the process Narfi went to Mel where Cormac was to tell him the bad news but instead Cormac attacked him due to anger but afterwards, he set him free and started chasing Bersi and his bride saying that she was his bride and was crying for him. Thorgils, his brother then gathered eighteen men and followed Cormac to Hrutafiord. Thorveig spaewife gave Bersi her boat and ordered for the other boats to be scuttled so that Cormac would not find them, therefore when Cormac came, she asked for two ounces of silver which Cormac refused to pay and therefore she gave them a rotten boat which was filled with water as soon as they were off the show and therefore they were forced to go back to the shore, (Douglas, http://omacl. org/Cormac/). However Cormac followed them and no matter how much his brother begged him to go back and gain their honor, he insisted on seeing Steingerd. However Bersi told him that she would not agree to go with him and offered his sister Helga to Cormac whom he refused. He then prepared to fight Bersi who was a great fighter and has many swords and weapons which were great and made him win in many fights. Cormac therefore borrowed weapons from Skeggi and he rode with fifteen men to Leidholm in Middal where they were to meet with Bersi who had as many people. The fight on Leidholm between Bersi and Cormac went on and due to his bad luck, Cormac was defeated and was therefore required to pay Bersi money for release which he assured payment and they then parted ways. Cormac then went to his kinsman Steingard and asked him to take the money to Bersi and he stayed there for some time as his thumb was swelled from the fight and Bersi’s brother said that he had won due to Cormac’s mishap. Many war songs were made about the fight by many people including Bersi when describing the war to Steingard and when they met again with Cormac, Cormac when he returned the sword to Skeggi and when he went back to his mother at Mel. At Saurbae, games were held during winter and Bersi’s lad Asmund always beat up Thord sons who went home bleeding and their mother vowed to seek her brother Bork’s help so that her sons win since their father was helping Bersi instead of his sons. However her husband forbid her and instead opted to talk over with Bersi. After wards, things cooled down until spring when Bersi and other people went to the tent of Olaf Peacock where his chief was but the sit he usually sat on had already been occupied by a fine looking man who was Steiner and had come to pay him his money from Cormac. He dared Bersi to take a fight with him so as to know whether he will get both of the silver or loose both. Bersi however was defeated and this was the making of Thord as a repayment for his sons and so as to see him down for once. Bersi was taken home to Saurbae after this where he took long to heal his woods, (Douglas, http://omacl. org/Cormac/). Thord returned the luck stone to Bersi which healed him and they became friends again. However due to all these, Steingerd was angered and left Bersi as he called him ‘ Breech Bersi’ and therefore asked for a divorce from him. She went back to her kinsfolk and after meeting with her brother Thorkel, she asked him to get her things back from Bersi including her money and dowry since she could not own him now that he was crippled. After the winter, Thorkel went to look for Bersi but he said that he had too much to bear and would not pay the money. A fight was then set between the two and Bersi used a longer sword than it was lawful to kill Thorkel. Thord however saw it as a waste of a life and decided to make it up between Bersi and Vali by asking Vali’s sister to become Bersi’s wife and after Bersi built a strong stone wall around his house for safety. There was a man Thorarin Alfsson who lived at Thambardal and had three sons; Alf, Loft and Skofti and in Tunga in Bitra lived Odd who had a daughter Steinvor and her by-name slim-ankles. Odd argued with another man Glum about who was greater and he insisted that Bersi was greater that Thorarin and as a result they fell out and lain a wager on it. Thorarin was very angry on hearing that and he took Steinvor to his home to spite his father and dared him to say anything against him. Odd went to Bersi for help and Bersi went to Thambardal to get Steinvor back as a result he fought with Thoradin and killed him and went back with Steinvor. As Thoradin’s son went to attach Bersi, he killed them all and took Steinvor