Honor in Thorstein The Staff-Struck

Honor in Thorstein The Staff-Struck

Length: 1559 words (4.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
Honor in Thorstein The Staff-Struck


Honor is something that is earned, but it must also be defended in order to be
upheld in the eyes of all.  In “Thorstein The Staff-Struck” one’s respect is based on their
honor alone. Honor is the essence of a life worth living. In this story, a life without honor
means that the life is worthless. Death is better than having no honor. Men will easily
give their lives without second thought to earn, and protect it. Honor’s role in “Thorstein
the Staff-Struck” takes on several roles, but all of them are to achieve one common goal.
The various roles take on the common goal of achieving honor itself.

               Thorstein’s nick-name “the Staff-Struck” is a strain on his honor because his

masculinity is being questioned after his first bout with Thord. Thorstein’s first reaction

to the blow to his head by Thord’s staff  is not thought of as being honorable. He didn’t

respond in a way that would defend his honor. He needed to stand up for himself to

accomplish that trying task.. His response to Thord’s  blow was thought of as a cowards

response. That meant his honor had been shamed by his own action, or lack of the correct

actions. After that, Thorstein’s integrity was belittled in the eyes of others. One’s honor

lies not only in the eyes of one’s self, but also in the words, and eyes of all present, and

around. Thorstein had to avenge his honor in the eyes of the spectators for himself.

Thorstein’s father prompted his vengeance though. Thorstein could not simply sit back,

and be humiliated by his own father. That was just too much for him to deal with, nor did

he want to try. He knew he must honor his father by bringing, and restoring honor to

himself. His response, although late, was honorable. Timing is a crucial part of

vengeance in this story though. Bijarni, the ruler of Hof, had a different role in society,

but his honor  was still of great importance. Bijarni’s honor was questioned by his

servants, his wife, and others because they felt his reverence had been stained by

Thorstein. His lack of action against Thorstein made him weak in the eyes of others. He

had been challenged, but he had not yet accepted the challenge. When honor is seen as

challenged there must be action taken or soundness will be questioned. Thorhall and

Thorvald questioned Bijarni’s honor in gossip, and in rumor. Bijarni then instructed the

two to leave, and return with Thorstein’s head, as he can not stand by while his servants

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Honor in Thorstein The Staff-Struck." 123HelpMe.com. 20 Apr 2019

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay about Honor in the Iliad and Antigone

- The notion of honor is prevalent throughout the Iliad and Antigone. Both texts demonstrate that honor is essential to Greek heroes because honor is the foundation of the society and family. Homer and Sophocles clearly show that honor guides people’s actions and responses and decides the fate of themselves and others. Both authors also place emphasis on the importance of proper burial because it is a strong indication of honor to the deceased and the deceased’s family. As can be seen in the Iliad and Antigone, the aim of every Greek hero is to gain everlasting honor because it ensures his place in the social memory of his society resounding even after death....   [tags: Honor, Iliad, Antigone,]

Research Papers
991 words (2.8 pages)

Honor in the Play Titus Andronicus Essay

- With so many words making up the content of plays, it is difficult for one, single word to make much of an impact. However, the word ‘honor’ does just that in the play Titus Andronicus. Honor means different things to different people, and this is quite evident in the tragedy that is Titus Andronicus. The definition of honor has changed throughout the history of man. The character for which the play is named, Titus, puts his honor and the honor of Rome before anything else. In the play, honor is used as justification for wrongful actions....   [tags: honor, titus andronicus, shakespeare]

Research Papers
834 words (2.4 pages)

Induction of Staff Essay

- Induction of staff is a vital step undertaken by the administration to ensure that their staffs remain effective in provision of services to consumers. The aim of this research is to analyse how effective induction of nurses is in retaining the nurse bank staff. From the population sample of the nurses and other staff members, the research will seek to address the views of the sample population to understand how effective induction is. Pre test designs The participants that have been selected to serve as a sample are placed in several groups from where they can now be researched on....   [tags: Health Care, Nurse Bank Staff]

Research Papers
2077 words (5.9 pages)

Graduation Speech : The Honor Code

- The Academic Honor Code Each and every child goes to school; they grow up and continue on to high school. After high school, many paths open for students, such as college, or going straight into the work force. Their values and choices in school will impact where they decide to continue their lives. There are students who only want to graduate, while others value their education and wish to continue learning and growing. One major difference between these two groups is their point on the academic honor code....   [tags: High school, College, Honor code]

