The Nibelungenlied



❮Read❯ ➯ The Nibelungenlied Author Unknown – E17streets4all.co.uk Written by an unknown author in the twelfth century, this powerful tale of murder and revenge reaches back to the earliest epochs of German antiquity, transforming centuries old legend into a masterpi Written by an unknown author in the twelfth century, this powerful tale of murder and revenge reaches back to the earliest epochs of German antiquity, transforming centuries old legend into a masterpiece of chivalric drama Siegfried, a great prince of the Netherlands, wins the hand of the beautiful princess Kriemhild of Burgundy, by aiding her brother Gunther in his struggle to seduce a powerful Icelandic Queen But the two women quarrel, and Siegfried is ultimately destroyed by those he trusts the most Comparable in scope to the Iliad, this skilfully crafted work combines the fragments of half forgotten myths to create one of the greatest epic poems the principal version of the heroic legends used by Richard Wagner, in The Ring.The Nibelungenlied

Books can be attributed to Unknown when the author or editor as applicable is not known and cannot be discovered If at all possible, list at least one actual author or editor for a book instead of using UnknownBooks whose authorship is purposefully withheld should be attributed instead to Anonymous.

Paperback  ì The Nibelungenlied MOBI ò
  • Paperback
  • 404 pages
  • The Nibelungenlied
  • Unknown
  • English
  • 09 February 2019
  • 0140441379

10 thoughts on “The Nibelungenlied

  1. says:

    Because we all need some kick ass medieval literature in our lives.

  2. says:

    Das NibelungenliedBy Anonymus Translated from Mittelhochdeutsch by Karl Simrock in 1827Existing historical locations and recordings of living persons at the time, determine the period of creation of this epic poem to between 1202 and 1204.It is the German counterpart to the Anglo Saxon sagas of King Arthur and his knights and Chretien of Troie s Lancelot tales.The geographical locations of the events stretch from Worms, the country on the river Rhine, to a northern Iceland, the castle of Brunehi Das NibelungenliedBy Anonymus Translated from Mittelhochdeutsch by Karl Simrock in 1827Existing historical locations and recordings of living persons at the time, determine the period of creation of this epic poem to between 1202 and 1204.It is the German counterpart to the Anglo Saxon sagas of King Arthur and his knights and Chretien of Troie s Lancelot tales.The geographical locations of the events stretch from Worms, the country on the river Rhine, to a northern Iceland, the castle of Brunehilde and later further south and east to Bavaria, Austria, Vienna and possibly to Bohemia or Hungary to the castle of King Etzel.Medieval chivalry is the background to the story of love and revenge between Siegfried the white knight in shining armour and Krimhilde the beautiful and faultless princess.Fairytale features light up the story with Siegrieds battle and slaying of a dragon, covering his body with the dragon s blood, almost gaining invulnerability to any future battle wounds.Nibelungenland is Siegfried s fairytale kingdom, the location of which is hard to guess Siegfried holds there an immense treasure of gold and silver, diamonds and jewellery as well as mysterious invisibility cap which he uses on several occasions and not always to his advantage.Inevitably the story also tells of the powerful dark villain knight Hagen, who causes endless sorrows, bloodshed and countless deaths with his treacherous intrigues and proceedings.The author knows and highlights chivalry values such as unfailing courteous behaviour to ladies of their choosing and everlasting faith and mutual protection between friends The style of writing is unique The story told in the German language of the nineteenth century is unusual in vocabulary and rhyme The beauty of the original can only be guessed.Chapter after chapter and sometimes between the lines, the author warns the reader of sorrow to come from ongoing actions and dialogues as they happen.This epic tale is the pride of German literature of the medieval ages.Its reading can be recommended to all friends with interest in chivalry literature

  3. says:

    How bad do you want your epics to be Do you want someone to hit someone else so hard that the plains shake and gouts of red fire shoot from the impact How about someone throwing a boulder 20 fathoms and then leaping just as far And, if you don t, what s wrong with you This book epic lay is amazingly over the top, and at the same time is one of the greatest examples of medieval literature that has not been lost to antiquity Any one who has read and enjoyed Beowulf, Canterbury Tales, Aelfric How bad do you want your epics to be Do you want someone to hit someone else so hard that the plains shake and gouts of red fire shoot from the impact How about someone throwing a boulder 20 fathoms and then leaping just as far And, if you don t, what s wrong with you This book epic lay is amazingly over the top, and at the same time is one of the greatest examples of medieval literature that has not been lost to antiquity Any one who has read and enjoyed Beowulf, Canterbury Tales, Aelfric s saga, etc should not give this a miss

