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But there is no gall in Achilleus' heart, and he is forgiving. Otherwise, son of Atreus, this were your last outrage' w. Odysseus replies on behalf of both Agamemnon and Achilles, insulting Thersites: 32 'Fluent orator though you be, Thersites, your words are ill-considered. Stop, nor stand up alone against princes. Out of all those who came beneath Ilion with Atreides I assert there is no worse man than you are' w.

For good measure, Odysseus threatens Thersites with a humiliating public stripping if he persists in his obnoxiousness, beating Thersites with his sceptre in the meantime. Another instance of taunting occurs in the Odyssey, Book Eight. When he declines, he is rudely challenged by Euryalus: ' You must have been the skipper of some tramp that crawled from one port to the next, jam full of chaffering hands: a tallier of cargoes itching for gold -- not, by your looks, an athlete1 w. Odysseus replies with a lecture on the misleading nature of appearances.

Only a fool would be so deceived, says Odysseus, adding the insult that his taunter's fine appearance obviously hides an empty head: 'That was uncalled for, friend, you talk like a fool. The gods deal out no gift, this one or any --birth, brains, or speech -- to every man alike. In looks a man may be a shade, a specter, and yet be master of speech so crowned with beauty that people gaze at him with pleasure A handsome man, contrariwise, may lack grace and good sense in everything he says.


You now, for instance, with your fine physique --a god's indeed -- you have an empty noddle, ' w. Alkinoos considers this has resolved the quarrel without ill-will w. A comparison of the taunting and parley in classical epic shows that while these adversarial dialogues are both constructed largely from boast and insult, they differ in their connection to actual combat. Unlike the parley, taunting can sometimes be dissociated from subsequent battle. Thus although he is threatened by Odysseus, Thersites remains passive and the beating he receives scarcely approaches the level of warfare, nor does it alter the truth of Thersites' claims about the situation in which the Greeks find themselves.

Similarly, the taunter Euryalus emerges unscathed from his dispute with Odysseus. In taunting, then, the emphasis can be on a verbal rather than a physical struggle, and although issues of personal honour may be involved, platitudes such as those recited by Odysseus in reply to Euryalus' insult can win the day. The final dialogue between Hagen and Waltharius in Waltharius has affinities with such taunting exchanges, as well as with the game-like sub-genre of flyting.

Although this scurrile certamen contains flyting features like direct address and repetition or mirroring, it merits the label of flyting largely because the injuries each warrior has sustained provoke a balanced exchange of insults, as each participant -- one without a hand, the other without an eye -- gleefully anticipates for his opponent the rigors and embarrassments of the life he must now lead, thus maimed: Francus ait 'lam dehinc cervos agitabis, amice 34 quorum de corio wantis sine fine fruaris. At dextrum, moneo, tenera lanugine comple, ut causae ignaros palmae sub imagine falias.

Si venor cervos carnem vitabis aprinam. Haec pariter victum tibi conferet atque medelam1 w. A close reading of the two speeches suggests that the difference between this ludic contest and the earlier flytings may lie in the kind of utterance each contains. In this final flyting, even though both Waltharius and Hagen playfully speculate about the future, neither utters either the commissive boasts and threats or the directive illocutions which require the confirmation of deeds.

The flyting therefore is sufficient unto itself, and the two warriors can part without further bloodshed. This kind of bloodless flyting, often called senna or manniafnapr by Germanic scholars, can be found in several other texts. Pizarro provides an example of a brief version of this kind of flyting, conducted by representatives of Church and state at the doors of a tyrant's palace. On the threshold of the palace, he is stopped and compelled to enter into an exchange of insults with a messenger of the king.

Not only is the setting typical of "court" flyting, the dialogue also contains rhetorical 35 elements of flyting as each speaker echoes the other's utterance: Nuntiatum est Alahis, Thomam diaconem ante fores adstare benedictionemque ab episcopo detulisse.

Tunc Alahis, qui, ut diximus, omnes clericos odia habebat, ita inquit ad suos: 'Ite, dicite illi, si munda femoralia habet, intret; sin autem aliter, foris contineat pedem. Thomas, however, replies with an utterance which seems to reconstrue the insult as a statement of a general truth -- perhaps that only God has the right to reproach a man for his physical nature. Whatever the exact implication of Thomas' words, they are sufficient in themselves to win him entry, and involve him in no behavioral validation of his utterance.

