Essay on Njal’s Saga Reading

Assignment: Write a paper with a thesis statement and argument backed up with evidence from the primary source you have just finished reading, Njal’s Saga. Your paper will be a response to ONE of the questions provided, with your answer serving as your thesis statement.

The saga boasts a large cast of heroic and villainous characters, some loosely based on real people. What character is depicted as most worthy of admiration, OR alternatively, as most despicable? Pick one specific character and explain with evidence from the text. HINT: The question is not about your own opinion but about how the text chooses to present certain characters. Consider which characters the intended audience (medieval Icelanders) were supposed to think highly of and which they were expected to dislike.
The saga has a large cast that frequently come into conflict while pursuing their interests. What is the primary drive of the characters in Njal’s Saga? Choose one focused answer and explain with evidence from the text. HINT: You may argue that they are motivated by the law, wealth, reputation, revenge, family, or something else altogether, but stick to a single, coherent answer.

Citing Evidence: It is important for you to ground your argument in evidence from the primary source. Incorporate the source material into your own writing by paraphrasing or quoting.
Because your references should be confined to class readings, you may use parenthetical citation, rather than the Chicago style citation historians prefer. That is, cite as follows: (Njal’s Saga 12). Make sure to include a full bibliographical citation at the end of your paper. I discourage you from using sources beyond Njal’s Saga. Instead, concentrate on writing a good argument.