The reframing of stereotypical female representation in Vikings
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This paper focuses on the analysis of three selected scenes from the modern historical show Vikings to answer the question how the show reframes stereotypical representation of women in television. The analysis of the scenes is based on the method outlined by John Fiske in Television Culture, which deconstructs the scenes based on social, technical, and ideological codes identifiable in the show. Analogically to Fiske’s method, each analysis chapter focuses on how each of these levels is used to encode the social reality of the Viking age and the representation of Lagertha within it. The analysis of the first scene discusses how the stereotypical systems of representation used by the creators of the show are further reframed by the social codes represented by character’s actions and dialogue. The focus on technical codes in the analysis of the second scene revealed that the dialogue encodes the ideologies of patriarchy and class that are prominent in Viking society and uses the camerawork to distance the viewer from these ideologies. Instead guiding their attention towards female character’s silent defiance. The third part of the analysis focuses on the way Lagertha demonstrates her perspective on patriarchal representation of women and power on the level of ideology. Lagertha is in this scene the hero of a violent encounter that represents a dichotomy between the patriarchal society she lives in, and the dominant, anti-patriarchal ideology encoded in her character. The method of separation at the levels of reality, representation and ideology resulted in clear visibility of contrasts between the stereotypical representations of women, with feminist and anti-patriarchal behaviors encoded in Lagertha’s representation, adding more dimensions to the character, and reframing the stereotypical female representation.