Research Papers
1238 words (3.5 pages)

The Code Of Honor Code Essays

- The Honor Code A quote spoken by once famous philosopher Aristotle states as such: “Dignity does not consist in possessing honors, but in deserving them,” (Motivational & Inspirational Corner). This quote very reasonably explains what it means to possess either an honor code or an academic honor code. Simply put, the self-dignity that comes along with properly following an honor code does not come by possessing such honors, but by deserving what is given to you by taking the code seriously. An individual who follows such a code honestly would be someone who deserves the honor; however, someone who does not follow the code in complete honesty would be someone who possesses the honor with no...   [tags: Academic dishonesty, Education, Honor code]

Research Papers
1065 words (3 pages)

Honor Killings : The Shafia Family Essay

- HOW DOES TWO CULTURES CLASING LEAD TO MURDER. HONOR KILLINGS - THE SHAFIA FAMILY. Honor killings are acts of retribution, frequently causing death. These acts are often committed by the male family members against female family members. Victims of honour killings are believed to have brought dishonor or shame upon the family. In 2007, a study by Dr. Amin Muhammad and his colleague, Dr. Sujay Patel of Memorial University, Canada, researched how the tradition of honor killings was brought to Canada The report highlighted that ‘’When people come and settle in Canada they can bring their traditions and forcefully follow them....   [tags: Police, Family, Honor killing, Sibling]

Research Papers
2244 words (6.4 pages)

Essay about Honor as the Theme in Homer’s The Iliad

- There are different forms and examples of exemplary and classic literature which have been deemed as significant works that are highly esteemed worldwide. These examples of literature would awe the world with how much literary skill they entailed when they were composed and written: attention to details as to formation of characters, the most crafty of plots, the most eloquent speeches and lines, the most astounding of twists of scenes, and most of all, the most universal and meaningful of themes....   [tags: Honor, Homer, Iliad]

Research Papers
2018 words (5.8 pages)

Blood Cleans Honor, or So We Are Told Essay

- ... While few girls are able to escape if they are to be killed in an honor killing, “Betrayed” by Latifa Ali, tells the true story of Latifa Ali as she is escaping from her father who would have her killed in honor because she is not a virgin. In “Betrayed” Ali tells the story of Pela, a girl who was killed. Pela’s family thought that Pela was not a virgin so they killed her. After being inspected it was found that she was still a virgin. Ali continues to describe this as “murder, as plain as that” (Ali 257)....   [tags: honor killings in Irak]

Research Papers
1196 words (3.4 pages)

Essay on The Value of Honor

- The Value of Honor            There is a priceless respect that everyone in the world possesses, and that is the respect of a person’s honor. A person’s honor is something that can not be bought, sold, or traded it’s something that must be gained by the respect of your peers. An example of how honor is seen in everyday life in through a persons word. A persons honor is supported by their word, and if they do not uphold their word then they are left with nothing.      To try and explain the personal trait of honor is something that can not be done in a few words, or a sentence....   [tags: Personal Respect Honor]

Research Papers
767 words (2.2 pages)

Essay on Honor Killings

- Honor Killings Human rights violations against women have, for too long, been denied the attention and concern of international organizations, national governments, traditional human rights groups and the press. Meanwhile, hundreds of millions of girls and women around the world continue to endure debilitating and often fatal human rights abuses. These are only a few instances of abuse which occur every single day all around the world. Human rights violations against women must be documented, publicized and stopped....   [tags: Violence Death Murder Honor Women Essays]

Free Essays
2129 words (6.1 pages)

Related Searches

continue to question his credibility and valance to stand up for his departed entourage.

That would be dishonorable to himself. When honor is questioned it shows doubt, and

damages its credibility, therefore it is not respected by others. When honor is not

respected, one’s image can be severely damaged, or tarnished. When “Bijarni the

killer’s” own wife insults his honor he must continue the ongoing struggle in protecting

his trustworthiness, and defend himself once again by proving himself to her to. This

honor system is an ongoing saga of life itself in the time of  “Thorstein The

Staff-Struck”. He must first put her in her place for such reasons as her behavior and

actions resembling “in his eyes”, that of a typical women.  His role as master must be

made clear to her, as well as his honor made clear to Thorstein before he can even begin

to rest assured that his position as “Bijarni he killer” stands true and strong .

