(Also known as Der Nibelunge Nôt and Lay of the Nibelungen.) German poem.
c. 1190-c. 1204.
The Nibelungenlied is the most celebrated heroic epic of German Medieval literature. In its home country, the tale of honor, murder, and revenge is still read by the general public as well as students. A favorite of critics, the Nibelungenlied is praised for its symmetrical form and its mingling of fiction and history, encompassing Germany's ancient heroic songs, the fall of the Burgundian Empire in 437, and the courtly romance tradition of twelfth- and thirteenth-century Europe. Scholars have been unable to identify its author but linguistic studies and historical references date the poem's composition to sometime between 1190 and 1204, with the year 1203 being cited traditionally. Its literary roots reach back to the Vikings and Scandinavia, possibly to the ninth century, but some scholars believe that the ultimate source was Germany and that the tale spread northward before it came back home in altered form. The message of the Nibelungenlied—if indeed there is a message—is hotly debated by critics. Some of the poem's wide modern appeal is likely due to the fact that it fits equally well with many different interpretations.
Plot and Major Characters
The Nibelungenlied is neatly divided into two parts by most critics. The first focuses on the mythic hero Siegfried and his murder, while the second part, largely historical, concerns the fall of the Burgundians, a tribe residing in the southern part of Germany. The poem opens in Worms, at the Burgundian court of three royal brothers—Gunther, Gernôt, and Gîselher—and their sister Kriemhild. Siegfried, a prince from the Netherlands, travels to Worms with the intention of marrying Kriemhild but must wait a year before seeing her. In the meantime, he distinguishes himself in numerous battles, partly through his own strength and partly through magic. He conquers the Nibelungs (a name meaning “inhabitants of the mist”) and wins their treasure—a sword, and a cloak that makes its wearer invisible. Gunther wishes to marry Brunhild, who is an Icelandic queen of fantastic strength, and persuades Siegfried to wear the magic cloak on his behalf and win Brunhild through a series of duplicitous physical contests in which the invisible Siegfried actually performs the feats that appear to be accomplished by Gunther. For his help, Siegfried is given Kriemhild's hand in a double wedding ceremony that includes the exchange of vows between Gunther and Brunhild. Once Brunhild realizes she has been tricked into marrying Gunther she employs Hagen, Gunther's vassal, to murder Siegfried. On a hunting trip, Hagen stabs Siegfried in the back and kills him, after which he sinks the treasure of the Nibelungs in the Rhine, significantly decreasing Kriemhild's power and influence. The second part of the Nibelungenlied begins ten years later. Kriemhild marries Etzel (Attila the Hun) on the promise of his vassal, Rüdiger, that he will defend her against her enemies. Years pass and Kriemhild invites her brothers and their party to Etzel's court with the intention of avenging Siegfried's death. Kriemhild persuades some of Etzel's lords to attack the Burgundians and, after a bloody battle, all the Burgundians are slain save for Gunther and Hagen, who are brought to the Queen by Dietrich of Bern. When Hagen refuses to tell Kriemhild where he has sunk the Nibelung treasure, she has Gunther beheaded. Hagen still refuses to divulge the location and Kriemhild, furious, cuts off his head with Siegfried's sword. Hildebrand, Dietrich's vassal, is outraged by the Queen's ruthlessness and kills her.
Kriemhild provides a theme for the Nibelungenlied when she states that “all joy must end in sorrow.” By no means is this accepted by everyone as the main theme, however. Some scholars read the poem in terms of the code of chivalry, represented by Siegfried, or in terms of Christianity, exemplified by Rüdiger. Still others interpret the poem as a tragedy of godless self-will, a revival of Germanic spirit, or a warning against pride. Certainly, elements of fatalism, heroism, guilt, honor, faithfulness, and justice abound in the epic. Many modern critics decry what they perceive as a tendency towards over-analysis, arguing that there may not be a hidden purpose—or any purpose—in the Nibelungenlied beyond the telling of a simple yet exciting tale.
