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The Nibelungenlied is written in four-line stanzas. Although no melody has survived for the text, melodies for similar stanzas in other German heroic poems have, so that it is certain that the text was meant to be sung.
The fourth line adds an additional foot following the caesura, making it longer than the other three and marking the end of the stanza.
The final word before the caesura is typically female a stressed syllable followed by an unstressed syllable , whereas the final word of a line is typical male a stressed syllable.
The lines rhyme in pairs, and occasionally there are internal rhymes between the words at the end of the caesura, as in the first stanza see Synopsis.
An acute accent indicates the stressed beat of a metrical foot, and indicates the caesura:. Many stanzas of the poem are constructed in a much less regular manner.
The Nibelungenlied -poet may have been inspired by this lyrical stanza. His use of the stanza would thus cite an oral story-telling tradition while at the same time creating some distance to it.
The nature of the stanza creates a structure whereby the narrative progresses in blocks: The fourth line is thus often the most formulaic of the stanza.
Often, the same reaction is given to multiple figures in different stanzas, so that the impression of collective rather than individual reactions is created.
The action becomes more and more intense as the epic nears its end. Behind Nibelungenlied stands a large oral tradition, the so-called Nibelungen saga.
However, various historical events and figures have been melded together into a single plot in such a way that the original historical context has been lost.
The epic, and presumably the oral traditions that provided its material, have transformed historical events into relatively simple narrative schemas that can be compared with other, similar originally oral narratives from other cultures.
While the Norse texts were once usually considered to contain a more original version of the Nibelungen saga, newer scholarship has called this into question and notes that the connections made to Norse mythology and Germanic paganism , such as the semi-divine origin of the Nibelungen hoard, are likely more recent developments that are therefore unique to the Scandinavian tradition.
The death of the Burgundians finds its origins in the destruction of the historical Burgundian kingdom on the Rhine.
The Lex Burgundionum , codified by the Burgundian king Gundobad at the end of the sixth century, contains many names that can be connected with the Nibelungen saga, including, besides Gundaharius, Gislaharius Giselher , Gundomaris possibly the historical figure behind the Old Norse Gothorm, who is replaced by Gernot in the German tradition , and Gibica attested in Germany as Gibich but not found in the Nibelungenlied.
Her name, containing the element hild , may have inspired that of Kriemhild. The differences may be because the continental saga is more favorable to Attila than the Norse, and so Attila could not be held directly responsible for the treacherous invitation of the Burgundians.
Unlike the Burgundians, Siegfried cannot be firmly identified with a historical figure. He may have his origins in the Merovingian dynasty, where names beginning with the element Sigi- were common and where there was also a famous and violent queen Brunhilda — When composing the Nibelungenlied , its poet was faced with setting an oral tradition down into a definitive version although that tradition was by its very nature amorphous.
In choosing which elements of the saga to include in his version, the poet therefore often incorporated two versions of an event that were likely not combined in the oral tradition.
The Old Norse Thidrekssaga , which is based on German sources, contains only the second element, meaning that the two motivations were likely variants that were hardly ever combined in practice.
The poet also appears to have significantly altered various aspects of the saga. When these elements are introduced, it is in a retrospective tale narrated by Hagen that reduces the slaying of the dragon to a single stanza.
The portrayal of Kriemhild, particularly in the first half of the romance, as a courtly lady is likely an invention of the Nibelungenlied -poet.
Earlier and many later attestations of Kriemhild outside of the Nibelungenlied portray her as obsessed with power and highlight her treachery to her brothers rather than her love for her husband as her motivation for betraying them.
For instance, when Kriemhild demands that Hagen give back what he has taken from her, a traditional motif known from the Norse versions, she could mean the stolen hoard, but she could also mean her murdered husband.
It is unclear which figure is in the right and which in the wrong. With 36 manuscripts, the Nibelungenlied appears to have been one of the most popular works of the German Middle Ages and seems to have found a very broad audience.
The earliest attested reception of the Nibelungenlied , the Nibelungenklage , which was likely written only shortly afterwards, shows an attempt both to make sense of the horror of the destruction and to absolve Kriemhild of blame.
The C version of the Nibelungenlied , redacted around the same time as the Klage , shows a similar strategy.
As the first Middle High German heroic poem to be written, the Nibelungenlied can be said to have founded an entire genre of Middle High German literature.
As a result, other Middle High German heroic poems are sometimes described as "post-Nibelungian" "nachnibelungisch". Kudrun herself is sometimes seen as a direct reversal of Kriemhild, as she makes peace among warring factions rather than driving them to their deaths.
Reception of the Nibelungenlied ceases after the fifteenth century: After having been forgotten for two hundred years, the Nibelungenlied manuscript C was rediscovered by Jacob Hermann Obereit in Bodmer dubbed the Nibelungenlied the "German Iliad " "deutsche Ilias" , a comparison that skewed the reception of the poem by comparing it to the poetics of classical epic.
Bodmer attempted to make the Nibelungenlied conform more closely to these principles in his own reworkings of the poem, leaving off the first part in his edition, titled Chriemhilden Rache , in order to imitate the in medias res technique of Homer.
He later rewrote the second part in dactylic hexameter under the title Die Rache der Schwester As a consequence of the comparison of the Nibelungenlied to the Iliad , the Nibelungenlied came to be seen as the German national epic in the earlier nineteenth century, particularly in the context of the Napoleonic Wars.
The Nibelungenlied was supposed to embody German bourgeois virtues that the French were seen as lacking. This interpretation of the epic continued during the Biedermeier period, during which the heroic elements of the poem were mostly ignored in favor of those that could more easily be integrated into a bourgeois understanding of German virtue.
Following the founding of the German Empire , recipients began to focus more on the heroic aspects of the poem, with the figure of Siegfried in particular becoming an identifying figure for German nationalism.
While militaristic, the use of imagery from the Nibelungenlied remained optimistic in this period rather than focusing on the doom at the end of the epic.
At the same time, the Nibelungenlied was heavily employed in anti-democratic propaganda following the defeat of Germany and Austria-Hungary: The betrayal and murder of Siegfried was explicitly compared to the "stab in the back" that the German army had supposedly received.
At the same time, Hagen and his willingness to sacrifice himself and fight to the death made him into a central figure in the reception of the poem. Postwar reception and adaptation of the poem, reacting to its misuse by the Nazis, is often parodic.
At the same time, the poem continues to play a role in regional culture and history, particularly in Worms and other places mentioned in the Nibelungenlied.
Much discussion has centered on whether and how the epic ought to be taught in schools. The Dragon King from However, the majority of popular adaptations of the material today in film, computer games, comic books, etc.
Outside of Germany, most reception of the Nibelungen material has taken place via Wagner, although the epic has been translated into English numerous times.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved July 16, Archived from the original on Austrian writers German writers Liechtenstein writers Swiss writers in German.
The Dragon King Ein Heldenepos in 39 Abenteuern novel. The Dietrich von Bern Cycle. Legends about Theoderic the Great. Retrieved from " https: Views Read Edit View history.
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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other people named Hagen, see Haguna. For other things named "Hagen" , see Hagen disambiguation.
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Oxford University Press Translated from the Swedish by Ian Cumpstey. Deities and other figures. Norse gods Norse giants Mythological Norse people, items and places Germanic paganism Heathenry new religious movement.
The Dragon King Ein Heldenepos in 39 Abenteuern novel. Retrieved from " https: Views Read Edit View history.