  4. says:

    As with Shakespeare s Pericles, I have a great deal of affection for the Nibelungenlied on account of the conflict in its structure The poet lost now has had to wrangle together two conflicting folk traditions into a single story His or her achievement here is subtle and remarkable.Northrop Frye says that a central trait of epic is a change of mode and subject halfway through the poem The Odyssey, the Aeneid and Paradise Lost all switch tack in the middle Odysseus and Aeneas romantic wan As with Shakespeare s Pericles, I have a great deal of affection for the Nibelungenlied on account of the conflict in its structure The poet lost now has had to wrangle together two conflicting folk traditions into a single story His or her achievement here is subtle and remarkable.Northrop Frye says that a central trait of epic is a change of mode and subject halfway through the poem The Odyssey, the Aeneid and Paradise Lost all switch tack in the middle Odysseus and Aeneas romantic wanderings turn tocomedic structures that is, to the establishment of a new social order in a single location and Paradise Lost makes a less pronounced move from the divine and demonic to the human But I ve never seen it done quite like this.The poem s first half has some of the strongest and most interesting characterization of any epic I ve read Kriemhild is sympathetic, but not weak We feel for her we do not feel the need to protect her There is a kind of burning drive in her, a determination that will become frightening in the second half Hagen, on the other hand, starts out frightening a scheming Iago, free of Iago s pathological obsession with Othello Hagen is worried by Siegfried because he is a legitimate threat to Hagen s goals he does not hate him exactly Iago could not live without Othello and is content to secede from life when Othello is dead , but, as will be shown in the second half, Hagen doesn t need Siegfried to define himself.Siegfried is less of a triumph, though still interesting It s fairly clear that he rapes Brunhild when he takes her ring and girdle I don t know what else that could suggest, and a lot of the poem doesn t make sense if we don t assume it which would make him somethinghuman than the hero he seems to be But his role is structural, and it is primarily heroic He exists to trick us into thinking the poem is going to be about him I wish I had come to the Nibelungenlied without knowing he dies halfway through the shock must be enormous.Because, of course, the second half turns the whole book on its head We move to Etzel s castle, and suddenly Hagen and Volker are our heroes, not because of anything they have done, nor through revelation of new information, but simply because of the situation they are now in Kriemhild bears down upon them, a wrathful dragon, and we fear her again, not because she has fallen from rage into madness though she has certainly come close but because we have been pulled away from her perspective and put into Hagen s We feel his terror, and even though we know that Kriemhild is justified in whatever she does to him, we can t help but experience his horror.Hagen and Volker are in the wrong, and they must die for it We know this as an audience The poet of the Nibelungenlied asks us to accept it, and, having done so, turn to watch Hagen and Volker die with as much dignity as possible traditional epic dignity, meaning a death after extreme distinction in battle Gunther is never redeemed Gernot and Giselher become less and less attractive as the story progresses But Hagen, surely the worst of the lot, forces his way into the heroic role left open by the death of Siegfried There is no redemption in the plot, only in the narrative Kriemhild descends from a romantic heroine to an almost novelistic human being Hagen transcends his corruption and meanness to become an epic hero The frame of one story contains and creates the other, and this new story in turn alters the first.So there it is a tale told from two perspectives, both convincing, both interesting, and somehow both reconcilable through their equal humanity It s a pity this isn twidely read it has strangeness, force and beauty to equal Milton and Homer, and characters that fall only a little short of the great figures in those authors The Nibelungenlied remains one of my favourite experiences in literature

  5. says:

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here Siegfried is murdered.Oops, did I spoil the whole story for you Well, too bad, because the poet himself spoils it within the first three pages.I m all for classics, what with being a major in English literature and all I mean, what else am I going to do with my degree than work a job totally unrelated to my field of study whilst crying myself to sleep every night using my now defunct Norton Anthology as a pillow Granted, this epic poem is German, but it s certainly part of what one would co Siegfried is murdered.Oops, did I spoil the whole story for you Well, too bad, because the poet himself spoils it within the first three pages.I m all for classics, what with being a major in English literature and all I mean, what else am I going to do with my degree than work a job totally unrelated to my field of study whilst crying myself to sleep every night using my now defunct Norton Anthology as a pillow Granted, this epic poem is German, but it s certainly part of what one would consider a literary education.At the risk of sounding unenlightened, I say skip this and just read a good summary unless, of course, you can read it in German Not only is my copy translated into English, it s written in prose form, which is particularly irksome Further, 285 pages of content could have been reduced to 28 pages of actual action I ve rarely read anything so boring, which is weird considering the wee bits of action are actually quite interesting.If you waste your time reading this poem, all you re going to get is redundant descriptions of people coming and going and sending emissaries to this or that place and accepting invitations to go to this or that festival, all while dressed impeccably wearing jewels that would bankrupt the world.The poet has a particularly annoying habit of interrupting himself to describe what people are wearing The back of my copy reads that it is an epic tale of murder and revenge Right More like an epic fashion show.Oh, and no one has that much money Kings and queens are constantly handing out gold and jewels like their wealth grows on trees, and yet they never grow poor On the contrary, as the poem goes on, each king later introduced outdoes all kings before mentioned in wealth Shields full of gems Dumped on mere messengers Every time Bullcrap.I also take issue with the use of the word knight in this poem These men aren t knights they re mercenaries The only reason anyone does anything is for the promise of reward, which is usually merely alluded to you know, good manners and all Can t seem too greedy But by the end of the poem, Kriemhild is begging anyone to go out and revenge for her, promising anyone shieldsful of red gold which,I guess, is the best kind , having it brought right to front lines to administer to all and sundry Even then, many knights won t take it because they re pissing themselves in fear of Hagen, Volker, and the other Burgundians Bollocks to that effing cowards I thought you blokes were supposed to be knights Guess not Lame.The scenes where Siegfried puts on his cloak of invisibility and cheats to help Gunther best Brunhild in feats of strength are great Even the scene where Siegfried invisibly wrestles Brunhild into sexual submission though despicable by today s standards at least doesn t have any unnecessary oohing and aahing at their new clothes Seigfried s murder, Hagen destroying the ferry after hearing the nixies prophecy all these scenes are compelling, but you can get this just from the Cliff s Notes Again, I don t read German, so the way it s written in translation isn t important to me Just the story And there simply isn t enough story to justify wasting your time slogging through this.Having said that, if you get some kind of bullet point summary of what s going on, then the last five chapters or so might be worth reading Everyone slaughters everyone, and the scene where Rudiger gives Hagen his shield is quite touching The final paragraph of the book is utterly retarded, though Kriemhild just wants revenge for her murdered husband, and when she finally achieves it by chopping off the murderer s head, her own ally turns on her and hacks her to bits because it s dishonorable to be killed by a woman ffs

  6. says:

    Massacre upon Massacre3 August 2016 Dusseldorf Well, maybe it isn t the case that the entire book is about people being slaughtered, but when you reach the end it certainly feels like it, with the last quarter of the story involving a huge revenge slaughter in the Hungarian king s home In fact it appears as if, with the exception of a couple of people, nobody actually comes out of this story on top and the thing is that other than being a bit of a pompous git, Siegfried didn t do anything w Massacre upon Massacre3 August 2016 Dusseldorf Well, maybe it isn t the case that the entire book is about people being slaughtered, but when you reach the end it certainly feels like it, with the last quarter of the story involving a huge revenge slaughter in the Hungarian king s home In fact it appears as if, with the exception of a couple of people, nobody actually comes out of this story on top and the thing is that other than being a bit of a pompous git, Siegfried didn t do anything wrong, and while revenge against his murderers may not be the best response, Kreimhild was entirely justified in a certain sense to seek justice for Siegfried s murder and also the fact that she was pretty upset that Hagan took all of her treasure it is was certainly a LOT of treasure and dumped it in the Rhine Anyway, it wasn t all that hard to actually pick a book to read in Germany, particularly since I have this habit of reading a book that has come from whatever country I am visiting Okay, that isn t necessarily easy for a lot of places Singapore for instance, unless it is the Lonely Planet Guide to Singapore, but that doesn t technically count as a book , but when it comes to Germany, picking the Nibelungenlied translation being the Song of the Nibelungens was pretty much a no brainer, especially since it completely slipped my mind the last time I was in Germany though that was only for a couple of days, and even then I ended up reading Gunter Grass I also have some Hermann Hesse though since I only have oneday here I doubt I ll be able to get through Sidhartha though I ll give it a shot Anyway, continuing with the theme, I found myself in a 19th Century Palace a few kilometres outside of Bonn called Scho Drachenburg which is located halfway up a mountain known as Drachenfels , and inside this palace there is a room known as the Nibelungenzimmer, and while there were chairs in the room, there was a rope between me and them so I couldn t actually sit down and read the book, so instead my brother took a photo of me standing up And here is a photograph of one of the paintings though please forgive my photographic skills they suck, though not as much as my French Anyway, enough of my travels and onto the book A couple of years ago I saw this awesome miniseries based on the Nibelungenlied the IMDB link is here , however having now read the book I have realised that while it was somewhat loosely based on the original epic as was Wagner s opera, though since I have never seen it, nor know of the plot, I can t really comment , the story seemed to be somewhat different The thing is that apparently Tolkien based a lot of his material for Lord of the Rings on this story, though as far as I am aware there wasn t any rings mentioned though in other versions of the story a cursed ring actually plays a very big role Also, a lot of the material that we are familiar with, such as Siegfried slaying the dragon and bathing in his blood, occur before the poem begins and are only relayed to us through a Hagen s tale Anyhow, the story is about how Siegfried comes to Burgundy and married Kriemhild without ever seeing her, but it was traditional in the Middle Ages that the groom never sees the bride before the wedding night, which seems to be a tradition that has been passed down to us, that is the groom cannot see the bride in her wedding dress otherwise it will bring bad luck to the marriage Gunther, the king, hears of how Brunhild of Iceland is seeking a suitor, as long as the suitor can defeat her in battle However Gunther has no chance of accomplishing the feat, and gets Siegfried to do it while wearing a cloak of invisibility After the wedding, Gunther discovers that he cannot consummate the marriage because Brunhild keeps on beating him up, so Siegfried once again does his stuff, but it is suggested that Siegfried also consummates the marriage on Gunther s behalf despite the fact that he promised not to The story finishes off with Kriemhild and Brunhild having a row at the front of the church and Kriemhild insulting Brunhild by revealing the truth, and as a result it is agreed that Siegfried must die, so while on a hunting mission Hagan, a confidant of Gunther s kills Siegfried by throwing a javelin into his back, in the section that wasn t hardened by the dragon s blood because a leaf fell onto it while Siegfried was bathing As a result, Kriemhild leaves and remarries, however for the rest of the book plots her revenge, which ends up in a huge massacre in her new home, and she also ends up meeting a rather nasty end This is one of those stories that literally contains everything dragons, treasure, immortal heroes, and some incredibly bloodthirsty battles Actually, the story of Siegfried is interesting because there is a reflection of Achilles immortality in fact as we are probably aware, Achilles was made invulnerable when his mother bathed him in the Styx, however because she held him by the ankle, that was the part that was vulnerable and was also how he was killed though there is no mention of Achilles invulnerability in The Iliad The other interesting thing is the similarities as to how the both died Siegfried was killed when a javelin was thrown into his back, while Achilles died by having an arrow shot through his ankle though how anybody could actually die by having an arrow shot into their ankle is beyond me, unless the wound became infected, and if that was the case then this would be a very painful way to go In a way these attacks could be considered somewhat cowardly, based on the era, as people would fight up close and personal, and an honourable warrior was one who would fight in hand to hand combat In the case of the Nibelungenlied, javelins were not used to kill people, they were used to hunt animals, however considering the nature of these two warriors, such an attack was probably the better way of being able to successfully taking them down The other interesting thing is the nature of the blood feud There are plenty of movies about some guy who is angered by a bad guy and then goes out of his way to hunt down and kill them I guess it is best summed up with Liam Neeson s line I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you Okay, he was actually rescuing his kidnapped daughter, but it is still reflective of the nature of the revenge tale in out modern world vengeance is justified, and nothing will happen to you if you will seek it though this is not always the case, but it is certainly how Hollywood portrays it This is not the case in our older literature we see this is the case in the Nibelungenlied Kreimhild certainly doesn t come out of it on top, or even in one piece in fact everybody dies I suspect that it has a lot to do with our modern perception of the world if we are wronged then justice should be done, and if the authorities won t do it, then we should take it into our own hands In fact it is the nature of our litigious and rights based societies First of all we never want to accept responsibility if we don t have to, and in fact we are brought up as being told that we are good We are also conditioned to live in a comforted world, a world where if our house burns down then the insurance company will pay for it, or somebody else will If we are injured then the first thing we do is look for somebody else to blame, despite the fact that it may have been through our own stupidity In a way we should be looking back at these old epics and being taught that revenge doesn t always come out on top in fact both sides end up loosing, particularly when a person s entire life is focused on seeking revenge, and seeking compensation for the perceived wrong that has been done to them In any case, when we do consider the story, we must also remember that the characters aren t the most perfect examples of humanity, since they engage in lies, deceit, and one upping of each other I guess this is a prime example of our failings as humans, and that in the end, if we are left to ourselves, it is all going to end up in one bloody mess