Popular in Medieval times, the Nibelungenlied gradually lost favor with readers until it was rediscovered in 1755 in a castle in Tirol by J. H. Obereit, and translated from Middle High German into German in 1757. In the early 1800s, the Nibelungenlied was embraced by the German Romantics as part of their national legacy and often favorabley compared with the Iliad. Scholars have also debated whether or not the poem truly is distinctively German; many feel that concentration on the Nibelungenlied as a national work is misguided. The Nibelungenlied has inspired diverse areas of study. Examining the structure of the poem involves oral formulism, semantics, and syntactic analysis. Through this type of work, much has been learned about the development of the oral tale which served as the basis for the written version. Another popular field of study is comparing and contrasting the Nibelungenlied with its Norse versions and studying its mythic elements. Scholars find little argument that the impetus for the second half of the tale was the defeat of the Burgundians by the Huns, but many critics believe that taking a historical approach in analysis is too limiting, and they prefer to study the Nibelungenlied purely as literature. The nature of the poem lends itself to various interpretations since the author incorporates little commentary beyond stock phrases, simply letting the tale unfold without clarifying the motives of the characters. The individual reader is thus left to decide whether or not Hagen is a hero or a villain, for example, or whether the tale promotes honor or warns against it. Frank G. Ryder states the poem is “a true work of world literature, faithful to its time but not bound by it, comprehensible and of significance to an audience centuries removed.”
The Nibelungenlied (translated by Daniel B. Shumway) (poetry) 1909
“Song of the Nibelungs:” A Verse Translation from the Middle High German “Nibelungenlied” (translated by Frank G. Ryder) (poetry) 1962
The Nibelungenlied (translated by A. T. Hatto) (poetry) 1965
The Nibelungenlied (translated by D. G. Mowatt) (poetry) 1965
The Nibelungenlied (translated by William Nanson Lettsom) (poetry) 1977
The Nibelungenlied (translated by Robert Lichtenstein) (poetry) 1991
German Epic Poetry: “The Nibelungenlied,” the “Older Lay of Hildebrand,” and Other Works (edited by Francis G. Gentry et al.) (poetry) 1995
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SOURCE: “The Saga of the Niblungs” in Northern Hero Legends, J. M. Dent & Co., 1902, pp. 10-61.
[In the following excerpt, Jiriczek discusses the historical and mythical foundations of the Nibelungenlied, and the development, continuance, and extinction of the saga.]
… III. THE HISTORICAL FOUNDATION OF THE SAGA.
In German and Norse sources mention is made of a Burgundian king Gibich, Norse Gjuki [in the Nibelunlied his name is Dancrât] who is said to have three sons, Gunther, Gernot, Giselher; in Norse, Gunnar, Guthormr, Hogni [Hagen stands for Giselher in the Seyfriedslied also]. The historical origin of some of these names may be proved. In the Lex Burgundionum, which was proclaimed at the beginning of the sixth century, King Gundobad enumerates his ancestors and predecessors: Gibica, Godomar, Gislaharius and Gundaharius. These four alliterative names are therefore an historical genealogy of ancient Burgundian kings. The list of names affords indeed no clue as to the relationship or the chronological order of the persons mentioned. Whether the four succeeded each other in the above order, or whether we must assume the three last (as in the saga) to have been brothers and co-rulers—a state of things which is not unknown in Germanic history—must remain an open question. In Norse tradition the name Godomar became corrupted to Guthormr, in German sagas...
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SOURCE: “Influence on English Literature” in The Nibelungenlied and Gudrun in England and America, David Nutt, 1903, pp. 118-35.
[In the following excerpt, Sandbach explores Middle English and Modern English literary works that may have been influenced by or adapted from the Nibelungenlied.]
…—In the literature of the Middle English period there is, so far as I know, only one reference to the Nibelungen story that can be looked upon as at all certain. This was pointed out by Professor W. P. Ker in Folk Lore, ix. 372, and occurs in the metrical romance of “Sir Degravant,” in the following passage (vv. 525 ff.):—
Y hade leve she were myne b Thane alle the gold in the Reyne b ffausoned one florene, b She is myne so dere.
Whatever the third of these lines means, the second clearly contains a reference to the Nibelungen Hoard. But such an expression may be only proverbial, and point to an earlier rather than a contemporary knowledge of the story.
Worth noticing here is one other passage in Middle English literature first remarked by Weber in the “Illustrations of Northern Antiquities,” (cf. p. 82). It consists of an interesting parallel to Gunther and Brunhild's wedding-night scene, and occurs in the metrical romance of “Sir Bevis of...
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SOURCE: “Rüdiger's Dilemma,” Studies in Philology, Vol. LVII, No. 1, January, 1960, pp. 7-21.
[In the following essay, Jones explains how the Germanic ethics of the Nibelungenlied differ from modern values, and urges that the reader be aware of these differences in trying to understand the motivation of the characters in the work.]
