Community Web Version Now Available
LoveT8
Could you help me to explain the meaning of the sentence? They soon learned to speak the language of their subjects and gave up the uncivilized ways of he early Vikings (or Sea-Kings) who had been very picturesque but also very unwashed and terribly cruel. Question: It seems paradoxical to say "...who had been very picturesque but also very unwashed and terribly cruel" because "picturesque" always means that something is good/attractive/unique. What's the meaning of "picturesque" in this sentence?They soon learned to speak the language of their subjects and gave up the uncivilized ways of the early Vikings (or Sea-Kings) who had been very picturesque but also very unwashed and terribly cruel.
Jan 28, 2016 5:34 AM
13
0
Answers · 13
"Picturesque" is not normally used to describe people. Here it's more of a metaphor. When you think of vikings, you surely have some strong images in your head: long beards, helmets with horns, boats shaped like dragons, adventures across the sea, etc. It's a romantic image, but the writer is pointing out that they were also dirty and cruel, which is not something we immediately think of when we think of vikings.
January 28, 2016
Well, a thing can be nice in one way and terrible in another. I think that they mean that the old Vikings dressed and spoke in a quaint and interesting way.
January 28, 2016
Although they had considerable faults, there was some charm in them that differed them from the people they subdued.
January 28, 2016
LoveT8
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), English
Learning Language
English