  7. says:

    The Nibelungs, in case you were wondering, are the royal house of the Burgundians and the Burgundians, whose name lives on in the Burgundy region of east central France that produces some of the world s finest wine, were a Germanic tribe that migrated to the Rhine River region around the city of Worms in the early 5th century A.D All of this information can be helpful for the modern reader who wants to understand the compelling, troubling, and exceedingly violent work that is The Nibelungenli The Nibelungs, in case you were wondering, are the royal house of the Burgundians and the Burgundians, whose name lives on in the Burgundy region of east central France that produces some of the world s finest wine, were a Germanic tribe that migrated to the Rhine River region around the city of Worms in the early 5th century A.D All of this information can be helpful for the modern reader who wants to understand the compelling, troubling, and exceedingly violent work that is The Nibelungenlied The Song of the Nibelungs , a German language epic poem that is one of the founding documents of German literature The Nibelungenlied was composed by an unknown poet, in the area around Passau in modern day Austria, sometime around the year 1200 The Middle Ages were a rough time in central Europe Germany was a region, not a country a place where small German speaking states were constantly waging war upon one another and therefore it should be no surprise that this poem that came to be considered characteristically German is a thoroughly medieval tale of blood, death, and revenge The anonymous poet who composed The Nibelungenlied drew upon earlier Norse accounts of the legendary hero Sigurd or Sigur r, whose story is told in medieval Icelandic works like the V lsunga saga and the Poetic Edda but in turning the Norse Sigurd into the German Siegfried, the poet took the work in some new directions of his own.As The Nibelungenlied begins, Siegfried, who has already proven himself in battle against the Saxons, travels to Worms because of his love for Kriemhild, princess of Burgundy the fact that the two have never met seems littlethan a technicality When Siegfried first sees his destined lady love, Kriemhild emerged like the dawn from the dark clouds, freeing from much distress him who secretly cherished her and indeed long had done so pp 47 48 The feeling, it turns out, is mutual, as Kriemhild soon conveyed her liking , and Siegfried had reason to bless his good fortune that the young woman whom he cherished in his thoughts was so well disposed towards him pp 49 50 It s love at first sight but sadly, a love that is destined to end unhappily, with even unhappier consequences for many.You see, Kriemhild s brother is Gunther, king of the Burgundians, and Gunther won t let his sister marry Siegfried unless Siegfried helps Gunther win the love of the Icelandic queen Brunhild And Gunther, it seems, is no Siegfried When Gunther, with the help of some deception on Siegfried s part, is able to marry Brunhild, the wedding night doesn t go well When Gunther, ardent for his new bride, tumbled her shift for her the haughty girl reached for the girdle of stout silk cord that she wore about her waist, and subjected him to great suffering and shame for in return for being baulked of her sleep, she bound him hand and foot, carried him to a nail, and hung him on a wall She had put a stop to his love making p 88 Well, that s embarrassing.Some further deception on Siegfried s part enables Gunther to consummate his marriage to Brunhild taking away, in the process, the super human powers that the queen of Iceland had once possessed but the path is set for tragedy Quarrelling between the two queens leads to a rift between Siegfried and Gunther Hagen of Tronje, a vassal of King Gunther, feels that his king and queen have been dishonoured, and decides that Siegfried must die King Gunther objects at first, but later consents.A day of hunting is arranged, and on the fateful day Kriemhild doesn t want Siegfried to go off on the hunt I dreamt last night and an ill omened dream it was that two boars chased you over the heath and the flowers were dyed with blood How can I help weeping so I stand in great dread of some attempt against your life What if we have offended any men who have the power to vent their malice on us Stay away, my lord, I urge you p 124 But in spite of Kriemhild s tearful insistence that I fear you will come to grief , Siegfried blithely states that I know of no people who bear me any hatred and assures her that I shall return in a few days time, my darling p 125 Spoiler alert it doesn t turn out that way.Hagen knows that Siegfried, who once slew a dragon and bathed in its blood, is, like Achilles, invulnerable everywhere but in one spot a place on his back that Kriemhild, at Hagen s request, has obligingly marked with a cross on the back of Siegfried s tunic ReallyWhat follows should be no surprise A s Siegfried bent over the brook and drank, Hagen hurled the spear at the cross, so that the hero s heart s blood leapt from the wound and splashed against Hagen s clothes No warrior will ever do a darker deed p 130 The dying Siegfried denounces his murderers You vile cowards.What good has my service done now that you have slain me I was always loyal to you, but now I have paid for it Alas, you have wronged your kinsmen so that all who are born in days to come will be dishonoured by your deed p 131.The treasure of the Nibelungs is Kriemhild s dowry, and therefore should be hers by right But Hagen, intending to make sure that Kriemhild cannot use that