We smile at jousts before the walls of Troy in medieval epics and at cannons in early illustrations of Old Testament battlefields; yet we tend to be less critical of modern thoughts and sentiments attributed to historical characters by recent novelists and even by historians and literary critics. Restricted as we are to our own culture, we find it hard to realize that people can experience reality through a completely different set of terms and values, unless by chance we have read anthropological studies of primitive civilizations. Unfortunately, it is a difficult task to enter the spirit of a past time, as Goethe's Faust complains to Wagner. Bygone days are a book with seven seals, and what we call the spirit of the times is basically our own spirit, in which the times are reflected.
To illustrate the difficulty of correctly interpreting ancient literature, I have selected Rüdiger's dilemma in the thirty-seventh canto of the Lay of the Nibelungs, because it is well known and has often been interpreted from a modern point of view....
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SOURCE: “Studies Towards an Interpretation of the Nibelungenlied,” German Life & Letters, New Series Vol. XIV, No. 4, July, 1961, pp. 257-70.
[In the following essay, Mowatt explains why taking a historical approach in analyzing the Nibelungenliedis unsatisfactory; Mowatt then offers suggestions for studying it using a structural approach.]
A. THE HISTORICAL APPROACH; ITS USE AND ITS LIMITATIONS
The Nibelungenlied is a work of medieval literature, and is usually interpreted historically. There are good reasons why this has been, and will no doubt continue to be so. The Court Epic and Lyric are not easily accessible to a present-day audience, and even students of German are sometimes reluctant to make the effort of understanding which they require. The research of medievalists has succeeded in lessening the gap between the modern and medieval mind, and in giving us at least some idea of what Middle High German authors were trying to do. We can feel for them as they struggle to turn Celtic mythology into Christian fable, or heroic saga into courtly entertainment. Their efforts to disembody sex, however salutary they may have been at the time, are not so well received; but even Minnesang invites respect for the sheer impossibility of the task it sets itself.
Nevertheless, the historical approach, however useful, is only one among...
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SOURCE: “On Irony and Symbolism in the Nibelunglied: Two Preliminary Notes,” German Life & Letters, New Series Vol. XIV, No. 4, July, 1961, pp. 271-81.
[In the following essay, Sacker examines examples of irony in the Nibelungenlied and points out some previously overlooked uses of symbolism.]
It has always been recognized that irony plays some part in the Nibelungenlied,1 but so far as I know attention has been concentrated on those instances which make the person or deed appear more heroic and not upon those which tend to undermine the heroic appearance. That this latter possibility also exists is perhaps most easily proved from an incident in the second half, where Kriemhilt tries to persuade her knights to attack the two men Hagen and Volker. Four hundred of them arm themselves and accompany her in threatening fashion; they see and hear their queen defied and insulted, and she calls upon them to attack. The narrator at this point describes them as ‘die übermüeten degene’ and, as ‘übermüete’ is normally used by him of people too proud and rash to count the cost of what they do,2 the reader expects a clash—but no, the phrase has been used ironically:
Si sprach: ‘nu hoert, ir recken, wa er mir lougent niht aller miner leide. swaz im da von...
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SOURCE: “The Essence” and “The Significance” in The Nibelungenlied Today: Its Substance, Essence, and Significance, The University of North Carolina Press, 1962, pp. 59-92.
[In the following excerpt, Mueller explains that the Nibelungenlied's main theme is man himself, particularly how he responds to a dilemma. Mueller also explores the poet's concerns and his relation to his work and contends that the poem, without promoting specific religious values, nevertheless affirms man's need for faith.]
“Die Kunst ist eine Vermittlerin des Unaussprechlichen; darum scheint es eine Torheit, sie wieder durch Worte vermitteln zu wollen. Doch indem wir uns darum bemühen, findet sich für den Verstand so mancher Gewinn, der dem ausübenden Vermögen auch wieder zugute kommt.” goethe
The Nibelungen story fails to represent a dominant idea that can be clearly grasped. As a work of art embracing the reflections of infinity rather than of material limitations, although its subject matter is stark reality, the song defies a verbal statement as to its special message, a schoolbook explanation of its intent that can be catalogued as factual truth, yet in reality prevents the reader from experiencing its full, spiritual validity. The story takes the reader from the court of Worms to Xanten, Isenstein, through Austria and Hungary, covering scores...
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SOURCE: “Conclusion: Structural Devices and Their Consequences” in The “Nibelungenlied”: A Literary Analysis, University of Toronto Press, 1971, pp. 149-65.
[In the following excerpt, Bekker examines the function of the Nibelungenlied's imagery and symbolism and discusses the epic's abundant symmetry and varied pace.]
