‘È ANDATA COME PENSAVO’: TRASGRESSIONE DELLO SCRIPT RITUALE NELLA GÍSLA SAGA SÚRSSONAR
Analyzing the Norse sagas through Cognitive Poetics allows us to trace mental structures as cognitive schemes (frames) that helping to plan problem-solving strategies through the creative imagination. Different frames structure a script, which is a complex scenario of predetermined sequences of actions, such as rituals. When these scripts undergo alterations in expectations, this causes an emotional response that acts as a cognitive attractor. Taking Gísla saga Súrssonar as an example, we can see how the ritual script at the beginning of the saga, in which the protagonists fail a pact of blood-brotherhood, is transgressed setting off a chain of dire consequences. This transgression activates emotional cognitive responses in the reader, who, in noting the transgression of a ritual script, predicts the negative outcome of the story. The reader of the saga foresees an adverse fate to the protagonists, also due to the presumed superknowledge and super-perception of the deities who, called to witness a blood pact not respected, deny their favor to the protagonists, leaving them at the mercy of their own destiny. The confirmation of the disgraceful conclusion could lead to prosocial behavior in readers, activating the awareness of personal responsibility and the consequences of one's actions.
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