               Bijarni thinks and acts in a manner that reflects upon the relationship between a

man’s masculinity and his honor. In the era in which the tale originates, masculinity and

honor are somewhat integrated. This relationship between the two also proves itself true

in Thorstein’s dealings with Bijarni’s men, and eventually Bijarni himself.  A great deal

of a man’s ability to uphold, and gain honor relies on the amount of masculinity that he is

capable of displaying, and using in his own favor. The timing of this display is also

crucial because when it’s not being displayed it can easily be questioned as to whether or

not it even exists. The display is crucial because it must be made clear to the eyes in a

society were action takes all precedence over everything else.

               This is a time of actions. Actions tend to speak louder than words in this type of

an honor system. Actions must  either be seen by the eyes, and heard by the ears.  This

honor system is one in which people have different ranks , but the importance of honor

never lessens as the ranks ascend or descend. Bijarni has a higher standing than

Thorstein, but honor holds the most prominence out of each of their virtues. This means

that the importance is equal to both men.

               Sometimes a man’s honor relies on the actions, and honor of others. Thorstein’s

father depends on him a great deal. Thoranin’s honor is on a delicate balance that levies

as his son’s actions determine how it balances out. In being this way, when Thorstein

honors himself, he in turn brings honor and respect to his family which in this case means

his blind father Thoranin.

               Encouragement and discouragement fuel and ignite the masculine sides of Thorstein, and

Bijarni. Without people to respect their honor they would have need for such display of

masculinity. The honor that they are striving to build, and keep the integrity of, is what

men in this tale live for. Thoranin points out that he would rather his son be dead than for

him to be a coward. This only stresses the significance of what life in this tale is about.

Thoranin had is own honor from being a feirce Viking, but since he was blind he was

forced to rely on his son Thorstein’s honor alone. This family honor was not special in

this case though. Even if Thoranin hadn’t been old, or blind he would have had to rely on

Thorstein to protect, and uphold his honor. During this time, blood ties men, and their

honor together.  Men are able to bring honor to their family by bringing it to their self.

Bijarni’s servants Thorhall, and Thorvald attempt to bring honor to him by returning

Thorstein’s severed head to him. This shows that men can be honored by the actions of

other men. When Thorstein killed Thord he brought back honor to himself, and in turn to

his father. This process can be put on hold for awhile, but it can cause more problems if

it goes unattended for too long.

               The death of Thorhall and Thorvall came because Bijarni was late to avenge his

honor. This waiting eventually proves to make men wiser though. Honor’s role changes

so much as this tale progresses. The masculinity of honor integrates itself with the

intellect it takes to be wise. This maturation of honor is something that takes everything

to a completely new level. The mental side of honor is emphasized by references to age

making men grow wiser, and more respected for it. The decisions they make affect their

action, therefore the more knowledgeable decisions they’re able to make, the better off

they are.


      Knowledge allowed Thorstein, and Bijarni to uphold their names without having
to kill each other. The wanting to settle things without bloodshed was a sign of respect

for one another. That had to be recognized before they could negotiate a deal in favor of

each other. They realized that Bijarni’s losses somehow needed to be compensated in

full. Thorstein looks at Bijarni’s losses as purchases made by himself, and Bijarni accepts

that perspective. Thorstein’s work is equal to that of three men, so he offers to take the
place of Bijarni’s three men  that he killed. He chooses to go to work for Bijarni. instead
of fighting. He knows that his decision would honor him, and his father the most. He
makes sure that his father will be taken care of since he will not be able to care of him
anymore. He can not let one of the people he is standing up for suffer, or his cause would
be lost in his own righteousness. Men must worry about their righteousness though.
There are decisions in one’s spiritual life that can affect their true level.

       Bijarni, in his old age becomes a Christian. His acceptance of a power above him
exemplifies his mastering of the honor system. Honor should be given where it is
deserved. God is above him, therefore he must recognize him by becoming a Christian.
This wise perspective didn’t come without trial, and error. It took the greater part of his
life to grasp the full meaning of what he was really living for. This did not mean that his
life was over. As soon as he realized what he was really living for he tried to make up for the lost time.

               Bijarni becomes a missionary of God. This all comes back to honor though. He’s honoring himself by honoring God. It is much like kinship. God becomes Bijarni’s father, therefore he must protect, and serve him to uphold their honor. The honor system’s roles can be understood, but the system can never be stopped. The system is life itself.
Return to 123HelpMe.com