Gylfaginning

From Academic Kids

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Odin_&_Gylfi.JPG
Gylfi greets Odin

Gylfaginning, or The tricking of Gylfi, is the first part of the Christian poet and historian Snorri Sturluson's Edda. The Gylfaginning deals with the creation and destruction of the world of the Norse gods, and many other aspects of Norse mythology. The second part is called the Skáldskaparmál and the third Háttatal. Together, the three works are known as the 'Younger Edda', so-called to distinguish it from the Elder Edda.

The Gylfaginning deals with Gylfi's encounters with the Aesir, and his disguised journey as Gangleri to Asgard. There Gylfi is ostensibly exposed to the glories of Asgard and its inhabitants. The whole of this narrative is however remarkably metaphysical since the Aesir, who according to Snorri, have foreknowledge, trick him into a belief in the arcane complexities of the Norse pantheon, ultimately leaving him standing on empty ground. It can be argued that Snorri used this narrative device as a means of being able to safely document a vanishing and largely oral tradition within a post-Christian context.

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