The chapter argues for a more nuanced and empirically based understanding of the discourse on law and socio-cultural norms in Old Icelandic literature on the grounds of a narratological reading of ‘Færeyinga saga’ as a case study. It has often been claimed that Icelandic sources express an ideal of freedom based on communality as guaranteed by the law. By contrast, ‘Færeyinga saga’ represents a cynical discourse on power politics that renders law as an invariable concept obsolete and works solely on the principle that ‘might is right’. This cynicism, however, is presented in a form that leaves the narrative open to interpretation, showing that regardless of its possible dating, narrative literature can serve as a starting point for social discussion. Consequently, the discourse on law in medieval Iceland must be perceived as more polyphonic than has been allowed for by previous unifying readings in scholarship.
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