treasure of the Nibelungs to raise an army and take revenge, took the entire treasure and sank it in the Rhine at Locheim, imagining he would make use of it someday p 149 In response, Kriemhild could not have borne him greater malice , and her heart was burdened with sorrow that was ever fresh for the passing of her lord and the loss of all her treasure p 149 For the remainder of Kriemhild s life, the one motivation of this once sweet and optimistic princess is revenge against Hagen and indeed against all the Burgundian kings, by whom she feels betrayed And she will get her revenge, but at an exceedingly high cost The occasion for Kriemhild s revenge occurs when she awakens the romantic interest of the Hunnish king Etzel Please be advised that Etzel is the poet s name for Attila yes, that Attila Attila the Hun, who ravaged the Western Roman Empire from 451 to 453 A.D Etzel s queen, Helche, has recently died, and Etzel sends to Burgundy for Kriemhild.Kriemhild travels to Hungary evidently the Nibelungenlied poet does not realize that the Huns were not Hungarian, but rather were of an entirely different cultural stock When Kriemhild meets Etzel, the poet records that Kriemhild received the illustrious monarch kindly with a kiss, to bestow which she pushed back her wimple and revealed her lovely face all radiant amid the gold of her hair, so that many a man declared that Queen Helche had not been lovelier p 172 This dramatic and fateful meeting is today commemorated by a monument in Tulln an der Donau, Austria.Kriemhild marries Etzel a Christian marrying a pagan not out of love, but rather so that she can gain an army and take her revenge One feels sorry for Attila he is as happy as he could possibly be , especially after Kriemhild bears him a son named Ortlieb but Kriemhild weeps in secret, mourns for her dead Siegfried, and forever plans her revenge Etzel is but a pawn in Kriemhild s exceedingly bloody minded game of thrones.Eventually, Kriemhild arranges things such that all the high nobles and knights of the Burgundian court will travel to the Hunnish court in Hungary Acts of violence between individual Huns and Burgundians quickly escalate toward full scale war, as epitomized when Hagen recalls Kriemhild s ongoing dedication to vengeance and then struck Ortlieb so that the blood washed along the sword to his hands and the boy s head fell into the Queen s lap, unleashing a vast and savage slaughter among warriors p 243.In a fight within Etzel s royal hall, the Burgundians kill 7,000 Huns, and throw their corpses out of the hall Kriemhild has her own idea for striking back against the Burgundians, telling her Hunnish knights, I shall pay back Hagen s arrogance in full Do not let a man leave the building anywhere, while I have the hall fired at all four corners Thus shall all my sorrows be utterly revenged p 261 And thus, amidst vast destruction and loss of life on both sides, the Burgundians move toward a Thermopylae or Alamo style denouement After the Burgundians have been destroyed, and Hagen and Gunther have been imprisoned, Kriemhild offers to let Hagen live if Hagen will reveal where he hid the treasure Hagen refuses What follows is one of the most dramatic scenes in an exceedingly dramatic poemI shall make an end cried the noble lady, and she commanded them to take her brother Gunther s life They struck off his head, and she carried it to Hagen by the hair Great was the grief it gave him.When the unhappy warrior saw his brother s head, he said to Kriemhild You have made an end as you desired, and things have run their course as I imagined The noble King of Burgundy is dead.Now none knows of the treasure but God and I You she devil, it shall stay hidden from you foreverp 290 And after Kriemhild s Cain style murder of her brother Gunther, there is stillblood to be shed before the poem finally rings down the curtain on, as the poet puts it, The Nibelungs Last Stand p 291.I read The Nibelungenlied in the context of a visit to Worms, Germany In that beautiful little city that is said to have been the capital of the 5th century Burgundian Kingdom, there is a Nibelungen Tower on the Nibelungen Bridge that flows over the Rhine, along with a very fine Nibelungen Museum The modern city of Worms is a perfect place in which to ponder the power and the influence of this important poem.And its influence has been wide ranging One sees echoes of The Nibelungenlied in Richard Wagner s four part musical drama Der Ring des Nibelungen The Ring of the Nibelungs1876 , a work that in turn may or may not have influenced the composition of J.R.R Tolkien s three part fantasy epic The Lord of the Rings 1954 55.And, on amenacing note, it is a matter of record of sad record that The Nibelungenlied, in the 19th and early 20th centuries, became associated with the totalitarian strain of German nationalism, from the beginnings of Prussian ascendancy through the end of the Second World War The Nibelungen Museum in Worms acknowledges these difficult aspects of the poem s history, including the ways in which the Nazi regime utilized the poem for propaganda purposes.More than 800 years ago, a German speaking poet set down a poem that would mean very different things to the people of different future centuries With the fierce and uncompromising quality of its scenes of violence, the intensity of its emotions, the way in which it shows great love metamorphosing into equally fervid emotions of revenge minded hate, The Nibelungenlied remains an important epic poem, and a vital and troubling glimpse into the German history of its own time, and of later times

