Nibelungenlied essay questions
And the whole poem, in keeping with its form in an age strongly under church influence, has been tinged with the ideals of Christianity. The origin and evolution of the strophe have been the subject of much discussion, the results of which we need not pause to formulate here.
Court Epic and National Epic are further distinct in form, the Court Epic being written in the rhymed couplets popularized in modern times in English by Sir Walter Scott, while the National Epic is composed in four-lined strophes. Mass is sung in the minster, baptism, marriage, burial are celebrated in Christian fashion, the devil is mentioned according to the Christian conception, we hear of priest, chaplain, and bishop, Christians are contrasted with heathen, and Kriemhild, in marrying Etzel, has a hope of turning him to Christianity. If we could observe it as it passed from age to age we should doubtless see it undergoing continuous change according to the time and the class of the people that were the preservers of the native literature in its many ups and downs. Homer, too, is in general buoyant, the Nibelungenlied is sombre and stern. Here the only place where the unaccented syllable is lacking before the accented is before wunders at the beginning of the second half of the first line. The next metrical rendering is that by A. Some of the important monuments have been saved by chance, while others of equal or perhaps greater value have been irrecoverably lost. Both in Scandinavian lands and in Germany various other monuments, scattered over the intervening centuries, bear witness to the fact that it lived on in more or less divergent forms. The climax of the first part, the death of her husband, Siegfried, prepares the ground for the story of her vengeance. Birch has created an entirely different form of strophe in which all four lines are alike, each containing seven principal accents, with the caesura, following the fourth foot. In the ensuing contests, Gunther goes through the motions of deeds actually performed by Siegfried in a cloak of invisibility.
When Brunhild is defeated, she accepts Gunther as her husband. They were already like so many scenes of a gradually developing drama. The second part tells how King Gybich reigned at Worms. Yet the Nibelungenlied appears to be not a mere joining of individual stories but rather an integration of component elements into a meaningful whole.
In this connection we have to remind ourselves that comparatively little of what must have been the large body of native poetry in Germany previous to the eleventh century has come down to us. Learn More in these related Britannica articles:. But beyond this cycle we cannot trace it back.
Finally, it is probable that several names in Germany and in Northern countries preserve localized memories of the saga. C, is deservedly the most popular and has passed through a great number of editions.
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