Dygðirnar í Laxdæla sögur: efniviður fyrir mannkostamenntun

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Abstract

Bókmenntakennsla í anda mannkostamenntunar byggist mjög á því að fjalla um dygðirnar í textanum. Þegar tilraun var gerð með að kenna Laxdæla sögu með þessu móti þurfti að taka saman dygðirnar í sögunni. Í þessari grein er að finna ítarlega greiningu á dygðum í Laxdælu. Beitt var tveimur aðferðum við að leita að dygðunum. Fyrri aðferðin fólst í að skoða þau dygðaorð sem koma fyrir í sögunni. Þannig má fá nokkuð heilsteypta mynd af þeim dygðum sem höfundur Laxdælu nefnir sjálfur. Til að fá breiðari mynd af dygðunum í sögunni og jafnframt dýpri mynd af þeim aðstæðum þar sem dygðir koma fyrir var beitt annarri aðferð. Þar var notaður listi yfir dygðir frá Jubilee-miðstöðinni á Englandi og skoðað hvað af þeim mætti finna í sögunni. Í báðum tilfellum voru sams konar dæmi tekin saman til að gefa sem besta mynd af notkun orða og tilvist dygða í Laxdælu. Greiningin er rökstuðningur fyrir tilvist dygða í sögunni, getur nýst þeim sem vilja kenna Laxdælu út frá dygðum og loks varpar hún fræðilegu ljósi á þær dygðir sem finna má í sögunni.
Character education through the teaching of literature is first and foremost based on the teaching of virtues in stories. The teacher looks for virtues in the literature with her students and then these virtues are discussed to improve the students’ understanding of virtue concepts and hopefully make them more aware of virtues in their own lives. In preparation for a research project where Laxdæla saga, one of the Icelandic sagas, was taught in this way, the story was analysed in terms of the virtues identified there. This article contains a detailed analysis of the virtues found in Laxdæla saga. The analysis is an argument for the claim that virtues exist in the Icelandic sagas. It can be used by those who want to teach Laxdæla saga, for example, by means of discussing these virtues and furthermore throws scholarly light on the virtues found in the saga. Two methods were used for searching for virtues in Laxdæla saga. The first method aims at being as close to the text of the saga as possible by researching the virtue vocabulary used in the saga itself. The words in the text that could refer to virtues were found and systematically categorized. Each category also included the opposite of the virtue; that is, the vice. Sometimes this appears in the form of a negation of the virtue and sometimes there is a word for the opposite. The most common virtues noted using this method may be rendered as vigour (skörungsskapur), noblemindedness (stórmennska), wisdom, love, manliness (drengskapur), nobility and courteousness (kurteisi), although their translation into English is by no means straightforward. Examples of each virtue identified in the saga by using this first method, are listed and explained in the article. Generally a distinction can be made between two categories of examples, where one kind is more useful in character education than the other. The first category is when a virtue is mentioned without any explanation. The second occurs when the virtue of a character is further described or illustrated. Usually the virtue is presented in the form of a view that the character holds or a deed the character has done. Sometimes when a virtue is explained we can talk of a virtue situation. This refers to a situation, in which a character in the saga finds herself, which helps to evaluate the character’s virtues. This may be a relatively mundane situation or one charged with moral tension. Although virtue situations are quite common in Laxdæla saga they usually do not come to light, however, by using the first method of looking for virtue words. This called for the second method, because for character education it is important to find examples where the characters’ behaviour is explained in some way but is also provides food for thought as to how one could behave differently. In the second method, a list of virtues from The Jubilee Centre for Character & Virtues at the University of Birmingham was used to see which of them could be found in the story. The majority of examples discovered using this method were cases of virtue situations. The most common virtues using this method where love, generosity, conciliatoriness (or mercy), courage, nobility, fairness (or justice), honesty, self-discipline and endurance (or strength). These two different methods may be useful for the teaching of Laxdæla saga in different ways. The first method may help teachers and students identify virtues on the surface of Laxdæla saga. This is helpful in the beginning, or for less advanced students, to become acquainted with the virtues. The second method, on the other hand, helps them spot virtue situations that can spark discussions and lead to a more profound understanding of the characters in the story and of the virtues themselves.
Original languageIcelandic
Pages (from-to)1-17
JournalNetla
VolumeSérrit , Bókmenntir, listir og grunnþættir menntunar
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2018

Other keywords

  • Laxdæla saga
  • Dyggðir
  • Mannkostamenntun
  • Bókmenntakennsla
  • Íslendingasögur
  • Siðferði

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