ti his home. Bersi adopted Olaf’s child Halldor and since Thordis did not like it, she took all the money so that Steinvor and the child could not be helped. Bersi the made a plot on killing Vali, Thordis brother and did so with Steinvor and Halldor’s help. Steingerd then wed Thorvald son of Eystein and Cormac heard of it and went to visit her and straightened things out. Cormac then left with his brother to Norway and were welcomed by Hakon the king and stayed the whole winter and went to the wars in the summer and made many raids with Siegfried. King Hakon soon died and the brothers befriended the next king Harald and went to war in Ireland with him and won a great victory. shortly however, Cormac left the Ireland despite the kings pleadings and landed in Midfiord. Once on shore he met with Steingerd and after a long talk he sang many songs to her and they parted somewhat angry with each other and he went to Mel the entire winter. In winter, he went to see Steingerd at her home and brothers of Narfi made an ill song and accused Cormac of writing it, as a result Steingerd was angered and Cormac took time to proof himself innocent and once the truth was out, he slain Narfi and Thorvald hid himself. Thorvard set a fight with Cormac but failed to turn up. Thorvald the accused Cormac for libel but were defeated and when Huna- water thing came, Cormac and Thorvard met and Thorvard challenged Cormac and he agreed and went back to Mel. Thorvard then went to Thordis the spae-wife to seek witch craft help against Cormac and Cormac went a bit too late to Thordis for help. However when the fight came, Thorvard was defeated by Cormac but Steingerd refused to go with him and the parted ill pleased. Thorvard then sought help for healing from Thordis and was told to smear blood of the bull Cormac had killed around the hill so they bought the bull from him in exchange with Steingerd’s ring and she was very angry, (Collingwood, 1901,52) . According to (Chaillu, 2006, 422) , Thorvard asked for another fight from Cormac but despite seeking Thordis help to make his sword blunt, he fought him , thrust his shoulder and paid Cormac another ring and as Thorolf tried to attack Cormac, he warded off the blow and sang him a song. Cormac and Thorgils set to go to Norway and before going he kissed Steingerd twice and was required pay for what he had done with the two rings Thorvard had parted with. After that they went abroad and were welcome by the king. Steingerd asked Thorvald to go to Norway too and although he did not want, they went and were attacked by vikings who wanted to rob them and carry Steingerd. However, Cormac helped them and made it to the king’s court safely. After some time Cormac found Steinford and kissed her four kisses and paid two with two ounces of gold and afterwards they made out several times. According to (Jones, 1935, 9,148) , Thorvald cruised to Denmark with Steingerd and the two brothers followed soon after and found Thorvald’s ship robbed and Steingerd taken by vikings whose head was Thorstein son of Asmund Ashenside who was an old enemy of Ogmund father to Thorgils and Cormac. Thorvald was afraid to go after them so the brothers went aboard Thorstein’s ship and managed to safe her and although Thorvald allowed her to go with Cormac, she refused and parted ways as they went to Iceland and the brothers to Norway. The brothers won many wars in Wales, England and Scotland and achieved great feats. In conclusion, Cormac met his death when he was attacked by a monstrous Scot man and although he killed the Scot, he had broken his two ribs and his las will was to give his brother Thorgils all he had and therefore he died and Thorgils became captain and lived in the vikings for a long time. References: Bredsdorff Thomas & Tucker John, chaos and love: the philosophy of the Icelandic family, Museum Tusculanum press, ISBN: 8772895705, 2001, p 321 Chaillu Paul,   the viking age, Kessinger Publishing co, ISBN: 1428627782, 2006, p   422 Collingwood WG & Stefansson J. the life and death of the Cormac the Scald: (â€Å"Kormak’s Saga†), Ulverston, 1901. p 52 Douglas B. Killings, the life and death of the Cormac the Scald: â€Å"Kormak’s Saga†, March 1995 Jones Gwyn, four Icelandic Sagas, Scandinavian foundation, Europe, 1935, pg 148 Mallet, Paul Henri, & Scott Walter, translated by Piercy Thomas, Northern Antiquities, H.G, Scandinavia, 1847,   p 9, 148

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