The previous chapters have attempted to draw attention to some of the building materials used in the Nibelungenlied, and to the nature of their distribution. What the total structure amounts to is a different matter. In order to attempt an evaluation of the epic as a whole, it is necessary to deal with some devices that are akin to that of parallelism, which so far has provided the base from which to view isolated motifs, events, or the functions of individual characters. The task involved demands a survey of the imagery in the epic, of the nature of the symmetry in it, and of pace and action.
The Nibelungenlied does little or nothing to meet a demand for “pure” poetry; its integrated structure offers a foursquare resistance to such a search. This does not mean, however, that there is no symbolism in the epic. If we look, as we have done, into the technique of its composition, it becomes apparent that much of the value to be gleaned from it is conveyed by series of parallel images. Some of this imagery is as obvious as the moon similes...
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SOURCE: “Hagen: A Negative View,” Semasia, Vol. 2, 1975, pp. 43-59.
[In the following essay, Dickerson argues against viewing Hagen as heroic, contending instead that he should be regarded as an evil character.]
Much progress has been made in recent years toward a modern and comprehensive view of the Nibelungenlied. The pioneering studies of D. W. Mowatt,1 Hugh Sacker2 and Hugo Bekkar3—to choose only three—have suggested new solutions to the problem of the work's inconsistencies which up to now have either been left unexplained or attributed to the “postulate” that the poet was courtly but his subject matter was not.4 The new discoveries that the poem deals with entire social groups rather than individuals,5 that it depicts a world fragmented by the intrusion of foreign elements,6 that irony7 and “self-referential patterns”8 play an important role in structure have made it possible to view these inconsistencies in a new light, to see them no longer as lapses and defects but as integral parts of the poet's method. The apparent inconsistency in the figure of Hagen von Tronege is a case in point.
Of all the inhabitants of Worms, Hagen is the most problematic. We have no choice, it seems, but to accept the idea of two Hagens: the murderer of the first part who stabs Siegfried in...
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SOURCE: “Hagen and the Problem of Individuality in the Nibelungenlied,” Monatshefte, Vol. 68, No. 1, 1976, pp. 5-12.
[In the following essay, Gentry maintains that the Nibelungenlied explores the issue of feudal bonds while it instructs its audience that an individual moral decision can override law and custom.]
The history of Nibelungenlied* scholarship is a fascinating chapter within the larger scope of Germanic philology.1 More than any other work of the Blütezeit the Nibelungenlied has attracted researchers for reasons other than purely aesthetic. Only in the last thirty years has the emphasis of research been shifted to an evaluation of the epic as a literary work.2 One of the main problems of this modern criticism has been to disentangle the Nibelungenlied from its contemporary epic companions, the Arthurian romances, most notably those of Hartmann and Wolfram. As a result the Nibelungenlied is compared either expressly or tacitly with the romances and is evaluated in their terms. For many the Nibelungenlied is a Christian/courtly work, while for others it is Germanic/heroic, depending upon how many common features the epic is seen by the individual scholar to share with the Arthurian tales.3 Although these views do not necessarily bring any greater clarification of the meaning...
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SOURCE: “The Concept of the Oral Formula as an Impediment to Our Understanding of Medieval Oral Poetry,” Medievalia et Humanistica, No. 8, 1977, pp. 63-76.
[In the following essay, Curschmann contends that dogmatic advocates of the theory of oral-formulaic composition have rendered a disservice to Nibelungenlied studies by, among other things, relying too much on scientific analysis and failing to take proper notice of the nature of literature in the Middle Ages.]
Over the past quarter-century or so, the Theory of Oral-Formulaic Composition has exerted the most profound influence in several disciplines that have to do with epic literature and related genres—living, ancient, medieval, European, Asian, African.1 It has set in motion and continues to inform a truly international and interdisciplinary process of re-evaluation of traditional critical norms. In view of this it may seem odd at first that Germanic—more specifically, German—studies have been rather slow to respond. Or, to put it differently and a little more precisely, why is it that, while a fair number of Germanists from this side of the Atlantic have done their best to promote the cause of this theory, there has, until recently, been only the faintest echo from the other side?
Up to a point, American scholars are justified in chastising their German counterparts for a certain lack of past...
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SOURCE: “The Reconciliation in the Nibelungenlied,” German Life and Letters, Vol. XXX, No. 2, January, 1997, pp. 138-49.
[In the following essay, McLintock explains that the Nibelungenlied is best approached aesthetically, for its literary qualities.]
