Subverting Looming Disasters: Weaving as Power Motif Across Classical, Old English, and Norse Myth
Keywords:Weaving, Oral Storytelling, Classical Epic, Old English
AbstractThe mythic motif of weaving often depicts women exerting control over their surroundings through cunning and skill. Contrary to perceptions of weaving as constrained action in classical myth, however, weaving in Old English and Norse myth connotes a metaphor of oral storytelling, embedded in the Icelandic term “Þáttr,” meaning both “short story” and “thread.” As a result, weaving in Old English and Norse myth often provides a space for women to influence wars from the loom. By examining classical, Old English, and Old Norse myth, we can better understand how weaving, speaking, and power intertwine within ancient power dynamics.
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