  8. says:

    May I defend the Nibelungenlied against charges of misogyny Brunhild warns her suitorsHe will have to cast the weight, follow through with a leap, and then throw the javelin with me Do not be too hasty you may well lose your lives and your reputations here, said the charming woman Consider it very closelyAnd Hatto footnotes, There is always a touch of burlesque when Brunhild goes into action. I like you, A.T Hatto you translated a steppe epic, bless you but why is this burlesque May I defend the Nibelungenlied against charges of misogyny Brunhild warns her suitorsHe will have to cast the weight, follow through with a leap, and then throw the javelin with me Do not be too hasty you may well lose your lives and your reputations here, said the charming woman Consider it very closelyAnd Hatto footnotes, There is always a touch of burlesque when Brunhild goes into action. I like you, A.T Hatto you translated a steppe epic, bless you but why is this burlesque Brunhild s a riot, I grant you, but the butt of the burlesque is Gunther Its society is sexist, yes, which hides a girl away but distinguish from that the author s stance Are we happy when Brunhild is robbed of her vast strength and Gunther manages to sleep with his wife He can scarcely deserve her less On his second attempt at a wedding night Hatto apologises for the poet, who as a child of his age, is shocked by her refusal to consummate the marriage. Is he He s thrown in a conservative sentence at face value but that has been a strategy of poets since Does the story support a husband s right Doesn t the story ask questions

  9. says:

    As is probably true of many if not most readers of this work, I explored it primarily because of my interest in and enjoyment of Richard Wagner s great four opera work,Der Ring des Nibelungen I wished to read what was clearly part of his source material for the libretto and plot he created, and I wanted to see how closely the one work corresponded with the other.Written in Middle High German around 1200 CE, the legends comprising the written work reach back much farther into the past Its them As is probably true of many if not most readers of this work, I explored it primarily because of my interest in and enjoyment of Richard Wagner s great four opera work,Der Ring des Nibelungen I wished to read what was clearly part of his source material for the libretto and plot he created, and I wanted to see how closely the one work corresponded with the other.Written in Middle High German around 1200 CE, the legends comprising the written work reach back much farther into the past Its themes are tragedy and fate, inevitable retribution for misdeeds, the struggles of good and evil Many manuscripts exist, differing among themselves Of the 35 copies of the manuscript that are known to exist, many are fragmentary The manuscript considered most complete and reliable is the one translated here Long forgotten, this current text was rediscovered in the mid 18th century Some parts have been deemed not to have been part of the original and have been discarded in most current translations There were sagas about the Nibelungs in both Germanic and Scandinavian mythology, and it is unclear how each may have derived from or influenced the other, but most current scholarship understands this present work as being part of the Germanic tradition and certainly written down somewhere between Passau and Vienna at about the date stated above The narrative has two main parts The first third of this epic readslike a work of courtly romance,like an Arthurian tale than the darker andmetaphysical narrative that Wagner created as the basis for his Ring cycle One can imagine a minnesinger chanting it in a court on an evening Siegfried early in the work perfectly plays out the role of the heroic knight yearning in love for his lady, Kriemhild, whom he has never even seen and knows only by reputation Siegfried, a knight of great strength, valor, and integrity, wins the royal princess Kriemhild and then helps her brother Gunther, a king, to win Brunhild of a neighboring kingdom This he does by stealth, incurring the everlasting enmity of Brunhild who eventually plots and accomplishes his death During this first part of the narrative we also glimpse hints of Siegfriend himself gradually falling under Brunhild s spell and beginning to love her, and therein we find allusions to the Tristan und Isolde story The second part describes the war between Gunther and his kingdom against the kingdom of the Huns the Hungarians to the east into whose family the widow Kriemhild has married, a conflict which Kriemhild instigates to exact revenge against Gunther and his ally Hagen s for their primary role in Siegfried s murder The story is a tragic one, resulting in catastrophe for all concerned.The translation is majestic and epic in tone, poetic in rhythm The tale includes all the elements characteristic of epic, including deceit and betrayal, love and valor, war and destruction Except for one brief episode suggesting retrospectively Siegfried s obtaining of his magical cloak of invisibility from Alberich, this narrative lacks any of the metaphysical trappings of Wagner s later adaptation of elements of the story Many of the characters, at least in name, are present in Wagner s version Siegfried, his parents Siegmund and Sieglinde, Alberich, Hagen, Brunhild but their characteristics, roles, and relationships to one another are significantly different It is not entirely clear what provided Wagner the inspiration to make the adaptations and alterations that he did Nonetheless, this great poem is fully worthy of being studied and enjoyed in its own right

  10. says:

    I love this book so much, the characters and storyline are so absorbing The blend and variation of French courtly romance and Germanic heroic ethic causes tension throughout the poem, with characters such as Siegfried, Hagen, Brunhild and Hildebrand representing the older heroic ethic and characters such as Gunther, Dietrich, Etzel and Ruedegar representing a new courtly ethic kriemhild s transformation from courtly princess to heroic villain is also intriguing Variation is also noticeable in I love this book so much, the characters and storyline are so absorbing The blend and variation of French courtly romance and Germanic heroic ethic causes tension throughout the poem, with characters such as Siegfried, Hagen, Brunhild and Hildebrand representing the older heroic ethic and characters such as Gunther, Dietrich, Etzel and Ruedegar representing a new courtly ethic kriemhild s transformation from courtly princess to heroic villain is also intriguing Variation is also noticeable in scenic descriptions of courtly jousts, courtship, feasts and clothing descriptions and then scenes from an older heroic world such as Siegfried s dragon slaying episode, Hagen s slaying of the water sprites, the traditional Germanic bridal quest and the catastrophic last battle The language also constantly alternates between courtly words like Ritter knight and olderheroic words like degan, recke warrior helt hero and the archaic word, wigant warrior The variation techniques constantly remind me of the Beowulf poet s use of pagan and Christian imagery and the Nibelungelied s use of arrival and departure scenes also remind me of Beowulf.The driving force behind the whole poem are two ethical concepts, triuwe loyalty and vriunt friend, relative, ally, lord vassal relationship The poet uses these two concepts to drive the poem to its apocalyptic conclusion.The poet is thought to have composed the poem in two sections but working in reverse order and using lost older poems in the task of composing the Nibelungenlied The second part is thought to be based on an old poem called by German scholars the Altere Not, traces of this poem are thought to be preserved in the Niflunga saga section of the Thidrekssaga af Bern For the first section of the poem the poet it thought to have used a number of old poems on Siegfried and Brunhild, again, traces of these lost poems are thought to be preserved in works such as the Thidrekssaga, Hurnen Seyfred, Rosengarten zu Worms, Eddic poetry and Volsunga saga.Out of all the older Nibelungenlied translations, I much prefer this edition by Mowatt While the Penguin classics edition does have some useful appendices, it readslike a modern novel The Burton Raffel translation reminds me of Heaney s Beowulf translation, while it s good poetry, it s not the Nibelungenlied Mowatt s excellent Everyman edition is very readable and preserves the formulaic feel of the original

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