What type of warfare was practiced in the Middle Ages? How did it differ from the warfare practiced by the soldiers of the Roman Empire?
Explore the development of knighthood and the code of chivalry. This includes the growth of jousts and tournaments, new developments in armor, and the traditions of courtly love. Give examples of how the Nibelungenlied poet presents these issues.
Explore the development of feudalism as a sociopolitical structure in the Middle Ages. How is feudalism manifested in the Nibelungenlied?
What personal, social, cultural, and political roles do women play in the social setting presented in the Nibelungenlied? Compare their roles with women's roles in the late twentieth century.
Compare and contrast the characters of Brunhild and Kriemhild. Are they more alike or different?
The narrator of the epic states explicitly several times (for example, at the close of Chapter 14), that the bloodshed in the second part of the Nibelungenlied is the result of pettiness on the part of the two queens. Compare and contrast the reasons for strife between the Burgundians and Huns in the Nibelungenlied with that between the Greeks and Trojans in the Iliad, between the kingdoms of Malinke and Sossa in Sundiata, or between any two modern nations that have gone to war. Is the cause of warfare in the Nibelungenlied any more or less valid than in your other example? Are some wars started for justifiable and others for unjustifiable reasons?
What are the qualities of a "hero'' by twentieth-century standards? Compare this to the concept of hero in the the Nibelungenlied. Then compare the "heroic" roles of Hagen and Rudiger. Are they both heroes? How do they compare to what constitutes a modern hero? Use evidence from the text.
What are the qualities and characteristics of a good leader? In view of those qualities, is Gunther a good leader? How does he compare with Etzel of Hungary? Use evidence from the text.