Recent years have seen numerous interpretations of the Nibelungenlied. Scholars have sought to elicit its ‘meaning’ or ‘message’ and imagined they could divine the author's ‘intention’: he was contrasting ‘pagan’ and ‘Christian’ values, deploring revenge, finding fault with old-style ‘demonic’ heroism, or demonstrating the baleful effects of lay arrogance. Some of these readings, one suspects, would have been incomprehensible to the poet and his audience; others perhaps capture attitudes that they would have shared. Most tend to reduce the work to an exemplum; the epic, however, refuses to be compassed by neat interpretative schemes.1 The poet was an artist, not a thinker, and if we wish to appreciate his poem we must approach it aesthetically. Admittedly we must beware of investing the word ‘poet’ with anachronistic connotations: the composer of the Nibelungenlied arranged and presented stories that belonged to his public; he did not appropriate them as a modern poet appropriates his material, or, indeed, as Gottfried or Wolfram appropriated theirs.2
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SOURCE: “Feminist Repercussions of a Literary Research Project,” Atlantis, Vol. 6, No. 1, Fall, 1980, pp. 84-90.
[In the following essay, Lösel-Wieland-Engelmann provides a personal account of her experiences in promoting the idea of female authorship for the Nibelunglied.]
The following experiences may show how a woman who never was much involved in feminism can suddenly be made aware of a multiplicity of problems that are peculiar to women.
Up to a quiet day in August 1977 I fulfilled my usual duties as a middle-aged part-time secretary to a small number of professors of German. Then I was given some lecture notes to type, the contents of which I found rather strange. They dealt with the Nibelungenlied1(NL), an extremely well-known medieval epic that had been meticulously studied for over 200 years, and about which large library shelves had already been filled. And yet the lecture notes stressed again and again that nobody really knew anything definite about the work in question. Not only was the author unknown but it was even impossible to categorize him. He could not very well have been a knight because the epic showed little familiarity with details of war and hunting; he could not have been a minstrel because he was far too well educated, and he could not have been a cleric because he did not show enough concern about theological or philosophical...
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SOURCE: “The Reception of the Nibelungenlied in Germany from the Klage to the Twentieth Century” in The Nibelungenlied, Twayne Publishers, 1984, pp. 84-101.
[In the following essay, McConnell offers an overview of the Nibelungenlied's influence on German literature.]
If the number of popular and artistic works based on the Nibelungenlied may be considered evidence of the attraction the epic held for subsequent generations of readers and theatergoers, then we may certainly conclude that the poem has proved to be one of the most inspiring “sources” in the history of German literature. I have already considered in the Introduction the extent to which the Nibelungenlied has captured scholarly interest from the time of Obereit and Bodmer to the present. But what of the influence the work exerted in the literary sphere subsequent to its genesis in the form known to us from the turn of the thirteenth century? Actually, it is more appropriate to speak of the influence of the Nibelungen tradition per se, although this is not meant to diminish the significance of the Nibelungenlied for the later creative process. The scores of dramas written during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, for example, are almost entirely based on the epic. However, the popular Lied vom Hürnen Seyfrid (The lay of Seyfrid, the Dragon-Slayer) together with its analogues,...
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SOURCE: “Conclusion: The Alternative to Heroism” in The “Nibelungenlied”: History and Interpretation, University of Illinois Press, 1992, pp. 101-14.
[In the following excerpt, Haymes explores the conflicts between the heroic, the courtly, and the diplomatic in the Nibelungenlied and contends that the tale serves as a warning against the abuse of new values.]
The Nibelungenlied presents us with two fatally flawed heroes, Siegfried and Hagen, representing two sharply contrasted literary and ethical patterns. The first half of the poem demonstrates the problems that arise when social order becomes blurred and the false ideals of chivalric courtliness are followed. Siegfried is led astray by the power of minne and he eventually dies because of his error. He pretends to a social status that is not his in order to gain his goal. He follows the pattern of the ideal knight of the new generation, the king who performs service in order to gain the love of his lady. Brünhild serves as something of a social arbiter in the Siegfried story and it is her conviction that the social order is awry that leads directly to the confrontation with Kriemhild and thus to Siegfried's death. The poet accentuates the foreign elements in Siegfried's makeup by putting them into the framework of the Nibelung tradition and writing his poem both with and against that tradition. If we compare the version of...
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SOURCE: “Interpretations” in A Preface to the “Nibelungenlied”, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1987, pp. 144-66.