Arrow-Odd contains a similar flyting, in that the verbal contest between Arrow-Odd disguised as Barkman and the brothers Sjolf and Sigurd at King Herraud's court precipitates no violence. The competition is intended to resolve a wager made by Barkman's friends, Ottar and Ingjald, who bet that Barkman can outdrink Sjold and Sigard.


Although the terms of the bet are potentially serious "'We'll have a bet on it, ' said Sjold, 'This twelve ounce bracelet against your heads'" , no harm results. Instead, Barkman's true identity and his natural abilities are revealed to all in an entertaining fashion. The flyting itself is elaborately game-like, with rules which require that each contestant recite in a stanza of a predetermined form "a boast about a heroic deed followed by an accusation that the opponent was 36 doing something dishonourable at the same time," [Lonnroth, p.

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Of particular interest is the fact that these rules seem to exclude commissive illocutions as well as settlement offers from the contest. Sigurd begins the exchange, saying: 'Odd, you've never split mail-coats in battle when the helmed warriors took to their heels. The war was raging, fire raced through the town when our king won victory over the Wends.

You weren't there. Odd [Barkman] at the clash of weapons when we let the great king's men taste death. From there I brought home fourteen wounds, while you were out begging food from the farmers. You, Sjolf were flat on the kitchen floor not a single deed, one mark of courage had you dared, when from those four men in Aquitaine I took their lives' pp. Several features of these lines suggest the verbal equivalent of blow and counter-blow, even though no actual violence is intended. Direct address, emphatic pronoun contrast, and the repeated comparison of deeds accomplished, all contained 37 within the parallel double stanza format of claim and counterclaim, create the illusion of swordplay.

Deus noster fidelis - Filli care et amata Sheet Music by Ruggiero Giovannelli

Barkman eventually wins the contest when Sjolf and Sigurd collapse and fall asleep, leaving only Barkman to continue his retrojective boasts according to the decorum of the contest: 'Now I have listed all the exploits we performed so long ago; rich in victories we returned home to the high-seat. Let Sjolf speak now!

Sjolf, of course, is beyond replying and Barkman's eloquence in recounting his own heroism wins the day. HarbarPsli of is another example of a flyting text in which superior wit and not superior strength is at issue. Here Thor, the "good-natured, mighty-thewed, and impetuous but somewhat simple god" Poetic Edda, p. The encounter begins when Thor demands that the ferryman identify himself: 1.

Thor called out: 'Who is the fellow there by the ferry who stands? The ferryman said: 'Who is the fellow there over the firth who calls? Thor said: 'That Hrungnir I fought thou hast heard aright, the stout hearted who a stone bore as a head; yet I did him to death and he bit the dust. What didst thou meanwhile, Harbarth? The ferryman said: 'Was I with Fjolvar full five winters on that island which is Algren hight There war we waged and waded in blood, tried many deeds, and maidens lured.

Thor said: 'Did you win the love of the women? The dialogue continues with more insulting exchanges: Thor said: 'In Eastland was I and slew etins wanton wenches who warred on mountains What didst thou meanwhile, Harbarth? The ferryman said: 'In Valland was I and waged battles, urged on the athelings, nor ever made peace. Gets Othin all earls slain by edge of swords but Thor, the breed of thralls. Thor said: 'With wicked words sayst thou what worst would seem to me; but, craven knave, I know that thou liest.

The ferryman said:'No lie I tell thee. Full late are thou now far hadst thou been had I ferried thee over. Shortly after this, the flyting ends.

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Harbarpr wins the contest and refuses to let Thor cross the water, telling him to go away, and effectively silencing him "'Get thee gone now where all trolls may take thee! Once again eloquence and wit are sufficient to win the verbal war of words. Erik Disertus' first encounter with Grep, the court bully, on the shores of Denmark is also a flyting which is resolved without a fight. Indeed, it seems as if Erik's maxims reach some higher plane of flyting which disdains even a linguistic martiality, for Erik avoids not only combat, but also the use of direct address and emphatic pronoun contrast.

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