[In the following excerpt, Andersson summarizes the new approaches taken in critical analyses of the Nibelungenlied during the last half of the twentieth century.]
Two publications by Nelly Dürrenmatt and Friedrich Panzer in 1945 marked a turning point in the analysis of the Nibelungenlied and ushered in a period of postwar criticism that differed distinctly from the work done during the forty years before the war.1 These earlier years were dominated by Andreas Heusler, whose pertinent studies appeared from 1902 to 1941.2 Heusler's project was to comprehend the Nibelungenlied against the background of the earlier forms of the legend. Much of his work was therefore devoted to a reconstruction of these forms through a painstaking comparison of the surviving versions. After the war scholars came to believe that his approach was too backward-looking, and strenuous efforts were made to find a new method that would integrate the Nibelungenlied more decisively into the literary scene around 1200. This was the underlying rationale in both Dürrenmatt's and Panzer's books.
Panzer proceeded from the observation that German literature in the second half of the twelfth century was revolutionized by French impulses....
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SOURCE: “The Otherworld and Its Inhabitants in the Nibelungenlied” in A Companion to the “Nibelungenlied”, edited by Winder McConnell, Camden House, 1998, pp. 153-71.
[In the following essay, Lionarons explores the relationship between mythical characters and humans in the Nibelungenlied.]
Every reader of the Nibelungenlied soon recognizes that there are at least two different worlds, and perhaps two different times, coexisting within the poem. The first is the “real,” historically conceived society of Worms and Xanten: this is a chivalric, courtly world in which normal human beings—albeit sometimes kings and princesses—are born, live, marry, compete for influence and political power, and finally die. The second may be termed the “Otherworld.”1 Not all its inhabitants are human, and those who are seem preternaturally strong, with knowledge and power far surpassing the denizens of the “real” world. The non-human inhabitants of the Otherworld come straight from myth and Märchen: there are giants and dwarfs, dangerous dragons, and beautiful elf-like women inhabiting rivers and springs. The Otherworld is a place of essences, in which appearance and reality, intrinsic worth and external status coincide; it has neither politics nor political intrigue, but a hero, if he is both strong and lucky enough to prevail over his adversaries, may win treasures...
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SOURCE: “The Nibelungenlied: A Psychological Approach” in A Companion to the “Nibelungenlied”, edited by Winder McConnell, Camden House, 1998, pp. 172-205.
[In the following essay, McConnell applies analytical psychology to an exploration of the motivations and dreams of the Nibelungenlied's main characters and their relationships, finding much evidence of repression.]
Science, particularly as evinced in the work of the British biologist, Rupert Sheldrake, as well as in the research of the Swiss physician and psychoanalyst, Willy Obrist, has produced yet further evidence of the validity of core ideas postulated almost a century ago by Carl Gustav Jung, foremost among them the concept of the archetypes of the collective unconscious.1 It seems reasonable to assume that, as a consequence, greater links, if not cohesion, might have arisen between such (apparently) diverse areas as comparative mythology and religion, literature, biology, and psychology. Yet, despite the far-reaching ramifications of such studies, the disciplines, especially the Humanities and Social Sciences and the Natural Sciences, seem further apart today than ever before. Scientists are often enough skeptical of the forays of their humanist colleagues into physics, chemistry, biology, and psychology. Regrettably, with good reason. Rarely do the latter have any formal training in these areas and the modesty...
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Bäuml, Franz H. “Transformations of the Heroine: From Epic Heard to Epic Read.” The Role of Woman in the Middle Ages, edited by Rosmarie Thee Morewedge, pp. 23-40. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1975.
Historical study that considers three different types of transmission for the Nibelungenlied.
———, and Eva-Marie Fallone. A Concordance to the “Nibelungenlied” (Bartsch-De Borr Text). Leeds: W. S. Maney and Son Ltd, 1976, 901p.
Includes index to structural patterns, a frequency ranking list, and a reverse index.
Bostock, J. K. “The Message of the Nibelungenlied.” Modern Language Review LV, No. 2 (April 1960): 200-12.
Proposal for what the contemporary audience may have understood as the author's purpose in writing the Nibelungenlied.
Capek, Michael J. “A Note on Oral Formulism in the Nibelungenlied.” Modern Language Notes 80, No. 4 (October 1965): 487-89.
Lines from the Nibelungenliedthat suggest an oral tradition in its composition.
Ellis, Hilda R. “The Hoard of the Nibelungs.” Modern Language Review XXXVII, No. 4 (October 1942): 466-79.
Discusses form in the traditional tale of the dragon and the treasure.
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